The southbound finally is visible at 3:08, there is a crowd of about 15 people boarding and for some reason the crew is insisting on scanning all of us on the platform. This gives me time to get a few photos of the Park car in the station, Evangeline Park, the Park car I realize on my transcontinental Canadian trip. Eventually I get my ticket scanned dump my luggage in a similar Corridor Coach, the one closest to the Park Car, and am handed a YNY seat check which seems silly since we have a cross-platform transfer in Albany.
I go straight back to the Park Car and see Cliff, a railfan I met riding the Dome Car on the Adirondack last month. I am there in time to get a photo from the bullet lounge leaving Port Henry. It’s a similar group in the Park car as before although slightly more crowded at the moment. I am happy to see the lights are off and wonder if will have that magical experience, a Park car ride in the dark as dusk descends. There is someone who is trailing the train with a tiger doll in there window at various grade crossings (and is in my entering photos to Port Henry). I take photos but few notes of the scenery (see posts on other Adirondack trips). To my dismay at 4:25 at dusk, the lights come on, and none of us decide to bother the crew to see if we can halve them turned off. The train gets later and later.
At 4:49 the conductor makes an extremely amusing announcement for our cross platform transfer at Albany. Listing to it I wish I had grabbed my iPhone to record it. It ends with “It was very kind of VIA for letting us barrow their equipment. We apologize for the inconvenience of the cross platform transfer. We finally leave Saratoga Springs at 5:09, 1 hour and 21 minutes late.
A man, who only identifies himself as ‘working for an Amtrak contractor’ starts chatting with the few of us left in the Park car about are experiences on Amtrak. It feels like a focus group although he doesn’t go into detail about how directly he works for Amtrak. A women wonders up who had boarded the Park car to her surprise at Ticonderoga and wants to know about other opportunities to ride the amazing car and is wondering why the Adirondack is borrowing VIA equipment in the first place. We all agree that we would gladly do the cross-platform transfer every day to ride on the Park cars.
Just after Schenectady at 5:39, 49 minutes late (starting to dip into the recovery time) the conductor comes through and announces the observation car is now close. We all slowly leave, getting some last photos of the unique car. I also have to get photos of the ‘Subsidized by the government of Canada’ plaque and other neat features of the cars. I walk the length of the train, a similar consist 4 cars with long distance seats, one with more modern corridor seats before sitting down in the HP2 corridor car for the last moments of the trip into Albany.
We arrive in Albany (because of all the recovery time) at 6:01, 21 minutes late and just 1 minute after were supposed to depart. Unfortunately the two trains have stopped to have theirs doors line up as close as possible, this means the Park Car beyond the high level platform so no opportunity for photos of the illuminated VIA drumhead logo on the Park Car. Tons of employees are on the platform to help passengers with the transfer (Albany doesn’t have red caps), one not in Amtrak uniform (but with his ID visible) opens the door of my coach for us from the platform. There is also an Amtrak cop.There is a usual Adirondack 3 Amfleet-I, Northeast Regional branded cafe car, and 2 Amfleet-IIs consist.
All passengers for New York City are directed to the Amfleet-I, intermediate stops to the Amfleet-IIs. I go and sit in the Amfleet-II since my destination is Yonkers to sit next to Cliff to discuss trains. We leave at 6:10, 10 minutes late for an uneventful, dark ride down the Hudson where I barely pay attention to the station stops.
Here are photos from the southbound journey on Train #68: