Steve's Winter 1998 Amtrak Travel
January 3 - 10, 1998
This is the travelogue of the segment of my Amtrak travel on the Amtrak
Maple Leaf from Toronto to New York City.
Maple Leaf - VIA Train #97 - Amtrak Train #64
Wednesday, January 7, 1998, 10:05AM, Toronto, ON
Tuned into Channel 87 just in time to hear "97 ready to go!" I think
I might have lucked out for AC for my computer. When I came onboard,
I immediately looked for a seat on the left side of the train as close
to the front as possible. After puting all my luggage above, I looked
down and noticed an electical outlet on the wall next to the seat
behind mine! I quickly moved my luggage to that seat. The view isn't
very good from that seat as there is about a 12" wall between windows
right next to the seat. I wandered down the aisle looking for a seat
with both a good view and an AC outlet. I was only able to wander
about half way down the Amfleet Car because the rest of it was already
occupied, but I did not find one on either side for that far down.
I decided to settle into that one seat with the AC outlet, even
with the restricted view. The windows throughout the car were quite
filthy, or maybe stained and scratched from age, so there wasn't much
hope of getting clear videos out the window anyway. I could see out
both the window 90 degrees to the left of my head and the one forward
of me at about 45 degrees, but there was about 12" missing out of my
view because of the wall between those two windows. I assume this outlet
is here probably for the cleaning people who need someone to plug in
the vacuum cleaner. That is O.K. by me! It is working fine with my
notebook computer! I assume that this outlet might exist on all Amfleet
Cars, so you might want to check sests 23 and 24 if you need an AC
outlet when you are in an Amfleet Car.
I desperately needed this power outlet. My train arrived into Toronto
at almost 11 PM last night. I had completely used up all 3 of my batteries
during the prior trip. Each battery lasts between 75 and 120 minutes.
The moment I got into my room, I placed the batter into the charger, but
the first one didn't finish charging until about 4 AM. The second one was
still charging when I left the room at 8:45 AM and I never got a chance to
even start charging the third battery! Thus, I started this trip with less
than 4 hours of battery available for a 12 hour trip! With power on the
train, I hope to finish charging the second battery and then charge the
third battery. Then, continuing to use the AC on the train as my main
source of power, I should have all 3 batteries ready for my journey
tomorrow. That is important since I won't have time to charge all 3
batteries this eveing either.
Wednesday, January 7, 1998, 10:42AM, Aldershot, ON
I managed to videotape one green "GO" commuter train in the
Oakville station. The video probably didn't come out too well as the
camera kept trying to focus in on the dirt on the window. Also, it
was a restricted view out the window between the seatback in front
of me and the 12" wall between windows.
Wednesday, January 7, 1998, 11:35AM, St. Catherins, ON
Wednesday, January 7, 1998, 07:45PM, Albany-Renssellaer, NY
This whole trip had been right on time up until we were just outside
of Albany. We had to wait for a northbound Amtrak train and lost about
30 minutes. This is a service stop where they change the locomotive.
Passengers were allowed to get off the train and wander around the
platform or the station. This stop is always about 20 minutes because of
the maneuver to switch engines. While I was on the platform, another
Amtrak train pulled in. It was the Turboliner! I thought they had
retired them, but I wasn't sure. Obviously, they are still in service!
I had already put my video camera away since it was dark and I didn't
expect to take any more video. As a matter of fact, I had left it in the
"ON" position so the battery would drain completely and I could give it
a full charge overnight. When I checked my backpack, there was still
power in the camera, but it had run out of tape! Something must have
accidentally hit the play switch when I put it in the backpack. I
rewound the tape just a few seconds and took some video of the Turbo
train right through the dirty windows in my car. I wasn't sure if I'd
have time to leave the train again, and as it turned out, I didn't.
I don't know if the video I took came out very well, but I'll post
right here whatever I come up with.
These are only approximate, but close!
- 87-161.415-Toronto,ON to Aldershot,ON (CN Ch 1)
- 55-160.935-Aldershot,ON (CN Ch 3)
- 87-161.415-Aldershot,ON to Border (CN Ch 1)
- 46-160.800-Border to Albany-Renssellaer,NY
- Not exactly sure where 87 changed to 46. Somewhere in the middle I
stopped hearing anything and didn't pick up a hotbox until Buffalo.
- 64-161.070-Albany-Renssellaer,NY to New York City, NY