The Amtrak Blues

The trip to and from Maryland was my first time on a train.  From KC you first take a 7.5 hour ride on the Southwest Chief to Chicago, then you have a layover of about 3 hours, then hop on the Capitol Limited for a ride of about 15.5 hours.  That’s the theory anyway.  In practice the first leg was fine but the Capitol Limited was late getting to Chicago so we were 2 hours late leaving.  Due to various flash flood warnings the train could only go about 25 miles/hour much of the way and we lost another 3.5 hours.  Instead of arriving in Maryland with plenty of time to rest and freshen-up before the wedding rehearsal, I got there late.  The trip back was on schedule, and features a 6 hour layover in Chicago – which will be the subject of the next post.

My seat was in the upper level of the coach.  There is lots of leg room, overhead reading lights, the seats recline, have leg rests, and the seat in front has a fold-out foot rest, a fold-down tray, and a place to stash magazines, etc.  I do wish the seats were a bit wider, but I also wish I was a bit narrower.  Some cars had 120VAC electrical outlets at each seat, older cars had a few outlets shared by many seats.  Fresh water was available in each car but it tasted a bit funny.  On the lower level of each car are small bathrooms that are similar to what you find on an airplane.  Be careful not to hit your head on the door if you have to sit down!

The train was quieter than I expected and there was a lot of swaying and a few big bumps  but I was able to get some sleep anyway. The food was decent, though pricey.  There was some good scenery, especially in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

All aboard!

Crossing the Mississippi River at Ft Madison Iowa

Somewhere in western Pennsylvania

Somewhere in eastern Pennsylvania?

This is my stop

West Virginia

Lake Michigan from Gary Indiana

The train also went right across the southern end of Lake Erie near Sandusky Ohio but it was not light enough for a picture.  I’ve now seen all the Great Lakes.

Looking towards downtown Chicago

About Michael R

I enjoy hiking, landscaping with native plants, nature photography, dark chocolate, fine dining, good movies, and old jazz.
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