• Amtrak service temporarily suspended west of Albany

  • 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 NYCRRson
 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maiden_Lane_Bridge#/map/0

The NYCRR Maiden Lane Bridge started on the West side of the Hudson right where Maiden Lane currently exists in Downtown Albany. About two blocks north of State Street, Maiden Lane runs just about due East from the middle of the NY State Capital Building.

The Bridge was owned 3/4 by NYCRR and 1/4 by the B&A RR before the NYCRR purchased (leased? ) the B&A.

The bridge arrived on the Renesselear side of the river right around the Current Renesselear Waterfront Esplanade.

Near the East side of the bridge was a large roundhouse to service the steam loco's for the passenger trains (freight trains had been routed over to Selkirk in the 1920's).

Through trains that did not accept or discharge passengers in Albany (20th Century Limited, etc) ran through Renesselear and stopped for a crew change and then used the Livingston Avenue Bridge (LAB) to cross the river.

Albany Union Station had curved track platforms running mostly North/South, they took a sharp curve to the East at the South end of the station platforms and entered the East/West Maiden Lane Bridge.

Aside from the Station Building itself (was a bank for many years) everything else is gone and or covered in Interstate highways.

Approximate location of Maiden Lane Bridge in Orange (plus or minus 1/2 mile);

Image

The NYCRR tracks from the West split away to the South and headed to Albany Union Station just a block or so west of the big collapsing warehouse. My understanding is that that warehouse is a double walled concrete structure filled with sawdust between the inner wall and the exterior wall. Commonly done 100 years ago to create "cold storage". I think I recall a news article about a hard to extinguish fire in the sawdust insulation back many decades ago, took a day or more to to extinguish the fire.

Modern and Historic track routes, Green is the current Amtrak owned mainline, crossing the Hudson via the LAB. Red is the "problematic" warehouse, Blue is (I believe) the historic NYCRR route South along the river to Albany Union Station;

Image

More Details, Green is current Amtrak route, coming from Schenectady crossing the Hudson via LAB, heading through Renesselear and going south. Red is the warehouse, Dark Blue is the historic route for NYCRR passenger trains stopping at Albany and crossing the river at the Maiden Lane Bridge.

Brown is old D&H route which also serviced Albany Union Station. Yellow is current Amtrak Renesselear Station and shop area. Light blue is the historic NYCRR Passenger Roundhouse serving Albany Union Station, Pink is the route up to the Troy NY area.

Image
  by Greg Moore
 
Thanks for the graphics.

A couple of local color comments (made with source information):grinning:

Do NOT expect the Central Warehouse to be demolished anytime soon. As noted above in the thread, it's not simply a warehouse, it is a cold storage warehouse with doubled walls with either straw or sawdust (I've heard both) between them. This is in addition to the coolant lines throughout the building. In theory they were finally drained Freon when it came to the local authorities attention there was still 1000s of lbs of coolant in the lines decades after the building was taken out of service.

That said, I suspect that the drain job was incomplete and done "just enough" to remove most of the danger.

In addition, given the age, it's almost certainly full of asbestos.

This is a literal white elephant that everyone hopes "someone else" will take care of.

Someone suggested above that the current owner has lost the latest lawsuit against them. Quite honestly, given the timing and Albany politics, I would NOT be surprised if the timing of the current "OMG, it's about to fall down" and that lawsuit is not a coincidence and more of a conspiracy.

So personally, I think there's "more to the story" and we'll hear more in coming weeks/months.

That said, another idea I had for possible service as to divert all west bound trains, and the Ethan Allen/Adirondack onto CSX just north of Hudson and not run them to Albany at all. Instead, Amtrak should consider simply running shuttle trains from Albany to Hudson and back. Logistically and time wise, this seems easier and faster than bringing the trains into Albany, discharging/accepting passengers and then backing over the Post Road onto CSX tracks.
  by NYCRRson
 
"OMG, it's about to fall down" and that lawsuit is not a coincidence and more of a conspiracy
Are you suggesting that our "public servants" in Albany would have any ulterior motives ??? I'm shocked you would suggest anything of the sort.... /sarc off

Maybe Albany can shake down Washington for enough money to build a whole new high speed rail line from Buffalo to Albany because "we can't let you run any Amtrak trains past that dangerous building".... We need a whole new route... Washington has lots of "infrastructure" dollars, give us a bunch or Amtrak "gets it"....
  by Railjunkie
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Sun Jul 31, 2022 2:45 pm
Railjunkie wrote: Sun Jul 31, 2022 12:58 am The route for westward trains will be as follows.

Out the Post Road to CP187 where the engineer will change ends then proceed on the B&A across the Alfred H Smith bridge going through Selkirk yard on the new bypass tracks then onto Voorheesville where if you know where to look you can see where the D&H Albany Main once crossed on a diamond. A little bit later you will go through South Schenectady yard were the Carmen Branch starts its run over to the Hudson sub. Then its down the hill and over the Mohawk River to CP169. All of this will be rare mileage on the CSX Selkirk Sub.
This matches what I said earlier, so confirmed. Schenectady gets serviced.
Now onto the building this whole thing started on the same day the current owner lost his court case for bankruptcy I believe and is on the hook 550K in back taxes which I'm sure will be 600K by the end of the year. Someone, no one knows whom for sure reported seeing debris on the tracks. After all the westbound trains had departed Albany. Yes there are debris on the tracks, the siding tracks that haven't seen cars in 30 years. Ten Amtrak and a CSX train or two go by the south side (the side in question) of that building everyday. I am pretty sure if one of my fellow Albany engineers saw chunks of concrete in the gauge he would report it. Yet the CP which comes out of the port of Rennselaer with ethanol and such is still chugging away I believe.

Man lifts there today not sure what they were looking at or getting ready to do. Its Albany and now politicians are involved this could take forever.
From overhead shots in the newspapers, the chunks of concrete are within 5 meters of the rail. The building itself is tall enough that falling over one side will block the track and hit automobiles in the adjacent parking lot.

I would not be surprised if the building gets demolished... and would be very pleasantly surprised if they called Maryland's Controlled Demolition Inc to do the job. (I saw a "how do they do it" on one of their demo jobs)
If those chunks of concrete were on the tracks leading into the building they have been there for years. Like I said we all know about the building and if chunks of it were falling onto the the tracks I'm pretty sure it would have been reported. If the city was so worried about the danger of collapse why then would that parking lot the CP railroad still be running trains by the building and the walkway that was once an exit off the highway still all be open???
Today they took down the smoke stack and a block of loose concrete associated with that stack. There was talk at work that Amtrak is bringing in its own engineers and inspectors to look at the building this week and this could be over before weeks end.
Many years ago after the copper thieves were caught and the fires they had set to the cork that lines the inside of some of the building put put. The city brought in one of the top shooters in the country the Loizeaux Brothers aka Controlled Demolition Inc. to have the building imploded they turned down the job.
  by Railjunkie
 
Greg Moore wrote: Sun Jul 31, 2022 8:15 pm Thanks for the graphics.

A couple of local color comments (made with source information):grinning:

Do NOT expect the Central Warehouse to be demolished anytime soon. As noted above in the thread, it's not simply a warehouse, it is a cold storage warehouse with doubled walls with either straw or sawdust (I've heard both) between them. This is in addition to the coolant lines throughout the building. In theory they were finally drained Freon when it came to the local authorities attention there was still 1000s of lbs of coolant in the lines decades after the building was taken out of service.

That said, I suspect that the drain job was incomplete and done "just enough" to remove most of the danger.

In addition, given the age, it's almost certainly full of asbestos.

This is a literal white elephant that everyone hopes "someone else" will take care of.

Someone suggested above that the current owner has lost the latest lawsuit against them. Quite honestly, given the timing and Albany politics, I would NOT be surprised if the timing of the current "OMG, it's about to fall down" and that lawsuit is not a coincidence and more of a conspiracy.

So personally, I think there's "more to the story" and we'll hear more in coming weeks/months.

That said, another idea I had for possible service as to divert all west bound trains, and the Ethan Allen/Adirondack onto CSX just north of Hudson and not run them to Albany at all. Instead, Amtrak should consider simply running shuttle trains from Albany to Hudson and back. Logistically and time wise, this seems easier and faster than bringing the trains into Albany, discharging/accepting passengers and then backing over the Post Road onto CSX tracks.
Mr Moore it was ammonia that was used for coolant. The owner lost his bankruptcy hearing the same day this issue began. Take a dive into back issues of the Times Useless there is more to the story.

Couple tiny issues with skipping Albany biggest being fuel, they do not fuel them in Sunnyside. As for the the VT service you still would need a engine on both ends for the 10 mile reverse move back to Schenectady.

Speaking of the VT service somewhere in this thread it was posted that the service will be annulled as of 8/1. Not so there is a crew on duty at 0530 to go to SDY and bring the VT train set out to CP169 so the qualifying train can tow it back to the Post Road then on into Rennselaer. Then a fresh train set will make the same trip back to SDY.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
OK, let's see if "I have it straight".

This building will not be demolished anytime soon, for as Mr. Junkie reported, the "top guns" in the controlled demolition business won't touch the job. This means it will have to be taken down "slab by slab" with workers working under HAZMAT conditions. It also means the job will take time - lots of it, and Amtrak cannot expect that line to be returned to service until such (or a substantial portion of such) is completed.

The Amtrak "Legal Beagles" (they are an aggressive litter) will of course be looking to sue anybody and everybody. Only problem: the "anybody" in this matter either has, or will soon, petition for bankruptcy - and that will probably be a Chapter 7 (liquidation). "Can't get blood out of a turnip" (thank you Prof Osborn, for that one).

So apparently, once Amtrak and Chessie can get enough Amtrak Conductors and Engineers Rules Qualified over the applicable territory, Hudson will be the "Busteetoot" transfer point for Albany passengers on trains such as Maple Leaf, Lake Shore, and one other nameless. Those trains will then X-the Hudson on the Alfred H giving passengers a panoramic view of the Selkirk Yard!!! (Whoopee unless you're a fan). Other trains will operate to Albany "business as usual". Both the "Ethan Allen" to Burlington and the "Adirondack" to Montreal are indefinitely suspended North of Albany.

Finally Mr. Junkie, have you been of mind in the now past "What's going to fall on my train today?" passing the structure?
  by StLouSteve
 
If they figure out a detour using the Smith bridge and running through the yard, it will be good practice for when the project to replace Livingstone Ave bridge gets under way unless the plan is to construct a completely new bridge while leaving the old one in service until the switchover occurs.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Railjunkie wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 1:57 am If those chunks of concrete were on the tracks leading into the building they have been there for years. Like I said we all know about the building and if chunks of it were falling onto the the tracks I'm pretty sure it would have been reported. If the city was so worried about the danger of collapse why then would that parking lot the CP railroad still be running trains by the building and the walkway that was once an exit off the highway still all be open???
The building is 104 feet in height. If the sides were to flatten down...
  • CP's Colonie Main Line would shut down.
  • CSX Hudson Subdivision would shut down.
  • Some stuff would come down on Water Street
  • Colonie Street would be blocked but not isolated...
  • A good chunk of the Water Street NY State Parking lot would be closed off, forcing folks to park under I-787.
  • I-787 may need inspection for the resulting shaking earth but will probably shrug it off.
That said, I have seen CSX run trains in a deteriorating viaduct off Baltimore's East 26th Street up until there was a collapse onto the train tracks. If the freight rail roads were proactive they would of inspected the viaduct and tunnels on a regular basis, found the issue, and fixed it. Not what has happened.
Today they took down the smoke stack and a block of loose concrete associated with that stack. There was talk at work that Amtrak is bringing in its own engineers and inspectors to look at the building this week and this could be over before weeks end.
Many years ago after the copper thieves were caught and the fires they had set to the cork that lines the inside of some of the building put put. The city brought in one of the top shooters in the country the Loizeaux Brothers aka Controlled Demolition Inc. to have the building imploded they turned down the job.
CDI turned it down? Yeow. But considering the rail traffic, I bet there was just too much risk of liability to implode it. Pulling it down (munching it) would probably be better off anyway.

And no, I don't have any sympathy for the current owners who not only didn't want to pay the back taxes but also didn't do anything with the property for 5 years.
  by scratchyX1
 
I'm failing to see why someone would have bought a falling apart, gutted out building in the first place.
iirc, the only reason it's still standing is that no one would pay to demolish it. I also seem to recall that it is a roadblock to replacing the bridge with one that would allow a faster MAS.
  by Railjunkie
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 7:33 am OK, let's see if "I have it straight".

This building will not be demolished anytime soon, for as Mr. Junkie reported, the "top guns" in the controlled demolition business won't touch the job. This means it will have to be taken down "slab by slab" with workers working under HAZMAT conditions. It also means the job will take time - lots of it, and Amtrak cannot expect that line to be returned to service until such (or a substantial portion of such) is completed.

The Amtrak "Legal Beagles" (they are an aggressive litter) will of course be looking to sue anybody and everybody. Only problem: the "anybody" in this matter either has, or will soon, petition for bankruptcy - and that will probably be a Chapter 7 (liquidation). "Can't get blood out of a turnip" (thank you Prof Osborn, for that one).

So apparently, once Amtrak and Chessie can get enough Amtrak Conductors and Engineers Rules Qualified over the applicable territory, Hudson will be the "Busteetoot" transfer point for Albany passengers on trains such as Maple Leaf, Lake Shore, and one other nameless. Those trains will then X-the Hudson on the Alfred H giving passengers a panoramic view of the Selkirk Yard!!! (Whoopee unless you're a fan). Other trains will operate to Albany "business as usual". Both the "Ethan Allen" to Burlington and the "Adirondack" to Montreal are indefinitely suspended North of Albany.

Finally Mr. Junkie, have you been of mind in the now past "What's going to fall on my train today?" passing the structure?
You almost have it right Mr Norman. Unless I received the wrong info last night from the who had the extra board jobs for today there should be a fresh set of equipment in Saratoga for the Burlington service this afternoon. The Adirondack is currently suspended, qualification trips were supposed to start this month but...

All trains still arr/dep Rennselaer nothing going on at Hudson except business as usual. RFE qualified on the detour route as of yesterday engineer/conductor today with more starting this week.

Funny never worried and still are not about that building. Speed limit is only 25mph through there due to the curves and the bridge.
  by Railjunkie
 
StLouSteve wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 8:05 am If they figure out a detour using the Smith bridge and running through the yard, it will be good practice for when the project to replace Livingstone Ave bridge gets under way unless the plan is to construct a completely new bridge while leaving the old one in service until the switchover occurs.
New LAB will be built along side of the old bridge.
  by Greg Moore
 
Railjunkie wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 2:12 am
Mr Moore it was ammonia that was used for coolant. The owner lost his bankruptcy hearing the same day this issue began. Take a dive into back issues of the Times Useless there is more to the story.

Couple tiny issues with skipping Albany biggest being fuel, they do not fuel them in Sunnyside. As for the the VT service you still would need a engine on both ends for the 10 mile reverse move back to Schenectady.

Speaking of the VT service somewhere in this thread it was posted that the service will be annulled as of 8/1. Not so there is a crew on duty at 0530 to go to SDY and bring the VT train set out to CP169 so the qualifying train can tow it back to the Post Road then on into Rennselaer. Then a fresh train set will make the same trip back to SDY.
Thank you for the correction on the coolant. I do know it was considered a major concern at the time.

And I fully agree, there's definitely "more to the story."

I haven't been riding much lately (due to changes in work and a wee little pandemic) but I know often the refueling was done via truck. Is that still not the case? If so, couldn't that still be done in Hudson.

That said, I will defer to you on that and all other issues.

In any event, this is a huge fracking mess sadly.

Oh as for why someone bought the building. There have been several owners all with lofty goals (the latest one claims to have wanted to create some sort of art gallery space. So far the only art he's created is lots of court paperwork).

I'll add, I'm one of the few that actually LIKE the building. I do wish someone would actually invest the money and turn it into something because it could be incredible in its own right.
But at this point I'm pretty convinced it will come down. It's just a question if it'll be controlled or not, and if not, if it happens in my lifetime.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
To follow up, just as well Amtrak has decided to maintain rail service for most of the Ethan Allen. While likely you know first hand, Mr. Junkie, the Rutland RR "is no Corridor", but US 7 has got its "issues" as well. I drove it last May - nothing more than I had to - to my 60th Reunion at South Kent School - and from what I've learned from a family here with a kid who has gone to Champlain College in Burlington, "it's no bargain" up there as well. What remains unclear is whether 448-449 "New England States" will remain a "busteetoot" after Chessie completes her trackwork, or if the train will be restored BOS-ALB with a "busteetoot" to Hudson (too lazy to look up the Station Code).

Still think Amtrak will get a "railfan bump" to ride over the Alfred Holland.
  by Mackensen
 
I'm booked on 290 (2) and haven't heard anything from Amtrak, which is right and proper given that the bus bridge is working and it doesn't materially affect my arrival into NYP. My sister was able to book a ticket on 290 (4) back to Burlington this morning. From my vantage point, Amtrak is committed to making the Burlington extension work, the Central Warehouse be damned.

The messaging for 291 (29) was this:
We wanted to let you know that train #291, from New York City Penn Station on Friday, July 29th, has been DELAYED due to late operations. However, alternate routes and times may be available.
That was sent at 12:54 AM on Friday, July 29, so not long after the discovery of the issue. They hadn't decided on a bus bridge at that point. It wasn't more than 30 minutes late into Burlington (with the bus and the short turn at Saratoga Springs), which isn't bad at all under the circumstances.
  by Safetee
 
Not wanting to add to the already way too high pig pile here, but it would not be surprising to learn that there is significant amounts of lead paint that will also require expensive intensive handling encapsulation etc etc.
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