Hamilton to Albany

The voyage from Hamilton, Ontario to Albany, New York is about 550km. At 3:30am, I caught a cab to the Hamilton GO train, in order to begin the journey.

Normally, the border is the most challenging part, crossing in a Greyhound bus. Either you get stuck in a substantial queue of other buses and need to wait hours to even get to the checkpoint or someone on your bus strikes a border agent as suspicious and they hold up the entire vehicle for hours. This time, however, the border went smoothly.

The trouble began in Buffalo. There, the bus driver decided to wait for the next Greyhound from Toronto to arrive, so that they could consolidate passengers and save some money. This meant sitting motionless in Buffalo for an hour beyond our scheduled departure time. As a result, I got to Syracuse 15 minutes too late to catch my connecting bus. The next bus, they told me, was at 5:00pm, arriving around 8:00pm.

In what I thought was an act of cleverness, I checked with the attached Amtrak station and found they they had a train leaving around 3:15pm. It was originally scheduled to be an 11:00am train, but they were confident it would actually arrive around three and arrive in Albany about two hours later. The train did arrive at about 3:40pm, and only sat around about twenty minutes before starting. Somehow, however, it managed to take about five hours to traverse the 250km to Albany. Part of the delay arose because the train had no heat and everybody was shivering in their outerwear. To correct that, they spent half an hour replacing one of the power cars. Nonetheless, the journey took about twice as long as advertised, even ignoring that delay.

As a consequence of all this, my uncle and cousin ended up waiting for me for hours in Albany, in order to drive me to Bennington. At the end of eighteen hours of continuous travel, I was particularly glad to see them and to have their help and company for the last stage of the voyage.

In the future, I will try to stick with the more straightforward Ottawa-Montreal-Albany route, rather than the seemingly more problematic Ottawa-Toronto-Albany route, with Hamilton thrown in as an enjoyable side-journey.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

4 thoughts on “Hamilton to Albany”

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    Sunshine and deep piles of sparkling snow blanketed the Northeast on Monday, but for frustrated commuters and holiday travelers struck by the winter’s first ferocious storm, the beauty was short-lived.

    Gusting winds kicked up formidable snowdrifts further crippling an entire New York metropolitan region trying to dig out, shutting down the three major area airports for most of the day, stopping commuter trains and some subway lines — even stranding some passengers on trains overnight — and causing nightmare delays without much of a sense of when the conditions would improve.

    The Federal Aviation Administration said all three major New York area airports, Newark International, John F. Kennedy International and La Guardia Airport, were now expected to reopen by 6 p.m., but gusting winds could still delay the opening of some runways.

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