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Albany Chatham Wassaic
Adventurer in New England

Chapter One

Lift Off

June 11, 2015

Text and photos by Robin Bowers


After many months of looking at maps, train schedules and various tour books, the end has come.  Stop !!  Put the pencil down, raise your hands. Grading will now begin with final grade to be received in 27 days.

In the wee hours of the new day, I have my first check point. In the stillness and quietness of the dark sky, I waited for my ride to LAX. At 3:40AM, I boarded and joined four others for the shuttle ride to the airport. By 3:45 AM we were on the I-405 heading north. Around 4:20 AM I was dropped off at Southwest Airlines. There was a large crowd queued up to check luggage and pick up tickets. Time spent here was nearly 45 minutes-curb to counter.
So add plenty of time to your schedule, even at 5:00AM.

Going through security was somewhat smooth and I was glad I did not need to remove my boots. I then found my way to the departure gate waiting area and met up with Chris Guenzler. He and I are going to be each others shadow for the next 21 days.

Back in November, 2014, there were five of us with serious interest in going to the National Railroad Historical Society (NRHS) 2015 Convention in Rutland, Vermont starting June 14 - June 21. Elizabeth and Bob A., a couple in the Seattle area, Chris P. of San Pedro, Chris G. of Santa Ana and myself.
As time moved on there were only two of us left standing.

Today Chris and I will fly to Albany NY with a change of planes at Midway. In Albany we will rent a car till Sunday 6/28. Today we will head to and overnight in Dove Plains, NY Tomorrow drive to Wassaic,NY for a Metro-North train ride to Manhattan and back and spend the day exploring the Big Apple.
Saturday we will walk over the Hudson and ride trains in the Catskills ending in Rutland to start the convention on Sunday 6/14.

After a short wait the boarding for flight 591 began. We have "Lift Off" on time at 06:10 AM.

snow on rockies

Snow on Rockies Top

We landed in Chicago Midway close to 30 minutes early after an uneventful flight. While waiting for the next flight, I went to McDonald's for the meal deal. I made my way to the departure gate waiting area, sat by Chris and ate my lunch before we boarded out next flight. Flight 4733 for Albany departed on time at 01:35 PM.

We proceeded to baggage claim where I discover that the extension handle had a crimp in it making is somewhat nonfunctional. The passengers sat on the plane watching unloading of the cargo. The ramp personnel were throwing big flat screen TVs on to the cart. We expected to have damaged luggage and boy we weren't disappointed.

Then we had an interminable wait at the Hertz counter. All the other shops were lacking in customers. Ever passenger on our flight that was renting a car was at the Hertz counter. Some 90 minutes after landing, we picked up our car, a Toyota Prius. This hybrid was a great ride and a nice car with a mileage computer to keep us entertained throughout the trip.

Leaving the airport we headed to I-87 south to I-90 east and then skirted downtown Albany. I spotted the state capital building which was the first of several capitals I will visit on this adventure in New England. We continued on I-90 then NY State Thruway to our first venue.

After leaving the big highways we started our journey on country roads. It wasn't long before we had our first loco shoot.

little Kenny

Little Kenny  manufactured by Plymouth

Next we arrived at our first venue the charming community of  Chatham, NY.


track side

sout track


sunny side



up lawn


After leaving Chatham we head for NY 22 going south to Dover Plains, our rest stop for the next two nights.

Before we arrived at the hotel, we stopped at Wassaic, NY. This is north end for Metro-North and their train yard. Oh Boy, we get to take more pictures. 

head end loco


wassaic sign

Tomorrow, we will return bright and early for a ride to Manhattan. 

Ten minutes more on NY 22 south, we arrived at our motel.

Foothills Motel
3234 Route 22
Dover Plains, NY  12522

After checking into the motel we were informed that the restaurant across the street closes at 8 PM. Since it was after 8 PM we drove a short block to the Subway store. I had a 12" meatball sub, fountain drink and 2 cookies.

After dinner it was time to repack and get organize for tomorrow. I wanted to keep the backpack as light as possible but take what was needed.

Tomorrow is going to be a really BIG show. First ride on Metro-North to and from Manhattan, riding the subway and a day of exploring the Big Apple.

Coming Next.

Manhattan in 9 Hours

Go To Chapter Two

Back to Prologue

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Thanks for reading.