I started heading out to the yard on some random Saturday mornings in hopes that I would be able to catch the service on the Prescott...
In the morning, I hit up Bien Cuit in Brooklyn for breakfast (and to pickup lunch) before heading to the station. The train departed on time at 11:30. I’d estimate that it was approximately 1/3 full. The consist was a typical one of Amfleet and a cafe / business class car at the end. The train used an electric locomotive from Washington to New Haven. In New Haven, the switch to a diesel occurs.At New Haven, you are able to get out for a bit while they are switching engines. Luck was on my side, and an Acela arriving on a track which was nicely light by the sun.
Similar to the way down, a crew change was performed at Springfield. Here you can get out to stretch the legs and to take a few photos. Here we met up with the southbound Vermonter as well as the shuttle.
The food situation on the train is rather limited for those who are picky eaters. The stop in New Haven isn’t long enough to grab a quick bite, and there isn’t any food close to the station in Springfield. For those of you travelling on this route, I would suggest that you pack a lunch.
The scenery along the line was quite nice. It was quite varied from a state capital building to many busy industries. From the freight cars I saw parked on the sidings, I think that the most common commodities transported were grain, lumber, and petroleum.
The late morning departure from New York results in limited daylight viewing this time of year while heading north. There were some nice lakes on the lower portion of the line, but around 6pm this time of year it becomes too dark for photography.
Some of the scenery along the line was reminiscent of my travels to Germany in the Black forest.
The train arrived back in St. Albans about 45 minutes behind schedule. I would taken it to Montreal if it went that far, but that service was suspended in 1995. There has been alot of discussion about this train returning to Montreal. Last I’ve read, the agreement was signed, but they are awaiting on Congress and Canadian parliament to pass the bills required to permit the pre-clearance in Montreal. I would expect that they’ll probably get around to passing the law in the next 18 months, then it is about another two years for construction in Montreal’s Central station.
Getting back into Canada was a breeze, the conversation only had 10 words exchanged between both of us. I arrived back in Ottawa around 12:30 in the evening.
Running Extra – Just past the station in Springfield is a sad look Amtrak package delivery building. I wonder if it is still in use. It reminds me of the Top Gear production office.