Subject: LAKE SHORE LIMITED 9-6
Date: Wed, 01 Oct 1997 15:21:25 -0400
From: "Ronald J. Robertson, Jr."
To: Steve Grande
After spending quite a long while in the Metropolitan Lounge in New York
Penn Station, it was time to board the Lake Shore Limited. At this
point, I have to tell you that at Penn Station in New York, when
traveling with luggage, it is best to have a Red Cap. Red Caps have keys
to the escalators, and with these keys, magically change the direction
of travel of the escalator. I discovered this many years ago in Penn
Station. The Red Cap lead me to an escalator which was coming up, and we
had to go down! I thought he was nuts until he took out his key, and
changed the direction of the escalator, and we went down! For a tip of a
few dollars, the Red Caps at Penn Station will save passengers many
headaches! I consider the use of a Red Cap at Penn Station in New York
money well spent.
Since space is limited on the tracks at Penn Station, the trains are not
brought from the Sunnyside Yard until about twenty minutes before
departure. It was time for me to become acquainted with the Viewliner
Sleeper. I had never been in one before, and from Steve's articles on
them, I was looking forward to my stay in the Viewliner Sleeper. Now I
prefer the Viewliner Sleepers to the Superliner I and Superliner II
cars! Shortly after boarding the train, it was time for dinner. When I
entered the diner, the tables were set with an antipasto dish at each
place. The menu, other than the antipasto, is typical Amtrak. I did have
a nice meal, the roast beef with very fresh vegetables, and mashed
potatoes and gravy. This was one of the nicest meals I have ever eaten
on Amtrak. There was not much to be seen in the way of scenery, as the
train departed from New York at 6:30 P.M. In Albany, the Boston section
of the train was added to the Lake Shore Limited. At this point it was a
very long train.
The following morning I woke up before the train arrived in Cleveland. I
saw many interesting buildings near the Amtrak Station. Off in the
distance some building was all lit up in bright neon lights. Shortly
after breakfast, I saw something while going across Indiana, three deer
running through a corn field. What graceful and swift animals these deer
were. The train at this point operates parallel to Lake Erie and it was
nice to see the boats out on Lake Erie. There were then some gambling
boats out on the Lake and many Great Lakes ore carriers to be seen.
Before I realized it, the train had neared Chicago, and the Lake Shore
Limited arrived in Chicago six minutes late! On this trip, I had the
pleasure of having one of the best Chiefs on the train, Ms. Brisbane.
Also, the dining car crew, chef, and the car attendant were some of the
best I have seen with Amtrak.
All in all, I had a very pleasant trip on the Lake Shore Limited, and I
can see why it is a train which is almost always sold out in sleeping
accommodations. This was a delightful experience for me. Also, on the
Lake Shore Limited, the Product Manager takes great pride in this
product. Nice amenities are provided on this train, some stationery and
an ink pen, and a nice toiletries kit. Also, the lounge car provides
free soft drinks and bottled water for the sleeping car passengers.
After the Coast Starlight, I would rate this as Amtrak's best train for
overall service and food.
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