Riding the Maple Leaf train

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
5,464
Location
Washington State
They may change engines in Albany if they don't run the dual mode engine (diesel and 3rd rail electric) all the way through, but you don't change trains, they just hook a different engine onto the same consist.

As to coffee, it is coffee, neither Folgers or Maxwell House to my knowledge. They have the little sealed plastic cups of creamer, I am pretty sure it is half and half.
 

Triley

Real Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 14, 2008
Messages
1,562
Location
Somewhere between VAC and EUG
The creamer is International Delight half and half. The coffee is, at the moment at least, the most generic thing you can think of. "Amtrak European Select" is what it says in the packaging.
 

RPC

Service Attendant
Joined
May 29, 2015
Messages
228
The goal is for the train to be slightly on the cool side, the idea being that one can wear a sweater or jacket. A blazer (suit coat) is about right for me, and has the secondary advantage that the customs personnel don't give me a second glance (at least on the Adirondack). The windows do not open.
 
Joined
May 2, 2016
Messages
11
Thank you guys!!

Has anyone ever on any amtrak train not just the maple leaf... tried to see how fast its going and like gps kind of tracking? I heard while watching a youtube video that you can do that but you need a gps receiver and software for your computer or something??

And has anyone tried to listen in on the frequenices from their cb radio or something?>>>>>> http://on-track-on-line.com/amtfreq-ne-o.shtml#leaf if i get a cb receiver if i can...

And do you think it would be easier for us to take the maple leaf to buffalo and then a taxi over to the falls? So we dont have to spend forever at border crossing for them to check the entire train?
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
5,464
Location
Washington State
You need a scanner, not a cb radio. The AAR channels are different frequencies than CB channels. I use a scanner all the time onboard. Your should use headphones with it though.

I don't use a GPS, I time mileposts sometimes and often trackside detectors will broadcast the train speed (see scanner, above). I don't recall whether CSX (Schenectady-Niagara Falls, NY), Metro Norrth (Spuyten Devil-Poughkeepsie), and Amtrak (Penn Station-Spuyten Devil, although I am not sure if there are any in that stretch, Poughkeepsie-Schenectady) detectors do that, my recollection is they do but I could be wrong

Since you are not going through, it may be a good idea to cross by foot or taxi. You don't have to get off at Buffalo to do that, you can get off at Niagara Falls, NY. Someone more familiar with that border crossing should chime in. I was going through to Toronto, so I stayed on the train.
 
Joined
May 2, 2016
Messages
11
What scanner you use? What scanner you recommended i buy and from where? what you mean by trackside detectors?

We should get off at niagara falls and take a taxi to our hotel to the canada side??
 

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
23,882
Location
Austin Texas
I disagree with getting off the train @ the Niagara Falls,NY Station which is a ways from the Border and downtown.

Staying on the train you will cross the River/ Border on the Whirlpool Bridge and the VIA Station is right there.You will undergo Customs and Immigration Check right in the Station and then you're good to go!

The Greyhound Station is across the street so there will be Cabs available to take you to your hotel!

There is also a City Shuttle bus that runs along the River to and from the Main part of the City and the Falls right close to the Stations.
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
5,464
Location
Washington State
Any Radio Shack has scanners (often they are labeled as "NASCAR scanners" at Radio Shack and are often referred to generally as "police scanners"). The big brand in scanners is Bearcat, although Radio Shack has its own in-house line, both Bearcat and Radio Shack scanners are actually made by Uniden. OnTrackOnLine has a section on scanners: http://on-track-on-line.com/scanner-radio.shtml. You can buy them online, too. You don't need anything special for listening onboard, the antenna it comes with will do fine for that. If you are going to railfan and chase trains, you would probably want a tuned antenna for the 160 MHz band so it will pull things from greater distances.

Trackside detectors detect mechanical problems with the train. There are hotbox detectors, dragging equipment detectors and shifted load detectors and they are every few miles to every 10-20 miles, depending on the nature railroad. For example, there are usually more detectors on a twisty mountain railroad. They broadcast on the "road channel" for the given stretch of railroad. They typically broadcast when a train starts by them, and then broadcast the results. The broadcast will be something like this:

"U.P. Detector. Milepost three seven eight point six. Detector working....U.P. Detector. Milepost three seven eight point six. Train speed seven nine. Temperature four four. Axle count five two. No defects. No defects. Detector out." The crews acknowledge this, sometimes by saying "Highball detector" sometimes just clicking twice on the send key.

If there is something wrong, it will say "STOP YOUR TRAIN! STOP YOUR TRAIN! and the axle number of where the problem is. Some detectors are set to broadcast on defects only, but there are a lot of them that broadcast regardless.

Not all railroads have the detectors set to broadcast train speed and/or temperature.

Not saying that you should detrain at Niagara Falls, NY, just that if you are going to get off and cross the border by other means, Niagara Falls, NY is a more sensible option than the longer taxi ride from Buffalo. There could be some advantages to crossing on foot or by taxi, getting through customs is may be faster. I defer to a more frequent rider and more local rider of the Maple Leaf for their recommendation, though. Myself, I'd just stay on the train.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
May 2, 2016
Messages
11
Does any use gps stuff when riding on the amtrak trains? Like a gps receiver to see your location? I think i saw a video on youtube of someone riding the amtrak train and they had a gps receiver connected to their laptop and they saw location and speed.
 

StanJazz

Service Attendant
Joined
Sep 4, 2009
Messages
201
Location
CHI
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
May 2, 2016
Messages
11
Well i am so excited!! My trip is almost here.

Just a few questions i thought of.

What route does train take? Is it true that it runs along the Hudson River?>> the east side of it i assume?

Has anyone ridden on the Maple Leaf? Your experience? How did u pass the time?
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
6,062
Location
NYC/Queens
up the west side of Manhattan, across the Spuyten Duyvil, connects w/ the mnrr tracks (until Poughkeepsie when it is CSX/Amtrak) for the trip along the East bank of the Hudson (left side of train) crosses over the Hudson just after the Albany station (which is in Rensselaer) and heads West along the Erie Canal/Mohawk River. 1. Relax 2. Café/Lounge 3. Read book 4. Socialize (its not like a plane) 4. Relax 5. Watch a movie that you bring with you, even if you have working Wi-Fi, it is not meant for streaming video. Think of the history of the US, and how the economy of NYS and the Northeast was shaped and changed by things like the canal. the railroad, and now the NYS Thruway.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

River in Sight

Train Attendant
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
20
Is the Maple Leaf still 2-1 in business? Looking to ride POU-BFX next month, Business is around a $30 upcharge which I think would be worth it if it is indeed the 2-1 cars considering it's a pretty long ride.
 
Top