Thoughts on the Adirondack (and more)

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sttom

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
494
At this point, since the customs point in Montreal is still in the planning phase, so anything can happen. As pointed out above, doing to formalities is easier in a station than in the field. Having lived in a rural area, I can't imagine Rouses Point has the greatest internet in the world or the facilities of a train station. Since this is a state supported train, I could see Amtrak or New York pushing to have both ends of the customs check happen in Montreal rather than one mid trip. It would also make more sense to do them both in Montreal since if they are doing the customs check for the south bound train in Montreal, the stop at Saint Lambert would need to be eliminated. It would make no sense for the north bound train to stop at Saint Lambert, but not the southbound train. Since the only stop in this case would be the customs check point, it would make sense to let the northbound train continue to Montreal and go through the formalities there.
 

Tom Booth

Service Attendant
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Jul 5, 2019
Messages
159
At this point, since the customs point in Montreal is still in the planning phase, so anything can happen. As pointed out above, doing to formalities is easier in a station than in the field. Having lived in a rural area, I can't imagine Rouses Point has the greatest internet in the world or the facilities of a train station. Since this is a state supported train, I could see Amtrak or New York pushing to have both ends of the customs check happen in Montreal rather than one mid trip. It would also make more sense to do them both in Montreal since if they are doing the customs check

for the south bound train in Montreal, the stop at Saint Lambert would need to be eliminated. It would make no sense for the north bound train to stop at Saint Lambert, but not the southbound train. Since the only stop in this case would be the customs check point, it would make sense to let the northbound train continue to Montreal and go through the formalities there.
The Gare Centrale checkpoint is what both gov'ts have agreed to from my understanding in talking to Via conductors. I've heard that 2 problems still exist. One, Quebec is not thrilled about its share of financing. Officials are not convinced of the economic benefit to their province. Evidently, Quebec City, not Ottawa, is expected fo fund most of the Canadian share. Two, it's politically difficult to eliminate a VIA Rail stop, in this case Saint-Lambert, to favor Amtrak. Here the problem is both VIA and Ottawa. Of course, a Gare Centrale customs stop would benefit both Americans and Canadians. And Saint-Lambert is served by many other trains already. And a Montreal customs station would make a second Amtrak run through Vermont all the more attractive. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
 

the_traveler

Conductor
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Nov 14, 2007
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it's politically difficult to eliminate a VIA Rail stop, in this case Saint-Lambert, to favor Amtrak. Here the problem is both VIA and Ottawa.
That didn’t stop VIA from re-routing the Ocean thru Quebec and New Brunswick to eliminate all the many stops in Maine!
 

sttom

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
494
The Gare Centrale checkpoint is what both gov'ts have agreed to from my understanding in talking to Via conductors. I've heard that 2 problems still exist. One, Quebec is not thrilled about its share of financing. Officials are not convinced of the economic benefit to their province. Evidently, Quebec City, not Ottawa, is expected fo fund most of the Canadian share. Two, it's politically difficult to eliminate a VIA Rail stop, in this case Saint-Lambert, to favor Amtrak. Here the problem is both VIA and Ottawa. Of course, a Gare Centrale customs stop would benefit both Americans and Canadians. And Saint-Lambert is served by many other trains already. And a Montreal customs station would make a second Amtrak run through Vermont all the more attractive. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
From what I understand, VIA will still have Corridor trains running through St Lambert even if the Adirondack stops stopping there. Also, does VIA even operate the Adirondack when the train crosses the boarder like it does with the Maple Leaf? From what I've managed to gather it isn't unlike the Maple Leaf.
 

Acela150

Conductor
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Jan 11, 2008
Messages
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1) Business class should be added. As far as I can tell, this is the only NYS funded train without business class. I wonder why?
2) Amtrak needs to add reserved seating to all trains. I know this is a hot topic, but it will greatly improve the boarding process. What is the point of being Select Plus or having lounge passes, if I have to que in line for an hour in order to get the seat I want? This is also necessary if you just want to sit next to your travel companion(s).
3) Amtrak should move to the VIA (and Brightline) model and stick the conductor in the locomotive with the engineer. Have a on board service manager whose #1 responsibility is the passengers. I have encountered some great conductors on Amtrak, but their main priority should be the safe operation of the train. It also would mean more space in the cafe car as 2 tables aren't taken up by the conductors.
1. I do agree that adding a Biz Class option would be nice.

2. We have had assigned seating on Acela FC for about 2 years now and they just introduced it on the Regional trains for BC. It's been talked about for the new Acela fleet.

I'll add that since assigned seats have been introduced on Acela FC people have some trouble finding their assigned seat. I was on 2165 back in October from RTE to PHL and the gentleman who was booked for 16A was in my seat of 7F when I got on board. He either was playing bad at playing dumb or was hoping I wouldn't show up when I walked up and said "Uh sorry about this, but you're in my seat." And I specially choose 7F if it's available.

3. If you're ok with hundreds of employees getting furloughed then by all means let's do it.

Not the Conductor job, but the AC has nothing better to do.
2 reasons why the AC has "better things to do"... One, it's not in the job description of Assistant Conductor. Two, it's not in the union contract for Conductor's and Assistant Conductors. However for certain OBS personnel it is in their job description and contract.
 

NS VIA Fan

Conductor
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Sep 24, 2011
Messages
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That would be up to Canada, they may not want a train coming that far over the border without inspection. It certainly provides hope, but no guarantee, which at least exists South bound
The Cascades already travels 35 miles from the Border and is inspected in Vancouver...... and it wouldn't be much different for the Adirondack: 48 miles from the Border to Montreal.

........Two, it's politically difficult to eliminate a VIA Rail stop, in this case Saint-Lambert, to favor Amtrak.
From what I understand, VIA will still have Corridor trains running through St Lambert even if the Adirondack stops stopping there. Also, does VIA even operate the Adirondack when the train crosses the boarder like it does with the Maple Leaf? From what I've managed to gather it isn't unlike the Maple Leaf.
The Adirondack is entirely an Amtrak operation while in Canada unlike the Maple Leaf where VIA takes over at the Border. For Amtrak to eliminate the stop at St. Lambert would have nothing to do with VIA. VIA's trains to/from Quebec City and Halifax would continue to stop there as well as EXO commuter trains.

That didn’t stop VIA from re-routing the Ocean thru Quebec and New Brunswick to eliminate all the many stops in Maine!
You're thinking of VIA's Atlantic which crossed through Maine. The Ocean has always been on the route through New Brunswick and Quebec. It did run via Edmundston instead of Campbellton for a brief time in the late '60s......and it did change stations in the Quebec City area (first Levis, then Charny and now Ste-Foy)
 

Tom Booth

Service Attendant
Joined
Jul 5, 2019
Messages
159
I'm fairly sure, though not positive, that the Saint-Lambert stop is at VIA's directive even though it's an Amtrak train. More than one Adirondack conductors have told me that.
 

NS VIA Fan

Conductor
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Sep 24, 2011
Messages
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I'm fairly sure, though not positive, that the Saint-Lambert stop is at VIA's directive even though it's an Amtrak train. More than one Adirondack conductors have told me that.
There's a 30min + connection three days/week between the Adirondack and Ocean each way......but that tight I don't think I would count on it. Besides...it would become a moot point with pre-clearance as you are not going to do it in both Gare Centrale and Saint-Lambert.
 

Anderson

Conductor
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Nov 16, 2010
Messages
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I suspect that in some respects, the stop being requested/demanded by VIA is vestigial, probably dating to before 9/11 (when the border crossing checks were a lot more perfunctory in both directions). It's about a 45 minute connection SB vs 30 minutes NB.

(Also, apparently in the mid-1990s, the Adirondack actually ran to/from WAS...*mutters about the connections*)

As to pre-clearance, ironically that might help if the time is taken out at the border (since that's anywhere from 60-90 minutes of sitting around per the timetables, versus 30 minutes of net travel time between the stations). I wouldn't check bags on it, but if you can get out the door reasonably quickly it seems doable.

As to the assigned seating bit (vs "reserved" seating, which just means "this ticket applies to this train and you shouldn't end up standing"), I'd like whomever came up with that to walk north until their hat floats. If anything, it is nothing but an annoyance on the Regionals south of WAS*; I'm genuinely torn between starting to drive to DC again, and Amtrak actually has me mulling flying to BWI if I'm going to Baltimore since that's a decent-frequency pair for me for Southwest**. It doesn't hurt that Dad has the Companion Pass with them. Going to a strictly rational basis, mandatory assigned seating really doesn't make sense given how much turnover there is on a number of routes because of the chance of sub-optimal seating distribution.

*Particularly since it is often functionally a choice between this latest round of stupidity and increasingly restrictive fare rules.
**For complicated reasons I won't get into, DL won't sell an ORF-WAS ticket. WN offers ORF-BWI. AA offers ORF-DCA. UA offers ORF-IAD, but IAD is useless as an endpoint airport until the Metro gets out there.
 

neroden

Conductor
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
7,778
Nor do you go thru that separate “Passport Check” line anywhere else except NYP! Even if you’re going from SDY to Montreal.
This shows that the NYP passport check is officious nonsense which should be abolished. Hopefully with customs in Montreal it will be; they will have a detention area for people who are being sent back on the next train because they did not clear customers into Canada, according to the preliminary plans.
 

neroden

Conductor
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Feb 23, 2014
Messages
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The Gare Centrale checkpoint is what both gov'ts have agreed to from my understanding in talking to Via conductors. I've heard that 2 problems still exist. One, Quebec is not thrilled about its share of financing. Officials are not convinced of the economic benefit to their province.
What fools. The economic benefits are extremely obvious. A lot more visitors to Montreal. (The Vermonter would move into Montreal soon after.)
 

Tom Booth

Service Attendant
Joined
Jul 5, 2019
Messages
159
What fools. The economic benefits are extremely obvious. A lot more visitors to Montreal. (The Vermonter would move into Montreal soon after.)
Not only more visitors to Montreal but to points beyond!! There are many VIA connections at Central station to Quebec City and points before and after.
 

the_traveler

Conductor
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
26,008
(Also, apparently in the mid-1990s, the Adirondack actually ran to/from WAS...*mutters about the connections*)
The Adirondack has NEVER ran directly to WAS.

Prior to the Westside Connection being built, the Adirondack (and all trains from upstate NYS) only went to NYG and there is no connection to NYP. Even after the move to NYP, if it went to WAS it would need to go “Backwards” all the way down the NEC! (Like the Pennsylvanian does from PHL to NYP.)
 

NS VIA Fan

Conductor
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Sep 24, 2011
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The Adirondack has NEVER ran directly to WAS.
Yes…..the Adirondack DID run directly to Washington. Here’s a couple of links to pages in the Winter 1995/96 Schedule from the ‘Museum of Railway Timetables’

Adirondack Page:

http://www.timetables.org/full.php?group=19950910ner&item=0024

And a page from the main Corridor schedule showing the Adirondack #68 and #70 (Sun) operating between NYP and Washington:

http://www.timetables.org/full.php?group=19950910ner&item=0010

On Sunday night/early Monday....#70 arrived into Washington at 2:11 am.
 

Tom Booth

Service Attendant
Joined
Jul 5, 2019
Messages
159
The Adirondack has NEVER ran directly to WAS.

Prior to the Westside Connection being built, the Adirondack (and all trains from upstate NYS) only went to NYG and there is no connection to NYP. Even after the move to NYP, if it went to WAS it would need to go “Backwards” all the way down the NEC! (Like the Pennsylvanian does from PHL to NYP.)
I think that the Montrealer did too.
 

NS VIA Fan

Conductor
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Sep 24, 2011
Messages
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I think that the Montrealer did too.
Yes....until May 1974 the southbound train was called the 'Washingtonian' and also carried a through sleeper to Miami. After that....both the n/b and s/b trains were the 'Montrealer'

Central Station 1974:
 
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the_traveler

Conductor
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Nov 14, 2007
Messages
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The Montrealer always did, as it came from Connecticut and could enter NYP. The Adirondack could not get to NYP until the Westside Connection was built.
 

railiner

Conductor
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Mar 20, 2009
Messages
7,983
The Adirondack has NEVER ran directly to WAS.

Prior to the Westside Connection being built, the Adirondack (and all trains from upstate NYS) only went to NYG and there is no connection to NYP. Even after the move to NYP, if it went to WAS it would need to go “Backwards” all the way down the NEC! (Like the Pennsylvanian does from PHL to NYP.)
Yes…..the Adirondack DID run directly to Washington. Here’s a couple of links to pages in the Winter 1995/96 Schedule from the ‘Museum of Railway Timetables’

Adirondack Page:

http://www.timetables.org/full.php?group=19950910ner&item=0024

And a page from the main Corridor schedule showing the Adirondack #68 and #70 (Sun) operating between NYP and Washington:

http://www.timetables.org/full.php?group=19950910ner&item=0010

On Sunday night/early Monday....#70 arrived into Washington at 2:11 am.
As NS VIA Fan has shown, apparently the Adirondack did get pulled backwards between New York and Washington, when it ran all the way thru. Besides the Pennsylvanian, another example may have been the Coast Starlight running thru to San Diego, unless it was wyed not sure...
I do remember the SFZ being pulled backwards between Denver and Cheyenne, when it went all the way into Cheyenne....
 

NS VIA Fan

Conductor
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Sep 24, 2011
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Besides the Pennsylvanian, another example may have been the Coast Starlight running thru to San Diego, unless it was wyed not sure...
Probably about a mile back-up move from LA Union Station out to Mission Jct.....then the Coast Starlight could continue forward. Don't think the through train lasted too long.

Would the through Pacific Surfliners do that today??

https://goo.gl/maps/7YxkQ5P1qjRbrkhP7

I do remember the SFZ being pulled backwards between Denver and Cheyenne, when it went all the way into Cheyenne....
Did that one on a USARailPass back in the '70s!
 

jiml

Conductor
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
1,357
The Adirondack was not the only consist that was reversed in Penn Station back in the day. There was one other Empire Service train that had an Amfleet consist (one of the few near the end of the Rohr turbo era) entering Penn from the then new Empire Connection. An AEM-7 was hooked to the back end for the trip down the NEC, with the FL-9 left behind. I was on it, but only in one direction. Presume a similar exchange took place northbound.
 

Anderson

Conductor
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Nov 16, 2010
Messages
9,567
I think the Adirondack was run to WAS in an attempt to recoup the lost through-service from the Montrealer. Bear in mind that the timing of this is within a timetable or so of the Montrealer being cut.

(It is quite a shame that they didn't plop an overnight train on this run...sigh...)
 

trainman74

Conductor
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Apr 7, 2011
Messages
1,625
Probably about a mile back-up move from LA Union Station out to Mission Jct.....then the Coast Starlight could continue forward. Don't think the through train lasted too long.

Would the through Pacific Surfliners do that today??
They don't, but they run with push-pull equipment. On the occasions I've traveled between Van Nuys and points south, I intentionally choose a backward-facing seat when I get on the train, knowing it'll magically be a forward-facing seat upon departing L.A.
 

jiml

Conductor
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Feb 27, 2019
Messages
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They don't, but they run with push-pull equipment. On the occasions I've traveled between Van Nuys and points south, I intentionally choose a backward-facing seat when I get on the train, knowing it'll magically be a forward-facing seat upon departing L.A.
We do the same boarding at Burbank, heading to San Diego. There seemed to be a lot of surprised people in the BC car - couldn't all have been first-timers. There were actually no front-facing seats left for passengers boarding at LAUS.
 
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