Adirondack train #69 at Saratoga Springs station.
|Service type||Inter-city rail|
|First service||August 5, 1974|
132,000 total (FY12)
|Distance travelled||381 miles (613 km)|
|Average journey time||11 hours|
|Train number(s)||68, 69|
|Catering facilities||Cafe/Lounge car|
|Rolling stock||Amfleet coaches|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Track owner(s)||Metro-North Railroad|
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. 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.
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.
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. 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.
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. By 2017, the United States Congress had passed the necessary legislation, and it was pending in the Parliament of Canada, though passage was expected.
- CN St-Hyacinthe Subdivision, Montreal to Saint-Lambert: 6.15 mi (9.90 km)
- CN Rouses Point Subdivision, Saint-Lambert to Rouses Point: 42.7 mi (68.7 km)
- CP Canadian Subdivision, Rouses Point to Ballston: 169.3 mi (272.5 km)
- CP Freight Subdivision, Ballston to Schenectady: 4.6 mi (7.4 km)
- CSX Hudson Subdivision, Schenectady to Poughkeepsie (trackage leased by Amtrak): 86.3 mi (138.9 km)
- Metro-North Hudson Line, Poughkeepsie to Spuyten Duyvil: 61.8 mi (99.5 km)
- Amtrak Empire Connection, Spuyten Duyvil to Penn Station 21.4 mi (34.4 km)
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.
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.
- 1 P42DC/P32AC-DM locomotive. The P32AC-DM operates between New York and Albany; the P42DC handles the remainder.
- 1 Amfleet I cafe car
- 2-4 Amfleet I coach cars
- 2 Amfleet II coach cars
Proposed high-speed line
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.
In popular culture
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.
- "Amtrak Sets New Ridership Record" (PDF). Amtrak. 10 October 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
- "ADIRONDACK". TrainWeb. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
- Amtrak Route on-time performance for Adirondack service
- "Montreal Train Run Commences Today". Schenectady Gazette. August 5, 1974. Retrieved 2010-07-28.
- Eric Anderson (October 18, 2011). "Amtrak leasing track corridor". Times-Union. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
- "Most Hudson Line trains to Operate to/from Grand Central Terminal during Infrastructure and Bridge replacement Period" (Press release). Amtrak. April 10, 2018.
- Bowen, Douglas John (2012-05-11). "Customs relief in sight for Amtrak's Adirondack". RailwayAge.com. Retrieved 22 Jun 2012.
- Anderson, Eric (2017-03-19). "Amtrak's Adirondack on track to benefit from customs legislation". Times Union. Albany. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
- Roberts, Earl W.; Stremes, David P., eds. (2012). Canadian Trackside Guide. Bytown Railway Society, Inc. ISSN 0829-3023.
- Amtrak (August 5, 2014). "Celebrating 40 Years of the Adirondack". Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- Yonah Freemark (2009-08-03). "Connecting Montréal to the American Rail Network". The Transport Politic. Retrieved 2014-01-26.
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