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Chicago, Dallas, Oklahoma City & St Louis Part 1 September 2017


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#1 doodaa

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 05:34 PM

Outward Journey

Alarm was set of 04.30, ready for a called to work to arrange my lift to the airport. A work college arrived at 05.15 and we were at Cardiff Wales Airport 10 mins. later. Checked in and dropped the luggage of quickly with no queuing, getting through Security was just as quick. I had just over an hour to wait before I boarded my flight Flybe BE 4521 to Dublin 07.00 CWL – DUB 08.00. I had a good seat on this leg, row 19 window seat and the seat next to me was empty, which was an emergency exit row, so plenty of room. After an early departure by a few mins., we also arrived early although this was cancelled out by having to wait for a vacant stand.

 

At Dublin there was a bit of a logistic to sort out, first I had to collect my bags, which took about 30 mins to appear, Then I had to walk to Terminal 2 and recheck my bags and check in for the next flight, Security to a little longer this time, then I made my way to US Customs Pre Clearance, where they did another security check the same as the last one and Passport and Immigration Checks. Once through I made my way to the gate to wait for the flight having a coffee and a cheese & ham toastie on the way for breakfast. The flight AerLingus flight EI 123 11.30 DUB – ORD 13.55. Again had a good seat a double seat to myself, on the very last row by the window

 

Again arriving early we had to wait for a vacant stand, but this time we were off the plane by out booked arrival time, having Pre Cleared Customs it was straight to the baggage claim to collect the bags, these began to appear very quickly. After getting the shuttle bus to the Avis Car Hire to pick up my compact car I came away with a 7 seater VOLO

 

Chicago

After booking to the hotel The Wyndham Garden in Elk Grove a short drive away. I to a bit of time to settle in before talking a drive to Des Plaines to check it out ready for the morning, while there I had a late lunch at The Choo Choo Diner, where your food is delivered by model train

 

After this it was back to the hotel for a nap to catch up on some sleep and get over a bit of Jet Lag, later in the evening I had Ruben’s Sandwich in the hotel bar

 

Metra Day 1 Finishing Some Unfinished Business Friday 1st September

Taking advantage of the Jet Lag, I made an early start and drove to Des Plaines Station where I caught Metra Train 603 UP-NW to McHenry, This early start is the only way to travel the McHenry Branch unless you start out from there in the morning and return in the evening. The Branch is access via Crystal Lake Junction who’s points are hand worked. This Completed the UP-NW Services which also go to Harvard

 

Merta UP-NW Train 603

06.30 Des Plaines – McHenry 07.30

 

This becomes

 

Metra UP-NW Train 632

07.39 McHenry – OTC 08.52

 

Formation 171 Norwood Park (F40PH-2), 7228, 8247, 7222, 6083, 6158, 6079, 8407

 

After arriving back a OTC it was a walk over to LaSalle Station for the next train Metra RI Train 509 I take this train to Blue Island, this service goes via the ‘Main Line’ as opposed to the branch which had previously been covered. This completed Metra RI District, I also Returned to LaSalle via the same route, highlight was catching 2 of Metra’s Switchers on ????? Depot

Metra RI Train 509

10.30 LaSalle – Blue Island Vermont St. 10.50

 

Formation 408 (MP36PH-S3), 7344, 7474, 7346, 7271, 7364, 8561, 8224, 8566

 

And Return

 

Metra RI Train 510

11.03 Blue Island Vermont St. – La Salle 11.33

 

Formation 422 (MP36PH-S3), 7477, 7475, 7483, 7490, 7366, 8557, 8550

 

Having returned shortly before lunch it was time to make my first Route 66 Stop at Lou Mitchells for lunch of Corn beef, Hash & Eggs

 

The next line to finish was the NCS services up to Antioch having previously only gone as far as O’Hare Transfer. This trip had a couple of highlight, first as I boarded an Amtrak Hiawatha Service came in with one of their new Charger Locomotives on. On the outward run we passed a full Western Avenue Depot, Seeing another 2 Switchers, along with F40C 611 & 614 and Caboose METX2002. On the Return the depot had mostly emptied ready for the evening rush offering better views. While at Antioch our train went to the coach yard to allow a CN Container train to pass

Metra NCS Train 105

13.00 Union Station – Antioch 14.35

 

Forming

 

Metra NCS Train 116

15.00 Antioch – Union Station 16.35

 

Formation 102 Village of Mokena (F40PH-3), 8206, 8464, 8535

 

Having Returned to Union Station, it was a short walk back to OTC for my return UP-NW service to Des Plaines

 

Metra UP-NW Train 637

17.06 OTC – Des Plaines 17.35

 

Formation 157 Village of Palatine (F40PH-2), 7239, 6131, 7212, 6021, 6055, 6183, 8463

 

The final piece of unfinished business was to finish a Chicago Deep Dish Pizza at Gordinio’s, A 6inch, BBQ Chicken and Bacon Deep Dish Pizza

 

Happy to say all outstanding business was taken care of

 

IRM Labour Day Gala 2nd & 3rd September

This is my 4th Visit here and it still impresses with over 400 items of rolling stock, Ive still not seen it all. They have a 5 mile interurban mainline a 1 mile street car loop, a trolley bus loop and also they were running a shuttle service for their preserved CTA 50th Street Station. They were running Steam, Diesel and Over head electric Services, as well as Electric Trolley Busses. With the variety on offer over the 2 day and the display barns, it was 2 very full days. Over the 2 day most of the on view equipment was seen, most of which is undercover in 7 display barns (they also had a similar number not open for viewing) 12 Train rides were taken on 11 different sets of equipment

 Interurban Cars

4412       Chicago Transit Authority

4290       Chicago Transit Authority

 

309         Chicago, Aurora & Elgin

308         Chicago, Aurora & Elgin

 

22           Chicago Transit Authority

41           Chicago Transit Authority

 

714         Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee

719         Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee

 

36           Chicago, Aurora & Elgin

319         Chicago, Aurora & Elgin

 

Streetcars

19           Compania de Luz Fuerzay Traction de Veracruz

 

3142       Chicago Surface Lines

 

4391       Chicago Transit Authority

 

Steam & Coaches

1630       Frisco 2-10-0

1021       General American Pfaudler Corp. (GPEX) Steel Milk Car

2544       AT&SF Combine

556         Lackawanna Steel Coach

2612       Rock Island? Steel Coach

2555       Rock Island Steel Coach

2571       Rock Island Steel Coach

 

Diesel & Coaches

BN3                         Burlington Northern E-9AM

Nebraska Zephyr  Chicago Burlington & Quincy

960 Venus             Power Car/Coach

4626 Vesta            Coach

4627 Minerva       Coach

150 Ceres              Diner

225 Juno                Parlor Observation Car

 

 

411         Chicago & North Western Railway F7A

6              Chicago & North Western Railway Gallery Coach

1              Chicago & North Western Railway Gallery Coach

151         Chicago & North Western Railway Gallery Cab Car

Trolley Bus

4123       Seattle King County Metro Trolley Bus

 

Breakfast both days was at the Marengo Café, always good food and friendly service, and on the way how I called in at Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbeque in Elk Grove and the Second night it was The Cheesecake Factory

 

Labor Day Monday 4th September Fox River Trolley Museum

Decided on a easy day to day, so breakfast was at IHOP, followed by a trip out to the Fox River Trolley Museum, something I’ve been meaning to do for a few years but never managed to get the timing right.

 

They were running to Car’s today CTA Car 45 & North Shore Car 715 so a trip on both cars was taken over the full length of the line

 

Very friendly Railway, when they heard my accent the arranged a tour of the workshops, with the head of engineering, lots going on, and lots of plans for the future. I spend an hour or so having lunch in the car at the crossings at West Chicago, still busy even though it was a public holiday, before calling in at LongHorn Steakhouse for dinner

 

Tuesday 5th September Metra Day2

Decided on an early start today, to cover another 2 Metra Lines the MD-N to Fox Lake and SWS line to Manhatten. First up was a drive to Cumberland Station as it was nearer the hotel than Des Plaines and added a couple of more miles, Catching UP-NW Train 620 in to OTC this is a big 11 set so as a bonus was double headed with 178 in a new(ish) paint scheme of the MP36’s

 

Metra UP-NW Train 620

07.31 Cumberland – OTC 08.01

 

Formation

178 Village of Prospect Heights (F40PH-3), 151 Leo J. Cusick (F40PH-2), 7288, 8527, 6161, 7810, 6145, 6103, 6040, 8417, 6060, 6047, 8526

 

On arrival it was a quick trot over to Union Station, luckily, the next train departed from the North side so I had a few moments to get some breakfast en-route. The train was MD-N service to Fox Lake Train 2109, which returned as Train 2132

 

10.45 Fox Lake – Chicago Union Station 12.32

 

Just before departure we dropped of the last 2 or 3 cars, Before Western Ave, Yard we saw the several trains of empty stock waiting a road into the yard for the day. This line was a bit more unfinished business, as I had travelled a portion of it a few years back on Amtrak’s Empire Builder.

 

Metra MD-N Train 2109

08.35 Chicago Union Station – Fox Lake 10.12

 

Which forms

Metra MD-N Train 2132

10.45 Fox Lake – Chicago Union Station 12.32

 

Formation

413 (MP36PH-3S), 7300, 6117, 7467, 8546

 

On return to Union Station it was a trip over to the South platforms for a SWS service to Manhattan, again part of this route having previously been covered on Amtrak’s Cardinal

 

Metra Train 815

12.35 Chicago Union Station – Manhattan 13.57

 

Which then forms on Return

 

Metra Train 830

14.25 Manhattan – Chicago Union Station 15.48

 

Formation

117 Village of Palos Park (F40PH-3) 807, 7446, 7296, 814, 7444, 6185, 8599, 818, 8579

 

After View Amtrak’s Depot on the way in and out on this service, It was back to OTC for my UP-NW Train 629 back to Cumberland

 

Metra Train 629

16.39 OTC – Cumberland 17.12

 

Formation

132 City of Harvard (F40PH-3) 7219, 6049, 6015, 8749, 7221, 6063, 7496, 6027, 8433

 

On the way back to the hotel, I called in to Giordano’s for more Pizza. This just leaves me the UP-N line left to do on my next trip

 

Wednesday 6th September The Texas Eagle

The Day Started with a bit of logistics, in returning the hire car to O’Hara Airport and then transferring over The airport to catch CTA’s Blue Line into town

 

CTA Blue Line

08.06 O’Hare – Clinton 08.53

 

Formation 2933 + 2934, 3095 + 3096, 3043 + 3046, 2651 + 2652

 

After lugging the cases up the last flight of stairs at Clinton, and a 2 block walk I checked my bags with Amtrak at Union Station, and Checked in to the 1st Class lounge. Having a few hours to kill I took a walk back to Lou Mitchells for breakfast

 

In due course we were called for our train and made our way to my coach and rom Train 21  Texas Eagle Car 2120 Room 005

 

Amtrak Train 21 Texas Eagle

13.45 Chicago Union Station (6/10) – Dallas Union Station 11.30 (7/10)

 

Formation

45           Locomotive P42

39045    Superliner II Trans. Dorm/Sleeper

32064    Superliner I Sleeper (Hell’s Canyon)

37016    Superliner I Diner Lounge

33006    Superliner I Lounge

31035    Superliner I Coach/Baggage

34000    Superliner I Coach

34057    Superliner I Coach

 

It was a good on time trip dinner was taken at 17.30 Having Amtraks Surf and Turf.

 

Part 2 to follow

 



#2 MikefromCrete

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 07:08 PM

Great report, you are really thorough. The Rock Island District car/locomotive maintenance site (or depot in U.K.) is 47th Street, also known as the Rocket House. 



#3 Bob Dylan

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 10:29 PM

Wow,we rode lots of rail routes in Chicago during the Gathering in 2013, but you win the prize for covering so much of the Greater Chicago area!😎

Look forward to future episodes of your trip!😉

Edited by Bob Dylan, 06 October 2017 - 10:29 PM.

"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
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Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#4 doodaa

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 05:15 PM

Wow 3 pages back to find this thread, I got busy over the last few months so have not had chance to wright up my notes but here is Part 2 in Dallas and Fort Worth

 

Thursday 7th September Dallas

I awoke just before Marshall our first Stop in Texas, this was followed by a short smoke stop at Marshall where I had a little walk around outside, before going to breakfast of French toast and Bacon. Our arrival at Dallas was very close to time at 11.30. After collecting my bags it was a short walk through the subway to the Hyatt Regency. My room 1001 on the 10th floor with a city view, overlooked the station, with a day bed in the window, offered great views of the station. I was up in my room drinking coffee, before The Texas Eagle had departed at 11.50. From my room I could see Lindi’s NY Deli and Restaurant, over the road from the station, so I took a walk for a Rubans Sandwich for lunch. As I was only a few blocks away, I spend the afternoon at the site of JFK’s assassination at Dealey Plaza also visiting the 6th Floor Museum.

 

I ask at the hotel, if there was any good BBQ around and was recommended Lockhart’s in the Bishop Arts District, loved this place, great smoke meet, great restaurant, great atmosphere. To get there I rode the Dallas Streetcar

 

17.10 Union Station – Bishops Arts 17.21

Car 301

 

And return

 

18.28 Bishops Arts – Union Station 18.40

Car 304

 

Friday 8th September Dart

After Breakfast in the Hotel, I downloaded a day pass for DART light rail and set off to cover as much of the next work as possible. My first train was the Blue line to Downtown Rowlett

 

Dart Blue Line

09.36 Union Station – Downtown Rowlett 10.17

10.37 Downtown Rowlett – Akard 11.14

LRV’s 226 + 199

 

It was on the return that I ran in to a problem with the ticket on my phone, although I bought a 24 hr day pass, after an hour it showed as expired, and the Ticket Inspector, told me to call in the the DART headquarters to sort it out, it turns out you need to have an internet connection on your phone for the pass to remain valid, being from the UK I did not have internet roaming on my phone due to cost grounds, so after a brief discussion, and explanation, I was issued with a paper ticket. While in Chicago, all my tickets were on my phone with no problems, so this is something to note that you need roaming on your phone in Dallas to ride Dart and have online ticket. As a consequence of this my planed itinerary was now abandoned and I went ‘free style’ jumping on the next train to arrive at Akard which was a Red Line train to Westmoreland

 

Dart Red Line

11.29 Akard – Westmoreland 11.52

12.11 Westmoreland – Parker Road 13.15

13.38 Parker Road – West End 14.11

LRV’s 224 + 258

 

After a coffee stop, I caught the Green Line out to Trinity Mills, followed by DCT A train to Denton

 

Dart Green Line

14.42 West End – Trinity Mills 15.25

 LRV’s 109 + 112

 

DCT A Train

15.29 Trinity Mills – Denton Downtown 16.01

16.11 Denton Downtown – Trinity Mills 16.43

Unit 104

 

Dart Green Line

16.44 Trinity Mills – North Carrolton 16.47

16.54 North Carrolton – Bachman 17.16

LRV’s 243 + 238

 

The final moves of the day were on the Orange Line to DFW Airport

 

Dart Orange Line

17.22 Bachman – DFW 17.53

18.15 DFW – West End 19.04

LRV’s 104 + 174

 

At the West end of West End station is Sonny Bryan’s Smoke house so I called in here for some more BBQ, followed by a walk back to the hotel.

 

Saturday 9th September Fort Worth Stock Yards

This morning I grabbed a Starbucks breakfast from the Hotel Lobby and made my way out to the Station, two goals today to cover the TRE services and to visit Fort Worth Stock Yards. As always with TRE my train was waiting in station on Track 3 mostly the incoming train arrives and shortly after the outgoing train departs.

 

I catch TRE Train 3909

08.30 Dallas Union Station – Fort Worth T&P Station 0931

124         Locomotive F59PH

1052       Bi Level Coach

1005       Bi Level Cab Car

 

As I need to catch a bus to the Stock Yards it is a short work back to Fort Worth Intermodal Transit Centre Trains TRE & Amtrak, Busses Local and Greyhound, Taxis & Car Rental all use the same Centre. I needed Route 15 from bus bay B with a service every 15 mins through the day. The stock yards were very busy being a weekend; I did arrive in time to see the cattle drive along a portion of the main street. I stopped for Lunch at Riscky’s BBQ, having Frickles and Brisket sandwich. As I looked around I found my luck was in as the Grapevine Railroad was running an excursion train that day. It was a little late arriving but I did have a trip on it

 

14.45 Stock Yards – 8th Ave Yard

           8th Ave Yard – Stock Yards 15.45

2199       Locomotive GP-7

208         Coach

1808       Open Coach

209         Coach

1818       Open Coach

206         Coach

 

I returned via Bus Route 15 to Fort Worth ITC ready to catch my train

 

TRE Train 3924

16.55 Forth Worth TRE – Dallas Union Station 17.52

125         Locomotive F59PH

1049       Bi Level Coach

1004       Bi Level Cab Car

 

As my train has wifi I look to find somewhere for dinner I settle on Gator’s Cajun Grill

I take the Blue Line from Union Station

 

Dart Blue Line

17.56 Union Station – West End 17.59

LRV’s 121 + 186

 

After a short work I find it, I have Cajun Fried Gator. I then catch the Red Line Back

 

Dart Red Line

18.51 West End – Union Station 18.53

LRV’s 251 + 260

 

As it’s still early I decided to go up Reunion Tower which is attached to the hotel, I have coffee and cake at the top, while I watch the sunset from the revolving top (although I did not know it revolved at the time.)

 

Sunday 10th September The katy Trail

As I’ve been doing a lot of working this year I decided today was the day for a long walk, after breakfast in the hotel. Not far from Downtown was the Katy Trail a 3.5mile linear park built on a Abandoned Rail line of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (MKT or Katy) This is well used and well thought out there is a concrete path for cycling and a softer running surface, along with numerous water points along its length and is well maintained and sign posted. To get there I take a couple of DART services

 

DART Blue Line

10.16 Union Station – West End 1019

LRV’s 225 + 237

 

DART Orange Line

10.21 West End – Victory 10.24

LRV 168

 

After walking the Trail I end up near Mockingbird Station where I find a sports bar/grill for some lunch. After lunch I attempt to cover more of the DART network so first up is

 

DART Blue Line

13.42 Mockingbird – UNT Dallas 14.25

LRV 149

 

DART Blue Line

14.47 UNT Dallas – Pearl/Arts 15.25

LRV 251

 

And the final line required

 

DART Green Line

15.35 Pearl/Arts – Buckner 16.03

16.12 Buckner – Pearl/Arts 16.40

LRV’s 174 + 104

 

From there it was back to the hotel

 

DART Red Line

16.45 Pearl/Arts – Union Station 16.53

LRV’s 124 + 194

 

I decided to eat at the hotel this evening

 

Monday 11th September ‘M’ Line Trolley & Last Day in Dallas

The Plan for today is to cover the McKinney Avenue Transit Authority or DART’s ‘M’ Line Trolley route. I need to get to Cityplace/Uptown, as I have plenty of time I have a little play by taking the TRE for one stop

 

TRE Train 2923

09.00 Dallas Union Station – Victory 09.05

126         Locomotive F59PH

1059       Bi Level Coach

1060       Bi Level Coach

1007       Bi Level Cab Car

 

The its

 

DART Orange Line

09.20 Victory – West End 09.24

LRV’s 125 + 167

 

I then go for some breakfast Ellen’s Southern Kitchen having Shrimp & Grits

 

Its then back to West End Station

 

DART Blue Line

10.19 West End – Cityplace/Uptown 10.28

LRV’s 115 + 121

 

Its not long before I see the Trolley heading up to the terminus, as these only have one driving position, they are turned on a turntable, I’m allowed to ride on the trolley as its turned. I ride the trolley taking a complete circuit of the route

 

DART M Line Trolley

11.03 Cityplace – Federal & Olive 11.25

11.25 Federal & Olive – Cityplace

636 Petunia          Birney Safety Car

 

When I arrived back I had noted that there were 2 Trolleys out that day and the location of the Car barn. I walked back along the Trolley route to find the Trolley barn, to see if there was anything to see, one of the staff there gave me a short tour explaining all the car that were there. I then took a cross street to the Downtown bound line

 

DART M Line Trolley

12.02 Cole & Brown – Federal & Olive 12.16

369 Matilda           Melbourne W-2 Class

 

Riding the W2 reminded me for riding them a few years ago on their home system in Melbourne where they work the City Circle Service. At Federal & Olive I saw a line of Food Trucks wanting to try out some food trucks I walk down the line I choose ‘The Butcher’s Son’ I was drawn to then as they were supporting The Salvation Army Hurricane Appeal, I had a burrito. After lunch I walk back to St. Pauls DART Station, the plan for the afternoon s some TRE mileage

 

DART Red Line

13.47 St. Paul’s – Union Station 13.53

LRV’s 124 + 102

 

I take a run to Centre Point which is the midpoint of the line and the passing point

 

 

TRE Train 2935

14.00 Union Station – Centre Point 14.31

123         Locomotive F59PH

1063       Bi Level Coach

1061       Bi Level Coach

1009       Bi Level Cab Car

 

TRE Train 2938

14.49 Centre Point – Union Station 15.22

126         Locomotive F59PH

1059       Bi Level Coach

1060       Bi Level Coach

1007       Bi Level Cab Car

 

With these two trips I manage to photo all TRE loco fleet including the Budd Railcar, along with the majority of the passenger cars (22/27). I decided to hang around the station as the North Bound Texas Eagle is due hauled by P42 54.  After a relax in the hotel and watching several TRE arrivals & departures from my hotel room. I make a return visit to Lockhart’s at Bishop Arts

 

DART Street Car

17.10 Union Station – Bishop Arts 17.21

304

 

DART Street Car

19.08 Bishop Arts – Union Station 19.20

 

While At Lockharts I have some brisket & smoke ham, on the way back through Bishops Art I find a pie shop ‘Fine Pies for Fine Folk’ I have a slice of apple pie to take away, enjoying it watching trains in my hotel room.

 

Tuesday 12th September Dallas to Oklahoma City

As I was planning on catching the Heartland Flyer this evening, I had a easy start to my last morning in Dallas, I had breakfast where I started in Lindi’s NY Deli, having eggs home fries and corn beef hash. After checking out I make my way up to the platforms. On the way up to the platforms I need to take the lift with my 2 suitcase camera & laptop, but I get stopped by a guy begging, with the most outrageous story about his blind wife being in a car crash and he’s lost her, and will give me a free counseling session, unfortunately he manage to jam the doors to the lift almost trapping me in there, after forcing the doors open, he’s see’s my face and decided to disappear quickly, in the mean time I now have to drag my bags and cases up the stairs to the platforms. Finding a bench in some shade watch a few freights pass through along with a few TRE  and DART trains, I decided to wait until after Amtrak’s South bound Texas Eagle today with P42 No. 51 in charge. I then get on the next TRE train, unfortunately without recording the Loco and stock numbers

 

TRE Train 2933

13.00 Dallas Union Station – T&P Sation Fort Worth 14.01

 

TRE Train 2938

14.21 T&P Station Fort Worth – Ft. Worth Intermodal Centre 14.25

 

As I have a few hours I leave my bags with Amtrak’s baggage store and catch Fort Worth’s free ‘Dolly the Trolley’ which links the Intermodal Centre with Downtown in a circular route, I jump off about mid route to find some food, as I have a late arrival in Oklahoma and at the hotel, I find a Cheesecake Factory and have some Orange Chicken, I also get so cheesecake to go for when I’m on the train later. I return to the station again via ‘Dolly the Trolley’  After watching a few freight and TRE trains its time for my train

 

AMTRAK Train 822 Heartland Flyer

17.25 Fort Worth – Oklahoma City 21.27

90222    NPCU (Ex F40 222)

34050    Superliner 1 Coach

35002    Superliner 1 Snack Coach (Ex Coach 34003)

64           P42

 

With the late arrival I was concerned about getting a taxi to the hotel, so I was ready to be first off the train, and out the station, luck I was as there was only 1 taxi waiting which I managed to get. As I predicted the hotel had stopped serving food when I arrived. So I settled in with a cup of tea and watched some TV for the rest of the evening. Tomorrow I pick up a hire car for the driving part of my trip along Route 66


Edited by doodaa, 07 June 2018 - 05:18 PM.





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