Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Overall Impressions of the Trip

After two years of taking the trains out west, I decided that I would take the train out east this year.  I figured that it would be a different experience, especially since I would be on the train half as long.  Plus, I wanted to see some of the places that I've passed in the car from the train.

The Capitol Limited was a pretty cool run.  It left Chicago at about the right time so that sunlight would be hitting around the time we got to the mountains southeast of Pittsburgh.  I kind of wish we hit Pittsburgh with some daylight but oh well.  If that were the case, we would have to leave Chicago later and we would have arrived in DC later.  The arrival time in DC would have given me an almost full day there had the weather cooperated for me.  At anyrate, the route went through some pretty amazing scenery.  Not quite to the level of the Zephyr or Empire Builder, but pretty close.

Washington D.C. was pretty cool.  I wish the weather would have cooperated a little more because I would have liked to see more but the heat became an issue.  Oh well, maybe when I go there again, I'll pick a time of the year when it will be a little cooler.  I was glad to be at Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day though.  I was even happier to catch a glimpse of the President's motorcade.

The Northeast Corridor train was pretty cool too.  I think the route is pretty much owned by Amtrak, so we didn't run into the freight train issues that happen on the other routes.  The scenery was impressive enough.  I really liked passed by the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay.  The trip reminded me that I need to go to Philly one of these years.  That looked pretty impressive.

New York was awesome.  I can't thank tugster enough for showing me around.  I was glad that I was able to catch most of the ships from Fleet Week.  I was also glad that I was able to wander around the city for a while.  Unfortunately I felt rushed because I only had a couple days to spend.  Oh well, that's the problem with vacations I guess.

The Lake Shore Limited was a bit of a let down.  Passing along the Hudson River was cool but I wish it were timed so that I could have seen more of Lake Erie.  It seemed like most of the trip was at night, so there wasn't much of an opportunity for sightseeing.

Overall, I am happy with my trips on the train.  The seats are comfortable enough and have enough space that I don't feel cramped.  The food served in the dining cars is top notch but a little on the expensive side but I guess since there is a captive audience, that is their perogative.  Per my now tradition, I did get a steak dinner which was awesome.  I also had railroad french toast for breakfast which was also pretty good.

So with my train trip behind me, I have to start thinking about where I want to go next year.  I'm thinking out west would be cool again but I might have to see the City of New Orleans.  But we'll see.

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