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Schenectady To Buffalo, NY On Amtrak's Empire Service
  After an excellent long weekend, it was time to head home. I had to have the rental car back by noon so I started the day by having breakfast again at Dunkin Donuts (I ate here more than once due to the convenience of it being next door to the hotel), then checked out of the hotel and drove back to Enterprise to drop off the car. They then drove me back to the Amtrak station where a friend of mine who works for Amtrak eventually arrived and would ride with me to Utica, then take Train #64 - The Maple Leaf back to Schenectady. I took a couple quick photos of Empire Service Train #284 when it arrived, then at 1:31pm, running 8 minutes late, Amtrak Empire Service Train #281 arrived to bring me back home to Buffalo. The consist for today's train is shown below:
708 P32AC-DM Power
82756 Amfleet I Coach Coach
82732 Amfleet I Coach Coach
82685 Amfleet I Coach Coach
82773 Amfleet I Coach Coach
82668 Amfleet I Coach Coach (My Car)
48192 Amfleet I Cafe Car Cafe/Business Class
  We departed Schenectady at 1:33pm, running 10 minutes late. We would cross over the Mohawk River just west of the station there and would eventually make our next stop at Amsterdam, NY at 1:51pm. Train #48 - The Lake Shore Limited would pass us during our very brief stop here (The Lake Shore doesn't normally stop at Amsterdam) and we also departed at 1:51pm, running 8 minutes late. Due to the unusually mild weather and lack of precipitation, I was able to take a few more photos from inside the train of the passing scenery. We arrived at our next stop of Utica, NY at 2:49pm where my friend got off the train so as to take Train #64 back to Schenectady. We departed Utica at 2:52pm, now 12 minutes late, but overall, not a big deal. Our next brief stop would occur at Rome, NY where we arrived and departed at 3:07pm, now 11 minutes late. There was a fair amount of freight traffic we had to contend with which would end up resulting in us following a slow CSX freight starting at CP-278 which is east of Syracuse. We would have approach signals for several miles and would pass Train #64 near CP-286. Today, that train had Phase III-pained P42DC #822 for power! I briefly chatted with our crew as we passed by DeWitt Yard and eventually at 4:05pm, we arrived in Syracuse. This is a partial crew-change stop for this train as we pick up a new engineer for the rest of the train's run to Niagara Falls. While the crew conducts their job briefing, passengers were allowed to get off the train and smoke or get some air, or if you're me, more pictures!!! We had a passenger on the train with a service animal, a Miniature Pinscher who would sorta "do his business" on the platform while we were there (ah, the life of a dog!), and at 4:13pm, we departed Syracuse now 33 minutes late having lost a considerable amount of time following a slow freight.
  After we departed Syracuse, I headed back to the Cafe Car and picked up a Chicken Parmesan Panini and a bag of plain M&M's and a Diet Pepsi for "lunch". The panini was decent, considering it was heated in a microwave! I noticed it started raining shortly after leaving Syracuse, so this was the first rain of the trip! It was now past sunset so there would be no more pictures the rest of the way. I pulled out my phone and played some Sudoku puzzles and listened to my Yaesu FT-270R radio to hear what was happening. My coach had very few people in it especially after we left Syracuse, yet the coach next to us was filled pretty good. We made our next station stop at Rochester, NY at 5:25pm at the temporary station there as mentioned before, the new one is under construction. We departed Rochester at 5:29pm, now 30 minutes late and I think that's where the passenger with the service animal got off the train as I didn't see him again after Syracuse.
  A "last call" announcement was made by the Cafe Car attendant so I got a quick Diet Pepsi before the car closed and would just relax in my coach the rest of the way to Buffalo. At 6:21pm, we arrived at Buffalo-Depew Station now 18 minutes late thanks to some schedule padding. I brought my bags over to my car and eventually headed over to the new Sonic Drive-In Restaurant in Cheektowaga, NY for dinner, then drove home. And so ends a decent long weekend trip! Included below are some photos taken on the ride home. Until next time, where I have some more big plans for some excellent trips, Happy Railfanning...
  The Courtyard By Marriott Hotel on Washington Avenue in Albany, my hotel for this year's trip.  
  Amtrak Empire Service Train #284 arriving at Schenectady with GE P32AC-DM #701 for power. This train originated in Niagara Falls this morning.  
  Amtrak Empire Service Train #281 arriving at Schenectady, bound for Niagara Falls with GE P32AC-DM #708 for power.  
  The old Adirondack Power & Light power plant on the Mohawk River.  
  Riding along the Mighty Mohawk River which is also the routing of the Erie Canal through this area.  
  Arriving at Utica Union Station, a beautiful New York Central station!  
  Now arriving in Rome, NY.  
  Taking a break at Syracuse, NY near sunset, that's all folks...