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Sandusky, OH To Buffalo, NY On The Lake Shore Limited

Sandusky, Ohio To Buffalo, NY On The Lake Shore Limited
Monday, October 29th, 2001

The Lake Shore Limited - Albany, NY - July 2000 (File Photo)

   On a very cold early Monday Morning, October 29th, 2001 my train that would bring me home from Ohio for good, the Lake Shore Limited arrived in Sandusky about 30 minutes late around 2:00am. Due to the fact that this trip was almost completely overnight and that I had to contend with 7 pieces of luggage, I found there was no way I could take any pictures. This travelogue will be short as I spent most of this trip sleeping after having worked 55 hours the last week I was at Cedar Point.
   I bought my tickets for this trip online through Amtrak's web site and like my last trip on the Pennsylvanian, I got a super cheap fare thanks to Amtrak's 30% off special. Once I processed out of housing at Cedar Point, from which I lived for the past 5 months, I gathered all my bags and called a taxi which brought me to the Amtrak Station in Sandusky. I then had to call the Sandusky Police Department's Non-Emergency number which was posted on the door of the station, so that someone could come by and unlock the waiting room, as it was not even 40 degrees out that night and so I felt that sitting outside wasn't a great idea. Someone arrived within 5 minutes of my call, to unlock the station so I moved all my bags inside and filled out my luggage tags and listened to my scanner to see if I could hear the train as being in the area because in that territory, the trains are supposed to be calling signals over the radio.
   Not long after I arrived at the station, NS train 48J went into emergency and stopped in front of the Amtrak Station, all I could see from the platform was that there was a brakeman walking between cars doing what looked like an air test on the entire train which only had 1 SD70 for power. Shortly after that, I began to see another strange light coming towards me, as it got closer I could tell it was a 3 light set on the front of what looked like an Amtrak unit but it was way too early for my train to be arriving, it turns out that it was none other than the Eastbound Capitol Limited and its all Superliner Consist, speeding past the station at 40mph. (The Capitol doesn't stop at Sandusky).
   About 2:00am, The Lake Shore arrived with 2 P42's for power. The conductor saw just me standing on the platform, so it turns out I was the only passenger getting on in Sandusky that night,as he then asked me if I was going to Buffalo! As a security measure, the conductor requested my ticket and a valid ID before he would let me board the train, he kindly explained that all passengers boarding had to show such proof before being let onboard as a security measure, something I didn't have a problem with. He helped me with my bags, all 7 of them then found me a window seat as I really couldn't see much in the coach, which was Amfleet II Coach #25082, I'm pretty sure I was in the Boston Section of the train as it was the 4th coach back from the cafe car. I then placed my bags in the overhead rack and some in the back of the coach and pulled out my MiniDisc player and tried to get some shut-eye because this was after all overnight and I was dragging my feet all evening packing up after working an outrageous amount of hours the last 3 days I was at Cedar Point!
   I couldn't see much out my coach window except when we went through a city as the windows are tinted. We arrived in Elyria, picked up maybe 3 or 4 people, then got stopped just outside of the Cleveland Station, to let the Westbound Capitol Limited pass us! The last few things I remember as I was dozing in and out of sleep after we left Cleveland, was that I could see the Conneaut Railroad Museum that I had visited back in 1993 on a Norfolk Southern Steam Excursion that summer. They still have that old Nickel Plate Steamer on display as it was all lit up as we went past it at 80mph! We then stopped in Erie, then by the time we got through Dunkirk then, Silver Creek area, I couldn't sleep because I was coming into my hometown area, and the sun was coming up so it made things easier to see. It was fun riding past all the road crossings I did countless hours of trainwatching at over the years and soon, we were coming into Buffalo with the early morning sun beginning to shine when we arrived at Buffalo-Depew Station. This was my stop so I gathered all my bags, set them on the platform then headed inside the station to wait for my Dad to pick me up. The train arrived about 6:45am, about a half hour late but didn't leave until around 7:20am as it probably had mail to pick up there before it could go any further.
   Overall, a very relaxing and quiet trip on the Lake Shore, my seat was comfortable, and I could stretch out a bit as I didn't have a passenger sitting next to me. The trip was safe and secure and I was glad to see Amtrak is doing all it can to ensure everyone's safety and the onboard crew was extremely friendly and courteous, they take a lot of pride in this train, and you could see it in how well they handle things on the trip. Until next time when I hope to get in one more trip before the end of this year, Happy Railfanning...