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Saturday, November 10, 2007

07-11-10 PHOITOS: Adirondack Dome Car

Way way way back in November I took an advantage of an opportunity to team up with friends Lexcie, Amanda and Will D to travel to Albany and catch Amtrak's Adirondack, which was running with a special ex-Great Northern full length dome car. Amtrak only has one of these cars so it runs on odd days northbound and southbound so we would be catching it Northbound. Due to operational constraints the dome was attached at Albany so the choice was made to save money and take Alex's variable-cost-mobile (now dead) all the way to the New York State Senate President Joe Bruno Station at Albany.

So there the dome car was attached and all the passengers filed on. After about 10 minutes the car was opened and we all stampeded to the front of the dome car. While the rear of the dome had better dome oriented seating, the windows were more grungy and I wouldn't have been able to get good looking ahead shots of signals. Speaking of, I was excited about photo documenting the signals on the old D&H Main Line, especially in the forward direction.

We only rode the dome as far as Port Henry, as that was the farthest North we could go and still reliable catch the southbound Adirondack. I was expecting a nice little downtown akin to those in the Keane Valley with a plethora of lunch options. What we found was a virtually deserted main rode with lunch options consisting of a closed diner and a gas station convenience store. Luckily there was a truck in the parking lot selling fresh venison, but unfortunately they were out and I had to settle for two Elk steaks. Thanks to the time of day I got a really good deal on them.

On the return trip the asshole crew has closed the rear car so we were relegated to playing card games in the Cafe car. At Albany I met up with another friend to go and enjoy the Elk steaks and allowed Alex et all to drive back to NYC via the Taconic parkway. You can see why I am so far behind processing my photos by looking at the plethora I gathered on this trip here.

 Now lets see if I can pick out a good sample of photos for a photo tour.

We begin with the hapless Albany Amshack which is unfortunately slated for demolition.  Never thought these buildings would become historically significant. 

Domeless Adirondack making a diverging move into Albany Station with P32AC-DM.

700 Series DM's waiting around at Albany yard.

Among these was #702. 

Here comes the dome, being pushed by the non-DM locomotive used after the normal power swap.

Inside of the dome with Subchatters Will D and Amanda. I'm already taking pics while the rest of the geese are still filing into the dome. 

There was a downstairs too, no food service tho.

Here's the MP 157 automatic, distant to CP-159, displaying APPROACH MEDIUM and then the westbound home signal at CP-159 displaying MEDIUM APPROACH for the move onto the old D&H. Both the signals are original NYC signal gantries. The diesel exhaust was proving to somewhat obscure forward photography.

The old GE tower has seen better days at the mouth of the old D&H Mohawk yard now referred to as CPF-483.
Classic D&H searchlight bracket masts still stand at many of the interlockings along the largely single track line. This example at the horse themed Saratoga Station.  Here the signal off the station  track at CPC-37 is displaying Medium Clear for a route back onto the main line.  The preceding signal at CPC-36 was displaying Medium Approach Medium and before that at CPC-35, Approach Medium

 Some of the re-signaled interlockings had been equipped with solid state Safetran Unilens signals like these at CPC-36.

Wayside signals had all been replaced with new Unilens ones when the CTC was renewed. Better than the more popular "Darth Vader" type at least.

Approach indication on the CPC-56 cantilever signal at Fort Edwards yard.

The St. Lawrence and Hudson was a Canadian Pacific subsidiary that was eventually folded into the main CP brand. Some SL&H painted locos still pound the rails, like this one at Fort Edwards. 
Past Whitehall the line began to run along the shore of Lake Champlain...

...showing us the views that the Dome Car had been attached for. Unfortunately we were way past the peak for leaf colour. Still worth it tho.

 While I didn't try to take a picture of every block signal, I managed to frame up some good shots of them. 

Before we departed the dome at Port Henry I took pictures showing the rest of the train.

 I also remembered to grab some video of the dome as we snaked through the line's hallmark rock cuts as well as the inside of the car. 


The dome car was pretty popular with the day's riders, let's hope they do it again next year. 
The 6 wheel trucks on the heavyweight dome car rode so well that I didn't even realize that much of the ride was on jointed rail until I stood in a vestibule and listened. 

Here's another video covering the dome car departing Port Henry. 

Downtown Port Henry featured this quaint little courthouse and some static railcar displays, but not much else, although I did buy some Elk from a guy. 

Even the station was bare bones. The old station building had been converted into a Senior Center. They were nice enough to let us use the bathroom. Here we see "the gang' walking on the platform.

Our southbound Adirondack arrived about about a 30 minute layover with P42DC #193. Because of the unfriendly crew closed the rear car there were no photo opportunities on the return trip so I'll go out on a high note with this photo here. 

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