WASHINGTON — Beginning Monday, Oct. 22, through Monday, Nov. 12, passengers riding Amtrak’s Adirondack train, which operates between New York City and Montreal, will have the unique opportunity to experience the spectacular view afforded by the historic “Great Dome” car between Albany and Montreal.
Named for their design that features an upper level with windows on all sides as well as overhead, dome cars provide passengers with panoramic views of passing scenery. The dome car is temporarily assigned to the Adirondack, and provides views of fall foliage and Lake Champlain as the train travels through upstate New York and across the border into Canada. The refurbished vintage “Great Dome” car seats 90 passengers and is 85 feet long. The dome section runs the full length of the car, an unusual feature, since the more common type of dome encompassed less than half the length of the car.
“The much anticipated arrival of the “Great Dome” car into New York State is certainly welcome news for our passengers who plan to travel through the Empire region this month,” said Mike DeCataldo, Amtrak’s General Superintendent, Northeast Corridor. “I encourage all New York residents and our friends in Canada to take advantage of this rare opportunity to witness and experience train travel in a unique and breathtaking manner,” he added.
The car will operate northbound from Albany to Montreal on Thursday, Saturday and Monday. It returns south from Montreal on Friday, Sunday, and Tuesday. No trips are made on Wednesdays. All passengers traveling on the Albany-Montreal segment of the route are welcome to enter the dome car to enjoy the view. Seats in the dome car are not reserved and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
About the “Great Dome”
The only remaining dome car in Amtrak service, car number 10031, which is a Great Dome car previously used on the Chicago-Seattle Empire Builder when the train was operated by the Great Northern Railway and the Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad (later the Burlington Northern Railroad).
It was among six similar Great Dome cars built in 1955 by the Budd Company for the Great Northern and carried the name “Ocean View,” car number 1391. All six of the cars were conveyed to Amtrak in 1971, with this car first being given the number 9361. It was renovated in 1985, renumbered 9300, and used in daily service on the Amtrak Auto Train to and from the Washington, DC, and Orlando, Florida, areas through 1994.
According to a website hosted at www.trainweb.org, four others of this series of Great Domes survive.
The “Glacier View” is in use by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (the successor to the Burlington Northern and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway) as an inspection and theatre car; Grand Luxe Rail Tours owns the former “Mountain View” and “River View” cars and has renamed them “New Orleans” and “Copper Canyon” for their nationwide tours, frequently using Amtrak crews and locomotives.
The former “Prairie View” is owned by Holland America Westours and has been renamed “Deshka” for use in Alaska.
Great Dome 10031 is usually used in charter service on the West Coast and rarely operates east of the Rocky Mountains.