Posts Tagged ‘Lake Shore Limited’

LSL, Empire Service Return After Storm Suspensions

November 21, 2022

Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited returned to service on Sunday following its suspension since late last week in advance of a snowstorm in the Buffalo, New York, region that dumped up to six feet of lake effect snow.

Also restored to service were Empire Service trains to Buffalo and Niagara Falls, New York.

Nos 48/448 and 49/449 were cancelled between Wednesday and Saturday from Chicago, and Thursday through Saturday from New York City.

The last train to operate west of Albany-Rensselaer, New York, was Empire Service No. 283, which terminated on Thursday in Syracuse.

It turned at Syracuse on Friday to return to New York’s Penn Station. Trains that were scheduled to operate between New York and Niagara Falls instead operated only between New York and Albany-Rensselaer through Saturday.

In an unrelated situation, two westbound Wolverine Service trains were cancelled on Friday due to stranded equipment and lack of operating personnel.

The situation arose from a Thursday incident in Kalamazoo, Michigan, when westbound Train 355 struck a trespasser.

Passengers completed their trip to Chicago by bus but Nos. 350 and 355 from Detroit (Pontiac) to Chicago on Friday were cancelled.

Finding space on Amtrak trains during the Thanksgiving travel period this week may be difficult as the passenger carrier continues to grapple with shortages of serviceable equipment and operating personnel.

Midwest corridor trains on the St. Louis-Kansas City; Chicago-Quincy, Illinois; and Chicago-Carbondale, Illinois, corridors are suspended due to those issues, meaning there is not as much capacity as there has been in previous years.

Amtrak also lacks the ability to do as it did in previous years of adding extra sections of some Midwest Corridor trains during the Thanksgiving travel period by having equipment and personnel make additional trips during hours when the equipment would be having downtime in Chicago before its next assignment.

Even trains that are operating this week will have less capacity because they have been operating for several months with fewer cars than normal.

Late in the FL9 Era

September 3, 2022

Amtrak inherited 12 FL9 locomotives that it used in third rail territory for trains serving New York’s Grand Central Terminal. All had been built for the New York, Hartford & New Haven in 1957.

The FL9 was eight feet longer than a standard F unit and featured a unique B-A1A truck arrangement that made it capable of operating as a diesel locomotive or as an electric locomotive in third rail territory.

Initially numbered 231-242, the units were renumbered 480-491 in 1977 in order to clear room on the roster for F40PH units.

Six FL9s were rebuilt by Morrison-Knudsen between 1979 and 1981 to receive head-end power capability.

Amtrak began disposing of the FL9 units in 1979 with the last of the fleet remaining on the roster through June 2002 when those units were sold to the Morristown & Erie.

One of the latter assignments of the FL9 at Amtrak was pulling the New York section of the Lake Shore Limited.

In the photo above, No. 486 is leading No. 48 at Breakneck Ridge, New York, on Aug. 25, 1994.

Emergency in Albany that Affected Amtrak Operations Ends with Building Repairs

August 16, 2022

The emergency situation that forced a temporary suspension of Amtrak service through Albany, New York, has been resolved.

The city’s mayor said that a 12-story dilapidated building that officials feared might collapse in part onto tracks used by Amtrak has been repaired.

In late July Amtrak suspended the Lake Shore Limited, Ethan Allen Express and some Empire Service trains for a few days because officials feared a wall of the former Central Warehouse might collapse.

That action was taken following the completion of an engineering report of the building.

Amtrak resumed operating past the structure on Aug. 1 although trains operated at restricted speed.

Amtrak Resumes Operating Through Albany

August 2, 2022

The New York section of the Lake Shore Limited cruises through Breakneck Ridge, New York, in October 1998.

Amtrak resumed on Monday afternoon operating through Albany, New York, albeit at reduced speeds.

The passenger carrier last Thursday halted operations in Albany due to the danger of a wall of building near the tracks collapsing.

Pieces of the wall closest to the tracks of the 12-story Central Warehouse fell last week, which prompted the service suspension.

For three days Amtrak operated substitute bus service past the affected area for the Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf and Ethan Allen Express.

The bus bridge operated between Amtrak stations in Schenectady and Albany-Rensselaer. No substitute bus service was arranged for two Empire Service trains that operate to Niagara Falls, New York.

Amtrak trains will operate at restricted speed past the vacant former cold storage facility.

LSL Disrupted Due to Hazard in Albany

July 30, 2022

Amtrak is operating a bus over a portion of the route of the Lake Shore Limited due to a hazard near the train’s route in Albany, New York.

In a Tweet sent Friday night, the passenger carrier said passengers would ride a bus between Albany and Schenectady, New York.

The Boston section will originate and terminate in Schenectady with passengers riding a bus between there and Boston. The bus arrangement involving the New York and Boston sections is in effect through Aug. 5.

Amtrak No. 48 was cancelled on Thursday night and the train scheduled to depart on Friday night was shown as having a service disruption. No. 49 was cancelled Thursday and Friday.

The developments followed an earlier announcement by Amtrak that the Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf and other Empire Service trains were being suspended west of Albany, New York, because officials fear a building next to the tracks could collapse.

The structure is the Central Warehouse, a 12-story building built in 1927 and nearly vacant since 1990.

City officials cited a structural engineering report in declaring a state of emergency regarding the building because its southerly wall is in imminent danger of collapsing. That wall is the closest to the tracks.

“We are working closely with local, state, and federal partners and engineering experts to determine the extend to the structural failure and develop a plan to insure the safety of our residents and businesses, and get the trains running on time and interstate commerce back on track,” said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan in a statement.

The cost of razing the warehouse, which has thick concrete walls, was put at more than $10 million. That figure also includes the cost of asbestos abatement would exceed $10 million.

On Friday night Amtrak issued a service advisory saying it would provide alternative bus service for the Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf and Ethan Allen Express.

The advisory said full service will continue between Albany and New York City.

There is a Conductor in There Somewhere

July 11, 2022

The westbound Lake Shore Limited had completed its station work in Waterloo, Indiana, and was on the move. But as the Viewliner sleeping cars rolled past the boarding platform, a conductor stood in a vestibule and watched the platform as No. 49 began rolling out of town. Presumably, he was making sure there were no late-arriving passengers.

Amtrak Eyes 2 New York Cities as LSL Stops

June 27, 2022

New York officials are working with Amtrak to establish a passenger stop for the Lake Shore Limited in either Westfield or Dunkirk, New York.

Both communities are in Chautauqua County west of Buffalo.

Officials said Amtrak approached them more than a year ago about establishing the stop for the Chicago-New York/Boston train.

Although Amtrak would pay to create the station, funding to maintain it would be the responsibility of local officials.

Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel said it is still to be determined whether the new station will be in Westfield or Dunkirk.

He indicated that Amtrak still need to reach an agreement with CSX to establish the station.

The City of Dunkirk is paying for a study to determine the viability of establishing the stop there.

Westfield said it has yet to be determined how much it would cost to maintain the station once it’s established and who would pay that cost.

The maintenance cost would also include hiring a station caretaker.

Coming and Going at Bort Road

June 24, 2022

It’s a pleasant morning at Bort Road near North East, Pennsylvania, where an ancient wood one-lane bridge spans the double-track mainline of the CSX Erie West Subdivision. Back in the day these were New York Central tracks and hosted the Great Steel Fleet between Chicago and New York.

But all of that is a distant memory and the lone passenger train to pass this way now is Amtrak’s Chicago-New York/Boston Lake Shore Limited. The NYC once had a Lake Shore Limited, too, but it was far from the echelon of the Twentieth Century Limited or even the New England States.

Amtrak Nos. 48/448 are pretty much on time on this Sept. 29, 2013, date. The sound of a train crew member calling signal indications on the radio and a headlight in the distance provide notice that it is train time.

Just as soon as it came the Lake Shore Limited also is gone. Note that in 2013 heritage baggage cars were still regulars on this train. Otherwise, the consist was the same as it is today, a mixture of Amfleet and Viewliner equipment.

CSX Track Work Disrupts Boston LSL Section

June 22, 2022

The second phase of a CSX track work program that began this week is affecting operations of the Boston section of Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited.

Nos. 448 and 449 will not operate between Albany-Rensselaer and Boston on Monday through Thursday through July 21.

Trains will operate as normal on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the construction period. The trains also will operate as normal on July 4.

Alternative transportation is being provided by bus to the Massachusetts stations of Pittsfield, Springfield, Worcester and Boston South Station. No alternate transportation is being provided to the missed stop of Framingham.

Passengers ticketed to Back Bay will be bused to Boston  South Station and take an Amtrak or MBTA commuter train to Back Bay.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said passengers at Boston South Station should go to the Amtrak Information Desk for instructions on boarding the buses.

Passengers at Worcester will board the bus at the main entrance in front of the station. Boarding will not occur at the Bus Terminal.

Tracks Works Disrupts Boston LSL Section

June 16, 2022

Track work being performed by CSX in Massachusetts is disrupting operations of the Boston section of the Lake Shore Limited through June 26.

The disruptions are occurring Monday through Thursday and seeing Nos. 448 and 449 originate and terminate at Albany-Rensselaer, New York.

Alternative transportation is being provided to Pittsfield, Springfield, Worcester and Boston South Station.

No alternate transportation is being provided to Framingham and passengers going to or from Boston Back Bay station are being advised to take another Amtrak train or an MBTA commuter train between Back Bay and South Station.

Passengers boarding at South Station should go to the Amtrak Information Desk for instructions on boarding the buses.

Passengers boarding at Worcester will board their bus at the main entrance in front of the station. Boarding will not occur at the Bus Terminal