Amtrak Crescent 24-June-2017
Amtrak Crescent Railfanning
I’ve definitely found my “go-to” spot for railfanning the Amtrak Crescent. This is in New Orleans City Park, on the river side of I-610. There’s a nursery building at this location, with a nice-sized parking lot. With the Crescent leaving Union Passenger Terminal (UPT) at 0700, the train usually hits this spot around 0715-0720. Perfect timing for me to photograph/video the train and get on with my day.
The Amtrak Crescent is the latest incarnation of the “Crescent” trains that have linked New Orleans and New York City for over a century. Along with the Sunset Limited and the City of New Orleans, the Crescent is one of three Amtrak trains that come to New Orleans. This train, #19 in the Amtrak list, offers daily service to NYC’s Penn Station. With the major renovations to Penn Station and the Hudson River Tunnel taking place this summer, however, the Crescent #19 will terminate at Washington, DC. Passengers to New York will have to switch to NorthEast Corridor trains at DC.
The southbound leg of the Crescent, #20, is scheduled to arrive in New Orleans at 1945 daily. That timing makes it difficult to shoot #19 most of the year.
Two of Amtrak’s “new” dining cars run regularly on the Crescent, “Augusta” and “Annapolis.” There are three consists for the Crescent. Today was odd-man-out. You’ll see a “heritage” dining car, in between a Viewliner coach and sleeper. Reports from the Amtrak Fans group on Facebook are that the new dining cars are spacious and offer good breakfast.
There are a number of private rail cars that travel with Amtrak trains across the country. This consist had Pullman car “Dover Harbor” bringing up the rear. The car is owned by the DC chapter of the National Railroad Historical Society.
New Orleans is not only a great destination for visitors. For rail travelers, New Orleans is one of the connecting points to make a transcontinental trip. A traveler can start in New York (or points further north in the NEC), and travel to New Orleans. Once here, the Sunset Limited takes them all the way to Los Angeles.