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
Hammond-We are running two minutes early, the nieborhoods around here
seem pretty rough, there were even some kids throwing rocks at the
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!