Adirondack Scenic secures former New York Central diner from Amtrak

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An Adirondack Scenic locomotive and train.
Alex Mayes
UTICA, N.Y. — While the threat of losing 34 miles of track enters into long-term planning, the Adirondack Scenic Railroad has a lot on its plate as it readies for the 2019 season, including preparing for its latest acquisition: an Amtrak-donated Heritage Diner car.

Amtrak recently notified the railroad that the car, which was sought by a number of railroads, would be donated to ASR, largely on the strength of the car's lineage, says Frank Koblinski, board vice president of the Adirondack Railway Preservation Society, which operates the railroad.

The car was originally New York Central Lounge Car No. 463, and records show it travelled the tracks that run through Utica, N.Y., where the scenic railroad is based, Koblinski says. There were NYC trains that split at Utica, with one section riding the tracks to Lake Placid, N.Y., which is on the current scenic railroad line. While there are no photographs to prove it, it's likely that No. 463 made the trip along those same rails years ago, he says.

Adirondack Scenic's proposal for the car included that narrative, which Koblinksi believes influenced Amtrak's decision. The tourist line hopes to take possession of the car in May.

"We're thrilled," he says.

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