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Thursday, February 4, 2016

16-02-04 VIDEOS: Amtrak Hudson Line

Some perks of Amtrak Business Class on Empire Service trains include plush 2+1 seating in former first class cars, adjacency to the Cafe where one can enjoy complimentary beverages and a rear facing railfan window. Moreover, because BC passangers are assumed to have money and clout, the crews are often more accommodating when it comes to taking pictures out of the rear vestibule ;-)

Now last year I had made a similar attempt to video this route, but snow on the track resulted in a completely obstructed view and I had to abort the mission. This year was the exact opposite with so little snow upstate I actually had to cancel a planned ski trip. As I had previously taken video from the front of Metro North express trains I saw little use in re-shooting that part of the Hudson Line. Instead of captured the Empire Line from Penn Station to DV and then the entirety of Amtrak's Hudson line from CP-75 through CP-142.

Here we see the empire Service Train #235 departing Penn Station about 20 minutes late due to a single track condition on the Empire Line due to work in the area of INWOOD interlocking. Thanks to rising property values, most of the RoW in the Midtown area has now been overbuilt for new residential towers.

Jumping ahead to the end of Metro-North territory at Poughkeepsie we look at the back as the train runs from there to the town of Rhinecliff at speeds up to 95mph. Note the former NY Central signal bridges.

From Rhinecliff we pass through CP-90 and then on towards the town of Hudson. We pass the southbound Train 48 Lake Shore Limited about 6 minutes in.

Here the train runs from Hudson to the Albany-Rensselaer metroplex. Max speed on this portion of the line is 95mph below CP-125 and 110mph from CP-125 to CP-142. This was due to CSX, who owned and maintained the line between CP-75 and CP-125, not wanting to keep the tracks at the 110mph standard in the face of daily freight train service.

CSX freights exit the Hudson line via the Schodak Branch which diverges at CP-125, crosses over the Hudson Line and then reaches the Boston Line/Selkirk Branch at the Alfred E Smith Bridge that passes above the Hudson Line at a high level.

Also note the new CP-138, CP-141 and CP-142 that are part of the Albany Terminal reconstruction effort that will add a 4th station track and new engine change tracks. The signals at CP-138 are approach lit and flash on once Train 235 has occupied the block.

Well that's it. Next week tune in as I once again toodle about the Capitol Region.

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