2,176 miles done, 959 to go.
We waited in the Metropolitan Lounge at Chicago’s Union Station for nine hours last night. Thank goodness we had sleeper car tickets that came with a perk of allowing us this luxury. It was very comfortable, free wifi, free snacks, coffee and soda and TV. Our next train, the 48 Lake Shore Limited had arrived late and so was late on departure. It was midnight before we hit the tracks, 2 and a half hours behind the scheduled departure time.
It was late, I was tired, it was dark, and the temperature was around zero F so I did not stop to try to get a picture of the outside of the train. This is a single level train, and not a luxurious as the Texas Eagle. We have a roomette, not a full bedroom like we had on the Texas Eagle.
In the roomette there are two chairs that face each other which collapse to form a bunk, and a drop-down bunk above it. There is a toilet, with a cover. Just above the toilet is the sink, which folds up into a cabinet when not in use. The crew had already converted the chairs into bunk mode for us. It is very tight quarters. Really no room for us and our luggage. No room to open our bags to find our night clothes and change, so we just slept in our clothes. Oh well, it’s only one night and it will be morning soon. Everyone in coach is sleeping in their clothes too.
Sleep was hard to come by. You have to laugh at this. This is a smaller train and it rocks more and makes more noise than the two-level Superliner we had just come from. And that was just the beginning…The heat was hard to control, either too hot or too cold. A vent was blowing air at my head until I finally grabbed my parka and put it between the vent and me. And then the PA speaker was screeching continually until around 4:00 am when they finally turned it off. And then in the middle of the night I heard someone slam their roomette door and I thought “how rude” they should be more considerate, until I realized it was OUR door that had come unlatched and slid open with a loud “swoosh BANG” (sorry). AND THEN..all that free soda I drank in the Metropolitan lounge came to haunt me and I had to get up and use that toilet and then it would not flush! They are electric powered and there was no power to it. *sigh*. It’s not my intention to complain, just saying this is what happened. We are enjoying the whole adventure. For future reference I would still prefer the roomette over coach for an overnight trip, but a bedroom is best.
In the morning we turned our clocks ahead one hour. We are now in Eastern Time Zone. The toilet works again. We walked through four coach cars with sleeping passengers sprawled out and snoring, through a lounge car (not a nice Sightseer Lounge, just a car with booths and a snack bar) before getting to the dining car for breakfast. The menu is exactly the same as it was on the Texas Eagle so I probably will not be taking pictures of the food now.
The whole crew on both trains has been wonderful, so very friendly and helpful.
The rest of the day was very quiet and the scenery nothing spectacular. When we stopped at Albany the back part of the train including the dining car and the lounge separated from us, got a new engine, and turned south to New York as the 48 Lake Shore Limited. Our part of the train, the engine, baggage car, one sleeper car, and one coach, continued east to Boston as the 448 Lake Shore Limited. The crew brought us sandwiches so we wouldn’t miss our dinner.
We are running about two hours late and will be arriving at Boston South Station before midnight if there are no further delays. We’ll get a taxi to take us to our hotel.
This has been a fun and interesting trip. My first Amtrak passenger train ride. Would I do it again? Most definitely.