We were scheduled to come home on February 20th and so we checked out of our hotel and walked back over to Penn Station. When we got to New York, we didn’t spend any time within the station confines and we got out onto the street about two minutes after leaving the train and platform. We had some time in Penn Station, which isn’t very attractive inside, but is functional enough. We bought some breakfast and sat in the Amtrak waiting area and, when our train was called, went over to the stairs to the track and down onto the train. We took business class on the way back to Buffalo again, but as an indication of exactly how wide a variance there is in the rebuild of some of these cars, the leg room for the seats we took was even bigger than before. It was almost too much room, meaning that the seats ahead of us and the tray tables built into the backs of them were far enough away that you had to sit on the edge of your seat to comfortably reach them.
Anyway, it was a nice sunny day, so once we got out onto the tracks I was able to get some better pictures of the landscape outside the train as we went through the valley along the Water Level Route of the old NY Central.
The coating on the windows added a nice filter to the light, giving it a bit of an old timey feel.
We stopped for an extended period in Albany, as we did on the way to New York, and I got out and took some photos of the area. Here’s an engine on a train going the opposite direction of us.
And here’s the very end of the platform, with some cars sitting on the tracks, baking in the mid-day sun.
After Albany, I took a few more shots, but mostly sat back and enjoyed the scenery. Here are a few selections:
A BC Rail-esque unit just outside of the yard at Utica.
This unit pulls the old cars as part of the Adirondack scenic railway. Here’s a shot of her in action. Speaking of Utica, here’s a brighter shot of one of the old units I caught on the way down.
And some other pieces in the Utica yard.
Between Rochester and Syracuse we were stopped as someone had gotten on the wrong train at Rochester. For some reason, they decided to stop our train and hold, so they could be transferred onto our train and be taken back. The conductor in our car didn’t understand why they bothered, but we sat for ten or fifteen minutes until they arrived. Based on the timing, it was the New York bound Maple Leaf, so some Canadians were held up while this person was passed across the tracks and onto our train. After this, I caught a few more things along the way. Since we were on CSX track for a large majority of the time, a lot of CSX equipment.
Finally, we got to Buffalo a little after 6:30pm and got off the train at the Depew station where we had gotten on only a few days before. My car was still there, as I expected it to be. As we packed the stuff into the car, we said goodbye to our engine, Amtrak 712…
… and headed home. I’m very, very happy that we were able to take this trip and it has only served to inspire even more me to want to travel the United States by rail. I’m looking forward to taking many trips with my wife and kids in the future, but for now I’ll just say: what a great trip!