From the Windy City to the heart of the Big Apple and New England, you'll enjoy a northern panorama of lakes and valleys. This is the old Route Guide of travel on the Amtrak Lakeshore Limited. Print this out and take it with you! Amtrak no longer provides a Route Guide this detailed on board. The new one is much less detailed.
* Chicago *
* Cleveland *
* Albany-Renssclaer *
* New York/Boston *
Welcome aboard The Lake Shore Limited, Amtrak's scenic 960-mile route between Chicago and New York City. The Boston section of the Lake Shore Limited travels through the Berkshires, and across the countryside of Massachusetts, after leaving the New York section of Albany.
This guide is written from west to east, noting how many minutes past the previous Amtrak station you can expect to see a particular sight, and whether you should look to your right or left. If you're traveling west, just begin at New York or Boston (or your point of origin) and read the entries in reverse order.
The first time reference tells you the approximate traveling time to that point from the last station when traveling east. The second time reference tells you the approximate traveling time to that point from the last station when traveling to the west. If you are traveling west, remember to look left when we've indicated to look right, and right when we've indicated to look left.
Note that all AMTRAK STATIONS are in capital letters to set them apart from towns and regions through witch the Lake Shore Limited travels but makes no stops. Use this guide along with an Amtrak timetable to determine stations times. All times in this guide are approximate.
A brief history of The Lake Shore Limited. From Chicago, then across northern Indiana, along the northern shore of Lake Erie, then eastward through upstate New York, to Albany, and along the Hudson River to New York City, The Lake Shore Limited travels much the same route today as when it was known as "The Twentieth Centurty Limited." Because the route follows the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Erie, the Erie Canal and the Hudson River, it is known as "the water level route."
CHICAGO Adjacent to the station is the Sears Tower, the tallest building in the world and the focal point of Chicago's majestic skyline. Look to your left and see the start of Chicago's Chinatown. Also on the left, you'll see the world's oldest baseball stadium, Comiskey Park,home of the Chicag White Sox through the 1990 season. Next, we cross the South Branch of the Chicago River, where ships travel between Great Lakes ports and points along the Illinois and Michigan Canal. Then we cross the Rock Island Railroad Line at Englewood, just before 21st Street Yards on the left, and the Calumet River on a large lift bridge. US Steel's South Works Mill is nearby.
On the left is the "New Regal Theatre," opened by Chicago's first black mayor, Harold Washington, as an African-American Cultural Center. The cemetery to the left is where Mayor Washington is buried.
Roby (15 min/5 min) just east of Illinois is this town, with a power plant and tall grain elevators. The Indiana Toll Road (I-90) parallels the tracks as you leave Chicago.
HAMMOND-WHITING is the home of Purdue University, Calumet, and Calumet College of St. Joseph. One of Hammond's early residents was Alvah Curtis Roebuck, a mechanicaly inclined farm boy from Lafayette. After Roebuck lost his girlfriend to a janitor, he moved to Chicago and formed a mail order company with Richard Sears ... hense Sears and Roebuck.
In 1923, John D. Rockefeller built in Whiting the Whiting Memorial Community House to commemorate the local servicemen who fought in World War I. Today, Whiting is famous for oil production, which explains the huge oil storage tanks that line the railroad tracks. Note the petroleum impurities burned in the distant towers to your right.
As you leave Hammond-Whiting, you'll pass through Pine Junction and the steel town of Indiana Harbor. To the right of the tracks is the Lever Brothers Soap Factory, and Lake Michigan can be seen on the left in the north. Just before Gary, on the left, are the steel mills of the Gary Woks.
Gary (17 min/1 hr 52 min) is the home of many world-famous entertainers, including Michael Jackson, Deniece Williams, Fred Williamson, Karl Malden, Avery Brooks, and Alex Karras, as well as astronaut Frank Borman, football's Hank Stram, and economist and Nobel Prize winner Paul A. Samuelson.
La Porte (42 min/1 hr 27 min) was established in 1832 as a trading center that served the nearby farming community. It is located next to the ecologically important Indiana Dunes on the southern and eastern shores of Lake Michigan. You'll see huge steel mills: Inland Steel is on both sides of the train. Union Carbide, US Steel, National Steel and the blue buildings of Midwest Steel and Bethlehem Steel are all on the left.
SOUTH BEND is named for a bend in the St. Joseph River, which is where the French explorer La Salle tried to reach the Mississippi River. This city hosted the 1987 International Summer Special Olympic games at the 1,700-acre University of Notre Dame, founded here in 1842 by Father Edward F. Sorin: the famed "gold dome" can be seen in the distance above the treetops on your left. The Studebaker Company Building can be seen on the right near the station. The time change occurs here during the winter. From October to April, set your watches ahead one hour when arriving from Chicago. When heading to Chicago, set your watch back one hour as your depart.
ELKHART This was "The Brass Musical Innstrument Capital of the World" until 1970. Charles G. Conn made the first U.S.-produced cornet here. Miles Laboratories, makers of Alka-Seltzer, was founded here. The early settlers of Elkhart County were largely Amish and Mennonite. Also known as "The Mobile Home Capital of the World" because of all the RV's manufactured here.
Passing through Kendallville, the highest city on the New York-Chicago route at 995 feet above sea level; 400 feet above the Great Lakes level. The towers you see on the hilltops on the left are radio station relay towers that bring signals across the mountains.
BRYAN Ohio Art Company, creator of Etch A Sketch®, is here and is identifiable by the blue, red and white water tower to the left. The abundance of artesian wells here, some of which still flow today,gave Bryan the nickname "The Fountain City." This is the home of Spangler Company, the world's largest maker of candy canes and also makers of DumDum lollipops and Dubble Bubble gum.
The time change occurs here during the summer. When eastbound, from April to October, set your watch one hour ahead before arriving. When west-bound, set it back on hour upon departing Bryan.
On the left you can see the first solar-powered radio station, WBNO, which uses 33,600 photovoltaic cells and storage batteries to power the transmitter.
We begin a 68.5 mile straightaway section of railroad without curvature as we approach Toledo.
TOLEDO was founded in 1833 where the Maumee River reaches Lake Erie. Today, Toledo is home to Owens-Corning Fiberglass; Champion Spark Plugs; and the Detroit TIgers' minor-league team, The Toledo Mud Hens. This major port city is known as "The Glass Capital of the World." Famous Toledo-born celebrities include Danny Thomas, Teresa Brewer, Jamie Farr and Joe E. Brown.
The old Libby Glass factory can be seen on the right, as well as the largest grain elevators in the world, identifiable by "The Andersons" written across the top.
Maumee River (6 min./48 min.) As we pull away from the Toledo skyline, you'll view the city's industrial outskirts while crossing the Maumee River. Leaving the river behind us, we pass through a rich grape and peach belt.
The Davis-Bessie Nuclear Plan (34 min./20 min.) can be seen in the distance on the left, beneath the massive plume of steam.
We cross the Portage River at Port Clinton, Ohio, known as "The Walleye Capitol of the World" because of the abundance of this fish caught here each year.
SANDUSKY In the distance, you'll see a monument to Oliver Hazard Perry for his defeat of the British fleet in 1813. Also in the distance on the left, you can see the top of the roller coaster at Cedar Point, the nation's fifth largest amusement park. As we approach Sandusky, we cross Sandusky Bay. Sandusky is the second largest Great Lakes coal-shipping port, with an excellent natural harbor surrounded by islands. During the first half of the 19th century, it was an important station and terminus for part of the Underground Railroad.
As we leave Sandusky, look to the left for this storage building of the Meier Wine Company. Then look to your right and see the American Crayon Company's factory.
Huron (1 min./36 min.) We cross the Huron River here -- you'll see a water tower on your left. Huron is the 1847 birthplace of Thomas Alva Edison. Following that is Vermilion, the home of the Great Lakes Historical Society Museum. As we approach Amherst, we cross the Vermilion River, where a water tower greets visitors with the name used by sports teams here, Vermilion Sailors.
Amherst (18 min./18 min.) The town of Amherst was named by New Englanders who settled here. Note the antique rail cars on exhibit to the right of the tracks. You can see Pillsbury's large factory on the left.
ELYRIA is the home of the international society for crippled children, The Easter Seal Society. It was also the first city in the state to adopt the Community Fund (United Fund).
Southwest of Elyria is Oberlin College, the first US college to enroll blacks and the first to admit women on an equal basis with men. Elyria is named for its 1817 founder, Herman Ely.
As we approach Cleveland, notice the Goodyear plant on the right and the busy Cleveland-Hopkins Airport and International Exposition Center on the left.
CLEVELAND is the home of President William McKinley and John D. Rockefeller, the first self-made millionaire, as well as Archibald Willard, creator of the world-famous patriotic painting, "The Spirit of '76." "Superman" was born here, too, as the idea of two Clevelanders, Jerry Siegal and Joe Shuster. Baseball fans watch the Cleveland Indians and football fans cheer the Cleveland Browns at Memorial Stadium, adjacent to the train station. Cleveland is also home to the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team and is the site of the Rock'N'Roll Hall of Fame.
Across the city boundary is Lake View Cemetery, where President James A. Garfield and John D. Rockefeller are buried. Leaving Cleveland behind, we move on to Collinwood, where the trains of yesteryear were serviced.
Next, we pass through Mentor, the birthplace of Garfield. He is the third of Ohio's six presidents. The Lake Shore Limited then rolls through Ashtabula, Ohio, important as a coal- handling town in the mid-1800s.
Conneaut (60 min./20 min.) is a fishing village founded in 1793. Its name comes from the Indian word for fish.
ERIE is Pennsylvania's only Great Lakes Port. It is known as "the gem city" because of its sparkling bay, though the name "Erie" comes from a tribe of fierce Indians called the Eriez. It was here that during the War of 1812, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, commanding the flagship Niagara, forced the British squadron to surrender, stating "We have met the enemy and they are ours."
BUFFALO (DePew) rests across the Niagara River from Canada on the eastern shore of Lake Erie. New York's second largest city, it's famous for manufacturing steel, chemicals and auto parts. Today, Buffalo is the home of the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres and the National Football League's Buffalo Bills. The Art Deco clock tower belongs to the old train depot here which, in its heyday, handled 30,000 people per day. Michael Bennett, creator of "A Chorus Line" and "Dreamgirls," was born here. We travel through DePew after we leave Buffalo.
Lancaster (6 min./52 min.) is on the right. On the left is the Lancaster Airpark, identifiable by the airplane sculpted from old garbage cans.
On our way to Rochester, we cross the Erie Canal and travel around the huge Limestone Dolomite crater on the left.
ROCHESTER is on the banks of the Genesee River. You can see the Genesee Brewery on the right. The tall building on the right is the headquuarters of the Eastman Kodak Company, founded in 1880. In the early 1800s, the area became America's first boom town and was termed "the flour capital of the world." The city developed along the upper falls of the Genesee, one of the few rivers in the northern hemisphere that flows from south to north. Frederick Douglass settled here in the 1840s, where he established and published The North Star Newspaper and helped Rochester become the northern terminal of the Underground Railroad. Other famous people who lived and worked here include Susan B. Anthony and George Eastman, and John Bausch and Henry Lomb's optical and health care company started here. The Haloid Company opened in 1906, in a loft above a shoe factory in ROchester, and in 1961 was renamed Xerox Corporation.
Sibley Clock Tower (2 min./1 hr 19 min.) As we leave Rochester the clock tower we see on our right is named for Hiram Sibley, founder of Western Union, chartered in 1856.
SYRACUSE Known as "Salt City," Syracuse and its salt springs were discovered by Father LeMoyne in 1654. The Onondaga Salt Springs were the first inland source of salt in the country. The New York State Fairgrounds come into view on the left. On the right, we pass the shores of Onondaga Lake and MacArthur Stadium, home of minor-league baseball's Syracuse Chiefs. As we enter Syracuse, the buildings on the hilltops to the right are LeMoyne College.
Rome (31 min./16 min.) After leaving Syracuse, we pass through Oneida, named for the Iroquois Indian tribe known as "people of the stone." Oneida is also the site of the mid-nineteenth century experiment in Utopianism. After entering the northern highlands, we briefly see the Erie Canal on the left. Then it's on to Rome, the point where the digging of the Erie Canal began on July 4, 1817, eventually linking the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. Local resident Francis Bellamy wrote "The Pledge of Allegiance." The famous August 3, 1777 "Battle of Oriskany," referred to as "The Turning Point of the Revolution," took place in Rome. As we leave the city, you'll see the sculpture above the Paul Revere Brass Factory on the left, commemorating the famous midnight ride.
UTICA referred to as "the crossroads of New York," was part of a 23,184-acre tract granted by George II to New York's colonial governor, William Cosby, in 1739. Union Station (1914) is Utica's monument to the golden age of railroading. Colorful harness horse racing takes place between April and October at the Vernon Downs Harness Horse Racetrack, one of the world's fastest tracks.
As we leave Utica, we cross over some of the Erie Canal's many shipping locks and see General Electric on the right.
Herkimer (18 min./57 min.) Fort Herkimer is the site of the famous August 1778 rescue resulting from the 26-mile run of Adam Helner, described in Edmond's "Drums Along the Mohawk." Today, prospecting for "diamonds" (quartz-crystals) takes place in Herkimer, as well as the manufacture of Herkimer Cheddar Cheese.
St. Johnsville (24 min./42 min.) Welcome to the halfway point of the Mohawk Valley. On the left are huge leather tanneries and dye factories.
Fonda (47 min./27 min.) Entering Fonda, you'll notice The Salada Foods Company building on the right and the buildings of The Fonda Fairgrounds on the left. Opposite the station is the Montgomery County Courthouse, built in 1836.
Palatine Bridge (53 min./33 min.) Susan B. Anthony lived in the community formed by the Palatine Bridge and Canajoharie before she pursued her career as a campaigner for woman's rights. This is also the home of Lifesavers candies and Beech-Nut products. On the left, you can see the Old Palatine Church, built in 1770, the only pre-revolutionary church still standing west of Schenectady.
Amsterdam (59 min./15 min.) On the south bank nearby in Auriesville, is the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs, a memorial to eight North American martyrs killed by Iroquois Indians and the first American saints to be recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. In Amsterdam in 1923, a Mohican Indian village was discovered whose relics are on display in a museum originally built in 1742 as Ft. Johnson. The city is home to many large carpet and rug factories, which today have been renovated to accommodate smaller industry. Coleco Industries, a major toy manufacturer and maker of Cabbage Patch dolls, is also located here. Guy Park Manor is the old stone depot with green shutters you see on the right; it is now an Elks Lodge. The 1776 home you see on the banks next to the canal lock is said to be haunted.
SCHENECTADY The rock cliff that hangs over the tracks is the site where the Mohawks fought and defeated the Mohicans at Kinquariones. Here we cross the Mohawk River and finish our journey along the Erie Canal. The Historic Stockade section of Schenectady is just after the station, to the left. Across the river, look for the elegant window arches of the Adirondack Power & Light Facility; the Lionel Train Company modeled their toy power station after the Art Deco building, which today is used to make cement blocks. The Schenectady Locomotive Works (later American Locomotive Company) built steam engines to the left of the tracks here in 1851. Here company, Edison Machine Works, which later became the General Electric Company.
The name "Schenectady" is taken from an Indian word meaning "through the open pines." It is one of the oldest US cities, purchased in 1661 from the Mohawk Indians by Arent Van Curler and a group of Dutch settlers. Schenectady is said to be the home of more PhDs per capita than any other American city.
Van Curler Hotel (2 min./27 min.) On the hillside to the right, the red brick building with white trim used to be the hotel; today it's part of the community college.
ALBANY has been the New York State capital since 1797. The second incorporated city in America, Albany still operates under its 1686 charter. The first New York State steam train "The DeWitt Clinton," operated here over the Mohawk and Hudson Railroad in 1831. The port of Albany actually operates on both sides of the Hudson River, keeping the city an important inland port since the Erie Canal was complete in 1825. The towers you see belong to the Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza and "The Egg" is Albany's Performing Arts Center. At the north end of the city, the massive French-Renaissance building is the State Capitol. The movie "Ironweed" was filmed here.
ALBANY-RENSSELAER A busy railroad town since the 1830s, Rensselaer is across the Hudson River from Albany. It is also the site of the nation's oldest fort, Fort Crailo, which is where a visiting British surgeon wrote the song, "Yankee Doodle Dandy." Just before entering the station, The Lake Shore Limited passes Amtrak's Albany-Rensselaer maintenance facility, servicing the sleek and futuristic Turboliner fleet. This fleet serves Amtrak's New York State routes.
At Albany-Rensselaer, The Lake Shore Limited splits into two sections, one traveling to New York and one to Boston. If you're Boston-bound, skip ahead to the Boston route description.
Castleton-On-Hudson (4 min./19 min.) Across the Hudson River, which the train will parallel for over 130 miles, you'll see the four-stack building of the Glenmont Power Station. Next comes the mile-long Castle-On-Hudson Bridge which connects the Berkshire section of the New York State Thruway with the Massachusetts Turnpike. Soon, you'll see the A.H.Smith Memorial Bridge towering 150 feet overhead. An important east-west freight link, this is the site where European explorer Henry Hudson's ship, the "Half Moon," ran aground.
HUDSON Named for Henry Hudson, who first visited in 1609, Hudson is the third oldest city in New York. The Hudson Station is the oldest station building on the Amtrak line. Hudson is also the home of the American Museum of Firefighting and Olana, the estate of artist Frederic E. Church. The Catskill Mountains can be seen for the next 15 miles on your right.
Catskill (5 min./18 min.) On the west shore across the river, just a few miles south of the 145-foot-high Rip Van WInkle Bridge (built in 1935), is Catskill, where 19th-century vacationers stopeed on their way to the Catskill Mountains. Catskill is the home of Samuel Wilson -- Uncle Sam. It is also where President Martin Van Buren was married. The Hudson - Athens Lighthouse, built in 1872, is one of 13 on the river still operated by the Coast Guard to warn of shallow water.
Across the river, the cement plants of Cementon process large deposits of limestone. A long pier to the east is for loading cement barges. The train continues just north of Germantown, which was settled by Germans who manufactured pitch. We'll pass through Germantown's fruit-growing area.
You can see the Carmelite Sisters COnvent to the west. Following is the US Coast Guard's Hudson River Station. Across the river on the right is the oldest lighthouse on the Hudson River, the Saugertes Light, at the mouth of the Esopus River.
Kingston Rhinecliff Bridge (19 min./4 min.) To the right of the tracks here, you'll see the pink Livingston Mansion -- a tourist attraction commemorating the Declaration of Independence. The Kingston - Rhinecliff bridge was completed in 1957. The marshland on both sides of the track is called Tivoli Bays, valuable as a feeding and spawning ground for 26 fish species and more than 100 species of birds.
RHINECLIFF The Rhinecliff station is the former dock/landing of the ferry to the west shore and Kingston, where naval vessels were built until the Korean War. Today, the dock has been restored for recreational use. The station also serves nearby Rhinebeck, bought by Dutchmen from the Indians for trinkets worth about $35. Rhinebeck is the site of Beekman Arms, the nationa's oldest continuously operating hotel. The Rhinebeck Aerodrome is world-famous for its daredevil air shows and vast collection of vintage aircraft. Interestingly, both Rhinecliff and Rhinebeck were so named because early settlers referred to the Hudson River as "The Rhine of America" because of its resemblance to the Rhine River in Europe.
Esopus Meadows (1 min./15 min.) We pass through the village of Staatsburg, one of the few places on the Hudson's eastern shore where the train tracks don't limit access to the riverfront. Then look for the lighthouse, built in 1832 (rebuilt 1872), at the south end of Esopus Meadows (in the middle of the river where there are sharp reefs). The last keeper was replaced by an automatic beacon light in the 1960s.
PUGHKEEPSIE was the second capital of New York; Kingston was the first. The Smith Brothers made cough drops here at this river port city. You will pass the town of Hyde Park on the near shore. On the left, facing the railroad, is the Vanderbilt Mansion, summer home of Frederick Vanderbilt. The tall wrough-iron fence, paralleling the tracks on the left, protects the Franklin Delano Roosevelt National Historical Site, the location of FDR's home, Val Kill.
Once the longest railroad bridge in the world, the Cantilever bridge (spanning the river on the right) was built from 1873 to 1888. This link between the coal fields of Pennsylvania and southern New England industries was destroyed by fire in 1974. Leaving Poughkeepsie, on the east shore you will see the rock quarries of the Lone Star Corporation and The New York Trap Rock Corporation. The bridge you see is the Mid-Hudson Bridge, built in 1930.
Danskammer Point (10 min./28 min.) The red buildings across the river belong to the Royal Kedem Winery. Also across the river are the Roseton and Danskammer Power Plants. Danskammer Point was formerly the site of many famous Indian and Dutch celebrations.
Beacon (12 min./26 min.) As a revolutionary army post, the town was warned of approaching British troops by the mountaintop signal fires for which it was named. Across the river, we see the city of Newburgh, famous for stunning colonial-period homes -- including the one where George Washington said farewell to his troops. The last east-west ferry on the Hudson was retired with the construction of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge, built in 1963. A second span was added in 1980.
Bannerman's Castle (14 min./24 min.) In the middle of the river on Pollopel Island is a fortress named for the owner, Francis Bannerman, who kept a private arsenal there in the early 1900s. It has moats and drawbridges, and is built entirely of paving stones. Now owned by the State, a fire at the castle reduced it to its present condition.
Storm King Mountains looms ominously across the river on the right -- Amtrak has named a train "The Storm King" in tribute. Near the village of Storm King, the train passes through Breakneck Tunnel and then travels alongside Sugarloaf Mountain. Next, you'll see the town of Cornwall to the left. Nearby is "World's End," the deepest point in the Hudson at 202 feet.
West Point Academy (18 min./19 min.) As we approach West Point, the train passes the river channel's narrowest point at the eastern end of Constitution Island, now an important fish and wildlife sanctuary. In 1778, colonial troops here stretched a chain across the river to stop British ships heading north.
West Point, the nation's oldest military academy, is identifiable by the huge stone battlements on the opposite shore of the Hudson River. They were put up in 1802. The Barbra Steisand movie "Hello Dolly!" was filmed in the village of Garrison, which lies opposite West Point on the east side of the river.
Ladycliff (19 min./18 min.) The large, light-colored stone building atop the cliff on the right is the former Catholic women's college. The college is now part of West Point. To the east is the Monastery of Mary Immaculate.
Coming up on the right is The Bear Mountain Bridge, which carries the Appalachian Trail across the river. The flag you see on the hill identifies Bear Mountain State Park, a popular New York resort. Ahead across the river is Dunderburg Mountain. This is the southern end of the Hudson Highlands, which is really a fjord and extends 15 miles north. Legend has it that the mountain is the home of goblins who cause violent summer storms.
Peekskill (27 min./11 min.) This town served as the American army headquarters during the Revolutionary War.
CROTON-HARMON is the site of the historic Van Cortlandt Manor, home of New York's first Lt. Governor. It dates back to the late 1600s, and since then has hosted visits by US and foreign dignitaries. The town of Stoney Point, famous as a strategic fort during the Revolutionary War, is across the river. Reservoirs for New York City's water are here. The twin towers on your right belong to The Indian Point Atomic Power Plant at Lents Cove.
Ossining (2 min./40 min.) The train passes through the first incorporated village in Westchester County near the town's waterfront park. The guard towers belong to the notorious correctional facility known as "Sing Sing." Being sent "up the river" meant doing time at "Sing Sing." The main house is on your right, the annex on your left.
The Tappan-Zee Bridge (9 min./33 min.) On your right is the imposing Phillips Manor, home of one of the Mid-Hudson River Valley's founding families. The three-mile Tappan-Zee Bridge, located at Tarrytown, was built in 1955 to carry the New York State Thruway across the Hudson River.
Irvington (11 min./31 min.) This town is named for Washington Irving, creator of Rip Van Winkle, Ichabod Crane, and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." Irving's home, "Sunnyside," can be seen to the left just before we reach the train station. Many of Irving's stories were set in these picturesque valleys, with their many cliffside mansions and homes of the well-to-do.
Hastings-on-Hudson (14 min./28 min.) On the right is the home of Civil War Admiral David Farragut, famous for the "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" quote. Later, it became the home of showman Florenz Ziegfield and his wife, actress Billie Burke (the good witch in 1939's "The Wizard of Oz").
Yonkers (19 min./23 min.) New York's fourth largest city is named for the first lawyer in the New Netherlands, Adriaen Van der Donck, who was addressed in Dutch as "Jonkheer" (young gentleman). Here, Elisha Graves Otis invented the safety elevator. Edwin Armstrong invented the FM radio. Near here, across the river, British General Cornwallis' Headquarters was an old tavern at the foot of the Palisades. A giant stairway on the New Jersey side of the Palisades is used for hiking.
Harlem River (32 min./10 min.) As we head towards New York City, you'll spot the George Washington Bridge (connecting New Jersey with Manhattan) down the river on the right. Also across the river on the right, you can see the High Bridge, an old aqueduct, and the black railroad trestle/bridge crossing the Harlem River. This marks a spot called Spuyten Duyvil, which is Dutch for "spitting devil," because of the tricky currents where the Harlem River joins the Hudson River. On your left, you'll see the Harlem River Bridge and Yankee Stadium (built in 1923).
The train rolls through historic Harlem in uptown Manhattan, on the way to the 3-mile Park Avenue Tunnel and historic Grand Central Station.
NEW YORK CITY More than 350 years ago, the city of New York grew from the southernmost part of the island of Manhattan. Now known as Lower Manhattan, this is the civic and financial heart of the city. Where Dutch explorers once built forts and settlements, there now stands the World Trade Center, the New York Stock Exchange, and the Brookyln Bridge.
New York City has five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island. If time is short, you'll want to concentrate on visiting Manhattan simply because it offers the most to see: Broadway, Greenwich Village, Times Square, the United Nations. The Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Fifth Avenue shops, and Central Park.
Those passengers traveling to Boston aboard The Lake Shore Limited will part from the New York route at ALbany-Rensselaer.
State Line Tunnel (49 minutes/23 minutes) is where the train makes the crossing into Massachusetts. On the way, you'll pass through East Greenbush, Brookview, Van Hoesen, Post Road Crossing, Niverville and Chatham (8 min./51 min), where you'll see an experimental "beefalo" farm (cross-breeding cows with buffalo) on the right.
PITTSFIELD You're in the heart of ski country here, close to over 40 resorts in the Berkshire area. Herman Melville wrote "Moby Dick" while he lived here; Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote Tanglewood Tales at his summer home, Tanglewood. Today, the estate hosts an annual summer music festival featuring the Boston Symphony Orchestra. As we enter Pittsfield, look to the right to see Richmond Pond, one of the region's many attractive lakes.
Appalachian Train (18 min./1 hr. 2 min.) On the right, be on the lookout for beaver houses in the middle of the pond. You'll also see old stone bridges and enjoy the many "S" curves of this part of the route.
Westfield River (1 hr. 15 min./5 min.) Following along the Westfield River for several miles, look for Middlefield, Chester (sawmill on the left), Huntington, Russell (paper mill on left), Woronoco (paper mills on right), and a stoneworks factory on the left. Also keep an eye out for deer, bobcats and wild turkey.
As we head through the Berkshire Mountains, the trees of the Chester Blanford State Forest make breathtaking scenery. We pass by the Eastern States Exposition and Fair Grounds, which hosts the largest fair in New England, and cross the Connecticut River beside the stone-arched Memorial Bridge on the right.
SPRINGFIELD started as a trading post in the 1630s. It's on the Connecticut River, whose valley halves New England from Vermont to the seacoast. In 1794, the US opened an important armory here, which today is a museum. The Basketball Hall of Fame is located here to honor Springfield College and the game's inventor, James A. Naismith. North of the town is Westover Air Force Base. Also to the north is Amherst, noted for Amherst College and the University of Massachusetts. The Springfield Christmas parade is said to rival New York's best.
West Warren (32 min./44 min.) Crossing through the rolling countryside of central Massachusetts, the train follows the Quaboag River on the left for several miles after passing the falls of the Chicopee River, also on the left. Look for a miniature golf course on the left after we pass Palmer.
WORCESTER Pronounced "Wooster," this is the second largest city in Massachusetts. On both sides of the track here, we see dozens of authentic old New England church steeples. Nearby is Old Sturbridge Village, a completely reconstructed 19th-century village. Worcester is the home of Holy Cross College -- note the blue and white complex of buildings on the right hillside -- and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
The train travels around the southern tip of Lake Quinsigamond after leaving Worcester. We pass through Westboro, Southville, Cordaville and Ashland on our way to Framingham.
FRAMINGHAM A manufacturing community, Framingham has a General Motors assembly plant and a reputation for the best fresh seafood in New England. This area is also noted nationally for its high-tech industry. The old train depot here is now The Yankee Fisherman Restaurant. The train parallels the route of the Boston marathon (Rt. 135).
We pass Wellesley, site of the prestigious women's school, Wellesley College. The college's buildings are on the left. The town was named for the family whose most famous member was Arthur, Duke of Wellington, who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815.
Newton (7 min./22 min.) After crossing the Charles River at Riverside, we journey through this quiet residential suburb where the future leader of The Phillipines, Corazon Aquino, lived in exile before returning to her country to lead the "People Power" revolution.
BOSTON One of America's most historic cities, Boston is the most important city in New England. First settled in 1630, Boston was planned to become a model city for the world by its Puritan founders. Today, it is a center for theology, education, finance, and government. Boston was the seat of the American revolution, famous for the 1770 Boston Massacre, the 1773 Boston Tea Party, and the Old North Church.
On the right, we will pass Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox, and part of the Boston University campus. As we approach Boston's Back Bay station, keep in mind that this low- lying area was once covered by the Charles River. Causeways were built to accommodate train lines, and the bay was later filled in. The Prudential Center and John Hancock buildings are in this area. Boston Commons is the site of many outdoor concerts. Today, Back Bay is considered one of the most beautiful urban areas in the country, with its late-Victorian mansions and tree-lined streets.
This is one of America's older railroad lines, completed in 1841. On the way to South Station, the train follows the southern edge of the city's central business district. You see the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) yards and the Gillete World Shaving Headquarters to the right. It may be recalled that the Boston transit system was immortalized by the Kingston Trio's song "Charlie on the MTA." It was said Charlie never returned because he didn't have enough money to pay for a 5-cent fare increase. The train then turns left, goes underneath the Fitzgerald Expressway (named for legendary mayor John "Honeyfitz" Fitzgerald, an ancestor of President John F. Kennedy) and into South Station, which at one time held the title of busiest rail station in the world. This is a grand building from the 1890s that has been magnificently restored to its former splendor. Welcome to Boston!