• Consists: Amtrak Trip 1973

  • Tell us where you were and what you saw!
Tell us where you were and what you saw!

Moderator: David Benton

Came across some consists I recorded way back in 1973 that brought back memories of my first Amtrak trip. It was also the year I started working so I now had some money to start riding the rails and my first venture into the US Northeast.

I left Halifax on CN’s Ocean Limited for Montreal. After arriving early the following morning I spent the day riding CP and CN commuter trains then at 8:30 pm, boarded The Washingtonian.

Montreal to New York, July 6, 1973

915 GG-1*
257 E-8A*
263 E-8A*
1591 Baggage Dorm
8301 Diner Lounge Observation
7003 Coach
3301 LE PUB Lounge
5000 Coach
2958 Coach
5606 Coach

*E-8s off & GG-1 on at New Haven

I was finally riding Amtrak and I didn’t get much sleep that night. Got off for pictures at White River Jct but by the time we reached Springfield we were over 3 hours late. I remember we crawled for miles along the bankrupt B&M. Then it was on to New Haven and my first encounter with a GG-1. I walked forward for pictures while it replaced our E8s for the run into Penn Station finally reaching there in early afternoon. After a look around it was on to Grand Central and a ride up the Hudson on a Penn Central MU.

The Erie Lackawanna was a favorite railroad so the next morning I headed for Hoboken and spent most of the day riding several of the electric lines out of there. I now had the evening to wait for my next Amtrak train so back to Penn Station on PATH then out to Port Washington on the LIRR. If anyone is wondering what photography was like pre 9-11, I was quickly stopped by the ticket agent and told I needed a permit. Some more riding then time to get back to Penn Station for the 3am departure of the Night Owl.

Amtrak #66 NIGHT OWL
New York to Boston July 9, 1973

285 E-8A*
293 E-8A*
3506 Baggage
3204 SWIFT STREAM Buffet Sleeper
1576 Coach Lounge
5467 Coach

*GG-1 off & E-8's on at New Haven

Not a busy train and I had a double seat to myself. I don’t remember much before Boston except the view of New York heading up over Hells Gate Bridge.

Now I had a couple of days in Boston to ride another favorite railroad, the B&M and covered just about every line out of North Station along with most of the MBTA trolley and subway lines.

It was now time to head for home. If it had been a few years earlier I could have gone all the way from North Station to Halifax on the joint B&M, MEC, CP, CN “Gull” Or Air Canada could have had me home in an hour. But I was riding Amtrak and my next train was the Bay State at 5pm from South Station.

Amtrak #149 BAY STATE
Boston to Springfield July 10, 1973

141 RDC Coach (modified)
140 RDC Coach (modified)

An interesting train. It was composed of the xNew Haven Railroad’s “Roger Williams” trainset that had modified Budd RDCs with a cab like front. I rode as far as Springfield where I would connect with the Montrealer. It was over a four hour wait and I couldn’t believe the condition of the station. Even the plaster ceiling was falling in. The agent suggested I wait at the bus terminal a couple of blocks away.

The Montrealer rolled in at 11:30 and it was packed! I found a seat in the Le Pub lounge car. For some reason I didn’t record the consist. (Maybe scared I’d lose my seat!)

I was back in Montreal the next morning then home the following evening on CN’s Scotian.

  by David Benton
thanks for that interesting historic report .