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Saturday, August 30, 2008

08-08-30 PHOTOS: Schenectady Station

Last Labour Day I took another trip to visit my friend who was living in Schenectady, NY. On this trip I did a few non-railfanning activities like climbing to the top of Buck Mountain next to Lake George in the Adirondacks and also spending an afternoon at Saratoga Racetrack. And why I do have photos of Mountain scenery and non-Iron horses, most people reading this would be more interested in the walk I took around the Schenectady Amtrak Station

The station is situated on Amtrak's Hudson Line between the busy Albany station terminal complex and where CSX takes over MoW duties at CP-169. It consists of an island platform with interlockings on each end. CP-160 is the west end of a controlled siding that continues to CP-157 and also provides a link to the former Delaware and Hudson trackage currently used by the Adirondack, Ethan Allen and Saratoga terminating Empire trains. On the east end of the station is CP-159 which allows trains to continue on the main track past CP-157 yet still access the north side of the island platform and the D&H connector.

The Schenectady station is situated on the former 4-track right of way of the New York Central Main line and you can see the remains of the other island platform and bridge truss that served the other pair of tracks. Today the line is mostly single track between LAB tower in Albany and where the Selkirk freight bypass track joins the line at CP-169 in Hoffmans.

Even tho the route is dispatched by CSX, Amtrak maintains the line and is the priority user. The route is cab signaled all the way to CP-169 which keeps a lot of casual CSX through freight off of it. Strains stopping daily at the SDY station include 3 Empire round trips to Niagara Falls, the Maple Leaf to Tornoto, the Lake Shore Limited to Chicago, the Ethan Allen express to Rutland, the Adirondack to Montreal and possibly another Empire train to Saratoga although I think this train was cut back to Albany.

Alrighty, enough with the chit-chat and onto the photos.

Those who prefer self-guided tours can view the entire set here.

Let's start off with this picture I took of the now closed HUDSON tower at the old Manhattan Transfer location on Amtrak's NEC just past Newark Penn Station. Note the millage sign denoting the change in Millage from New York Sunnyside to Jersey City as a basis point. 

The station building consists of an Amshack (not pictures) at street level with stairs leading up to a correctly labeled low level island platform shown here. You can see some people waiting for the next Empire train.

The train soon arrived pulled by P32DM #719. it is interesting seeing Amtrak using its scarce dual mode locos to haul empire trains all the way out to Buffalo and back when it might be better to do a power change and put two P32's on the heavy LSL.

The train served to light up the signals at CP-160 before departing.

At the west end of the platform was the twin head searchlight mast signal for CP-160 just before the 4-track truss bridge over a local road.

Track 2 has a twin stack searchlight dwarf right before the switch to the D&H connector.

The southern home signals for CPF-485 on the D&H main are plainly visible from the station platform. Here is a surviving D&H style cantilever mast.

 The truss bridge is exactly 160 miles from Grand Central Terminal in NYC and within the interlocking limits of CP-160

The western home signal for CP-160 is a 3-head searchlight mast that can display Medium Approach Medium. It looks like the maintainer ladder was recently replaced.

About 1/3 mile down the line is the 4-track (1-active) girder bridge over the Mohawk River. After the westbound empire cleared the single track line at CP-169 the eastbound Lake Shore Limited showed up with P42's 191 and 16 on the front. The train was only about 20 minutes late.

And a Private Stainless car on the rear.

Creeping along on signals behind the LSL was an Empire train running about an hour late. Amtrak clearly wanted to give the LSL priority to avoid making it any later and missing its 448 connection at Albany.

The train was hauled by Amtrak P32DM #715.

Well that's it, enjoy.

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