Amtrak’s ‘Great Dome’ Car Returning to Adirondack Service During Fall Foliage Season

NEW YORK — Passengers riding Amtrak’s Adirondack train will once again have the unique opportunity to experience the spectacular view of New York State’s fall foliage season when the historic “Great Dome” rail car makes a special six-week return appearance from October 1 through November 10.

With its partners the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and the National Park Service Trails & Rails program, Amtrak worked cooperatively to bring its only dome car back to upstate New York. The car features an upper level with windows on all sides as well as overhead to provide passengers with panoramic views of the changing colors of the trees and of Lake Champlain as the train travels from Albany and across the Canadian border into Montreal.

“The “Great Dome” car is a favorite among our passengers and a unique way to witness the changing of the seasons that should not be missed,” said Mike DeCataldo, Amtrak’s General Superintendent, Northeast Division, noting that the refurbished vintage car dates back to 1955 and has a dome section that runs the full length of the car, a rare feature, even when dome cars were more numerous on the nation’s railroads.

The car will operate northbound from Albany to Montreal on Thursdays, Saturdays and Mondays. It returns south from Montreal on Fridays, Sundays, and Tuesdays. No dome car 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.

Passengers can also take advantage of the I Love NY 20% discount off the regular (full) adult rail fare. The offer is valid for sale through November 23, 2009. Advance reservations are required. In addition, up to two children ages 2-15 may accompany each adult at half the discounted rail fare. Please refer to discount code V122 when making reservations online at or by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL.

Operated with funding support from the State of New York, the Adirondack remains a popular route carrying over 112,000 passengers during FY 08, representing an 11 percent increase in ridership over the prior year.

About the “Great Dome” Car

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 built in 1955 by the Budd Company for the Great Northern and carried the name “Ocean View,” car number 1391. It was 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, D.C., and Orlando, Fla., areas through 1994.

It was further refurbished in 1999, renumbered to 10031, and has been used in various Amtrak services including the Pacific Surfliners (formerly San Diegans) and other charters and excursions.