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Lake Shore Limited

Lake Shore Limited

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The Lake Shore Limited is a daily 959 miles (1,543 km) passenger train route operated by Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

 in the Northeastern
Northeastern United States
The Northeastern United States is a region of the United States as defined by the United States Census Bureau.-Composition:The region comprises nine states: the New England states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont; and the Mid-Atlantic states of New...

 and Midwestern United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The train runs between Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

 and Albany, NY, where it divides into two sections that provide thru-service to New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 and Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

. The train, which rolls on routes formerly traveled by the famed 20th Century Limited
20th Century Limited
The 20th Century Limited was an express passenger train operated by the New York Central Railroad from 1902 to 1967, during which time it would become known as a "National Institution" and the "Most Famous Train in the World". In the year of its last run, The New York Times said that it "...was...

, was previously operated by the New York Central (NYC) railroad between Toledo, Ohio
Toledo, Ohio
Toledo is the fourth most populous city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Lucas County. Toledo is in northwest Ohio, on the western end of Lake Erie, and borders the State of Michigan...

 and Chicago.

During fiscal year 2010, the Lake Shore Limited carried a total of 364,460 passengers, a 9% increase from FY 2009's total of 334,456 passengers. The train had a total revenue of $27,529,698 during FY 2010, an increase of 14.8% from FY 2009's total of $23,978,505.

History



Amtrak did not include service over the New York Central's Water Level Route in its original route plan; Chicago–New York traffic would be handled by the Broadway Limited
Broadway Limited
The Broadway Limited was the Pennsylvania Railroad's premier named passenger train, operating daily in each direction between New York City and Chicago, via North Philadelphia. It replaced its predecessors, the Pennsylvania Limited and the Pennsylvania Special...

which operated over the Pennsylvania Railroad
Pennsylvania Railroad
The Pennsylvania Railroad was an American Class I railroad, founded in 1846. Commonly referred to as the "Pennsy", the PRR was headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania....

's main line via Pittsburgh. Between May 1971–January 1972 Amtrak operated the Lake Shore over the route with support from the state of Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

. The modern Lake Shore Limited began running October 31, 1975 with both New York and Boston sections.

Possible future


In the January 2011 issue of Trains Magazine, this route was listed as one of five routes to be looked at by Amtrak in FY 2011 as the previous five routes (Sunset, Eagle, Zephyr, Capitol, and Cardinal) were examined in FY 2010.

Amtrak published its Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) for the Lake Shore Limited in September 2011. Amtrak outlined N initiatives for improving the performance of the train:
  • Operations: Amtrak proposed moving the Lake Shore Limited to an earlier eastbound departure time from Chicago. In 2011 it departed at 9:30 PM, to facilitate connections from oft-late West Coast trains. The improved departure time would add $2 million in yearly revenue.
  • Club-Diner: The dining car on the Lake Shore Limited would be converted to a so-called "Club-Diner." It would stay open during the entire journey, instead of just during set meal times, and would cease accepting cash. The existing lounge/cafe car would upgrade its offerings to include salads and sandwiches previously introduced on the Acela Express
    Acela Express
    The Acela Express is Amtrak's high-speed rail service along the Northeast Corridor in the Northeast United States between Washington, D.C., and Boston via Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York...

    . Amtrak's desired goal was to bridge a perceived intermediate gap between the existing cafe offerings and the higher-priced fare in the diner.


Amtrak considered more radical changes to the operations of the Lake Shore Limited, including a re-route over the Chicago–Detroit Line
Chicago–Detroit Line
The Chicago–Detroit Line is a railroad corridor owned by Amtrak which runs from Porter, Indiana, to Kalamazoo, Michigan. It is the longest stretch of Amtrak-owned rail outside of the Northeastern U.S., and carries the railroad's Blue Water and Wolverine services...

, but rejected them.

Naming



The route is named after Lake Erie
Lake Erie
Lake Erie is the fourth largest lake of the five Great Lakes in North America, and the tenth largest globally. It is the southernmost, shallowest, and smallest by volume of the Great Lakes and therefore also has the shortest average water residence time. It is bounded on the north by the...

, 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
LaSalle Street Station
LaSalle Street Station is a commuter rail terminal at 414 S. LaSalle Street in downtown Chicago, Illinois, serving Metra's Rock Island District. It was a major intercity rail terminal for the New York Central Railroad until 1968 and the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad until 1978. The...

.

The New York Central annulled the Lake Shore Limited in 1956 as part of a system-wide reorganization. Service over the Water Level Route continued until the formation of Amtrak.

Operations



A typical Lake Shore Limited features both Boston (numbers 448/449) and New York (numbers 48/49) sections, which run combined between Chicago and Albany. The New York section includes a baggage car
Baggage car
A baggage car or luggage van is a type of railway vehicle often forming part of the composition of passenger trains and used to carry passengers' checked baggage, as well as parcels . Being typically coupled at the front of the train behind the locomotive, this type of car is sometimes described...

, Heritage Fleet
Heritage Fleet
Heritage Fleet was a program started by Amtrak in 1977 to convert its older, mainly streamlined, cars from steam heating to head end power. Head end power conversions were performed at Amtrak's heavy repair center in Beech Grove, Indiana, outside of Indianapolis...

 dining car
Dining car
A dining car or restaurant carriage , also diner, is a railroad passenger car that serves meals in the manner of a full-service, sit-down restaurant....

, two to three Viewliner
Viewliner
The Viewliner is a single-level car type used by Amtrak on eastern routes. With the exception of a prototype dining car named "Indianapolis" , all cars built so far are sleeping cars and are assigned names that include the word "View."- Early design :...

 sleeping car
Sleeping car
The sleeping car or sleeper is a railway/railroad passenger car that can accommodate all its passengers in beds of one kind or another, primarily for the purpose of making nighttime travel more restful. The first such cars saw sporadic use on American railroads in the 1830s and could be configured...

s and three to five Amfleet II
Amfleet
Amfleet is a series of intercity railroad passenger cars built for the operator Amtrak by the manufacturer Budd Company in two series during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Today, Amfleet cars are used extensively throughout the Amtrak system outside the western United States...

 coaches. The Boston section has its own baggage car, two to three coaches, and a lounge car
Lounge car
A lounge car is a type of passenger car on a train, where riders can purchase food and drinks. The car may feature large windows and comfortable seating to create a relaxing diversion from standard coach or dining options...

. During the 2000s and 2010s the Lake Shore Limited carried either a Horizon Fleet or Amfleet lounge car. Between November 2007 and December 2009 maintenance problems led Amtrak to withdraw the Heritage diners and substitute Amfleet Cafe-based diner-lites, a move that became a source of passenger displeasure and a liability for the route, as these cars could prepare fresh food on board.

At Albany, the train splits into its Boston and New York sections. Low demand and cost-cutting led Amtrak to drop through service to Boston between 2003 and 2008; passengers made a cross-platform transfer to a shuttle train. A single diesel locomotive pulls the Boston section, typically a GE P42DC
GE Genesis
GE Genesis is a series of passenger locomotives produced by GE Transportation Systems, a subsidiary of General Electric...

. The New York section uses a dual-mode P32 for third-rail power in Pennsylvania Station
Pennsylvania Station (New York City)
Pennsylvania Station—commonly known as Penn Station—is the major intercity train station and a major commuter rail hub in New York City. It is one of the busiest rail stations in the world, and a hub for inbound and outbound railroad traffic in New York City. The New York City Subway system also...

. West of Albany power is provided by two or three diesel locomotives.

Route details


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
Norfolk Southern Railway
The Norfolk Southern Railway is a Class I railroad in the United States, owned by the Norfolk Southern Corporation. With headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, the company operates 21,500 route miles in 22 eastern states, the District of Columbia and the province of Ontario, Canada...

. From Cleveland to Poughkeepsie, the Lake Shore rides on trackage belonging to the following CSX Transportation
CSX Transportation
CSX Transportation operates a Class I railroad in the United States known as the CSX Railroad. It is the main subsidiary of the CSX Corporation. The company is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, and owns approximately 21,000 route miles...

 subdivisions: Cleveland Terminal
Cleveland Terminal Subdivision
The Cleveland Terminal Subdivision is a railroad line owned by CSX Transportation in the U.S. state of Ohio. The line runs from a point northeast of downtown Cleveland southwest to downtown along the former New York Central Railroad main line....

, Erie West
Erie West Subdivision
The Erie West Subdivision is a railroad line owned by CSX Transportation in the U.S. states of Pennsylvania and Ohio. The line runs from Erie, Pennsylvania southwest along the shore of Lake Erie to Cleveland, Ohio along the former New York Central Railroad main line.At its east end , the Erie West...

, Lake Shore
Lake Shore Subdivision
The Lake Shore Subdivision is a railroad line owned by CSX Transportation in the U.S. states of New York and Pennsylvania. The line runs from Buffalo, New York southwest along the shore of Lake Erie to Erie, Pennsylvania along the former New York Central Railroad main line.At its east end, the Lake...

, Buffalo Terminal, Rochester
Rochester Subdivision
The Rochester Subdivision is a railroad line owned by CSX Transportation in the U.S. state of New York. The line runs from Syracuse west to Buffalo along the former New York Central Railroad main line. At its east end, west of downtown Syracuse, the line becomes the Mohawk Subdivision...

, Mohawk, Selkirk
Selkirk Subdivision
The Selkirk Subdivision is a railroad line owned by CSX Transportation in the U.S. State of New York. The line runs from Selkirk northwest to Amsterdam along a former New York Central Railroad line. At its southeast end, at Selkirk Yard, the Selkirk Subdivision becomes the Castleton Subdivision...

, and Hudson
Hudson Subdivision
The Hudson Subdivision is a railroad line owned by CSX Transportation in the U.S. state of New York. The line runs from Poughkeepsie north along the east shore of the Hudson River to Rensselaer and northwest via Albany and Schenectady to Hoffmans along a former New York Central Railroad line...

. From Poughkeepsie to the Bronx, the train operates on Metro-North Railroad
Metro-North Railroad
The Metro-North Commuter Railroad , trading as MTA Metro-North Railroad, or, more commonly, Metro-North, is a suburban commuter rail service that is run and managed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority , an authority of New York State. It is the busiest commuter railroad in the United...

's Hudson Line
Hudson Line (Metro-North)
Metro-North Railroad's Hudson Line is a commuter rail line running north from New York City along the east shore of the Hudson River. Metro-North service ends at Poughkeepsie, with Amtrak's Empire Corridor trains continuing north to and beyond Albany...

. 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
Post Road Branch
The Post Road Branch is a railroad line owned and operated by Amtrak in the U.S. state of New York. The line runs from a junction with CSX Transportation's Berkshire Subdivision in Schodack northwest to CSX's Hudson Subdivision at Rensselaer along a former New York Central Railroad line...

 from Rensselaer to nearby Schodack, from Schodack to Boston on CSX's Berkshire
Berkshire Subdivision
The Berkshire Subdivision is a railroad line owned by CSX Transportation in the U.S. states of Massachusetts and New York. The line runs from near Springfield, Massachusetts west to Schodack, New York along a former New York Central Railroad line. Its east end is in Wilbraham, east of Springfield,...

 and Boston
Boston Subdivision
The Boston Subdivision is a railroad line owned by CSX Transportation in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. The line runs from Boston west to near Springfield along a former New York Central Railroad line. Its east end is at Amtrak's Northeast Corridor at Back Bay Station, over which CSX has...

 subdivisions, and from Framingham to South Station
South Station (Boston)
South Station, New England's second-largest transportation center , located at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Summer Street in Dewey Square, Boston, Massachusetts, is the largest train station and intercity bus terminal in Greater Boston, a prominent train station in the northeastern...

 on track operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, often referred to as the MBTA or simply The T, is the public operator of most bus, subway, commuter rail and ferry systems in the greater Boston, Massachusetts, area. Officially a "body politic and corporate, and a political subdivision" of the...

 (MBTA).

Delays to trains 448 and 449 are common due to the high amount of freight traffic between Albany and Worcester. Also, trains 448 and 449 operate on mainly single track railroad.

Station stops


The Lake Shore Limited runs eastbound as Train 48 from Chicago Union Station
Union Station (Chicago)
Union Station is a major train station that opened in 1925 in Chicago, replacing an earlier 1881 station. It is now the only intercity rail terminal in Chicago, as well as being the city's primary terminal for commuter trains. The station stands on the west side of the Chicago River between Adams...

 to New York Penn Station
Pennsylvania Station (New York City)
Pennsylvania Station—commonly known as Penn Station—is the major intercity train station and a major commuter rail hub in New York City. It is one of the busiest rail stations in the world, and a hub for inbound and outbound railroad traffic in New York City. The New York City Subway system also...

, returning westbound as Train 49. Station stops (in eastbound order) are South Bend
South Bend (Amtrak station)
South Bend is a train station in South Bend, Indiana. It is served by Amtrak Lake Shore Limited service to and from Chicago, Boston and New York, and Capitol Limited service to and from Chicago and Washington D.C.....

, Elkhart
Elkhart (Amtrak station)
Elkhart is a train station in Elkhart, Indiana served by Amtrak, the national railroad passenger system. Elkhart is the second station on both the eastbound Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited toward New York City and Washington DC...

, and Waterloo
Waterloo (Amtrak station)
Waterloo is a train station in Waterloo, Indiana served by Amtrak, the national railroad passenger system. The station is a single-platformed shelter with a handicapped-accessible ramp....

, Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

; Bryan
Bryan (Amtrak station)
Bryan is located on the north side of downtown, at Paige and Lynn Streets in Bryan, Ohio. It is an unmanned station eight miles south of the Ohio Turnpike. The station is located near a former New York Central train station.- External links :...

, Toledo, Sandusky
Sandusky (Amtrak station)
The Sandusky Amtrak station is an Amtrak station in Sandusky, Ohio. Located at 1200 North Depot Street, the station consists of an uncovered platform on the north side of the east-west tracks, a small parking lot, and two buildings...

, Elyria
Elyria (Amtrak station)
The Elyria Amtrak station is an Amtrak station in Elyria, Ohio. Located at 410 East River Road, the building is two trailers bolted together. This was the original Amtrak Cleveland Lakefront Station, moved to Elyria in 1976 when the present Cleveland Lakefront Amtrak Station was finished.Elyria...

, and Cleveland, Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

; Erie, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

; and Buffalo-Depew
Buffalo-Depew (Amtrak station)
Buffalo–Depew Station is an Amtrak station in Depew, New York.According to the , Buffalo–Depew station is near the site where in 1893, Empire State Express Locomotive #999 attained a top speed of , covering the distance between Depew and Forks, New York in 32 seconds, making it the fastest...

, Rochester
Rochester (Amtrak station)
Rochester is a station on the Empire Service Amtrak line, located in Rochester, New York.All trains use the platform adjacent to the station building, meaning both eastbound and westbound trains must switch to the southern track...

, Syracuse, Utica, Schenectady
Schenectady (Amtrak station)
The Schenectady Amtrak station is a train station in Schenectady, New York served by Amtrak. The station is built under the railroad tracks with an elevator and staircase leading to a railway platform between the two tracks. The station is a popular railfan site.The station was built in 1979 on...

, Poughkeepsie, and Croton–Harmon, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

.

A section of the Lake Shore Limited runs eastbound as Train 448 from Albany-Rensselaer
Albany-Rensselaer (Amtrak station)
The Albany – Rensselaer Rail Station is a long-distance rail terminal in Rensselaer, New York, located 1.5 miles from downtown Albany across the Hudson River. , the station was Amtrak's tenth-busiest station and by 2010 it had become the ninth-busiest...

 through Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 with terminus at Boston South Station, returning westbound as Train 449. Station stops (in eastbound order) include Pittsfield, Springfield
Springfield, Massachusetts (Amtrak station)
Springfield Union Station is an Amtrak train station in Springfield, Massachusetts. Constructed in 1926, as of 2010, Springfield Union Station was the fifth busiest Amtrak station in Massachusetts, boarding or detraining an average of approximately 360 passengers daily...

, Worcester, Framingham, and Boston (Back Bay Station), Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

.

Stops at Albany-Rensselaer
Albany-Rensselaer (Amtrak station)
The Albany – Rensselaer Rail Station is a long-distance rail terminal in Rensselaer, New York, located 1.5 miles from downtown Albany across the Hudson River. , the station was Amtrak's tenth-busiest station and by 2010 it had become the ninth-busiest...

 (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
Empire Service (Amtrak)
The Empire Service is a train service operated by Amtrak within the state of New York in the United States. Trains on the line provide frequent daily service along the 460-mile Empire Corridor between New York City and Niagara Falls, New York...

 service available between Albany-Rensselaer and New York City.

Until April 4, 2009, the eastbound and southbound Lake Shore Limited (Train 48) also stopped at Hudson
Hudson (Amtrak station)
The Hudson Amtrak Station is a train station in Hudson, New York. Originally built in 1874 by the New York Central Railroad, it is the oldest continuously operated station in the state. Hudson station serves a total of four different Amtrak trains, all of which have a southern terminus at...

, Rhinecliff-Kingston
Rhinecliff-Kingston (Amtrak station)
The Rhinecliff–Kingston Amtrak station, commonly and formerly known as simply Rhinecliff, is located in Rhinebeck, New York and serves northern Dutchess County and the nearby Kingston area across the Hudson River. The station has one low-level island platform that serves two tracks...

 and Poughkeepsie stations for drop-off. On November 8, 2010, the Poughkeepsie stop was readded, this time in both directions. Passengers for Hudson and Rhinecliff-Kingston still must transfer to Empire Service trains at Albany.

In the late 1990s Amtrak considered adding Dunkirk, New York as a stop between Buffalo and Erie. Dunkirk was listed as a stop with service "to commence on a date to be announced" on several timetables but the stop was never added.

External links