Adirondack (train)

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Amtrak GE Genesis P42 166 at Saratoga Springs.jpg
Adirondack train #69 at Saratoga Springs station.
Service typeInter-city rail
PredecessorLaurentian (D&H)
First serviceAugust 5, 1974
Current operator(s)Amtrak
Ridership361 daily
132,000 total (FY12)[1]
StartNew York
EndMontreal, Quebec
Distance travelled381 miles (613 km)
Average journey time11 hours
Service frequencyDaily
Train number(s)68, 69
On-board services
Class(es)Reserved coach
Catering facilitiesCafe/Lounge car
Rolling stockAmfleet coaches
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Track owner(s)Metro-North Railroad
CSX Transportation
Canadian Pacific Railway
Cascade Investment Railway

The Adirondack is a higher-speed passenger train operated daily along the Empire Corridor by Amtrak between New York City and Montreal. The trip takes approximately 11 hours to cover a published distance of 381 miles (613 km), traveling through the scenic Hudson Valley and the Adirondack Mountains.[2] The Adirondack operates as train 68 towards New York, and as 69 from New York to Montreal. The Adirondack service is financed by the New York State Department of Transportation.

The Adirondack has long suffered from numerous delays along the route because almost none of the trackage is owned by Amtrak, and also because the route crosses an international boundary where Immigration procedures can take up to two hours. The on-time performance of the route averaged 64.8% for the year ending June 2016. According to Amtrak, 28.8% of the train delay was due to track- and signal-related problems, especially along the Delaware & Hudson (Canadian Pacific Railway) segment.[3]

During fiscal year 2015, the Adirondack carried over 132,345 passengers. The train had a total revenue of $7,453,664 during FY2015.[1]


The Adirondack at Saratoga Springs in 1980

At the inception of Amtrak in 1971 the Delaware & Hudson operated two trains between Albany, New York and Montreal: the Montreal Limited (overnight) and the Laurentian (day). Both trains were discontinued, and for three years the D&H line saw no service. The Adirondack began running on August 5, 1974, from Grand Central Terminal in New York to Albany, then over the D&H's line to Windsor Station in Montreal. From the outset the train operated with financial support from the state of New York.[4]

Unlike Amtrak's other cross-border train, the Maple Leaf, which is operated by Via Rail crews on the Canadian side, the Adirondack is operated solely by Amtrak personnel.

As part of an effort to improve on-time performance along the Empire Corridor, Amtrak reached an agreement with CSX to lease the CSX Hudson Subdivision between Poughkeepsie and Schenectady. Starting in 2012, Amtrak effectively took operational control of the Hudson Subdivision, handling all maintenance and capital responsibilities.[5] Even with this move, Amtrak still operates less than half of the trackage along the Adirondack route.

On April 10, 2018, Amtrak announced that all trains using the Empire Connection, excluding the Lake Shore Limited, will operate into Grand Central Terminal from May 26, to September 4, 2018 to allow work on the Empire Tunnel, the Spuyten Duyvil movable bridge, and Track 19 in New York's Penn Station.[6]

In 2012, U.S. Customs and Border Protection opened a preclearance facility at Montreal Central Station, which would allow U. S. Customs and the Canada Border Services Agency to conduct prescreenings in Montreal. Under this plan, passengers arriving in Montreal would be processed by Canadian officials, while departing passengers would be screened by American personnel. Presently, the Adirondack must stop in Rouses Point, New York for immigration procedures.[7] By 2017, the United States Congress had passed the necessary legislation, and it was pending in the Parliament of Canada, though passage was expected.[8]

Route details[edit]

The Adirondack operates over Canadian National Railway, Canadian Pacific Railway, CSX Transportation, Metro-North Railroad, and Amtrak rails:[9]

Note: From 1974 to 1986, the Adirondack used CP Rail's Windsor Station. Until the Empire Connection was built in 1991, the train served Grand Central Terminal instead of Penn Station in New York City. There is a short distance of track between Albany and Schenectady that allows for 110 MPH (177 km/h) operations.

Station stops[edit]

State/Province Town/City Station Connections/Notes
Québec Montréal Montreal AMT: Deux-Montagnes Line, Mont-Saint-Hilaire Line, Mascouche Line
STM Bus Routes: 36, 61, 74, 75, 107, 150, 168, 178, 410, 420, 430, 435, 715, 747
Montreal Metro lines: Orange Metro line
Via Rail:Corridor, Ocean, Montreal – Jonquière train, Montreal – Senneterre train
Saint-Lambert Saint-Lambert AMT: Mont-Saint-Hilaire Line
RTL: 1, 6, 55, 106
Via Rail: Corridor, Ocean
Canada–United States border
New York Rouses Point, New York Rouses Point none
Plattsburgh Plattsburgh Clinton County Public Transit: route CCC / Shopper Shuttle, Grand Isle, Mall / Gov't Center Express Shuttle, Momot & Duken, Seton Express, North City, Saturday Shuttle, South City, West City, Ausable, Champlain / Rouses Point, Peru. All buses departed from nearby Government Center bus terminal.
Port Kent Port Kent Lake Champlain Transportation: seasonal ferry service to Burlington, Vermont. Train stops only on days ferry operates.
Westport Westport Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach: connection service to Lake Placid.
Port Henry Port Henry none
Ticonderoga Ticonderoga The Ticonderoga Ferry: seasonal ferry service to Shoreham, Vermont.
Whitehall Whitehall none
Fort Edward Fort Edward-Glens Falls Amtrak: Ethan Allen Express
GGFT: 4, Train-Catcher Service
Saratoga Springs Saratoga Springs Amtrak: Ethan Allen Express
CDTA: NX Northway Xpress, 471, 472, 474
Schenectady Schenectady Amtrak: Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf
Rensselaer Albany–Rensselaer Amtrak: Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf
CDTA: NX Northway Express, 14, 15, 24. Engine Change from P32AC-DM to a P42 Diesel or vice versa
Hudson Hudson Amtrak: Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Maple Leaf
Rhinecliff Rhinecliff-Kingston Amtrak: Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Maple Leaf
Poughkeepsie Poughkeepsie Amtrak: Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf
Dutchess LOOP: A, B, C, D, E, Poughkeepsie RailLink
City of Poughkeepsie Transit: Main Street, Shoppers' Special
UCAT Ulster-Poughkeepsie LINK
Metro-North Railroad: Hudson Line
Croton-on-Hudson Croton–Harmon Amtrak: Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf
Bee-Line: 10, 11, 14
Metro-North Railroad: Hudson Line
Yonkers Yonkers Amtrak: Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Maple Leaf
Bee-Line: 6, 9, 25, 32, 91 (seasonal service)
Metro-North Railroad: Hudson Line
New York City Grand Central Terminal Metro-North Railroad: Hudson Line, Harlem Line, New Haven Line
NYC Subway: 4, ​5, ​6, <6>​, 7, <7>​​, and S trains
NYC Transit Buses: M101, M102, M103, M1, M2, M3, M4, Q32, M42


D&H ALCO PAs in 1975.

The Adirondack debuted in 1974 with D&H equipment, much of it ex-Laurentian, as Amtrak was experiencing equipment shortages. These were supplemented by a pair of Skyline dome cars leased from the Canadian Pacific Railway. Four D&H ALCO PA diesel locomotives hauled the train. On March 1, 1977, new Turboliner gas turbine trainsets took over from the D&H cars. Conventional Amtrak equipment would eventually displace the Turboliners.[10]

The Adirondack operates year-round with General Electric P42DC and P32AC-DM units and Amfleet passenger cars. A typical consist will include:

  • 1 P42DC/P32AC-DM locomotive. The P32AC-DM operates between New York and Albany; the P42DC handles the remainder.[2]
  • 1 Amfleet I cafe car[2]
  • 2-4 Amfleet I coach cars[2]
  • 2 Amfleet II coach cars[2]

Unlike other Empire Corridor trains, the Adirondack does not offer business class seating.[2]

Proposed high-speed line[edit]

Exchange of cars at the Albany–Rensselaer station.

There is a proposal for a Montreal—New York City high-speed train. On October 6, 2005, the Albany Times-Union reported that New York Governor George Pataki and Quebec Premier Jean Charest "called for the creation of high-speed rail service between Montreal and New York City as a way to boost the regional economy during the third Quebec-New York Economic Summit [on October 4]". Little progress seems to have been made since then, and the Federal Railroad Administration has instead preferred a link between Montreal and Boston, despite the fact that independent ridership analyses have suggested that the New York state route would be much more promising.[11]

In popular culture[edit]

In the fourth season of the TV sitcom Friends, in the episode "The One with the Girl from Poughkeepsie," Ross Geller falls asleep on the train, ending up in Montreal when traveling to Poughkeepsie to visit a girlfriend.

The song "Anna-Lisa" by Prozzak plays an announcement of the train's Montreal-bound stops in the background.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Amtrak Sets New Ridership Record" (PDF). Amtrak. 10 October 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "ADIRONDACK". TrainWeb. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  3. ^ Amtrak Route on-time performance for Adirondack service
  4. ^ "Montreal Train Run Commences Today". Schenectady Gazette. August 5, 1974. Retrieved 2010-07-28.
  5. ^ Eric Anderson (October 18, 2011). "Amtrak leasing track corridor". Times-Union. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
  6. ^ "Most Hudson Line trains to Operate to/from Grand Central Terminal during Infrastructure and Bridge replacement Period" (Press release). Amtrak. April 10, 2018.
  7. ^ Bowen, Douglas John (2012-05-11). "Customs relief in sight for Amtrak's Adirondack". Retrieved 22 Jun 2012.
  8. ^ Anderson, Eric (2017-03-19). "Amtrak's Adirondack on track to benefit from customs legislation". Times Union. Albany. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
  9. ^ Roberts, Earl W.; Stremes, David P., eds. (2012). Canadian Trackside Guide. Bytown Railway Society, Inc. ISSN 0829-3023.
  10. ^ Amtrak (August 5, 2014). "Celebrating 40 Years of the Adirondack". Retrieved 2014-08-05.
  11. ^ Yonah Freemark (2009-08-03). "Connecting Montréal to the American Rail Network". The Transport Politic. Retrieved 2014-01-26.

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata