September 5, 2012

Amtrak brings back Adirondack 'Great Dome' car

Passengers riding the Amtrak Adirondack train north of Albany, N.Y., will once again have the unique opportunity to experience the spectacular view of New York State’s fall foliage season when the historic “Great Dome” railcar makes a special five-week return appearance from Sept. 13 through Oct. 21, 2012.

With its partners the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and the National Park Service Trail & Rails program, Amtrak has worked cooperatively to bring its only Dome Car back to upstate New York again this year. The car features an upper level with windows on all sides as well as overhead to provide passengers with panoramic views of the changing colors of the trees and of Lake Champlain as the train travels from Albany and across the Canadian border into Montreal.

The annual return of this immensely popular feature also coincides with a continued rise in overall ridership on the New York State supported Adirondack service, which operates between New York and Montreal. The historic upstate New York service has carried more than 104,000 passengers so far this fiscal year (October 2011 – July, 2012), representing a 3.9% increase in ridership over same time for the prior year.

All passengers traveling on the Albany-Montreal segment of the route are welcome to enter the dome car to enjoy the view. Seats in the dome car are not reserved and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Trails and Rails volunteers will also be aboard most dome car trips, offering scenic and historical commentary between Saratoga Springs, N.Y. and Port Henry, N.Y.

The only remaining dome car in Amtrak service, car number 10031, is a Great Dome car previously used on the Chicago-Seattle Empire Builder when the train was operated by the Great Northern Railway and the Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad (later the Burlington Northern Railroad). It was built in 1955 by the Budd Co. for the Great Northern and carried the name “Ocean View,” car number 1391.

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