2017 Amtrak Autumn Express foliage excursion

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Re: 2017 Amtrak Autumn Express foliage excursion

Postby ExCon90 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:14 pm

It's attached and detached at Albany.
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Re: 2017 Amtrak Autumn Express foliage excursion

Postby RussM » Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:14 pm

Whether or not the trip is worth the price depends on how meaningful the experience is to the individual. I will be flying from the West Coast to do this trip, and staying two nights in NYC, which costs many times the excursion fare. I am retired, and on a limited income. Am I crazy ? You bet ! Anyway, does anyone have any guess as to how the boarding process will be handled ? Where is the best place to wait, and how early would it be advisable to get there to increase chances of getting a good seat on the Northbound leg ?
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Re: 2017 Amtrak Autumn Express foliage excursion

Postby gprimr1 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:16 pm

I wonder too, beyond the price point, maybe this route isn't as famous as others outside of rainfan circles? I'll admit, I've read people talk about how rare this is, I don't really know much about this rail line, or why it's historical significance compared to say, the Hoosaic Tunnel Route.

I'm also sure there are probably people waiting to see how the weather plays out. Since the price of the ticket is fixed, could put off buying one for a bit until I get a better idea of the weather conditions that day.

And I do agree that the price of the ticket should not be subsidized.
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Re: 2017 Amtrak Autumn Express foliage excursion

Postby SouthernRailway » Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:38 pm

I'd pay twice the ticket price NOT to spend 10+ hours sitting in an Amfleet coach, so I am not going.

I wonder if the equipment used on the trip affects ridership. I'd gladly go if I could have a Viewliner room, or even seating in a Heritage coach.
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Re: 2017 Amtrak Autumn Express foliage excursion

Postby Noel Weaver » Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:58 pm

Given the reluctance of the owning freight railroad and the fact that the last regular passenger trains operated over this interesting and very scenic railroad well over 50 years ago, add the operating costs for crews, pilots, supervisors, insurance and equipment and I do not think the price of a ticket is one bit out of line. This unique and very rare trackage might not be offered again for a long, long time. I worked most of this territory numerous times but you can bet that if I was still living in the northeast I would be riding the River Line just to bring back the memories of working this territory. That CSX is allowing this trip in the first place is nothing short of a miracle, ride this in 2017 while you still have the chance, it could be a long wait for your next opportunity if ever. You should see a lot of freight trains which makes it better yet.
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Re: 2017 Amtrak Autumn Express foliage excursion

Postby Backshophoss » Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:17 am

While I'm not sure of the date,Tri-state ran a fantrip on then Conrail's River Line with NJT equipment was a pair of round trips over a weekend.
Trip was from Hoboken to Selkirk and return. NJT U34CH and Comet I coaches/cab car.
This Amtrak sponsored trip will be the first pure passenger trip since that Tri-state sponsored trip,other then rarely seen biz car trips by CR and CSX :-)
Last edited by Backshophoss on Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2017 Amtrak Autumn Express foliage excursion

Postby JoeG » Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:28 am

There was an excursion on the West Shore about 30 years ago as part of an NRHS convention. i rode it, but as far as I know there hasn't been one since. In the eighties, freight traffic was much less than it is now. I figured I'd never see another excursion there. Since CSX isn't exactly excursion friendly I am really surprised they permitted this one. I'm sure Amtrak had to pay plenty to make this happen.

Yeah, different equipment would have been nice but I'll take what I can get. NJT multi-level cars would have made for better viewing but it's hard to see Amtrak running an excursion with someone else's cars.
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Re: 2017 Amtrak Autumn Express foliage excursion

Postby mtuandrew » Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:42 am

SouthernRailway wrote:I'd pay twice the ticket price NOT to spend 10+ hours sitting in an Amfleet coach, so I am not going.

In that case, I'll PM you my address and you can send me a check for $188 :-D

SouthernRailway wrote:I wonder if the equipment used on the trip affects ridership. I'd gladly go if I could have a Viewliner room, or even seating in a Heritage coach.

That is actually a clever idea. (The V-I, not the Heritage coach, as long as Amtrak has the set facing the right way and only sells half the rooms.)

JoeG: the MLVs were what I was thinking too, or the MARC IIBs
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Re: 2017 Amtrak Autumn Express foliage excursion

Postby CentralValleyRail » Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:40 am

SouthernRailway wrote:I'd pay twice the ticket price NOT to spend 10+ hours sitting in an Amfleet coach, so I am not going.

I wonder if the equipment used on the trip affects ridership. I'd gladly go if I could have a Viewliner room, or even seating in a Heritage coach.


I would too... I would also pay double the price if it was run by a steam with an open window car...
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Re: 2017 Amtrak Autumn Express foliage excursion

Postby ExCon90 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:10 pm

To me the most striking feature of the scenery along the line is that unless you charter (or own) a boat the only way to see it at all is by rail. The parallel highways on both sides are fairly high above the river level and well inland so that the only way you get a glimpse of the Hudson Valley by car is to take an occasional dead-end road down to the river and then come back out the way you went in. Thus there is no realistic way to chase a trip; pick one spot for each direction and that's it. Anyone who can't make the trip would still benefit just from taking an Empire Service train on a nice day.
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Re: 2017 Amtrak Autumn Express foliage excursion

Postby Noel Weaver » Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:39 pm

Having run freight trains over the River Line for several years, the MOST DRAMATIC view anywhere on this line is the view/change you experience when you go through the Haverstraw Tunnel and eslpecially northbound. South of the tunnel it is rural and country but similiar to other areas in New York State but when exit the tunnel and make that left turn the view is dramatic. It has been referred to as the "Grand View" and Grand View it is of the mountain, river and the Hudson Valley, it is something you will not forget. From the tunnel it is downgrade for about 37 miles and you go through Haverstraw and West Haverstraw in the process.
I might have some more tips later on.
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Re: 2017 Amtrak Autumn Express foliage excursion

Postby scoostraw » Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:48 pm

JoeG wrote:There was an excursion on the West Shore about 30 years ago as part of an NRHS convention. i rode it, but as far as I know there hasn't been one since.


I rode it too. Hard to believe that was the last one.

I recall boarding in Bound Brook.
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Re: 2017 Amtrak Autumn Express foliage excursion

Postby Noel Weaver » Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:09 pm

Another dramatic and scenic spot is the Wilbur Bridge which is about 165 feet above the water at about MP 86 +. Not far north of the bridge you go through the Kingston Tunnel.
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Re: 2017 Amtrak Autumn Express foliage excursion

Postby scoostraw » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:47 am

Noel Weaver wrote:Another dramatic and scenic spot is the Wilbur Bridge which is about 165 feet above the water at about MP 86 +. Not far north of the bridge you go through the Kingston Tunnel.
Noel Weaver

This is a location that even a lot of railfans don't frequent.
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Re: 2017 Amtrak Autumn Express foliage excursion

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:04 am

RussM wrote:Whether or not the trip is worth the price depends on how meaningful the experience is to the individual. I will be flying from the West Coast to do this trip, and staying two nights in NYC, which costs many times the excursion fare. I am retired, and on a limited income. Am I crazy ? You bet !

WOW, Mr. RussM, does that take dedication :P :P

Here I am retired with "enough that I don't have to worry" (that's what I once said to some jerk who dared ask me "How much are you worth?" - and that was of course after "none of your fliggin business" went through my mind) and some must wonder "why do I go overseas just to hear a bunch of fiddlers play?". Well I do, because I need a "fix" of concerts performed in indoor venues to get through the Summer. While I'm not going out of my way to ride some fan trip (50 years ago, I guess I did), it is a case of "to each his own".

I hope RussM, that the weather in the New York area will be as "crystal blue" as it was this past weekend when I was out there, for the fan trip. Enjoy, Sir, enjoy :P :P
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