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Eastbound to the NRHS 2010 Convention

by Chris Guenzler

This year's NRHS Convention is in Scranton, Pennsylvania, a place I have wanted to visit for years. Scranton is the home of Steamtown so I waited until we had a convention here to visit this unique railroad attraction. I started my planning earlier than normal using last year's schedules of new tourist trains to ride to come up with a plan. Once they announced their 2010 schedules I started contacting each of them with my usual excellent results. The Convention Booklet came when I was at Bob and Elizabeth's home in Lynwood, Washington but one phone call home to my mother and we got it in the afternoon mail. Chris Parker would not be joining me so it will be all alone for this great trip I put together, I would Amtrak back east via the Southwest Chief and Lake Shore Limited to New York. I would take Path to a new hotel I will be using called the Jane Hotel for two nights. The next day I would take the Long Island Railroad out to Greenport and back then out to New Jersey ride out to Dover on the Boontown Line and ride the rest of Path. The next morning I would ride New Jersey Transit out to Spring Valley and back before I took a Regional Train to Wilmington and get the rental car. I would first go to a Philadelphia Phillies Game and stay in the City of Brotherhood of Love the first night. Next day I would ride the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad, Black River & Western Railroad and the Delaware River Railroad before staying in Bethel, PA for two nights. The next day I would ride the Middlestown & Hummelstown Railroad, visit the Reading Railroad Museum in Hamburg before riding the Wanamaker, Kempton & Southern Railroad. Monday would be the Pioneer Coal Mine & Steam Train before driving to Scranton and visiting Steamtown. Four nights would be spent at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel. The Convention Trips I signed up for were: The Susquehanna Limited, Birthplace of the American Railroads Stourbridge Line Trip, Take me out to the Ballgame, The Pocono Express and Lehigh Rambler. The meeting day we would visit the Electric City Trolley Museum, the Iron Furnace Museum before we railfanned around the area and switch to the Clarion Hotel for the final night in Scranton before I drove to Wellsboro for the Tioga Central Friday Night Ice Cream Train. After the convention we would head south to Romney for the last day of Virginia Rails 2010 then onto Roanoke to visit the Virginia Transportation Museum and the day after that ride to Bald Knob at the Cass Scenic Railroad. Before starting home it would be the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum and the Strasburg Railroad. I would drive me to Wilmington, turn in the rental car and I would come home via the Capitol Limited and Southwest Chief. It turns out that when I leave Los Angeles on the Southwest Chief, it will be my 52 trip aboard this train since the Depot Inn & Suites opened. I fined tuned my rail mileage and if all goes right I will pass 1,250,000.0 rail miles on my 53 trip aboard the Southwest Chief when the train stops at La Plata, Missouri on my trip home. It will just be during the station stop with nothing special planned.

Here is a picture of the Coaster one morning as I fine tuned my rail mileage at Solana Beach. The morning of the trip I did my chores early in the morning then listened to Lets Talk Trains from yesterday then did my final packing for this trip. My mother drove me down to the Santa Ana Train Station and I made my way to Track 1 to start what should be an interesting and fun trip. I had to give the agent my ID to get a luggage cart which I used to get my bags over to Track 1. The agent instead of making me take the cart back meet me with my ID in hand and he took the luggage cart back to the station.

Surfliner 583 6/13/2010

The train pulled into Santa Ana about five minutes late and I boarded the Pacific Business Class Car taking a seat on the lower level for the trip to Los Angeles. The train stopped in Anaheim and Fullerton on the south platform before it made the final sprint to Los Angeles Union Passenger Station arriving there a few minutes late. I made my way over to Track 11 to wait for my train to Chicago.

Southwest Chief 4 6/13/2010

This Southwest Chief consisted of Engines 184 and 2, Baggage 1715, Sleepers 32053, 32113 Vermont and 32094 Montana, Diner 38042, Lounge 33047 with Coaches 34047, 34106 and 31005. I had Room 14 in the Montana with Hak To Hang as my Sleeping Car Attendant. Today there was something else to take pictures of on Track 13.

The Amtrak Board is in town for a series of meetings and are staying on these cars.

The Pacific Cape Sleeper.

Great Dome with new Ocean View lettering on it.

Two views of an old friend of mine the Beech Grove. I returned to my room, turned on my computer and put on my CD of Billy Joel "The Stranger" as I relaxed until departure time of 6:55 PM. The train left Los Angeles on time and started the my trip 52 aboard the Southwest Chief since the Depot Inn & Suites opened and made its way to Fullerton. I took fresh air at Fullerton before going in for dinner at 7:30 PM. I was seated with a Boy Scout whose rank was Life going to Raton and onto Philmont Scout Camp, a man going to Denver and a delightful young women who does Mexican Gangster Rap, a cast of characters you could only find on a train at dinner in the diner. I had the steak with Vanilla Ice Cream for dessert. After dinner I put on my CD of Asia "Omega" as the train had made its Riverside stop at the end of dinner and then onto San Bernardino, the next fresh air stop of the trip.

San Bernardino. The train next started the climb up and over Cajon Pass. Once the Asia CD ended, I made up my room and called it a night.


I started my morning waking up just as the train had arrived into Winslow. At 6:30 AM I went to the Dining Car seated with two ladies going to Lawrence, Kansas and a gentleman who also rides trains going to Chicago for a High School Reunion. I had the French Toast and Bacon which hit the spot. Back in my room, I changed clothes and shaved before putting on a DVD to watch as the train made its way towards Gallup.

Mesas after Grants on a beautiful mid June morning. The movie finished right after we past Dalies where there were a pair of photographers taking a picture of our train this morning. From there it was a fast trip into Albuquerque which we arrived into at 11:17 AM {12:12 PM} this morning. I detrained for some fresh air. After I was On-line thanks to Herzogdata, we left Albuquerque on time with me listening to some CDs as the train made its way to Lamy. The train went through Apache Canyon before climbing over Glorieta Pass. The westbound train had to detour like I did back in my drinking days via Mulvane to get around some flooding problems last night in Kansas. The train dropped down to the Pecos River before it climbed up to the "S" curves and later passed Starvation Peak.

Two views along the way.

A culvert on a line relocation where the tracks once were. Signal problems again on this route at Ojita or is it another test for our excellent crew?

Looks like a red signal to me.

A canyon before the train then headed into Las Vegas our next station stop. We departed there at 4:27 PM {3:35 PM} and headed to Raton. With our now lateness it will be High Plains Dining this late afternoon at 5:30 PM. I was seated with the couple from Ashland, Ky that I had met in the Pacific Business Class and my neighbor who drove US Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica. She travels by herself and is a fantastic person. I had the Steak and Vanilla Ice Cream for dessert. After dinner I put on my DVD of Poison "Live Raw Uncut".

On the way to La Junta. We met Train 3, the very late Southwest Chief at Mindeman with us only slowing. From here we headed to La Junta, our next fresh air break.

The evening clouds before we reached La Junta. More signal problems caused by an earlier storm delayed us in reaching La Junta in a timely manner.

The Southwest Chief at La Junta. We left La Junta at 9:32 PM {8:13 PM} and on our way to Kansas. I made up my room and called it a night.


I was up just after Newton with us running now two hours late on our normal route and having seen water everywhere along our route earlier. I went to the Dining Car for a breakfast of French Toast and Bacon. Later we arrived into Topeka.

The Topeka Station platform.

A building in Topeka.

Tracks into the BNSF Topeka Shops.

Water in Topeka.

BNSF Shop in Topeka. I did Sudoku Puzzles until Lawrence then napped until after the stop at the BNSF Fuel Racks to refuel our engine. From there we ran into Kansas City Union Station, our first fresh air stop of the morning.

Pulling into Kansas City. I briefly got On-line and checked E-mail before we departed at 9:31 AM {7:35 AM} and headed towards our next station stop of La Plata. I put on my DVD of "Dennis DeYoung and the Music of Styx".

A KCS switch job seen from the BNSF Kansas City Flyover. After that DVD, I put on my DVD of "Rock n' Roll High School". The train made its way east on this wet morning and as we neared La Plata I paused the DVD. Bob Cox was waving at me from the Trainparty Building right after we made our stop there. On the way to Fort Madison we made more stops as we caught up to the BNSF freight train fleet as the rain continued. We got a fresh air stop at Fort Madison before we headed for Illinois.

A Union Pacific stack train at Fort Madison waiting for us to clear.

The Mississippi River from Fort Madison.

Our train about to cross the Mississippi River Fort Madison Bridge and after that entering Illinois.

The Mississippi River from the bridge. We later took the Cameron Connection from the old Santa Fe to the old CB&Q to reach Galesburg with me listening to my CD of Alice Cooper "Along Came A Spider" as the rain continued. All Cardinal Passengers would detrain at Galesburg to be bussed to Indianapolis. We departed Galesburg at 3:13 PM {12:00 PM} before heading next to Princeton and Mendota. Next I put on my CD of Chicago "If You Leave Me Now" as the rain has stopped and the afternoon light returned. After that I put on my CD of Jethro Tull "Songs from the Wood" as the Southwest Chief headed towards Naperville back into the rain. From Naperville the train made its finally sprint to Chicago Union Station on a rainy late afternoon with us arriving there at 6:05 PM {3:10 PM} ending another interesting trip onboard the Southwest Chief.

Chicago 6/15/2010

Then I made my way into the Metropolitan Lounge and after I plugged in my computer with someone watching my stuff, I went up to Gold Coast for a pair of Char Dogs for dinner. I then worked on the computer until it was boarding time for my next train.

Lake Shore Limited 48 6/15/2010

This train consisted of Engines 57 and 100, Baggage 1703, Amfleet Coaches 25006 and 25026, Sleeper 62018 Meadow View, Horizon Cafe 53051, Coaches 25051, 25018, 25020 and 25109, Diner 8505, Sleepers 62007 Colonel View and 62016 Lake View with Baggage 1733. I have Room 3 in the Lake View with George as my Sleeping Car Attendant. The train left Chicago late at 9:42 PM, twelve minutes late and we headed out into the rainy night. I sat in my room until George returned to make up my room and I called it a night. During the night our train did miles of twenty mile an hour running due to flooding along the tracks. This caused our train to be almost three hours late this morning.


I woke up at 7:30 AM finding that our train was west of Cleveland and I headed to the Dining Car for breakfast. I had French Toast and Bacon. The train ran along the Cleveland RTA Line then passed the Cleveland Browns Stadium to the Amtrak Station. After that stop we headed towards Erie.

Northeastern Ohio scenery.

The Ashtabula New York Central Station.

The Nickel Plate 755 at the Conneaut Railroad Museum I visited last Month. After our Erie stop we passed the GE Locomotive Plant as we started the trip to Buffalo.

The fireless 0-6-0 #6 at the Lake Shore Railroad Museum I also had visited last month. The train made good time until just short of Buffalo where we got stopped and had to wait for the CSX 9781 West to clear out of our way.

On the way again, we stopped once again before we arrived into our Buffalo Station. The US Border Patrol took one women out of the coaches off of the train during our Buffalo Stop. The train departed Buffalo at 11:42 AM {9:08 AM} and headed to Rochester on another rainy day aboard the Amtrak train. I had a 12:30 Lunch Reservation and was seated with a couple going from Portland, Oregon to Albany along with a gentlemen who's first train ride was when he was nine years old and rode the old Lackawanna Railroad out to his grandparents house out to western Pennsylvania from New Jersey in 1939.

The Kodak Building in Rochester.

We crossed this river as we approached the Rochester Station. I had the Angus Beef Burger for lunch with Vanilla Ice Cream to go. I watched my DVD of Yes "90125 Live" and took a fresh air break at dry Syracuse for a fresh air stop during the engine crew change there. We departed Syracuse at 2:30 PM {10:08 AM} and headed next to Utica which was more slow running. We departed Utica at 3:57 PM {12:42 PM}. Now a few pictures from Utica.

Adirondack Scenic Railroad 521.

Baltimore & Ohio Silver Springs.

New York Central 6721.

Ex Metro North FL9 2031.

The train headed for Schenectady next running along the Mohawk River. The train reached Schenectady and departed there at 5:19 PM {2:00PM} with the next stop being Albany-Renesslaer.

The train crossed the Hudson River.

A look at Albany, New York.

The train curving towards the Albany-Renesslaer Station.

A train getting ready to head to New York City.

Switchers at Albany-Renesslaer.

Amtrak 536 at Albany-Rennesslaer.

Amtrak 706 at Albany-Renesslaer. Before we reached the station, the Boston Section would cut away from our train and head into the station. We then would wait for our engine to couple onto us and pull us into the station.

A New York City to Albany train arrived into Albany-Renesslaer.

The Albany-Renesslaer Station.

Another train passes through the station.

The Boston Section pulls into the Albany-Renesslaer Station. Any New York baggage would be transferred from the Boston baggage car to ours. That normally would have been easy but with us being late and the Lakeshore Limited from New York being here it caused a major delay to our already late train. After some fresh air, the New York Section departed Albany-Renesslaer at 6:57 PM {3:40 PM} and we headed to Penn Station in New York City. We would now start our running along the east bank of the Hudson River.

Scenes along the beautiful Hudson River.

The Sun and the Hudson River.

The first highway bridge south down the river.

One last view along the Hudson River before darkness took hold. I would now just sit back and enjoy the views all the way along the Hudson River to New York City. We made two special stops, the first at Rhinecliff and later at Poughkeepsie before we ran to Croton-Harmon, our regular stop. From there it was the easy trip along the Hudson River all the way into Penn Station, arriving there at 9:42 PM {6:25 PM} ending an interesting trip aboard the Lakeshore Limited.

New York City 6/16/2010

I went up into Penn Station and followed the signs to the Path Station on 33rd Street. I bought my ticket and then boarded the next train that took me to the Christopher Street Stop. I got up to street level and walked one block north to Jane Street before taking a taxi cab six blocks to the Jane Hotel where I would spend my next two nights in New York City.