Transit Adventures

Losing an Hour with the Switching in Albany and a slow dinner

Greetings from the hour late Lake Shore Limited just west of Syracuse, all the time lost in the Albany Station

At 6:14 we passed a grade crossing which says high speed trains. I know Amtrak basically bought the tracks from CSX and was planning to install Passive train control for higher speeds, I wonder if that’s happened already. I check my phone and am happy to see the Boston section has been waiting for us since 5:00 35 minutes early, an over two hour wait until it will leave! We slow down. I’m happy it won’t be like my previous LSL trip where the Boston section was an hour late and we had to wait. We stop at 6:22 by milepost 141, a little south of the station 
6:32 a southbound passes, southbound #48 just divided running two hours late. It is the usual waiting for a track in Albany. 
6:46 We keep sitting there just south of the station still, much to my surprise with power. I wonder what’s going on. This will be a long trip if we leave late and lose our CSX slot. At 6:47 we leave to the double toot and start pulling into the town of Rensselear and the station. I barely hear the pa about losing power. We will still leave at 7:05 and we slowly pull in seeing two spare locomotives south of the station and 449 from Boston just sitting north of the station. At 6:50 im in the station for the waterfountain and there is an annoucement about delayed boarding. At 7:17 Our locomotive P32AC-DM #708 is still attached. A few people who are boarding wonder down to the low level platform since even just the new York section of the LSL is way too long for the short highlevels. At 7:17 the p32acdm #708 hasn’t been detached. It looks like the switching crew are running two others around. 
7:29 boston section moves way beyond the station, the elevator is also broken I barely get through the crowd waiting to board to go back down as I’ve decided
to take another walk into the station.
I am standing watching the connection being made and we get the all aboard at 7:54 as I run on. The conductor barely makes and I run back to my coach. A terminating empire service train has come in on the side platform. We pass an odd verity of locomotives before the station and I go to the diner as we cross the Hudson in the sunset.

At 8:00 I make way to the diner. I go and sit down and soon there is a rush of people, all the occupants of the Boston sleeper told all to come to the Diner as we leave Albany at once. I then realize that the normal schedule is they all go sit at 7:00 just after we leave, we were offered 5:00 or 8:00. Soon there is literally a line, the attendant isn’t bothering to take reservations of those who had 8:30 reservations and the diner is full. I sit with a guy roughly my age going to San Francisco and a retired couple from rural northern Wisconsin  who take the train often. It was a meal of good chatting and apparently the Boston sleeper attendant is awful. The one cook has slowness worthy of the Texas Eagle in terms of the service but this time I actually understand. The times for diners arriving were off. I enjoy the roast chicken which is fine but not as good as I remember it. Dinner takes us to beyond Utica. At the stop in Schenectady we pass the Maple Leaf across from us in the station. 

I then decide to walk up to the lounge and notice the coaches are full but not unbearably so. I’m unfortunately stuck in the full car going to Chicago. I know they should be by the morning. I decide to sit in the lounge as we enter the Syracuse suburbs. There is one entertaining fact about single level trains. The conductors don’t have a crew car to disappear into to so its fun to hear the chatter. They make our final annoucement before its quiet time and it is a smoke stop since the engineer changes. One conductor is singing the name Syracuse as she says it. 

I decide for some final air before sleep with I assume the lights off. We arrive at 10:35 and I step off and go to the Boston sleeper for more of a walk. There isn’t that big a crowd boarding. I walk through the Boston coach with plenty of empty seats all aboard is at 10:42 about an hour late.

I walk back the five cars lights are off in the Boston half with plenty of empty seats. We pull up for the New York sleepers stopped beyond the platform and are passing carousel center at 10:46. I go back to my seat annoyed that none of the lights are off. The Boston half might have a stowaway. At 11:00 the lights finally go off. Time to catch some sleep if the Japanese couple stops yacking behind me. The conductor eventually tells them to stop.