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Segment 3: Washington, D.C. To Boston, MA On Amtrak's Federal

Fall Amtrak Trip 2003:
Segment 3: Washington, D.C. To Boston, MA
On Amtrak's Federal - September 22nd-23rd, 2003

Amtrak Train #66 - The Federal, Seen In Boston-South Station
Tuesday, September 23rd, 2003

   At around 9:30pm, Sleeping Car Passengers were allowed to board the train. I told the car host at that point that I was interested in upgrading to a sleeper, and he told me to check with the conductor once onboard which was my original plan. A quick check earlier in the evening told me that there were 2 rooms left in the one Viewliner on the train so I had hoped I might get my onboard sleeper upgrade. At around 9:50pm, coach passengers were allowed to board the train. I took a seat in Capstone Rebuilt Amfleet I Coach #82064. I didn’t get too settled into my seat because I seriously hoped I would get my sleeper! The conductor took my ticket and I told him I was interested in a sleeper upgrade, to which he told me he would have to check the manifest to see if space was available, he also asked how I would pay for it, and I told him I’d pay cash. We left Washington, DC on time at 10:00pm. I found out as we shot up to over 100 mph on the Northeast Corridor just how much an Amfleet Car can vibrate at those speeds! Depending on track conditions, my car really bounced around quite a bit though sitting on top of the trucks on my end of the car didn’t help either. The car was otherwise comfortable and very clean. I’ve always said that the seat cushions on those Capstone Cars are amazingly comfortable and this car was no exception. The conductor came by and told me to check with him once we leave Philadelphia to find out if any sleeper space became available. We had a half hour stop in Philadelphia where I decided to get some night photos of the train. I set up my tripod on the platform at Philadelphia 30th Street Station and took a slide of every car in the train except the baggage cars. The consist for tonight's train is listed at the bottom of this page.
   The conductor told me after we left Philadelphia that if one passenger in Trenton, NJ didn’t show up, then I would be able to get a room in the Sleeper. At Trenton, the passenger in question didn’t show up and the conductor asked me to come back to the sleeper. The Sleeper Attendant set up the lower bunk bed in the Viewliner Standard Bedroom #9. The conductor came by and I paid him $58.00 for the room, more than I had expected but I didn’t care since I hadn’t slept in a bed in 2 nights! Unfortunately, the service by the sleeper attendant was, average to say the least, he didn’t show me where anything was in the room so I had to find everything more or less on my own. He did ask me when I wanted to get up, I told him 7:00am and that was the last time I’d see him until morning. I decided to turn in for the night and would get a quick shower in the morning. I slept OK as the corridor is otherwise very smooth and mostly has concrete railroad ties on its main tracks. I slept through the 1 hour layover in New York, as well as the ½ hour layover in New Haven. I woke up somewhere near Westerly, RI around 6:30am and decided to beat the rush if there was one, and get a shower. The shower is located on one end of the car across from the Attendant’s room. A Viewliner is set up to have 1 Handicapped Accessible Room, 2 Deluxe Bedrooms, 10 Standard Bedrooms, 1 Public Shower and The Attendant’s Room.
   Around 7:00am, I headed into the Metroliner Club Car next to our sleeper to have Breakfast, I had a Bagel w/Crème Cheese and a Glass of Orange Juice. I also purchased a Cinnamon Roll for $2.00. There were a few other breakfast selections available and they would even bring your breakfast to your room but I didn’t require that so it didn’t matter. After breakfast, I asked our attendant to switch my bed back to the seats. My only gripe about Viewliners is that when you use the sink which folds down from the wall, the water faucets work like a garden hose and shoot water out in a strong stream which makes it splash all over the place! I found it interesting that the toilet is next to one of the seats and when its not in use, it looks like an end-table in the car. If you have another passenger traveling with you, then they have to leave the room when you need to do your business!
   I took a few more slides of the inside of my room after the bed was put away. Because I had upgraded to a sleeper onboard, I asked the conductor that morning (different conductor than the one who sold me my sleeper space) if I could use Club Acela in Boston when I arrived. He told me that was no problem and that he would sign the receipt saying he approved of my doing so. I gave him the receipt and he signed it. At 8:18am, we arrived into Boston-South Station 3 minutes late. I took this time to take some more slides of the train as it had been parked on a platform that had plenty of daylight shining in from above it. I also took a few slides of some other equipment on the platform. South Station is very nice, large, and wide open. I walked over to Club Acela where I showed my receipt & coach ticket stub to a Red Cap who was standing at the door and he told me that what I had showed him wasn’t a receipt but a Seat Check! I told him that that is what the Conductor gave me last night when I paid him the $58.00 to upgrade to a sleeper. He told me to go into Club Acela and show the attendant there and see if they would let me in. I then showed an attendant in the lounge that same seat check and was told the same thing, that it wasn’t a receipt but a seat check though he did allow me to stay in the club. While inside, I had a couple glasses of Diet Pepsi and set up my laptop so I could check my E-mail. After sitting there for about an hour, I packed up my computer and caught an MBTA Red Line Subway to Braintree, MA where my hotel, the Motel 6 was located. I called the night before and was told that I would likely have no problem getting an early check-in that day. When I arrived at the hotel, my room had just been finished being cleaned so I was able to get my early check-in. I ended up taking a very long nap because even though I had slept in my Viewliner, it didn’t make up for the “half-sleep” I got on the Capitol Limited the previous day. I woke up around 8:30pm and headed to McDonald’s for dinner then headed back to the Hotel to write some more of the travelogue, so ends today...

   The Infamous "Receipt" given to me when I upgraded to my sleeper! This really is a seat check that was punched to say I paid the $58.00 to upgrade. My best advice to anyone wishing to upgrade onboard, if this is what is given to you as a receipt, ask for some other form of proof of payment if at all possible to avoid any confusion should you want to use a First Class lounge when you arrive at your destination.

Amtrak Train #66 - The Federal shown in Philadelphia's 30th Street Station sometime after 12:30am with AEM-7AC #921 for power. The following photos were time exposures and used no additional light from flashes.

Capstone Rebuild Amfleet I Coach #82070 was the first car in tonight's train.

Amfleet I Coach #21662, an ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) compliant coach, and the second of three coaches in tonight's train.

Capstone Rebuild Amfleet I Coach #82064, the third coach in the train, and my coach from Washington, D.C. To Trenton, NJ.

Amfleet I Cafe Car #28357, Metroliner Dinette was the Food Service Car on tonight's train. The Cafe Car is generally open all night on The Federal.

Amfleet I Cafe Car #48984, a Metroliner Club Car used as a lounge car for First Class Passengers only. I ate breakfast in this car just before Boston.

Finally, my sleeper, Viewliner #62001 - Atlantic View, I had Room #9, a Standard Bedroom from Trenton, NJ to Boston, MA.
Amtrak Train #66 - The Federal - September 22nd, 2003 - 44 Axles
Unit #:
Car/Engine Type:
Amfleet I Coach
Coach - Capstone Rebuild
Amfleet I Coach
Coach - ADA Compliant
Amfleet I Coach
Coach - Capstone Rebuild (My Car - WAS-TRE)
Amfleet I Cafe Car
Metroliner Cafe Car - Coach Passengers Only
Amfleet I Cafe Car
Metroliner Club Car - First/Business Class Only
Viewliner Sleeper
Atlantic View
Sleeping Car (My Car - TRE-BOS)
Heritage Baggage
Baggage - Mail/Express
Heritage Baggage
Heritage Baggage
Heritage Baggage