Jump to content




Photo

Senior's train trip, part two, overnight to Chicago.


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 caravanman

caravanman

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,879 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Nottingham, England.
  • Interests:Open minded travel, in which the journey is often as interesting as the destination...

Posted 11 July 2017 - 12:15 PM

Friday 2nd June 2017.

Had a pretty good night’s sleep, the nutty bloke is still there, and his feet still smell. Other than that, all good.

My Amtrak train to Chicago leaves at 12.50pm, so aiming to get to the station by noon. Currently back in the park, enjoying some early morning sunshine.

11am check out from the hostel, and a steady walk to the South Station.

I was the first to reach my train coach, so was able to grab a single seat. This ride to Chicago is overnight, and for the first time, I am riding in a “business class” coach. These are not available on all long distance Amtrak trains, so I was interested to try it out. The seats are extra large, and arranged as 1 single + two across the aisle, rather than 2+2 either side of the aisle, as in regular coach seats.  Business class fares also include free soft drinks. Only 4 passengers boarded in business class at Boston, but later it filled up more.

19955890_10155460033169120_2642297556985

One slight annoyance is that the other half of the business coach is devoted to the cafe car, so it was not too quiet. Our cafe server was popular with the customers, who seemed to hang around gossiping with him at high volume. As the passengers came through to use the cafe, I noticed one guy had a picture of an Amtrak train on his T shirt, and the words “Where is George? At the Amtrak meeting...” I assumed he must be a member of this forum, and went up to ask if the group he was with were AU members, etc? It turned out to be a meeting of folk who track bank notes, nothing to do with AU. However, by sheer coincidence, one of the group was an AU member, Carl, who posts here under the name “Trackwalker”. We had a chat and he mentioned he had recently retired from the railroads, on the side that maintains the rails, etc, hence the handle. Carl gave me a gift of a pen which has a built in light, so I can write rude stuff on walls in the dark, and still see what I am writing! Cheers Carl!

I did not sleep very well, even with a blanket and a warm hat, so was pretty groggy by the time we reached Chicago. On balance, I did not feel that the business class was worth the extra cost.

19956708_10155460049734120_8635040072497

Leaving the station, I walked up to the hostel, just in Chicago for one night, but will spend more time here later in the trip, on the way back to Boston.

Very pleased to see an anti-Trump demonstration in full swing!

Too early for the check in, so I registered and left my bags there and headed up towards the lake and the fountain. Very hot, I sat under some trees to write my notes.

Strange, but true: I made a note about being tired, and needing to keep my wits about me in case I lost something. I walked up to the Chicago “Bean”, and had a nice chat with an Indian woman, then went to the Mediterranean cafe nearby for a meal.

19956198_10155460057669120_4332568376030

Thinking to head back to the hostel, I decided to call into a store and buy a couple of beers for later. Some guy “dropped” some shopping on the floor and in the confusion / distraction someone picked my back pocket. Lucky for me it only had $10, all in $1 bills, so I guess it looked more of a tempting target than it was. I never carry money in my back pocket, but being tired, my guard dropped. I still find it strange that I was aware enough to make a note in my book beforehand, but not alert enough to put my cash in a safer place. Quite expensive beers, but still under Amtrak’s price!

Room mates are one guy from Taiwan, and one from Brazil, both very pleasant. Used the hostel laundry, cost including powder and drying was $4. 

Sunday 4 June 2017.

Good sleep. Had nice breakfast, then went across to the nearby store to buy some eggs, which I hard boiled  for my trip to Seattle. As with most food stuff in America, it is hard to buy small portions. 1 dozen was the smallest amount of eggs on sale! I left the unused ones in the “free food” part of the fridge. Most hostels have a shelf where you can leave unused food for others to have.

19942682_10155460090369120_7573897583331

Before checking out, I went up to the lake again for an hour or so. I saw some runners from an event called colo(u)r run, who were covered in vivid colored powders, reminding me of “Holi” celebrations in India !

Another walk back to the station, and time for the Empire Builder to Seattle!

(to be continued)



#2 Mystic River Dragon

Mystic River Dragon

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,150 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 11 July 2017 - 12:21 PM

Ed, as usual, always fascinating to read about your travels! :)

 

Glad they didn't get your hat this time. :P

 

On a practical level, about eggs: Eggland's Best now sells 6 hard-boiled and peeled eggs in a ready-to-eat bag (the eggs are ready to eat, not the bag :giggle:) in the grocery stores. A bit pricey, but if you have access to a fridge and want two or three a day for breakfast, it might be worth it just for the convenience.


Edited by Mystic River Dragon, 11 July 2017 - 12:22 PM.


#3 caravanman

caravanman

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,879 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Nottingham, England.
  • Interests:Open minded travel, in which the journey is often as interesting as the destination...

Posted 11 July 2017 - 12:25 PM

To be honest, the cost was not an issue... I was buying 1 dozen eggs for less than $1 later in the trip! Anyway, back home now and able to buy 6 eggs here for more than the price of a dozen stateside!

 

Cheers,

 

Ed.



#4 Mystic River Dragon

Mystic River Dragon

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,150 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 11 July 2017 - 12:27 PM

Yep, just caught up with where you are now! :)



#5 NorthShore

NorthShore

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 738 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Chicago

Posted 13 July 2017 - 11:55 AM

You need your own chicken!

#6 Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15,741 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Austin Texas
  • Interests:Passenger Trains/Travel/Sports(except Soccer)/Government-Politics/Reading/Old Buildings
    Movies/Music/Unicorns and Ancient Aliens!

Posted 13 July 2017 - 01:56 PM

You need your own chicken!

😄 But will the Sheriff allow it there Eddie?
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#7 dogbert617

dogbert617

    Lead Service Attendant

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 161 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Chicago, IL

Posted 13 July 2017 - 05:26 PM

Speaking of business class, what are all the long distance trains that also have business class, besides sleepers? I know there's the Palmetto(think it has sleepers, correct me if I'm wrong), Coast Starlight, Lake Shore Limited, but what other trains have both sleepers and business class? Usually seems like most Amtrak trains only have business class(for shorter trains/regional corridor routes), or sleepers instead(for long distance trains). Not often do Amtrak trains, seem to have both.

 

Good report, too. I was hoping for a few more photos, of pics you may've taken along the way. Did you just not take a lot of pics on this trip?


Edited by dogbert617, 13 July 2017 - 05:28 PM.


#8 CCC1007

CCC1007

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,496 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 13 July 2017 - 05:46 PM

Speaking of business class, what are all the long distance trains that also have business class, besides sleepers? I know there's the Palmetto(think it has sleepers, correct me if I'm wrong), Coast Starlight, Lake Shore Limited, but what other trains have both sleepers and business class? Usually seems like most Amtrak trains only have business class(for shorter trains/regional corridor routes), or sleepers instead(for long distance trains). Not often do Amtrak trains, seem to have both.
 
Good report, too. I was hoping for a few more photos, of pics you may've taken along the way. Did you just not take a lot of pics on this trip?

The palmetto does not have sleepers.

#9 AmtrakBlue

AmtrakBlue

    Engineer

  • Gathering Committee Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,201 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Delaware

Posted 13 July 2017 - 05:51 PM

Speaking of business class, what are all the long distance trains that also have business class, besides sleepers? I know there's the Palmetto(think it has sleepers, correct me if I'm wrong), Coast Starlight, Lake Shore Limited, but what other trains have both sleepers and business class? Usually seems like most Amtrak trains only have business class(for shorter trains/regional corridor routes), or sleepers instead(for long distance trains). Not often do Amtrak trains, seem to have both.

 

Good report, too. I was hoping for a few more photos, of pics you may've taken along the way. Did you just not take a lot of pics on this trip?

The Crescent and the Cardinal also have business class.  

 

Remember, most pax take LD trains for shorter trips so having a business class on an LD train makes sense.


2011: Jun: WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER) // Nov: WIL=>WAS=>CHI=>PRO (NER=>CL=>CZ)
2012: Apr: WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER) // May(NTD): WIL=>PHL=>WIL (NER) / PHL=>PAO=>PHL (Keystone) // Aug: WIL=>WAS (NER) / BWI=>WIL (NER) // Oct(Gathering): PHL=>WIL (NER) / PHL=>HAR=>PHL (Keystone) / SEPTA, NJT, PATCO, River Line, Princeton Dinky
2013: May(NTD): WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER)  // Oct (Gathering): WIL=>CHI (Card) / CHI=>MKE=>GLN=>CHI() / CHI=>JOL=>CHI () / CHI=>WIL(CL=>NER) / CTA, Metra. SEPTA (WIL=>NRK) // Nov:  PHL=>PHL (Autumn Express) 
2014: May(NTD):  WIL=>PHL=>WIL(NER) // May:  WIL=>BOS=>WIL(NER) day trip

2014: Oct(Gathering): WIL=>NYP=>TOL(pd-NER=>LSL) / TOL=>CHI=>LAX=>EMY(pts-LSL=>SWC=>CS) / EMY=>CHI=>TOL (pts-CZ-CL) / TOL=>WAS=>WIL(pd-CL=>NER)
2015: May: CHI=>CIN(pd-Card) / CIN=>WIL(pts Card)
2015;  Oct(Gathering):  WIL=>WAS(Acela) / ALX=>WAS(NER) / WAS=>BAL(Acela) / WAS=>WIL(NER)

2016: Mar: WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER)  // Oct:  WIL=>NYP=>NYP=>WIL (Autumn Express) 


#10 SarahZ

SarahZ

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,905 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:Reading, writing, baking, local history, urban exploration, music, dancing, and looking for new adventures

Posted 13 July 2017 - 06:27 PM

I've been able to find smaller packs of eggs (usually in sixes), but you sometimes have to go to a larger grocery store to find those. Most smaller markets, drug stores, and the like carry the standard dozen.

 

Bravo for venturing to Chicago during the hot/humid part of the year. :) I tend to avoid the city during July and August. If I do find myself there for an event, I don't venture out until dinner time or later.


Amtrak Miles: 39,318

 

Amtrak Routes: Blue Water, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Carl Sandburg, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Hiawatha, Illinois Zephyr, Lincoln Service, Southwest Chief, Texas Eagle, Wolverine

 

Metropolitan Rail: Chicago Metra, Chicago L, Dallas TRE, Detroit People Mover, New Orleans RTA, San Francisco MUNI, Seattle Monorail, South Shore Line (NICTD), Toronto Subway & RT, Washington DC Metro


#11 caravanman

caravanman

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,879 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Nottingham, England.
  • Interests:Open minded travel, in which the journey is often as interesting as the destination...

Posted 14 July 2017 - 04:35 AM

Cheers for the replies. We do tend to have daft pricing structures here in the UK too, but the US beats us hands down! A tiny bottle of milk $1.49, a huge gallon or so, $2.00. :D

 

I did take more photo's, and will post a link to them later, once I decide which ones are worth uploading!

 

"But will the Sheriff allow it there Eddie?" Eggzactly the problem, Jim!

 

Stay tuned...

 

Ed.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users