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Summer Railfanning Trip - Springfield To Albany-Rensselaer, NY - August 13th, 2002

Summer 2002 Railfanning Trip:
Segment 2: Springfield, MA to Albany-Rensselaer
On The Lake Shore Limited - Boston Section
Tuesday, August 13th, 2002

   After spending most of the day trainwatching at the Springfield Amtrak Station, it was now time to depart and head back to Albany. Amtrak Train #449 was running late again due to the extreme heat, arriving at 5:01pm, 1 hour and 1 minute late. Again, it was about 95 degrees out with bad air quality warnings in effect along with ozone warnings, not exactly primo weather for trainwatching or in this case, for train riding! We left Springfield at 5:27pm, once again, the 40mph speed restriction was in effect so it was a very slow go. I heard some scanner chatter that said the Air Conditioner in the lead locomotive was not working, and that this unit would probably need to be replaced in Albany. Tonight’s train had no Viewliner Sleeper in the consist either. I asked a crew member about this and was told it had to be taken off in Boston due to “Mechanical Problems”. An Amfleet I Coach was put in place of the sleeper so I think its safe to say some people were not too happy, this of course didn’t apply to me as I was getting off in Albany. They seated everyone getting off in Albany in the Café Car which had a configuration of Coach Seats, A Bar in the middle, and more Coach Seats on the other end.
   Our next station stop would be in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. A smoking break was permitted at that time since Train #448, our eastbound counterpart was more than 30 minutes away. I took this opportunity to photograph the entire train as I don’t smoke and wanted to get as many slides as I could while I had the opportunity to do so. At 7:25, we arrived in Pittsfield which as I said before is a bus shelter for a station. We left at 7:51 and had to move just to the West of the platform and wait for our signal as the railroad went down to single track and we had to wait for #448 to pass us, which was also part of the reason we had the smoking break there.
   After going through State Line Tunnel and back into New York State, we ran into a serious thunderstorm near Chatham, NY. A mechanic boarded the train there to try to fix the AC in the lead locomotive but had no luck in doing so. We arrived in Albany-Rensselaer Station at 9:40pm, about 2 hours and 45 minutes late. 3 friends of mine were waiting for me on the platform and we all headed to a Chinese Buffet Restaurant afterwards before heading to my friend Rich’s apartment.
   This trip, although only 101 miles in length, showed that the speed restrictions were wreaking havoc on Amtrak Schedules as the Lake Shore that night would end up leaving Albany over 3 hours late. Amtrak employees on this train which were the same as the previous day with just a different Conductor and Assistant Conductor, did an otherwise excellent job and were helpful and friendly, one of the good qualities of the Lake Shore is the Employees are generally very friendly, way to go Amtrak. Today's train consist information is shown below.

Amtrak Train #449 arrives into Springfield with P42DC #159 leading at 5:01pm. The train was late again today due to the same speed restrictions put into place on the trip getting here.

Our Train sitting in Pittsfield, Massachusetts on our "Smoking Break" along with the regular station stop.

Pittsfield, an "unstaffed" station which consists of a simple bus shelter.
Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited - Boston Section - Tuesday, August 13th, 2002
Car/Engine Type:
Heritage Baggage
Baggage Car
Amfleet I Coach
Viewliner Substitute Coach
Amfleet II Coach
Amfleet II Coach
Amfleet I Cafe Car
Cafe Car (To Be Removed In Albany)