New York By Rail 14th ed. - Page 59

Hop Aboard the Great Dome Car This fall, Amtrak’s vintage window-ceilinged car offers travelers a chance to enjoy the changing foliage. D During autumn, the Great Dome Car offers a unique way to travel on the Adirondack line between Albany and Montréal. With windows on all sides and a clear ceiling, this vintage car offers panoramic views of the changing foliage, the landscape of Lake Champlain, the autumn skies and wildlife. Dome cars were once an annual tradition, but today the Great Dome Car, officially known as Car No. 10031, is the only remaining one of its kind in Amtrak’s service. Built in 1955 by the Budd Company for the Great Northern Railway, it was originally numbered 1391 and named “Ocean View.” Amtrak took ownership of the car in 1971, renumbering it 9361. Following extensive renovations in 1985, the car was renumbered as 9300 and used in daily service on the Amtrak Auto Train through 1994. In 1999, the car was further refurbished and renumbered again to 10031. Since then, the Great Dome Car has been used in various Amtrak services across the country, including the Pacific Surfliners and several charters and excursions. To provide an even richer experience on the Great Dome Car, volunteers from the National Park Service’s Trails & Rails program are aboard select trips to offer commentary on the passing scenery. Joe Lalumia, who coordinates the 45 Trails & Rails volunteers for the Adirondack and Maple Leaf lines, says there are at least two volunteers on each trip to share information on geographical points of interest, history, nature and wildlife (which can include bald eagles)—as well as the train itself. But sometimes, he notes, the views speak for themselves, especially along the cliffs on the northern end. There is no additional charge for the Great Dome Car, which will run on the Adirondack line from September 28 to October 29, 2017. For more information on the Great Dome Car, visit New York By Rail | 57