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Segment 4: Chicago, IL To Buffalo, NY On Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited
Fall Amtrak Vacation Trip 2005:
Chicago, IL To Buffalo, NY
On Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005
Amtrak Train #48 - The Lake Shore Limited takes a break in Buffalo-Depew Station
on Thursday Morning, November 3rd, 2005.

   After our boarding call for Train #48, I dragged my stuff onto Amfleet II Coach #25083, the same coach that I rode in on the way into Chicago this morning. The same train set would be used to go back East again with a couple exceptions. We had different power, no reefer cars on the rear and no Dining Car, bummer! The Dining Car must have been bad-ordered and removed from the train in Chicago. We were out of Chicago at 7:54pm, which according to the schedule is 1 minute early but regardless, nobody complained. I found out after we had left that there was in fact no Dining Car and thus I ended up getting a Hot Dog and some weird Chicken Sandwich (all deliciously microwaved and overpriced, yes!) along with a Diet Pepsi. I decided to just relax on this ride home, this was now the 7th day of the trip and I was tired! The consist for tonight's train is shown in the table below.
   About a couple hours into the trip, I went over to the cafe car again for a Beer and had a conversation with the Conductor in the other Cafe Car that the Dining Car was swapped out for, it was a Horizon Cafe Car, something you hardly ever see on the Lake Shore. I then went back to my seat and dozed off a few times while fielding a few phone calls along the way. At Toledo, OH, we had a smoking break as well as a crew-change for the train so I headed outside and took down some car numbers before retreating back to my seat and once again dozing off a few times. By now, I had a passenger sitting in the aisle seat next to me but we really didn't talk much as I was just plain too tired to stay awake by now! We left Erie, PA at 6:14am running 39 minutes late, still though, not too bad for this train. The Cafe Car opened for breakfast service shortly after departing Erie at around 6:30am, with the sunrise coming soon as I looked out my coach window to see us paralleling the NS (Former Nickel Plate) mainline as we passed through the many vineyards and cornfields you pass in Northwestern Pennsylvania and Western New York. By the time we were out of Dunkirk, I took a quick walk to the last coach and found it was possible to look out the back window as we had no freight (ExpressTrak Reefer Cars) on the end of our train! This gives you a very unique view of the mainline! A few of the photos I took are shown here. After seeing Central Terminal, I went back to my seat to get set to get off the train at Buffalo-Depew Station. At 7:45am, about 40 minutes late, we arrived into Buffalo-Depew Station. I got off the train, ran down the platform to get the photo you saw at the top of this page, then headed for home, and so I draw to a close another excellent trip on Amtrak.

Closing Commentary:

Outside of a few logistical issues (my one ticket never being printed, leaving my sneakers at home, stuff like that) this turned out to be an excellent trip. Onboard service overall was decent. I ended up riding with the same crew more than once on this trip. It would have been nice to have a Dining Car on the trip home but we can't control everything. Since this travelogue was written, Amtrak's board of Directors has fired its President, David Gunn. This does not bode well for the future of Amtrak as Mr. Gunn was a champion for a National Passenger Rail System. Unfortunately, there are many in Washington who would rather see all Long-Distance trains fade into history. We as the most industrialized nation in the world cannot let this happen. Thankfully, Congress has approved and President Bush has signed into law as part of a much bigger spending bill, funding for Amtrak in 2006 though it has strings attached. We can all do our part to ensure Amtrak continues in the future. Write your elected officials, let them know you want Amtrak to survive and be properly funded. And if you can, do something for Amtrak that will help them more than anything, buy a ticket and take a trip. If you have kids, they'll never forget their ride on "the big train"! Until next time when I'll be heading out on Amtrak to do my annual Christmas Shopping Trip, Happy Railfanning...

Angola, NY from the back of the last coach in our train, this is near where I grew up! Quite interesting to see it from the back of an Amtrak Coach!

Passing a CP-Rail Train probably waiting to go back to Canada. Looking out the back if you get the opportunity will provide some great views like this.

The line that veers to the left is the Chicago Line (CSX Buffalo Terminal Sub, aka The Chicago Line) and the line going straight is the Niagara Branch (CSX Niagara Sub) To Niagara Falls.

And finally hiding in the woods is a symbol of Buffalo's rich railroad history, the famous Buffalo Central Terminal.
Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited - Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005 - 52 Axles
Car/Engine Type:
Heritage Baggage
Baggage Car
Heritage 10/6 Sleeper
Pine Brook
Crew Sleeper
Viewliner Sleeper
Colonial View
Sleeping Car
Viewliner Sleeper
College View
Sleeping Car
Viewliner Sleeper
Stream View
Sleeping Car
Horizon Fleet Cafe Car
Cafe Car (Dining Car Substitute)
Amfleet II Cafe Car
Cafe Car
Amfleet II Coach
Amfleet II Coach
Amfleet II Coach
Coach (My Car)
Amfleet II Coach