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Vacation 2004, Day 14
Monday, November 8th
New York to Home

Todays itinerary consists of the trip home. It started at about 4:30 A.M. and ended at around 9:30 P.M.. The train departs Penn Station at 7:15 A.M. and they want you there and hour prior. After the less than wonderful experience with the taxi ride from the QM2 to the hotel I decided I did not want that aggravation again so I walked the 17 blocks to the station. It is not easy with lots of stuff. With perfect 20/20 hindsight the taxi should have been used. One thing though, there is nobody on the streets even in New York at 5:30 A.M. Arrived at the station with no problem, was checked in, and the train left just a few minutes late. The route the train takes goes up the west side of Manhattan Island, or if you wish the east shore of the Hudson River to Albany and then turns west towards Rochester and Buffalo. Most of the pictures below were taken in the section between New York and Albany, one in Schenectady and a couple more taken just east of Buffalo. I will conclude the description of the return after the pictures.

The west bank of the Hudson, not too far north of New York City.
Barges pushed by a tug boat on the Hudson.
One of several bridges across the river.
Some power plants on the east side of the river.
A nuclear power plant on the east shore.
A barge being towed by a tug farther up the river.
The West Point Military Academy.
Two bridges, one a road bridge and the other is a rail bridge, I think.
More west shore scenery.
Some power plants on the west shore this time.
Some more scenery this time with a tug and barge in the middle.
Here is another one.
These next two are lighthouses that I believe to be quite old on islands in the Hudson River.
Here is another one.
The capital city of New York State, Albany with the tall buildings of government in the distance. There is also a seat reflection in the lower right corner. Very shortly after the previous picture was taken the train crosses the river heading towards Buffalo. This is looking down river towards New York City.
Some General Electric offices in Schenectady, New York. The head office of GE is located here, this may well be it.
This picture was taken at 4:54 P.M. between Rochester and Buffalo. By this time the train should have been somewhere between Niagara Falls, Ontario and Hamilton. See below for further details

The train journey went well until the area between Albany and Rochester. Twice in this section the train was stopped for twenty-five to thirty minutes. Once was for track repairs caused by an accident a few days previously. When we passed the spot train cars could be seen down an embankment on their sides. The second stoppage was for routine track work. The tracks that Amtrak trains run on are owned by rail companies, in this case CSX. These companies make money from freight and the Amtrak trains are a very low priority for them. If there is a problem their trains get preference. This is what happened here. When the train finally got to the border the US Customs and Immigration people do exit checks on US citizens and they decided there was one they did not want to leave. The train had to wait at Niagara Falls, New York for another half an hour while this was dealt with. Once this was cleared up the border crossing occurred something like one hour and fourth-five minutes late. The Canadian Customs and Immigration people had gone home and had to come back. This went reasonably quickly and we left for Aldershot, the station where I was to connect with the train to Brantford.

By this point it was very obvious that the train connection was not going to happen so I talked to the conductor who talked to the station agent at Aldershot by cell phone. Very few options existed as the train to Brantford I was to have connected with was the last one of the day. In the end I got off in Aldershot, the only person who did that night, and took a $65 taxi ride from there home. The train would have been $12. Thanks to the conductor of VIA train 98 and the station agent at Aldershot for their efforts on my behalf.

I finally arrived home at about 9:45P.M. some ninety minutes after I should have.

This is the end of Vacation 2004. It went extremely well except for the last day coming home.

Next year Las Vegas and Hawaii!!!

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Originally Created: May 7, 2005
Last Updated: May 8, 2005