The American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners, in conjunction with Amtrak, is pleased to announce plans for our 2014 annual convention at Portland, Maineand The Pine Tree Limited special train.
The current plans, which are subject to change, are as follows:
The dates of the convention activities at Portland are Monday morning September 22 through Wednesday night September 24, 2014.
Our convention special train will offer travel over a substantial amount of mileage that is not accessible by regularly scheduled Amtrak trains. Our revised operating plan has the special train departing Chicago on Thursday morning September 18 and heading east to Cleveland on Norfolk Southern’s former New York Central route. Although our original plan was to take the route of the former Nickle Plate Road, Norfolk Southern asked us to shift to the former NYC route due to freight congestion and insufficient operating crews. On Friday, September 19, we will travel east on Norfolk Southern (the former Nickle Plate Road) for the run from Cleveland to the Buffalo NY area. Next, we will travel southeast on Norfolk Southern’s southern tier route (former Erie Railroad) to Binghamton NY. On Saturday, September 20, we will head north on the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway to Syracuse NY, where we will head east on CSX (former New York Central “Water Level Route”) to Schenectady NY, where we will interchange to Pan Am Railways (former Boston & Maine Railroad), including a short distance on Canadian Pacific, using a reverse move of about 8 miles, then traveling east through the Hoosac Tunnel to East Deerfield MA. On Sunday, September 21, the final segment of our eastbound journey is on Pan Am Railways to Portland ME.
The Pine Tree Limited’s parking site at Portland will be Yard 8, West Commercial Street.
Our hotel will be the recently refurbished Westin Portland Harborview. Here is a direct link to registration at this hotel at the AAPRCO convention rate. This is a full service hotel located in the downtown area just steps from the Portland Museum of Art, marvelous restaurants, a 12 minute walk from the waterfront, and a short shuttle ride from the location where our train will be parked.
Our traditional convention activities will be conducted at Portland. These include two car parties, technical seminars, membership meetings, and the annual banquet. In 2009, Bon Appetit magazine named Portland “America’s Foodiest Small Town.” It would be a shame not to enjoy Portland’s vibrant culinary scene and, of course, lobster and “chow-dah”! Since this a tourist town, there are lots of things to do for AAPRCO visitors, such as a Duck Tour, a possible trip “Down East” to Rockland on the Maine Eastern Railroad, and a sail on a 1912 two masted schooner. Portland is home to the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company & Museum, which operates on two foot gauge tracks. On Wednesday afternoon, for those not attending the Board of Directors meeting, we will offer a tour to visit Kennebunkport to see the Seashore Trolley Museum, to drive by the summer home for President George H. W. Bush at Walker’s Point, and then a stop at the Portland Head Lighthouseat Cape Elizabeth before returning to Portland. The legendary L. L. Bean store, a must for any serious shopper, is only a 20 minute drive down the road to Freeport.
After the conclusion of our convention activities at Portland, on Thursday morning September 25, The Pine Tree Limited will head southwest on Pan Am Railways and the MBTA Grand Junction Line to Beacon Park Yard in Boston, where the train will be split into eastern and western sections. The eastern section will move to Boston South Station, where it will terminate on Thursday afternoon. The western section will proceed west on the route of Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited to Chicago, where it will terminate on Friday morning, September 26.