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Summer Railfanning Trip - Amsterdam To Buffalo, NY - August 16th, 2002

Summer 2002 Railfanning Trip:
Segment 4: Amsterdam To Buffalo, NY
Empire Service Train #281 - Friday, August 16th, 2002

Amtrak Train #281 - Empire Service Arriving at Amsterdam, NY
3:09pm - August 16th, 2002

   The final leg of this trip would serve as my "relaxation" part of the trip so I didn't do much record keeping for this segment. On most of my trips, I do plan out a portion of my trip for just relaxing, even railfans need a break sometimes! I checked out of my hotel and took a cab back to the Amtrak Station, arriving around 11:00am. My train, #281 would not be scheduled to arrive until 3:09pm, but with the speed restriction set to go into effect at 1:00pm, I didn’t expect my train to be on time. Train #286 arrived late with the “Dagny Taggart” Private Car on the back end. A quick nasty thunderstorm came by then it cleared out again. I later found out from Amtrak that Train #281 was on time leaving Albany!!! I’m really not sure how this was possible but I wasn’t about to complain. At 3:09pm, right on time, Train #281 arrived, I boarded, took my seat but then saw we were now under the speed restriction and were only going 40mph. As I said before, I decided to let this train ride be a more relaxing one and I kept my scanner off for most of the trip. Outside of the speed restriction, there were no problems at all with this trip, the crew was friendly and as I’ve seen so many times in the past, kept the train running smoothly. I had an ice cold Heineken and a Pizza just after we left Syracuse and somewhere between Syracuse and Rochester, the speed restriction was lifted and we were now back to going 80mph again! I arrived into Buffalo-Exchange St., Station at 9:05pm, 1 hour and 43 minutes late but again, no big deal.
   In Conclusion, this trip was plagued by several delays as a result of speed restrictions and the oppressive mid-August heat in the Northeast. This didn't dampen my attitude towards Amtrak because I know that things like this can and will happen and you must be able to deal with it and not allow it to mess up your travel plans by doing some simple planning ahead. Amtrak will grow and expand as long as it is properly funded. My hope is that Congress realizes this and gives Amtrak the money it is requesting for the next fiscal year. Amtrak President David Gunn is doing everything he can to turn around Amtrak and once again make it an excellent travel option for the American People and a good alternative to flying or driving. I urge every member of Congress to support legislation that will give Amtrak the funding it needs to get back on its feet and allow it to grow and expand. Special thanks goes out to my friends Rich and Bill for driving me around the area while I was here, thanks very much! Until next time, when I plan to ride Amtrak to the Best Amusement Park In The World, Happy Railfanning...

Amtrak's Empire Service Train #281 - Friday, August 16th, 2002
Car/Engine Type:
Amfleet I Cafe Car
Cafe Car
Amfleet I Coach
Amfleet I Coach
Coach (My Car)
Amfleet I Coach
Amfleet I Coach