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Home > Archives > Empire State Express emerging from Cold Spring Tunnel, 1970s.

Empire State Express emerging from Cold Spring Tunnel, 1970s.

Black and white photograph showing the Empire State Express (New York-Niagara Falls) emerging from the south portal of the Cold Spring Tunnel, located along the Hudson River north of the town of Cold Spring. Photograph dates to 1979 or later.

<i>Empire State Express</i> emerging from Cold Spring Tunnel, 1970s.

The RTL Turboliner trainsets, like the one in this image, were based on the earlier RTG Turboliners,which were in turn developed from the French ANF gas-turbine T 2000 RTG "Turbotrain" trainsets. Capable of reaching speeds up to 125 mph, the RTGs were first introduced on the Chicago-St. Louis route in late 1973 and soon spread to other Midwestern routes.

Built by Rohr Industries, the RTL Turboliners were delivered to Amtrak in 1976-77 for use in upstate New York on the Empire Service (New York-Albany-Buffalo) and Adirondack (New York-Montreal). They were modified from the RTG units to include American couplers and standard 480 volt head end power. To access Grand Central Terminal in New York City, the RTLs were also equipped for third rail electric operation. Amtrak built a separate maintenance facility in Rensselaer, N.Y. to service the Turboliners.

According to the national timetable issued on May 1, 1977, the RTL Turboliners "offer a smooth, quiet ride in an air-conditioned, entirely carpeted interior (walls and ceilings as well as floors)." By the mid-1980s, names were dropped from the Empire Service trains, which are now known simply by their numbers.

Photographer: Unknown for Amtrak. From the Amtrak Corporate Collection.