The "Wot, No More Sam Adams?" USA Tour 2004

Day 3 : Friday 30th April

This morning we were to check-out of the hotel, the rest of the trip being a different hotel every night (have baggage, will travel). The main part of this day was spent bashing Dash9's on MNCR's line to Croton Harmon and Poughkeepsie (with a couple of Amtraks Dash9's thrown in).

708 : New York Penn - Croton Harmon
231 Croton Harmon - Poughkeepsie
705 : Poughkeepsie - Hudson
710 : Hudson - Poughkeepsie
700 Poughkeepsie - Rhinecliff-Kingston
708 : Rhinecliff-Kingston - Poughkeepsie

710 pulls into Hudson.

700, in original Amtrak colours.

Two layovers in Poughkeepsie gave chance for a few beers and food.

Metro-North Railroad 220 at Poughkeepsie.

 Our last train of this day was a bit of a marathon - 387 miles from Poughkeepsie to Niagara Falls (loco 709 to Albany, 101 forward), northerly limit of the Amtrak NE railrover that we were on. A good chance to chill-out and relax.

This train brings me to the reason for the title of this bash - the "Wot, no more Sam Adams" USA Tour 2004. Being renowned beer drinkers we do not rate the average American beer. Amtrak services however also have Samuel Adams beer on their trains, usually a maximum of 24 bottles. With 13 of us travelling we managed to drink every Amtrak service we caught dry of Sam Adams! With some seven hours ahead of us however we approached the staff before Albany (crew change point) and asked if they could order ahead and get some more Sam Adams put on - "no problem sir - how many would you like?". I think Gordon had a bit of a job convincing the cafe car attendant that we really would drink all 48 bottles before Niagara Falls!

As we rolled into Albany a golf-cart with a trailer was duly waiting for us, sat on the trailer being said 48 bottles! After a loco change we set off and as soon as the cafe car was announced as re-opened Gordon set-off to purchase the first 24 bottles. He came back with only 23 - another passenger had beaten us to one of them!!

101, our onward loco from Albany to Niagara Falls.
Bring out the Sam Adams!

Arrival into Niagara Falls was about 15 minutes late. A rare experience too as the train is reversed several miles outside the station (using a triangle of tracks) then propelled in the last distance - saves running the loco round! Shame the move was done in the dark. Taxis were used to get us the last few miles to the centre of Niagara Falls were we were booked in the Falls View Travel Lodge. Our room had a view of a car-park but on account the beds hadn't been made up a rant at the receptionist got a change to a falls view room (across another car park!). Now 11.30pm there was just time to walk over to view the floodlit falls before they switch them off at midnight (the lights that is!).

Gary Thornton.

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