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The Eastbound Cardinal Part 2, NJT Raritan Valley Line and Lakeshore Limited

by Chris Guenzler

The Cardinal departed Prince at 1:18 PM {11:43 AM} and headed towards Hinton.

More views of the New River Gorge.

The Cardinal continued east dark with no HEP towards Hinton.

The train passed the Sandstone Falls on the New River.

The train continued up the New River Gorge along this former Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad route.

There is an old C&O Coaling tower at Hinton.

Our train met an empty CSX coal train heading back to the mines.

The Cardinal left Hinton at 1:50 PM {12:13 PM}.

The Cardinal climbed along the slide detector fence. Minutes later we passed through the Great Bend Tunnel which legend says, "Was built by John Henry-the Steel Driving Man".

The Cardinal passed Alderson, another Amtrak Flag Stop. We then kept climbing passing three tunnels before we reached White Sulphur Springs.

The train departed White Sulphur Springs at 2:53 PM {1:15 PM}. We passed through more tunnels before we reached the Allegheny Tunnel and the Virginia State line inside.

The East Portal of the Allegheny Tunnel as we started down the grade.

As we exited another tunnel the low light caused some neat effects.

The Cardinal reached Clifton Forge and a much needed bathroom break.

The Clifton Forge Station.

A view of my Viewliner Summit View.

At the Clifton Forge Station we saw a CSX mishap at Clifton Forge. While we sat at Clifton Forge, a CSX yard crew spotted the cause of our HEP Problems. It was fixed on the spot and when I returned to the train everything was working again in my room. We departed Clifton Forge at 3:55 PM {2:04 PM} with our train now entering darker stormy weather. A special thanks to our train crew Conductor HM Goodoe, Conductor Bob Peters and our Engineers Rodney Wilson and TR Henslly for trying their best back at Hinton to fix the HEP Problems but also for keeping us going without the HEP. I was told that KFC was being bought on in Charlottesville for all the sleeping car passengers. I showed my room and explained its features at a nice women who always wondered what a sleeping car was like. I sold her on the idea for her next trip and she was most impressed with my salesmanship. The train ran at track speed all the way to Stuanton.

We left Stuanton at 5:02 PM {3:21 PM} and at Brand we met our sister train number 51 which had engine 66, Coaches 25802, 25018 and 25057, Dinette 53507 and Viewliner Sleeper 62030 Patriot View. That Viewliner really "Rocked and Rolled" down the siding like it was out on the high seas. The Cardinal then headed for Charlottesville passing through one last tunnel on the way there. We took the siding at Afton for the CSX 375 West with an empty coal train heading back to the mine for another load. The depot at Cozet still stands as we met CSX 4788 West. We made it to Charlottesville departing there at 6:25 PM {4:37 PM}. My KFC Dinner was delivered to my room with me enjoying a nice two piece dinner and a roll. Knowing I was going to get to New York City later, I decided to took a nap that lasted almost to Alexandria which we departed at 9:52 PM {7:46 PM}. The train crossed the Potomac river to enter Washington, DC on a very rainy night. The Jefferson Monument was the only DC thing that really stood out on a wet night like this. We plunged into the Capitol Tunnel before we arrived into Washington Union Station. Here our diesel engine 162 was replaced by the electric motor 936 for the trip north up the Northeast Corridor.

We departed Washington Union Station at 10:32 PM {7:45 PM} and the 936 gave us a fast trip to Baltimore only slowing for the B&P Tunnels. We departed Baltimore at 11:07 PM {8:46 PM}. Once the 936 cleared the last tunnel it really moved the Cardinal north at a rapid rate to Wilmington 11:54 PM {9:35 PM}.

3/28/2005 Midnight found the Cardinal flying at top track speed further north to Philadelphia which we left at 12:17 AM {10:00 PM}. We paused at Trenton to let someone off our train who did not belong at 12:47 PM {not a stop} and the 936 took the Cardinal at a fast pace to Newark 1:20 AM {11:10 PM}. From there it was a fast trip across the New Jersey Meadowlands, through the Hudson River Tunnel and into New York Penn Station at 1:33 AM {11:30 PM}. That was the fastest trip Northeast Corridor trip on regular equipment that I had ever made. The Acela Express does Washington to New York in 2 hours and fifty minutes. The Cardinal just did it in 3 hours and 1 minute. Most impressive! A special thank you to my wonderful Sleeping Car Attendant Charles, the Dinette Staff and all of the train crews for such a wonderful trip on the Cardinal.

New York City 3/28/2005

I walked the four blocks on 31st Street east using an umbrella in the rain to the Herald Square Hotel. I checked in before I called home to my mother then took a well deserved shower. I was out like at light until the wakeup call came at 5:45 AM and I quickly prepared myself for the day. Using that new umbrella of mine for the second time today, I walked back to Penn Station. There I used a New Jersey Transit Ticketing Machine to get a round trip ticket to High Bridge, New Jersey.

New Jersey Transit Raritan Valley Line Trip 3/28/2005

I boarded NJT 3817 on Track 1, a Northeast Local to Trenton and rode in car 1430 to Newark. I was headed out of New York City the exact same way I had come in just a few short hours ago in the dark. Out of the Hudson River Tunnel to a rainy New Jersey Meadowlands. The train stopped at the Secaucus Transfer where Hoboken Trains can be caught. We then made a quick run to Newark Penn Station where I detrained to transfer to the train for High Bridge. Between my trains I enjoyed the flip over train arrival board before I explored the station. Watching the board let me know my train for High Bridge would be on Track 5.

I boarded NJT Train 5701 and took a seat in coach 5230. We left on time leaving an Acela Express back in the station. A few minutes later we turned to the west off the Northeast Corridor and headed through an industrial landscape until the suburbs took over. This is one of the New Jersey Transit non electrified lines. The train stopped at Roselle Park where Keen University is located. A Norfolk Southern stack train entered our line at a junction from the south. Cranford Station has a three track platform with the inbound side having two platforms. Garwood also had three but they are tiny in comparison causing passengers wishing to detrain there to walk back to the last two cars. At Westfield we were back to two platforms as a NJT Express Train zoomed by sending waiting passengers to back up quickly. Fanwood has a nice pedestrian overpass as the rain continued to fall. As always I was glad to be aboard a train! Netherwood has a low train platform station but at Plainfield it was back to the high platforms.

Between Plainfield and Duneline on the south side was a former industrial area where all the buildings had been recently "Tagged". After several other rail lines begin to parallel ours, we pulled into Bound Brook. Bridgewater was another short platform {ie last two cars}. Our train was then passed for just a minute by a deadheading train for Raritan as we pulled into Sommerville. Raritan was where most passengers detrained and has a very nice station building. After passing the NJT overnight storage yard, our route became single track. Our train crossed the North Branch of the Lamington River before we arrived at North Branch as the landscape turned more hilly. Whitehouse Station has a very nice stone station building. The line became more beautiful with hills and forests as well as open land on a dreary rainy morning. Lebanon has some old NJT cars plus private cars Hickory Creek, an ex NYC observation car and NYC 43 among others plus a couple of engines. Arnandale was just a low platform before we made our run for our last station stop of High Bridge a few minutes early. I detrained and this was the first time that I ever photographed trains using an umbrella.

I reboarded the train now NJT 5706 and with the line now ridden it will give me a chance to relax. I returned to Newark Penn Station riding in car 5167. Sitting on the opposite side of the train than coming west would give me a chance to notice more things along the line. Bound Brook had a large brick station building still standing but now has another use. Fanwood has a nice wooden three story station. Westfield as a beautiful stone church on the north side of the tracks. I found the Raritan Valley Line a very interesting and enjoyable trip to take. Before we returned to the Northeast Corridor we had to wait for an Amtrak Metroliner and another NJT Trenton bound local. We pulled into Newark Penn Station a few minutes later on track one and this train then crossed over to return to High Bridge.

Five minutes later came NJT Train 3810 from Trenton to return me back to New York Penn Station on a very wet and rainy day about 10:30 AM.

New York City Part 2 3/28/2005

I walked back to the Herald Square Hotel, packed up then watched the end of the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I called Steve of Trainweb to check in with him and told him of my trip thus far. I checked out and cleaned out 9 junk mails out of my Juno E-mail file. I had checked the Weather Channel so I walked back to Penn Station between rain showers and checked my bags into Club Acela. I went downstairs for some Long Island Railroad timetables, bought some post cards and a Baskin Robbins ice cream on the way back. I filled out the post cards then ran across the street to the Farley Post Office Building in a driving rain storm. I watched about the 8.7 earthquake in Sumatra and waiting to see if it produces another Tsunami. I relaxed in Club Acela until the boarding of my next train.

The Westbound Trip Home

The Lakeshore Limited 49 3/28/2005

They announced that the Lakeshore Limited would be delayed 40 minutes. As usual, how can a train that originates here be delayed? I wondered if they are cutting out the sleeper from yesterday's train? A red cap told me that our train would come into Track 7 so I headed there finding my car 62024 National View and I put stuff in my room 1. This Lake Shore Limited had engine 716, Baggage 1710, Crew Sleeper 2500 Pine Brook, Sleepers 62024 National View and 62047 Village View, Diner 8554, Dinette 28016 with Amfleet II Coaches 25052, 25050 and 25036. I met my Sleeping Car Attendant Coco and told me that problems with the diner was the reason for our delay. We departed New York Penn Station for Chicago at 3:35 PM {2:50 PM}.

The Lakeshore Limited left New York by taking the Westside Connection that takes the train from the old Pennsylvania to the old New York Central line along the Hudson to Albany. It was a very wet miserable rainy day so my picture taking was limited.

The proof of a New York wet day was that the top of the George Washington Bridge was obscured by clouds.

At Spuyten Duyvil a Metro North train headed to Grand Central in the push mode. The Lake Shore Limited then raced along the Hudson River to Croton-Harmon.

A few Metro North views at Croton-Harmon.

The Lakeshore Limited sped north along the Hudson River.

The summit of Bear Mountain is hidden by the storm clouds.

The Lake Shore Limited ran by Bannerman's Castle on a truly ugly day. I went to the dining car at 5:40 PM for dinner and decided to have Chicken Fried Steak and Chocolate Sundae. Simon traveling to Ann Arbor joined me for dinner. They mixed up my order and gave mine to table 8. I had to get the attention of my server that I had not had my meal yet. Later my Chocolate Sundae came as a Strawberry Sundae. During the stop at Albany express box 74048 was added to the rear and the 712 was taken off the point and replaced with the 124 and 136 for power. We departed Albany at 6:24 PM {6:00 PM} and crossed the Hudson River then west into the storm. At Schenectady we waited for Train 64, the Adirondack, to transfer several passengers to our train. We departed Schenectady at 6:58 PM {6:35 PM} as I watched a few minutes of video in my room as the video unit worked in this car. I made up my bed and slept the miles away.

3/29/2005 Waking up refreshed, I was in the dining car sitting with a librarian going to Chicago and a gentleman going to St Louis from Yonkers, New York. I was enjoying my French Toast and sausage as the Lake Shore Limited departed Waterloo, IN on time as the train sped west across Northern Indiana. I turned to Channel 1 on the audio system to listen to some country/rock/jazz music while I shaved in the fold down sink in my room. The toilet facility in the room is one of the better things about Viewliners that I love.

The Lakeshore Limited curved into Elkhart, Indiana.

In Elkhart I saw the National New York Central RR Museum from the Lake Shore Limited. The train then proceeded to South Bend on time at 7:46 AM. I switched my watch back to Central Time, enjoyed some Coca-Cola as the Lake Shore Limited sped west through Porter and on into Gary.

There was NS power parked at Porter, Indiana.

The train ran along a beautiful lake with the Indiana Dunes National Monument in the background before we reached the US Steel Mill at Porter.

US Steel at Porter.

There were ex Missabi units working the EJ&E Hump Yard.

Near Hammond an Inland Steel plant switcher works the mill there.

You could see Lake Michigan near Hammond-Whiting.

The train crossed the busy highway with a CTA train heading into downtown Chicago. The Lakeshore Limited pulled straight into Chicago Union Station arriving 19 minutes early at 8:24 AM.

For the westbound trip on the Texas Eagle and Sunset Limited