An Amtrak fall mix

Two days, 3 engines, 12 cars, and 1,100 passengers cover rare miles and autumn leaves
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NEW YORK — More than 1,100 more people can now say they’ve been part of Amtrak’s increasingly popular fall foliage excursions after trips out of the New York City-area Oct. 14 and 15.

Hundreds of passengers booked their trips to take in autumn leaves in Upstate New York while traveling rare miles over Norfolk Southern, Conrail, CSX Transportation, and Metro-North between New York City and Albany, N.Y., with both sides of the train catching glimpses of the Hudson River.

While the foliage changes were in rather short supply, given the warm fall weather so far this year in the Northeast, the 156 miles of freight-only trackage encompassed highlights of riding through Oak Island Yard, just south of Newark, N.J., and covering the former New York Central West Shore Line from its current southern end by Croxton Yard to the east end of Selkirk Yard, close to Albany. While the $169-ticket price may have seemed a rather lofty tariff at first, the cost reflected transportation, a boxed lunch, a souvenir tote, and a commemorative pin.

The twelve-car consist included Amtrak heritage Phase III-painted P42DC No. 145 and Veterans’ locomotive ACS-64 No. 642 — both on the south end of the train. Amtrak P42DC No. 156 in heritage Phase I colors operated from the north end of the train. Passenger cars included Amtrak 9800, a rebuilt Metroliner cafe car, now conference car used as a crew car; eight Amfleet coaches; two cafe diner cars, and another Metroliner survivor, 9641, a cab control car, not used as such on this trip. Motive power on both ends helped operationally, as the specials changed direction near NK interlocking, just south of Newark, and again near control point SK, at the east end of Selkirk Yard.

Seating for the trips was fixed on each car with half of the seats facing one way, and half the other, affording everyone a direct river view in one direction. The now- CSX-River Division from Croxton to Selkirk had not seen a regularly scheduled passenger train since 1959, with few fantrips nice then. Also covered were the freight-only 11 miles between SK and the Amtrak Empire Service Line north of Hudson N.Y., encompassing the mile-long Alfred H. Smith Bridge over the Hudson River.

Passengers had the opportunity to take pictures of the train with scenery during a photo runby stop at Rhinecliff, N.Y.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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