Tag Archives: Saratoga

Delaware & Hudson Passenger Train Demise

Albany-Binghamton died in 1962 or 63, the commuter trains to Altamont and Saratoga went just about that same time.To be more exact: Trains 250/208 Binghamton – Albany & return came off in January 1963. My September 1930 Susquehanna Division Employes’ Time Table shows no dedicated Altamont commuter service, and no convenient times to and from Albany for commuters on Binghamton trains. Saratoga commuter trains 5 and 40 came off ca. 1960.

The D&H was down to two Montreal trains when 205 and 208 were discontinued in 1963. There had been discussion of substituting Budd RDCs for the Laurentian in that time period also, but I’ve never heard a reliable source on how far that got, or what that would have meant for the night train. (discontinuance, presumably?)

John Hiltz proposed to the NYPSC to substitute Budd RDC’s for conventional equipment on 34 and 35, The Laurentian, ca 1964 but the PSC objected and the issue was not pushed. I don’t recall the night trains, 9 and 10, being an issue at the time.

A little background. Passenger traffic soared in the summer of 1967 during Expo 67 in Montreal. No. 9, the Montreal Limited, had three units (RS-2’s) and 23 cars on Friday night, July 1, 1967. Most were NYC sleepers. The D&H leased coaches from EL and Reading to handle the load, but only used the same passenger RS-2’s. In the middle of that, No. 9 ran into the side of RO-2 at BM Cabin, and the 4024 and 4025 were destroyed. And Buck Dumaine became President of The D&H.

Buck first restored dining cars to 34 & 35, leasing two from the New Haven. He wanted to upgrade the service and grow the business. It was a fairly economical move, because the D&H dining service employees were protected by their labor agreement, and were working various jobs in the Headquarters building, including elevator operators, etc.

With the 4024 and 4025 gone, and most of the existing passenger car fleet in need of serious overhaul, it was a wise decision to upgrade the fleet with some good used locomotives and cars. That took the form of the four PA’s from the Santa Fe, and the 12 cars from the Rio Grande. I was told by good authority that the four PA’s cost $135,000 for the lot, and the Rio Grande cars totaled $120,000. That was almost certainly less money than an overhaul of the car fleet, and it took care of replacing the 4024 and 4025.

I can remember several months early in 1967 when both Montreal trains were covered by two RS-2’s, the 4005 and 4009. One went north on 35 and returned the same night on 10, and other went north on 9 and returned on 34. The only time they missed a turn was for their monthly inspections at Colonie. Two other passenger units were assigned as yard engines at Whitehall and Rouses Point to protect the passenger service.

The PA’s went into D&H service at the end of 1967, after Expo was done.. The first unit, I forget which, arrived at Plattsburgh on the Sunday night after Christmas, I believe. The major problem with the PA’s came up later in the winter, when we learned the hard way that one PA could not heat six cars on No. 9 when the temperature reached minus 20 F.

On the north end, the passenger locals (common reference: “Milk Trains” ) came off in 1963,

 

Could Amtrak Extend Services in Saratoga and Schenectady in the Future?

What's New in Saratoga

and Schenectady in the Future?

Being only a short train ride away from New York City is one of the many reasons why living around the Capital Region is great. The only downside is you may have noticed that it’s a rarity for Amtrak to have more than a few trains scheduled from Saratoga or Schenectady on a given day.  However, there could be potential plans for this to change in the future.

A second track between Albany and Schenectady would help break up the congestion that commonly happens. The service will be financed by New York State, which will have to decide whether it’s worth the expense of extending train service beyond Rensselaer.

The trains that do stop in Schenectady and Saratoga are often at inconvenient times for those who wish to commute to New York City. Oftentimes, passengers will have to drive to Rensselaer and catch an early departure from there.
Both the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce and the Empire State Passengers Association have expressed interest in additional service in Saratoga Springs. The Times Union reported that Todd Shimkus, President of the Saratoga County Chamber said, “Rail service for us is a huge opportunity.
For now, we’ll keep our fingers crossed and hope that additional services are extended to Saratoga!
What do you think about Amtrak services extending more trains to Saratoga County?

World’s Largest Garage Sale!

Mark your calendars to visit the Worlds Largest Garage Sale October 4-5 in Warrensburg.  The Saratoga & North Creek Railway will be selling round trip tickets from Saratoga to Thurman specifically for this event. Ticket sales for this will go on sale later this month for $25. Leave your car behind and ride in comfort.

Garage Sale – Flea Market – Craft Fair –  Food Fest – Bargain Hunter’s Dream

At the Warrensburg Worlds LARGEST Garage Sale, you will find EVERYTHING – from antiques, hard-to-find items, old toys, new toys, hats, hardware, vintage clothing, handmade crafts, dollar items and just about anything you can imagine!
Truly a Garage Sale Lovers Dream.  Don’t be surprised to see that garage sales stretch for miles and miles and miles – starting SOUTH of Lake George and continuing North of Warrensburg into the Adirondacks.
This Lake George garage sale was swarming with  buyers before it even had the boxes unpacked!
This Lake George garage sale was swarming with
buyers before it even had the boxes unpacked!

The main street has the most vendors from all over the country, usually selling antiques and clearing out their inventory of products with very good buys… side streets are individual garage sales, the kind antique dealers love to find as treasures are more likely to be found by a resident than a savvy street vendor.

You will have no problem finding something to eat in Warrensburg, as there are street food vendors EVERYWHERE – selling everything from chicken wings, and BBQ ribs to Gourmet chicken pitas and home baked goods.

Vendors from across the nation and more than 100,000 shoppers descend upon Warrensburg every October for the World’s Largest Garage Sale. Held annually the weekend before Columbus Day, the World’s Largest Garage Sale has something to offer everyone from antiques, memorabilia, clothing, furniture, electronics, children’s items and so much more!

Hey Wait. Don’t Go Away. The Saratoga  & North Creek has lots more for you!!!

Fall Foliage Dinner Trains

While we are all enjoying the dog days of summer, now’s the time to plan your fall foliage trip on the Saratoga & North Creek Railway.  Sit back and enjoy the brilliant colors of the Adirondack Mountains this September and October.  Enjoy a sumptuous and romantic meal on the last dinner trains of the season.  Book a group getaway or corporate retreat and take in the majestic fall foliage that upstate New York is known for.

Groups and charters welcome. Sept 10th, Oct 3rd, and Oct 15th. October 15th departure is from North Creek, southbound to Corinth

BOOK NOW

Saratoga & North Creek Railroad Gets Busy In The Summer

Welcome our newest trip: The North End Local
The railway’s new “North End Local” service runs twice daily on weekends from Thurman Station for passengers with a half-day, full-day or overnight getaway at a low price.

Passengers can enjoy traveling in vintage cars along the historic route to  discover the small town charm of North Creek.

From the depot take a shuttle to main street in North Creek to the many antique shops, country stores, restaurants and Bed & Breakfasts. Or try a shuttle to Gore Mountain for a summer Gondola ride.

Running from July 4th weekend to Labor Day.

 

What to do on a “Dark Tuesday” at the racetrack

Looking for a romantic new dining option in Saratoga Springs this track season? Why not take advantage of “Dark Tuesdays” at the Saratoga Race Track and reserve your seat aboard the elegant Saratoga Dinner Train.
Enjoy three hours of relaxation, a sumptuous, 4-course gourmet meal, full bar service and breathtaking scenery along the upper Hudson River.

Tuesday evenings July 22-Aug 26

 

Check dates, make reservations on the Saratoga & North Creek Railroad WebSite

SCNRR.COM

Our New York State Tourist Page

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YES! Traveling to New York State? Check out our New York State Tourist WebSite.

We just added some new and interesting things about Albany. Start with a story about how bobsledding originated in Albany. Makes it the only Olympic sport started by the USA. The pictures above are from Albany too:

Chuck Schumer! Thanks from many of us who are interested in the railroad reaching from Saratoga to Tahawus

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Yes, US Senator Schumer is helping the railroad reaching from Saratoga to Tahawus.
A tax credit intended to help short-line railroads improve their tracks, signals and other infrastructure is due to expire at the end of the month, and U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer from New York (some people call him the US Senator from Brooklyn, but he is such a great guy) said he wants to extend it through the end of 2016.

“The health of our small businesses and local economies depends on infrastructure,” he said during a press conference at the Saratoga Springs rail station Monday morning.

The Saratoga & North Creek Railway, which operates passenger and freight trains from the Saratoga Springs station to North Creek, is upgrading a line that runs from North Creek to former mines in Tahawus, where it plans to haul rocks left over from mining operations to customers who would use it for  aggregate used in construction and as a source of rare earth elements used by the technology industry.

The Saratoga & North Creek also would haul garnet from the Barton Mines, reducing the amount of truck traffic on local highways, he said.

Schumer’s measure, the Short Line Railroad Rehabilitation and Investment Act of 2013, would extend the tax credit that covers half the cost of infrastructure improvements up to a maximum of $3,500 per mile of track. Expanding the railroad’s freight business, Schumer said, would give it a reliable source of revenue and allow it to create 15 full-time jobs.

The Saratoga & North Creek, a unit of Chicago-based Iowa Pacific Holdings, has operated passenger trains for more than two years along the former Delaware & Hudson line to North Creek. This winter it will increase the frequency of its seasonal snow trains, which operate Friday, Saturday and Sunday, to two round-trips each day.

In the warmer months, it ran multiple trains daily. Railroad spokesman David Simpson said the company would eventually like to connect with Amtrak trains at Rensselaer, as well as at Saratoga Springs, which it does now. One challenge: congestion on the Canadian Pacific rail line from Saratoga Springs south, which has become a busy corridor for the movement of crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields to the Port of Albany.

Schumer said the railroad and tourism officials also are exploring shuttle service between the Thurman station and Lake George, a popular summertime destination for tourists.

The Saratoga & North Creek, which now carries 50,000 passengers a year, wants to double that figure to 100,000, Schumer said.
My manager is a great fan of Senator Chuck Schumer as well as Senator Kirsten Rutnik Gillibrand (he knows her brother) and said to mention they are both Democrats. Then he wanted me to tell you all about the “Democrats Abroad“.
One of the most active chapters is on the French Riviera where he lives.
They have a “Political Wine” the first Wednesday of each month (except January will be the 8th because of the holiday). Check out the WebSite. It is held at the La Canne à Sucre in Nice.

Railroads On Parade

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Used to be a great model train exhibit at Grand Central every Christmas sponsored by Citibank. After the Citigroup / Citibank layout contract was no longer renewed, Clarke Dunham moved the entire layout to his museum, “Railroads on Parade” in Pottersville, NY which is open to the public by admission tickets during the ‘summer season” (Memorial Day through the fall). Pottersville is just off the Northway I-87 in the southern part of the Adirondack Park, maybe 45 minutes north of Saratoga Springs, NY and well worth the trip.

See more about the Pottersville area on the Tahawus WebSite. Check out some great model railroads.

Return of Albany’s “Night Boat”

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Picture (undated, from the Library of Congress) shows the “Night Boat” from New York City docked in Albany. Everything is different in the picture except the Livingston Avenue Bridge in the background that still carries AMTRAK between New York City and Chicago.
Up until 1941, The “Night Boat” from New York City to Albany could carry 2,000 passengers. It ended an era in American history of grand boats with staterooms, ballrooms, etc running up and down the Hudson River. Passengers could be young couples on a weekend trip, couples evading detection by spouses, “ladies of the evening”, etc. There was even a Broadway farce in the 1920’s called the “Night Boat“.
But by 1941, everybody was in a hurry. You could make the trip by car, train or even airplane. Saratoga horse racing and gambling was slowing down as more options opened up near NY City. So when it went down the tubes, few cared about the “Night Boat”.
The first “crack” in the monopoly of the Hudson River steam boats was in the 1860’s when Cornelius Vanderbilt’s Hudson River Railroad (part of the great New York Central Railroad) started running trains, first only in the Winter. At their beginning, trains stopped at Rensselaer with passengers walking across a foot bridge. A NY Central subsidiary, “The Hudson River Bridge Company at Albany” solved that problem with the Maiden Lane Bridge into downtown Albany (now gone) and the Livingston Avenue Bridge (originally a freight bypass).
Now, New York State is considering changes to gambling laws, and guess what? A “gambling” boat between NY City and Albany might become legal.
Not going to get into the topic of Saratoga and gambling (other than horses), but it could help Rensselaer too. Imagine a “class” hotel there!

Saratoga & North Creek logs first freight movement on New York line in a quarter-century

Progressive Railroading” magazine had a story about the restart of freight service on the Saratoga & North Creek.

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Iowa Pacific Holdings L.L.C. (IPH) announced its Saratoga & North Creek Railway (SNC) subsidiary yesterday moved the first outbound freight shipment in 25 years from North Creek, N.Y., on a long-discontinued rail line.SNC operates 56.5 miles of track between North Creek and a connection with Canadian Pacific in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The line was built in the mid-1800s as the Adirondack Railroad to open up the Adirondack Mountain region to both inbound and outbound passenger- and freight-rail service, but passenger service was discontinued in 1956.

The 29-mile Sanford Lake Branch, running from North Creek to Tahawus, was purchased by IPH last year. The last freight train operated on the upper portion of the line in November 1989, and in 2003, freight service for an International Paper plant in Corinth was discontinued, IPH officials said in a press release.

The north half of the line was purchased by Warren County in 1997, the line from Corinth to Saratoga Springs was bought by the town of Corinth in 2006. IPH acquired operating rights to the line in 2011 and has spent about $1.5 million on track, station and ancillary facility upgrades, including rail replacement, siding rehabilitations, and new ties and ballast.

Industrial minerals shipper Barton International is SNC’s first freight customer, IPH officials said. Other potential commodities for the short line include iron ore, hardwood forest products, aggregates, inbound coal and general merchandise, they said.

SNC also operates scheduled passenger-rail service over the line to North Creek, serving seven intermediate stations.

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