Monday, September 18, 2017

Capitol Limited - Washington DC to Chicago

Many of you know that I love train travel and I have wanted to do the trip across the USA for many years. My 70th birthday is later this year and this trip is my present to myself in celebration.  It costs about $1000 for the two of us to take a sleeper all the way to the west coast. I booked months in advance to get this 'low' price.

Entrance to the Amtrak lounge at Union Station in Washington.

Marianne gets a cup of coffee.

Inside the lounge. It's quite comfortable with plenty of seating and it is very quiet. If you are an Acela passenger or a sleeping car passenger you are able to get access to the lounge.

The Great Hall.

We were invited to board the train about 45 minutes before departure time. The first part of the journey is the Capitol Limited to Chicago.

The carriages are double-decker.

Storing bicycles in the baggage car.

Our Sleeping Car Attendant who checked our ticket to get into our carriage.

Our tiny roomette.

There is about 12 inches between the seats and very cosy. The seats can be joined together to form a bed and the top bunk is lowered. More about the roomette here. You can bring a very small bag into the compartment, but your regular baggage is stored downstairs.

Your hero ready to enjoy the trip. The window was reasonably clean but the promised internet connection was not working.

Occasionally I would walk across this bridge at the Tokama Park campus of Montgomery College.

Soon we were out into the countryside. The train moves quite quickly, possibly 60 mph in this area.

The Potomac River at Harpers Ferry of John Brown fame. If we were on the other side of the car we would have seen  the Shenandoah River at the confluence as well as the town itself.

The river behind the platform.

A small shed at the station.

Snow guards on the roof that stop large slabs of snow snow sliding off onto passengers.

The Potomac River.

We passed by the B&O Railroad Martinsburg Shops. One of the roundhouse buildings was destroyed by a fire set by vandals.

Some of the buildings appeared to be in decent condition.

I might visit sometime.

We joined the 6 pm dinner sitting. All meals are included in the cost of the ticket. I had high hopes for the steak and shrimp dinner but the steak tasted peculiar and was not very good. I had a glass of red wine that came in a small bottle.

When you go to dinner you share a table with other passengers. The lady in the hat was our dinner companion and joined us later in the observation car. 

It was still light at Cumberland in Western Maryland but a few minutes later, it was dark. Our sleeping car attendant made up our beds and I managed to make it up into the top bunk about 9 pm. Except for the steak, we were really enjoying ourselves.

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