Amtrak travelogue written by 14 year old Joshua Trower.
This is the travelogue of the third segment of the 5 day Amtrak journey Dad and I took. This segment took us from Chicago to Boston[South station via the Lake Shore Limited. Dad and I had three reasons for fitting this train into our trip: 1. The Boston section was in danger of being discontinued , so this could be our last chance to ride it. 2. We wanted to take a train to the beginning of the Northeast Corridor[Boston]so we could ride down that whole route. 3. It was a nice long ride and sounded like fun. Chicago-After picking up our luggage from the lockers and watching Metra and Amtrak trains arrive and depart we headed to the boarding area for our train. A woman who was also waiting for the Lake Shore Ltd told us that 23 inches of snow had fallen in Boston! We had an enexpected event as we were waiting in the line to board, a man who was oviously heavely intoxicated started telling us how he was happier then a pig in @!#%, as we got nearer to the train the conductor noticed this this man and whispered to the other members of the crew that they "had a live one", they almost did not let him on the train, he slept for most of the trip however. All Boston passengers were told to go to the front of the train, it was a long train with threeVewliner sleepers[two for the New York section and one for the Boston section]. Hammond-We are running two minutes early, the nieborhoods around here seem pretty rough, there were even some kids throwing rocks at the train. Cleveland-We decided to go to the dinette car, I was enjoying looking out the window[even though it was pitch dark out]while Dad read some magazines. There is something I love about rolling through a big city on the train while the city's residents are still asleep. Rochester-Dead on time! This is a fairly large city with a fairly large Conrail yard. Syracuse-We decided to have some breakfest since we would lose the diner at Albany, an elderly couple that was sitting across from us in the coach were seated at our table, the man said that he noticed how I was doing my homework, I was realy marking down the time the train arrived in each station and told him that. They were going to Boston to visit there son. I was hoping we could get a wiew of the On Track railroad shuttle but did not see it. Utica-This station is very large and looks very old, next to it there is a yard with a lot of old and new equitment. Albany-Now we should see some action! This is were they will break the train into two sections, the crew said we had twenty minutes to go into the depot and call someone or pick up a magazine, we called Mom to let her know that we were okay[she informed me that I had recieved a Trains magazine in the mail]and Dad made some buisness calls, we then rushed back to the train. They moved the Boston section up to a special branch track and added another F-40 to the front, a Genesis unit and another coach were put on the front of the New York section. The N.Y. section was soon out of here but we were still waiting to leave. A switcher put a lounge car on the back of our train and we were soon ready to go, while all this was happening the Northboubd Maple Leaf pulled in and out. When the Boston section ready the consist was the following:Three F-40's, one baggage/mail car, one baggage car, one Viewliner sleeper, two coaches, and one lounge. The train soon started curving through the Berkshires, I can see why Amtrak wanted to get rid of this train, most of the seats were empty, but it is a very scenic route with lots of curves. Pittsfield-The station looks like a bus stop, only one person got off. Springfield-There is a billboard that bosts how Peter Pan bus lines is the fastest growing bus line in America, who cares! This is the way to travel. There was a Northeast Direct train sitting inthe station. Palmer-Passed Amtraks Vermonter, it had locomotives on both ends. Worcester-For a while the track is elevated over what looks like a small frieght yard, it was here theat I got my first look at Conrails new SD80MAC's. We passed the old Worcester Union Station before arriving in the Amtrak depot, this marks the beginning of an MBTA commuter line to Boston. Framingham-There is a small Conrail yard here. We keep whipping through commuter train stations, judging by the full parking lots, the snow did not keep people from going to work. Boston[Back Bay]-Before leaving this station we were put in a sidding so a commuter train could pass. Boston[South station]-South sta. is just one mile from Back Bay, the train makes a turn and your there. This station is pretty nice, there our a lot of good places to eat inside and they don't mind if you stroll out onto the platform to watch trains. Now we just had to find a hotel, they have a good system right inside the station for this, there is a special system based in New York[I think]that easily finds you a hotel, the person maning the booth today was named Steve and he was very helpful, he booked us into a hotel that was named something like the Shawmont Inn, it was just a short subway ride to reach it. What was interesting was that outside our window was an elevated trolly line, all night we kept hearing:DING! DING! BAM! BAM!