Day 1 of the OTOL RailFest 2006 event is over, and while we are all hearty railfans, I have to say we all were grateful to finally be off the trains.
It started out badly as Alan and Jishnu were to leave New York on the northbound ADIRONDACK. The train was delayed out of the yard, and it did not get out of Penn Station until about one hour late. Meanwhile, Piotr was waiting for the same train in Poughkeepsie, and he finally boarded also one hour late.
The train lost more time when a suspicous man was taken off the train by police after being heard talking loud in foreign tounges talking about dangerous diseases. They spent quite a while in Hudson, which was a bad place to be because the station is on a sharp curve, and it's also single track. So they held up a southbound train as well.
Michael and I awaited this train in Albany. It ended up getting there 1 hour 15 minutes late. We would lose still more time going up the CP Rail line as we had many slow orders due to malfunctioning signals and also heat restrictions.
Alan decided to bail at Saratoga, where he would await the southbound ADIRONDACK back to New York City. He had quite a long wait, and as I type this around 12 midnight he likely has not arrived back in New York yet. We heard that New York had its own problems with power blackouts.
Piotr, Jishnu, Michael and I continued onward to Montreal. The train continued to lose more time, and eventually we were well over 2 hours late.
Then came the international border. We stopped at the border check site in Cantic, QC which is about 5 miles north of the actual border. Then it took 26 minutes for the vanload of inspectors to show up. Our coach and the one behind it was inspected rather quickly, and everyone passed. The rear cars had passengers most of whom had come all the way from New York City. Several families were removed (after having been travelling almost 12 hours) for whatever reasons.
Finally we got the OK to proceed from the Customs department. We seem to have skipped the one intermediate (discharge-only) station at St. Lambert. I guess nobody was on the manifest getting off there. We arrived at Central Station in Montreal at 10:17 PM, almost 4 hours down.
We're now at our hotels. All of us luckily were a very short walk away. Tomorrow morning we meet for breakfast and then we have a 6+ hour trip on VIA Rail to Toronto.
Next update either from Toronto Wednesday night, or after we get back to Montreal on Thursday.