What Was This Diesel Amtrak Train on the NEC Last Night?

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What Was This Diesel Amtrak Train on the NEC Last Night?
Posted by MrLynn on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 11:05 AM

We took Train 94 up the NEC from Richmond (Staples Mill Road) to Route 128 (Boston area) yesterday: nice ride, on time (don't ask me about the previous day, when 94 got stuck in Newport News for hours and we had to reschedule!). When we got off at 10:47 PM (five minutes early) there was another train on the southbound track.  I was astonished to see two P42 diesels, plus a baggage car, one (or was it two?) Superliner cars, and then a string of Amfleet coaches with cafe car.

The line of course is electrified, and I just read in another thread here that Superliner cars can't be used on the NEC, for clearance reasons—is that true for the whole route?  So what was this train, and why was it there?

Looking at the schedule, was this Train 67, which is scheduled to depart Rt 128 at 9:50 PM?  And if so, what were the two diesel locos and the out-of-place consist doing on that train?

I should have gotten a photo, but we were getting picked up, and had to rush.

/Mr Lynn

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Posted by MidlandMike on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 9:39 PM

I presume you were talking about the Boston area.  Most likely the train you saw was th Boston section of the Lake Shore Ltd (to Chicago).

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Posted by MrLynn on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 10:42 PM

MidlandMike

I presume you were talking about the Boston area.  Most likely the train you saw was th Boston section of the Lake Shore Ltd (to Chicago).

The Lake Shore Limited does not travel south on the NEC, but west on the old Boston and Albany/NYC route.  As a matter of fact it goes right through Framingham, where we live.  We took it last May.  It's just a short train, with a Viewliner sleeper and a few coaches, pulled by a P42.  At Albany-Rensselaer it meets with the New York section and they are merged for the trip to Chicago.

If this works, here are the head engines of the two sections at A-R:

35080197263_be7220eea3_b.jpg

/Mr Lynn

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Posted by MIClipper on Thursday, April 12, 2018 9:14 AM

Are you sure you didn't see an MBTA commuter train? Something like this? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MBTA_Commuter_Rail#/media/File:Rotem_car_801_at_North_Station.JPG

 

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Posted by MrLynn on Thursday, April 12, 2018 3:43 PM

MIClipper

Are you sure you didn't see an MBTA commuter train? Something like this? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MBTA_Commuter_Rail#/media/File:Rotem_car_801_at_North_Station.JPG

Yep.  I live in the area, and know the MBTA trains well.

/Mr Lynn

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Posted by MrLynn on Thursday, April 12, 2018 7:34 PM
Since that train left right at 9:50 PM as we were crossing the walkway from Track 2, I'm sure it must have been NER Train 67. What's odd is that the train of Amfleet cars was headed by the diesels and a small long-distance consist. I'm wondering if it might indeed have been the Boston section of the Lake Shore Limited, being taken south for maintenance somewhere, and replacing the usual ACS-64 motor. The westbound LSL doesn't leave Boston on the B&A/NYC route until the next afternoon. /Mr Lynn
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Posted by MidlandMike on Thursday, April 12, 2018 9:48 PM

MrLynn

 

The Lake Shore Limited does not travel south on the NEC, but west on the old Boston and Albany/NYC route.  ...

Doesn't it follow the NEC for a short distance to Back Bay?

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Posted by MrLynn on Friday, April 13, 2018 6:48 AM

MidlandMike

 

 
MrLynn

 

The Lake Shore Limited does not travel south on the NEC, but west on the old Boston and Albany/NYC route.  ...

Doesn't it follow the NEC for a short distance to Back Bay?

 

 
The B&A/NYC tracks run parallel to the electrified Amtrak tracks from Back Bay Station to South Station. I don't think there are any crossovers until the South Station yard.
 
The map on this page shows the two tracks from the west, two Orange Line (subway) tracks, and the three Amtrak tracks:
https://www.mbta.com/stops/place-bbsta
 
The Rt 128 Station is c. 15 minutes south of Back Bay Station.
 
/Mr Lynn 
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Posted by oltmannd on Friday, April 13, 2018 8:36 AM

MrLynn
When we got off at 10:47 PM (five minutes early) there was another train on the southbound track.  I was astonished to see two P42 diesels, plus a baggage car, one (or was it two?) Superliner cars, and then a string of Amfleet coaches with cafe car. The line of course is electrified, and I just read in another thread here that Superliner cars can't be used on the NEC, for clearance reasons—is that true for the whole route?  So what was this train, and why was it there?

Very likely Superliners are verboten west of New Haven, but from Boston to New Haven, seems plausible. 

They can get to Boston over the Boston Line from Albany-Rensselaer, but, to your point, why?

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by BostonTrainGuy on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 10:48 PM

Are you sure they weren't Viewliners?  They look like bilevels.  Although sleepers are not on 65/66/67 anymore, they may have been testing something or deadheading. 

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Posted by MrLynn on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 9:23 AM

BostonTrainGuy

Are you sure they weren't Viewliners?  They look like bilevels.  Although sleepers are not on 65/66/67 anymore, they may have been testing something or deadheading. 

 

 
Only got a quick look as we were crossing the tracks on the overpass to the station, but I've ridden both Viewliners and Superliners, and my impression was they were Superliners.
 
Putting sleepers back on Northeast regional overnight trains would be a boon.  A late friend used to say, the night train takes no time at all, as you're asleep for most of it.
 
The diesels puzzle me, too.
 
/Mr Lynn
 
PS Speaking of diesels, while watching our northbound NER #94 change engines at DC Union Station a week ago Tuesday, saw the Capitol Limited come in, pulled by a pair of P42s.  Reminded me of a trip I took long ago to Chicago from Silver Spring, MD, on the B&O's version of that train.
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Posted by RTroy on Saturday, June 02, 2018 12:54 AM

Your comment on night trains reminds me of what my father used to do in the 50's; he'd board an EL westbound out of Scranton PA, have dinner, get a good night sleep in a sleeper car, have breakfast, and be minutes away from his car company meeting somewhere out west in the morning.

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Posted by RailEagle on Friday, June 22, 2018 9:26 AM
It could be some of the Geeps that Amtrak uses when there is either equipment failure or on work trains.
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Posted by MrLynn on Thursday, July 05, 2018 3:10 PM

[quote user="RailEagle"]It could be some of the Geeps that Amtrak uses when there is either equipment failure or on work trains.[/quote

I'm sure they were P42s, not Geeps.

Sorry for the late response.

/Mr Lynn

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