Passengers riding the Amtrak Adirondack train north of Albany 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” rail car makes a special five-week return appearance from September 13 through October 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 over 104,000 passengers so far this fiscal year (October 2011 – July, 2012), representing a 3.9 percent increase in ridership over same time for the prior year.
The Dome car will operate northbound from Albany to Montreal on Thursdays, Saturdays and Mondays. It returns south from Montreal on Fridays, Sundays, and Tuesdays. No dome car trips are made on Wednesdays. 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, NY and Port Henry, NY.
“The ‘Great Dome’ car and the overall traveling experience on our Adirondack service continues to be a favorite among our passengers and a unique way to witness the changing of the seasons that should not be missed,” said Kevin Chittenden, Amtrak’s Superintendent, for Train Operations, Empire District.
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald said, “Governor Cuomo knows that tourism is an important engine in New York State’s economy, and the Dome Car is a special way to experience the awe-inspiring Adirondacks and the vibrant foliage this fall. We are happy to work with our partners at the National Park Service and at Amtrak to again bring this popular attraction back to the Adirondacks. At the same time, we are thrilled about the continuing rise in ridership on the Adirondack line. Taken together, this is great news for the North Country, for travelers between New York and Montreal, and for all who wish to enjoy the beauty of the Adirondacks.”
The refurbished vintage car dates back to 1955 and has a dome section that runs the full length of the car, a rare feature, even when dome cars were more numerous on the nation’s railroads.
Passengers can also take advantage of the I Love NY 15% discount off the regular (full) adult rail fare. The offer is valid for sale through May, 2013. Advance reservations are required. In addition, up to 2 children ages 2-15 may accompany each adult at half the discounted rail fare.