New York by Rail

Erie Canal Open
May 5, 2013
Byway Audio Tour
June 19, 2013
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New York by Rail

The statement “New York by Rail” conjures different reactions and perceptions in every resident in the State of New York.  Do you know how many places you can go in New York State on Amtrak?

I had the privilege of accompanying Peter Bardunias and Captain Dick Powell to a New York by Rail Expo at the Penn Station Rotunda in New York City on Thursday, May 16.

The crew of the Erie Canal Experience in the Rotunda of New York City's Penn Station.

The crew of the Erie Canal Experience in the Rotunda of New York City’s Penn Station.

The whole premise is to encourage more ridership on Amtrak.  In return we are trying to promote our area as a destination.  Yes, the Mohawk Towpath Byway and our communities, our recreational resources, our heritage, our cultural amenities create a destination.

Thousands of people pass through Penn Station each day, most just focused on their immediate destination.  I estimate that one in ten must have stopped to get information  about the wilderness they refer to as “up state.”  Some actually had lived in the Capital District and were curious about what is new.  Others were obviously from other countries and struggling to make our intolerant ear understand their English.  These people were most curious about what is out there beyond the lights and glitter.

The day was a true experience with great exposure.  I met several travel writers who are interested in content on the “Erie Canal Experience.”

The comment of the day came from a curious middle aged man, “Let me understand.  They actually built an aqueduct to carry the Erie Canal across the river?”  Yes, and not just one, but two: an Upper and a Lower aqueduct.”

Many thanks to Peter Bardunias for the encouragement to participate and Tom Martinelli, publisher of the New York by Rail magazine, and the crews from Amtrak who made it a special day.  And to top it off there is nothing like a memorable sunset across the Hudson waters as the train made its swift way home along one of America’s historic waterways.  Such experiences bring home the meaning of “the waterway west!”

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