If the entire map does not show Chicago to Washington,
DC, click it to see a full sized map.
No matter what time
of day or night your train leaves from Chicago, it will look like this
when you walk to your train because the station is above the
Since the trains are backed in ready for departure, if you have room
accommodations, you will walk past the coaches, observation car, dining
car to get to the sleeping cars at the front of the train.
On the way to your train, you might see other Amtrak rolling
stock from one of the many other Amtrak Routes that enter and leave
from Chicago Union Station.
Even as you pull out into the daylight, you might see other Amtrak cars
such as this Sightseer/Lounge car.
Keep an eye out for another shot of the Chicago skyline as you leave
Chicago on the Capitol Limited.
This full dome Amtrak car is moved to different routes throughout the
Amtrak system during the year.
Street traffic, freeway bridge, and a railroad bridge tilted up, from
our upper level room.
There are many cultures in Chicago.
Railroad river bridges give a nice perspective of the Chicago skyline
in late afternoon light.
White Sox baseball stadium
Chicago Embassy Church, 5848 S Princeton Ave, Chicago, IL 60621
CTA's Elevated south of town.
I-90 and I-94 south of Chicago from the Capitol Limited with the "L" on
In Elkhart, Indiana before about 9:30 pm, still some light in the sky
Downtown Elkhart, Indiana
The following morning - a Pennsylvania hayfield and rolling hills
covered with broad leafed trees.
Breakfast in the diner. This new diner is half diner and half
cafe car, therefore, the seating is 1/2 what older Amtrak diners
have...a problem on this popular route.
The cafe half of the diner/cafe car.
Observation car was half tables and half seats facing the windows.
It seems there is always a small church with a grass parking lot
anywhere you go in the Midwest and East.
There are many stories played out on passenger train platforms every
day that one can observe from their train car.
This man sat dejected
awaiting another man from on the train. When they met, this man
did not move while the other man knelt and consoled him. They
they walked off arms around shoulders. Hopefully this man had
better days to look forward to because of the man from the train.
Cumberland, Maryland as we slowly pulled out heading south.
A Maryland river with a steel railroad bridge down stream.
CSX power in this part of Maryland.
A traditional train station along the route
Coming into Martinsburg, West Virginia.
Martinsburg Roundhouse | 100 Liberty Street | Martinsburg | West
Center includes 13 acres with three B&O Railroad shop buildings.
The main attraction is the completely enclosed 1866 cast iron frame
roundhouse. It is situated along 1,000 feet of the Tuscarora Creek. The
B & O Railroad shops operated until 1988. This site was active
early in the Civil War and was the site of the first National Labor
Strike of 1877.
History of the Roundhouse:
Highlights of the Roundhouse:
This image of Martinsburg, West Virginia reminds me of photos of this
area by O.Winston Link.
You can only get this type of photo from the second level of an Amtrak
I am glad the current station was added onto the vintage station and
didn't replace it.
More about the railroad strike
What the roundhouse would look like without loving care of
A typical midwestern farm between Martinsburg and Harpers Ferry, West
Starting with the American flag on
the right, in front of the house, you see the mud room on the back of
the house, a two-car garage, a chicken house, the big barn for storage
of cattle and hay or drying tobacco and a machine shed with a corn
field behind the buildings.
Typical "two-lane blacktop" flanked by a wheat field and soybean field
and a lone tree which probably has scars from being hit by vehicles on
Four-top tables are ideal for traveling families. Tables have
electrical outlets, but no Internet.
You can find these posters in many Amtrak cars and the same image if
often on the menu in the Diner.
Observation cars may have seats like these throughout, or half seats
like these and half 4-top tables. The central staircase goes down
to a former cafe, but this train had the cafe as half of the Diner.
Because of limestone bottoms, rivers are shallow which means trouble
when heavy rains spill over their banks.
I am always curious about abandoned buildings along railroads.
This one seems to have a horizontal hoist frame on this side.
Note the vintage round railroad sign in the foreground indicating a
Coming into Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Hillside buildings
remind me of towns on the hills of the Mediterranean Sea in Italy.
Rather than take down this old railroad bridge for scrap, they have
converted it to a bike/walking trail across the river.
Coal from West Virginia or Maryland
Rockville, Maryland with a vintage caboose on display trackside.
Service is a commuter rail system whose service areas include Harford
County, Maryland; Baltimore City; Washington D.C.; Brunswick, Maryland;
Frederick, Maryland and Martinsburg, West Virginia. MARC Train Service
operates Monday through Friday only.
Adjacent tunnel to our route.
Point of Rocks tunnel
Photos of signs might give you location information. This is
along Highway 15 and tells me the tunnel above is "Point of Rocks"
Another small church in Maryland with the everpresent electric wires.
Another large barn on an operating farm judging from the newer pole
barn on the left.
Slow moving water in a river below. Brown water indicating that
it is from recent rains. It takes 10 miles in a river, flowing
over rock bottom, to clear a muddy river.
Another very large red barn. With the openings on the barn on the
left and the board fences, this might be a horse farm.
Within 40 minutes of Washington Union Station, you will see evidence of
local commuter rail.
Virginia Railway Express (VRE)
Railway Express provides commuter rail service from the Northern
Virginia suburbs to Alexandria, Crystal City and downtown Washington,
D.C., along the I-66 and I-95 corridors. The service operates 29 trains
from 18 stations and carries an average of 16,000 passengers daily.
Once we tied up in Washington, DC Union Station, I was happy to see an
Acela, N.E. Regional, MARC, Silver Star, and VRE trains all to depart
soon after our arrival.
We wanted to get to our hotel quickly, so I took a quick lap through
the Club Acela Lounge, since I had the necessary credentials in case
ClubAcela provides comfortable, lounge seating in a quiet, refined
setting for Acela First Class or sleeping car passengers, Single-Day
Pass holders, Amtrak Guest Rewards Select Plus and Select Executive
members. Enjoy complimentary non-alcoholic beverages and snacks,
Internet access, fax and photocopy services, conference room access,
newspapers, periodicals and television. Attendants are available to
assist with reservations, ticketing and local information.
ClubAcela Customer Rules &
ClubAcela customers traveling in First Class or
sleeping car accommodations, Single-Day Pass holders, Select Plus and
Select Executive members may bring immediate family members traveling
together, or one, non-family guest. Unaccompanied guests are not
Other than those listed above, access is limited to
the person whose name is printed on the Amtrak ticket. A ticket must be
displayed each time a customer enters the Club.
Amtrak reserves the right to restrict family and
business associate access during peak periods.
Individuals must be at least 18 years of age. No one
under 18 will be admitted without accompaniment by an adult ClubAcela
Attire and conduct of ClubAcela customers and their
guests must be in keeping with good taste and a dignified atmosphere.
Food and beverages may not be brought into ClubAcela
for consumption. Advise the Club attendant if special needs require
consumption of personal food and beverages while in the Club
All ClubAcela locations are non-smoking.
Station is a major train
station, transportation hub, and leisure destination in Washington,
D.C. Opened in 1907, it is Amtrak's headquarters and the railroad's
second-busiest station, with annual ridership of over 5 million.
Directly out the front door of Union Station is the Capitol Dome.
The interior of Union Station in DC
is a bustling shopping center with food court and restaurants.
Clientele for this area would be the many visitors to the Nation's
Capitol as well as employees in the many nearby government offices as
well as train commuters.
We walked out the front door of the Washington, DC Union Station, into
the July heat and humidity, and met our Uber ride to our hotel.
More about Union Station in the Next Page: Washington, DC