• Amtrak Empire Service (New York State)

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by Tom Curtin
A couple of comments:

1. Public apologies for misspelling "Rensselaer" in my trip report. Honest, I thought I had it right, that's why the misspelling was consistent!!!

2. Thanks to everybody who added their reactions and comments, all of which I found very interesting.
  by videobruce
Catchy phase.........

CSX Q62904 derailed 37 cars just east of Utica NY on 8/4 at 140pm Reports of a broken rail have surfaced. There are cars in the Erie Canal and other reports of leaking tank cars.
It doesn't look like the track will be back untill possible Monday. There is extensive track damage.

  by videobruce
286 is running this morning out of the Falls.............

  by videobruce
64 and 63 ran between Toronto and Syracuse and turned there.

Track one was back at 6pm and tracj two should be back after midnight (Monday morning).
49 should be the first Amtrak through behind 3 WB vans I believe.

  by Railjunkie
49 first train through 45min late into SYR not bad considering it left ALB 25min late. CSX, AMT, and city of Utica lucky that the freight train was going west, (old symbol SENF) empty HAZMAT cars going back to NFL.
  by dumpster.penguin
Seats on the "Empire Service" in NY State, even beyond Albany, seem to be UNreserved nowadays. I wonder why they made that change.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Possibly because Amtrak now has adequate historical data to determine the expected load as well as (maybe) an improved car supply enabling a car to be added when needed.

Getting rid of the fixed consist Turbos also is likely a factor.

While I respect others may hold a different point of view, the only "downside" to eliminating reservations is a means to watch for "bad guys" is lost. This is the only reason I can think that Amtrak initiated reservations on all trains serving Penn during the RNC Convention.

  by crazy_nip
"Reserved" seating is a waste of time and a hassle which crams passengers into seating where they may wish not, and with people they may not want to sit with

Especially on mostly EMPTY LD trains

  by Robert Paniagua
I remember when they began doing reservation in most Empire Service trains back in 1990-91. But are the Maple Leaf and Adirondack, which go to Canada, still reserved?

I would imagine so, especially with the border crossing and security concerns over that issue, that those two trains and the all-domestic LSL 48/49 still require reservations.

  by JFB
crazy_nip wrote:"Reserved" seating is a waste of time and a hassle which crams passengers into seating where they may wish not, and with people they may not want to sit with
Amtrak doesn't assign seats on medium-distance reserved trains. On some longer runs, such as the Adirondack, they'll assign passengers to certain cars, based on destination, but that's the extent of their matchmaking in daylight service.

When you discover that the guy next to you had beans for breakfast, you're free to find another available seat.

  by Railjunkie
Trains 63/64 and 69/68 will be reserved as they cross into Canada all others will be unreserved execpt for the holidays

  by cbaker
The Empire Corridor trains which operate entirely within NY State became wholly unreserved. They used to be UNreserved for local travel between NYP and ALB, and ALL-reserved for travel between NYP/ALB to points north/west of ALB. This was confusing to some passengers and caused customer service issues.

The passengers traveling to say BUF expected to find guaranteed seating on the trains. After all, their tickets said "reserved coach on them, but the local Hudson Valley riders scarfed all up the seats and the Mohawk Valley/Niagara passengers would get irate that they had to stand for a significant portion of their journey. Making these trains all-UNreserved better manages passenger expectations and improves travel flexibility when passengers' plans change.

All trains that operate beyond NY State's borders (Ethan Allen, Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf and Adirondack) are now all-reserved for their ENTIRE runs. This helps to guarantee seats to all passengers choosing these schedules, especially the medium- and long-distance passengers.

  by JFB
Thanks for the sensible explaination, Mr. Baker.

I'll "reserve" hope that this means an end to the Adirondack's practice of putting all Montreal-bound passengers at New York into a single coach. That happened on my last two trips, and the Montreal coach was filled to capacity while those intended for intermediate passengers were relatively uncrowded throughout the trip.

Certainly not a deal-breaker, but it's nice to have all open cars to choose from, particularly when the "developing person" behind me turns his headset to volume 11 (this IS Spinal Tap).

  by Railjunkie

The reason for assigning coaches for Montreal passengers is for the customs and immigration stop at Cantic QC they like to have all passengers crossing the boarder in one to two cars if possible. Also for when the conductors come through to check ID and citizenship.

Most conductors dont mind if you move to a different coach, just let them know and take your seat check. The only time you may have trouble is when the train is very busy or sold out.

Now is the time to ride the fall colors along the lake are just peaking.
  by Tom Curtin
I remember being delighted when I first heard, more than a decade ago, that these trains were going "all reserved." This, becuase I well remember when my daughter was a college student "upstate," the indescribably mobbed conditions on these trains every time there was a college break. Upstate NY, for those who do don't know, is loaded with colleges.

Noe that they've gone unreserved, all I can say is, God help the whole passenger market on this route the first time a college break comes along!
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