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Sandusky, OH To Chicago, IL On Amtrak's Capitol Limited
Fall Amtrak Vacation Trip 2007
Sandusky, OH To Chicago, IL
On Amtrak's Capitol Limited
Monday, October 1st, 2007
Amtrak's Capitol Limited takes a break in Cleveland, OH on August 7th, 2005. (File Photo)
Monday Morning, October 1st, 2007:
   After sleeping for an hour (I'd only do this when I'm on vacation!), I got up and finished packing. At around 3:15am I checked out of the hotel and Cruisin' City Taxi picked me up and drove me back to the Amtrak station. I arrived there around 3:30am to find several passengers who were waiting for my train, #29 – The Capitol Limited as well as the Eastbound Lake Shore Limited. I chatted for a bit with the other passengers who were Cedar Point employees who were going back home to Europe after having completed their summer jobs at CP.
    At 4:25am, Train #29 arrived in Sandusky running 45 minutes late. I boarded Superliner I Coach #34042. I was assigned seat #44 in the coach only to find that that seat was already occupied by someone else, thus I took another seat on the opposite side of the car (I prefer the engineer’s side of the train to sit anyway) The consist for today's train is shown below:
Amtrak's Capitol Limited - Monday, October 1st, 2007- 48 Axles
Car/Engine Type:
Heritage Baggage
Baggage Car
Superliner II Transition Sleeper
Crew Sleeper
Superliner I Sleeping Car
Sleeping Car
Superliner I Sleeping Car
Sleeping Car
Superliner II Dining Car
Dining Car
Superliner II Sightseer Lounge
Cafe/Lounge Car
Superliner I Coach
Superliner I Coach
Coach (My Car)
Superliner II Coach
   We left Sandusky at 4:30am running 50 minutes late. Things were rather uneventful initially. I looked out my coach window to see Cedar Point as the train headed over the Sandusky Bay bridge. I walked the rest of the train to take down car numbers and had a brief conversation with the Conductor before heading back to my coach seat. At 5:22am, we arrived in Toledo, OH our next stop now running 26 minutes late due to schedule padding. I stepped off the train for a bit to get some air then at 5:30am, now only 20 minutes late, we departed Toledo, or so we thought. We ended up only moving a couple car lengths up the platform then stopping again until we received a slow clear signal and then we were on our way. I turned on my iPod and decided to get some sleep. I woke up briefly as we arrived at and departed Waterloo, IN at 6:48am. I tried to fall back asleep only to be awakened by lightning in the distance as we were riding now through some thunderstorms. This is the first rain I've seen on this trip! I woke up again at Elkhart, IN where we arrived at 7:40am. We departed Elkhart at 7:42am running 25 minutes late.
   After departing Elkhart, I got up and headed for the Dining Car for breakfast. Things started out as normal as I was assigned a seat then another passenger from Chicago was seated across from me. Two other passengers also were seated next to us and we were all given menus. Now here's where things got interesting, they kept seating people then went to each of the tables and took our orders. I ordered the Railroad French Toast with Pork Sausage and Home Fries with Orange Juice and a Diet Pepsi. Well, when my breakfast was brought to my table, I was given Turkey Sausage and they forgot about the Diet Pepsi and Home Fries! For whatever reason, I was served my breakfast before the other 3 people at my table. The french toast was decent and the turkey sausage wasn’t bad. The Orange Juice was a little warm but otherwise OK. Breakfast cost $10.00 and I told the waitress not to worry about the Diet Pepsi and home fries. Basically, I needed to get back to my coach as we were "dangerously" coming close to Chicago! This crew, operating the "Simplified Dining Service" seemed to have some miscommunications and at one point, both servers in the car were yelling at each other over such problems. By the time I left the dining car, we were about a half hour or 40 minutes from Chicago so I settled back into my coach seat and listened to some more music on the iPod. After Hammond, IN, the mainline is former Pennsylvania RR trackage into Chicago, due to a decision by Conrail several years ago to route the Chicago Line onto Pennsy Trackage. One thing I noticed is that Norfolk Southern is starting to replace the old Pennsy signal bridges with it's new modern type. We slowly meandered our way through areas like NS's 47th Street Yard and eventually turned North, passed by Comiskey Park, home of the Chicago White Sox Baseball team and at 8:56am, running only 16 minutes late, we arrived in Chicago Union Station.
   I took my luggage over to the South Gates lounge where I would rent an overpriced locker to store my luggage. The locker system personalizes each locker rented using your fingerprint. Unfortunately my hands were rather dry and thus my fingerprint didn't read on their scanner until after several attempts. I eventually was able to rent the locker, store my luggage then venture out of the station. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate at all this year as it rained nearly the entire time I was in Chicago, so no railfanning this year at Roosevelt Avenue since I just wasn’t gonna walk 12 blocks in the pouring rain with no umbrella! I did however walk over to a nearby UPS Store to ship 6 rolls of slides back home to New York due to the fact that I would be flying on this trip and didn't want to take the risk that for whatever reason, my film wouldn't be hand-inspected. (This would prove later on to be a moot point as I ended up having no problems getting the film hand-inspected this year, though that wasn't the case last year, thus my reason to err on the side of caution). After leaving the UPS Store, I walked back to Union Station, bought a newspaper and had lunch at a Japanese restaurant in the station. I had some kind of lemon chicken with a bourbon chicken along with fried potatoes and fried rice, all very good with a Diet Coke! I managed to take a few photos just before arriving in Chicago on the Capitol, you'll see a link below for the photos.