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Lake Shore Limited

Lake Shore Limited #49 enters Croton-Harmon, pulling a Heritage baggage car, three Viewliners, an Amfleet diner car, a Horizon dinette, three Amfleet coaches, and the Hickory Creek car.
Overview
Type Inter-city rail
System Amtrak
Locale Northeast and Midwest
Termini Chicago to New York City/Boston
Train number(s) Eastbound: 48 (to NYC), 448 (Albany-Boston shuttle)
Westbound: 49, (from NYC), 449 (Boston-Albany shuttle)
Operation
Opened 1975
Owner MNRR, CSXT, NS, MBTA (track)
Operator(s) Amtrak
Technical
Line length 959 miles (1,543 km)
Track gauge 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm)

The Lake Shore Limited is a daily 959-mile (1,543 km) passenger train route operated by Amtrak in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States. The train runs between Chicago and Albany, NY, where it divides into two sections that provide thru-service to New York and Boston. The train, which rolls on routes formerly traveled by the famed 20th Century Limited, was previously operated by the New York Central (NYC) railroad between Toledo, Ohio and Chicago.

Contents

Train details

A typical train on the Lake Shore Limited route features a Dining car, Lounge car, coach, and three single-level Viewliner-class sleeper cars. Available accommodations include Reserved Coach seating, a Viewliner Roomette[1] , Viewliner Bedroom [2] , Viewliner Bedroom Suite (two connected Viewliner Bedrooms) [3], or a Viewliner Accessible Bedroom [4] (for two adults—a person with impaired mobility and a companion).

At Albany, the train lays over for a short time. Formerly from 2003 until 2008, Boston-bound passengers boarded a connecting train headed for Boston. Since October 29, 2008, through car service to Boston was reinstated, replacing the across-the-platform transfer. The main consist switches the normal pair of P42 engines for a P32 with dual-mode capability, which enables it to use the third rail into New York Penn Station. The Boston bound train consists of a P42, an Amfleet cafe, and three Amfleet coaches. With the reinstation of through car service, a Viewliner sleeper was subtracted from the main train and added to this consist. The Lake Shore Limited full consist from Chicago then departs for New York City. The two P42s from Chicago are serviced at Albany-Rensselaer. More specifically, the trains consist, from early 2003 until November 2007 ran:

Lake Shore Limited 2003-November 2007
Heritage Fleet baggage car
2 or 3 Viewliner Sleepers
Heritage Fleet Dining car
Amfleet Lounge car
3 to 5 Amfleet coach cars

However, maintenance issues with Amtrak's Heritage Diners made Amtrak decide to pull these cars from service on the Lake Shore Limited. They have been replaced with the Amfleet Cafe-based diner-lites. These cars can not prepare food fresh on board.[1]

Lake Shore Limited November, 2007 until October, 2008.
Heritage Fleet baggage car
2 or 3 Viewliner Sleepers
Amfleet Diner Lite
Horizon Fleet Cafe Car
3 to 5 Amfleet coach cars

However, as of the October 26, 2008 Schedule, through cars are returning to the Lake Shore Limited. As of now, it is only coaches, but sleepers are proposed for the future.

Lake Shore Limited October 2008 to April 2009.
Heritage Fleet baggage car
2 or 3 Amfleet II coach cars
Amfleet II Diner Lite, Amfleet II Lounge, or Amfleet I Full Dinette
3 to 5 Amfleet II coach cars
Amfleet II Diner Lite
2 or 3 Viewliner Sleepers
Heritage Fleet baggage car

As of April 2009 thru-car Sleeper Service to Boston has been restored

Lake Shore Limited April 2009 to December 2009.
Heritage Fleet baggage car (Boston)
1 Viewliner Sleeper (Boston)
2 or 3 Amfleet II coach cars (Boston)
Amfleet II Diner Lite, Amfleet II Lounge, or Amfleet I Full Dinette (Boston)
3 to 5 Amfleet II coach cars (New York)
Amfleet II Diner Lite (New York)
2 Viewliner Sleepers (New York)
Heritage Fleet baggage car (New York)

As of December 2009, diner service has been restored.

Lake Shore Limited December 2009 to present.
Heritage Fleet baggage car (Boston)
1 Viewliner Sleeper (Boston)
2 or 3 Amfleet II coach cars (Boston)
Amfleet II Diner Lite (Boston)
3 to 5 Amfleet II coach cars (New York)
Heritage Fleet Diner (New York)
2 Viewliner Sleepers (New York)
Heritage Fleet baggage car (New York)

Naming

The Lake Shore Limited living up to its nickname, as it crosses PA route 89 in North East, PA, 5½ hours late

The route is named after Lake Erie, along which the train travels for much of the journey. Based on the route's current operating schedule, however, the train passes by Lake Erie during the night in both directions, making the lake difficult to see.

The Lake Shore Limited is named after one of its illustrious predecessors that ran on the famed Water Level Route of the New York Central. The original Lake Shore Limited carried both reclining seat coaches and Pullman sleeper cars. These sleeper cars featured roomette, double bedroom, and compartment accommodations. In the early days, Pullman accommodations offered porter service but did not offer service to assist the handicapped. Full service dining car facilities were provided, offering meals that were the hallmark of the New York Central. Like the present day Lake Shore Limited, the New York Central edition offered service between New York and Boston and Chicago, although the New York Central used LaSalle Street Station.

Just before the New York Central ceased operation in 1968 to merge with the Pennsylvania Railroad, creating the Penn Central, the Lake Shore Limited was annulled, along with every one of the New York Central's "name" trains. This remained in effect until Amtrak decided to reinstitute New York to Chicago service along the Water Level Route. Amtrak selected "The Lake Shore Limited" as the legacy name of all the former New York Central trains that ran along that route.

The Lake Shore Limited is jokingly referred to as the "Late For Sure Limited", the "Late Shore Limited", or "Train Forty-Late" (riffing on its eastbound route number, "48") among railfans, as the line frequently runs significantly behind schedule. Of the five round-trip journeys it made between January 8 and January 12, 2006, according to Amtrak's Train Status webpage [5], the Lake Shore when running from Chicago was an average of 61 minutes late in arriving at Penn Station, with the longest delay being 2 hours and 23 minutes and the shortest being four minutes. In the opposite direction, the train was an average of 64 minutes late arriving in Chicago, with the longest delay being 4 hours and 10 minutes and the best arrival being 23 minutes early. The longest delay, as of August 8, 2006, is for Train 48 at 10 hours 43 minutes late.

However, due to deterioration in the west, as well as improving conditions on CSX trackage, recently the Lake Shore Limited has been running with some of the best on time performance of any of Amtrak's overnight trains.

Route details

Lake Shore Limited
Legend
Unknown route-map component "ACCa"
Chicago Union Station
Unrestricted border on track
Illinois/Indiana border
Unknown route-map component "ACC"
South Bend
Unknown route-map component "ACC"
Elkhart
Unknown route-map component "ACC"
Waterloo
Unrestricted border on track
Indiana/Ohio border
Stop on track
Bryan
Unknown route-map component "ACC"
Toledo
Stop on track
Sandusky
Unknown route-map component "ACC"
Elyria
Unknown route-map component "ACC"
Cleveland
Junction to right
Capitol Limited to Washington
Unrestricted border on track
Ohio/Pennsylvania border
Unknown route-map component "ACC"
Erie
Unrestricted border on track
Pennsylvania/New York border
Junction from left
Empire and Maple Leaf to Niagara Falls and Toronto
Unknown route-map component "ACC"
Buffalo-Depew
Unknown route-map component "ACC"
Rochester
Unknown route-map component "ACC"
Syracuse
Unknown route-map component "ACC"
Utica
Junction from left
Adirondack and Ethan Allen to Montreal and Rutland
Unknown route-map component "ACC"
Schenectady
Unknown route-map component "CPICAl" Unknown route-map component "CPICAra"
Albany-Rensselaer
Abbreviated in this map Unrestricted border on track
New York/Massachusetts border
Abbreviated in this map Stop on track
Pittsfield
Abbreviated in this map Station on flat crossing
Springfield Vermonter and Shuttle
Abbreviated in this map Unknown route-map component "ACC"
Worcester
Abbreviated in this map Stop on track
Framingham
Abbreviated in this map Unknown route-map component "ACC"
Boston Back Bay
Abbreviated in this map Unknown route-map component "ACCe"
Boston South Station
Unknown route-map component "ACC"
Croton-Harmon
Unknown route-map component "ACCe"
New York Pennsylvania Station

The Lake Shore Limited between Chicago and New York City operates over the trackage of five railroad companies. From Chicago to Cleveland, the train rides the Chicago Line, which belongs to Norfolk Southern Railway. From Cleveland to Poughkeepsie, the Lake Shore rides on trackage belonging to the following CSX Transportation subdivisions: Cleveland Terminal, Erie West, Lake Shore, Buffalo Terminal, Rochester, Mohawk, Selkirk, and Hudson. From Poughkeepsie to the Bronx, the train operates on Metro-North Railroad's Hudson Line. And Amtrak tracks are used twice: between Hoffmans and Schenectady; and from the Bronx to Penn Station. The Albany-Boston extension runs on the trackage of several companies as well. The train travels on Amtrak's Post Road Branch from Rensselaer to nearby Schodack, from Schodack to Boston on CSX's Berkshire and Boston subdivisions, and from Framingham to South Station on track operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA).

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Station stops

A departure board in Boston South Station displays the station stops of the outbound Lake Shore Limited train #449

The Lake Shore Limited runs eastbound as Train 48 from Chicago Union Station to New York Penn Station, returning westbound as Train 49. Station stops (in eastbound order) are South Bend, Elkhart, and Waterloo, Indiana; Bryan, Toledo, Sandusky, Elyria, and Cleveland, Ohio; Erie, Pennsylvania; and Buffalo-Depew, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Schenectady, and Croton-Harmon, New York.

A section of the Lake Shore Limited runs eastbound as Train 448 from Albany-Rensselaer through Massachusetts with terminus at Boston South Station, returning westbound as Train 449. Station stops (in eastbound order) include Pittsfield, Springfield, Worcester, Framingham, and Boston (Back Bay Station), Massachusetts.

Stops at Albany-Rensselaer (from New York City) and Croton-Harmon are made for pickup only toward Schenectady and points west and dropoff only toward New York City, with frequent Empire Service service available between Albany-Rensselaer and New York City.

Until April 4, 2009, the eastbound/southbound Lake Shore Limited (Train 48) also stopped at Hudson, Rhinecliff-Kingston and Poughkeepsie stations for dropoff. Passengers for these stations must now transfer to Empire Service trains at Albany.

Schedule change

The Lake Shore Limited was originally scheduled to depart Chicago Union Station at 8:00 PM before November 2005. After November 2005 the Lake shore now departs at 10:00 PM. This change took place because passengers connecting with California Zephyr (train #6) were missing the connection.[2][3] Starting April 4, 2009 the Lake Shore Limited began leaving Chicago at 9:00 PM instead of 10:00 PM with a arrival time into Boston at 9:10PM instead of 9:48PM.[4]

Delays along the Albany to Boston Branch

Delays to trains #448 and #449 are commonly due to the high amount of freight traffic between Albany and Worcester.[5][6] Also Trains 448 and 449 operate on mainly single track railroad.

As of April 12, 2009, trains #448 and #449 are not operating Mondays through Thursdays due to unspecified work on the tracks between Albany and Boston. As of April 24, 2009, Amtrak aims to have daily service resume at the beginning of June.

Consist change

After Amtrak discontinued the Three Rivers (CHI-PIT-PHI-NYP), Amtrak management added an extra sleeper on the Lake Shore Limited. They did this to relieve the surge of Three Rivers passengers. The train discontinued through cars to/from Albany-Boston; and there was a stub train that operated ALB-BOS, which consisted of one club cafe and two long distance Amfleet coaches. This train required a cross platform transfer at Albany. As of the last (Fall 2008/Winter 2009) timetable, through service between Chicago and Boston was restored. Starting April 2, 2009, sleeping car service will be provided for the eastbound Chicago to Boston train. Then following on April 4, 2009, sleeping car service will be provided for the westbound Boston to Chicago train.[4]

References

External links


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