Gentlemen, my experience on the Adirondack was not quite as bad. It was just around July 4th two years ago. While there was a sign posted in NYP on the Solari board that warned of up to one hour delays between New York and Albany (due to track construction) on all Empire Service trains, we did not experience that this trip. We stopped just north of the bridge crossing the Harlem River for a track switch problem, but that lasted only 4-5 minutes.
For someone who never travelled off of the Northeast corridor and was expecting top speeds of maybe 70mph, I was pleasantly suprised; we flew all the way to Albany at speeds greater than that. The Hudson River on the left side of the train on the way north was spectacular.
We crawled out of Albany, across the Hudson River and into Albany proper; then took off and flew for a short trip to Schenectady. Crawled just a bit leaving Schenectady, then took off to Saratoga Springs.
Leaving Saratoga Springs, we quickly slowed down to a snail's pace... I don't think we did more than 30mph for maybe a half hour. There was no explanation; except that there had been torrential rain the night before early into the morning. I noticed no sign of track work or other problems; nor do I know whether there were weather related signal problems or if we were following a freight train; although we never passed a freight train on a siding before we resumed speed. About 30 minutes later, we picked up speed.
On this stretch of the trip, the view is of Lake Champlaign off to the right. We maintained good speed for the rest of the trip; an occasional speed reduction for a curve or two, but I would estimate that maximum speeds were at least 80mph if not slightly greater. My stop was at Rouses Point, the last stop in the US.
Several days later, I took the Adirondack back from Rouses Point to Saratoga Springs. The wife of the friends I was visiting is a US Customs inspector at the border; and although she does not usually work the train, she did tell me that the inspection takes quite a while.... In fact, she called her office to find out when the train actually arrived at Rouses Point, and a half hour later we left for the 20 minute ride to the station.
Well, the train was still there and was not yet open for boarding pending the inspectors finishing. I would say that it was at least another hour before they were done and we could board the train. I don't remember exactly, but I think we left approximately 1-1/2 hours late...
There were no delays north of Saratoga Springs this time; we maintained speed the entire trip and arrived in Saratoga Springs about an hour late.
So based on my experience, I would suggest that the biggest train delay would be customs inspection on returning to the US; but my friend's wife tells me that delays for automobile traffic re-entering at Champlaign on the Northway (I-87) can reach well over one hour on Sunday afternoons in the summer...