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Segment 5 - Chicago To Buffalo

2002 Cross-Country Amtrak Trip:
The Lake Shore Limited - February 28th-March 1st, 2002

Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited Seen In Buffalo, New York
on July 24th, 1998 (File Photo)

February 28th, 2002 - Departing Chicago, Heading To Buffalo

   After paying the $7.00 to get my luggage out of the lockers in Chicago, I headed over to the South Gates in Chicago Union Station and waited by Gate D for the boarding call for Train #48, the Lake Shore Limited. We ended up not boarding until probably 5 minutes before the train was actually scheduled to leave because the Empire Builder which has a guaranteed connection with the Lake Shore, had arrived late. Tonight's train had the following consist...     

Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited - February 28th, 2002
Heritage Baggage
Ex-ATSF Baggage Built By ACF - 1955
Heritage 10/6 Sleeper
Pine Gorge
Ex ATSF 10/6 Sleeper "Pine Gorge" (Crew Dorm)
Viewliner Sleeper
Bay View
Sleeping Car
Heritage Diner
Ex-CB&Q/Northern Pacific Diner
Amfleet II Cafe Car/Lounge
Cafe/Lounge Car
Amfleet II Coach
Amfleet II Coach
Amfleet II Coach
Amfleet II Coach
Coach (Boston Section - My Car)
Amfleet II Coach
Coach (Boston Section)
Viewliner Sleeper
Winter View
Sleeping Car (Boston Section)
Heritage Baggage
Ex-SP #2365: Budd 44 Seat Coach (Baggage Convert)
Road Railers (5)

   The conductor took my ticket shortly after and had recognized me from another trip I took with him back in October of last year when I came home from Cedar Point! The few passengers seated around me were headed to Buffalo as well so it was nice talking to some people who were from the same general area as myself. I rode in the Boston Section of the train in Amfleet II Coach #25059 a refurbished coach with the blue décor and electrical outlets at each seat, which was very nice! The first call for dinner was made, and this being my last chance for a meal in the dining car, I had to have one more steak! I was seated in Heritage Diner #8552 a former CB&Q Diner which has been completely refurbished by Amtrak and was absolutely beautiful inside! This car even had sliding doors on each end as compared to the original handle door on the rest of the Heritage Fleet. The steak was good and had all the fixins and of course, a Diet Pepsi for a beverage. We stopped at Hammond-Whiting, Indiana then South Bend. We were now in the Eastern Time Zone and I left the dining car as it was actually closing up shop for the night shortly after our group was finished eating. I bought a Coors Light in the café car and chatted with a few passengers before heading back to my seat, and trying to fall asleep as I was in my 3rd day of traveling by train and it was catching up to me! I woke up as we arrived in Toledo because we were soon gonna be in Sandusky and regardless of the fact that it was dark out, I had to look out the window to see if I could see anything from Cedar Point from the long bridge over Sandusky Bay! I pulled out my Binoculars and saw marker lights from the Space Spiral Tower and Millennium Force Roller Coaster, it was interesting passing through here again. I listened to Mix 102.7 in Sandusky as we stopped, picked up maybe a couple passengers and headed to Cleveland. I fell asleep again before we arrived in Cleveland and slept as we passed through Erie. I didn't wake up again until we were in Farnham, near Angola, NY which is near my hometown! I of course was awake by then to see all the road crossings I spent so many days trainwatching at! We arrived at Buffalo-Depew Station 6:55am, about 42 minutes late, but not a big deal. A check later that day with Amtrak showed that train arrived in New York about 35 minutes late and Boston 48 minutes late. Once again, another excellent ride on The Lake Shore Limited, a very friendly crew and a comfortable train, one that you should ride if you ever get the chance. In my travels, I have rode this train everywhere between Albany and Chicago and it is truly a great ride.

Closing Thoughts:

   This was my first cross-country Amtrak Trip, and my hope is that it won't be my last. Every part of this trip was excellent. To spend the days watching the passing scenery through your coach window is both relaxing and exciting. My hope for Amtrak is that it will resolve its financial issues and that Congress will devise a comprehensive funding plan that will keep Amtrak a viable transportation alternative to flying or driving for many many years to come. My thanks to each and every Amtrak crew member that made this a safe and fun trip, on every train I rode, I know I can't name any of you, but you all contributed to one of the best travel experiences this passenger has ever had. Keep up the good work, and of course, until next time, Happy Railfanning...