And MANY more states!
Arrived yesterday at Union Station in Chicago, IL pretty much on time. It was goodbye to the Southwest Chief (train #4) - home for about 45 hours and "explore" Union Station - of course I was somewhat familiar with the station since I was just there last month. First stop is the Metropolitan Lounge (Amtrak's waiting lounge for Sleeper car and First Class passengers) to drop off my duffle bag and then off to a watering hole - I was parched for all that activity on the Southwest Chief.
My recon from last trip had revealed that there was a "sports bar of sorts" in the food court. Having deposited my bag I made a bee line to quench my thirst. Sure, I had about 2.5 hrs but no need to dally or lollygag, right?
I met a nice guy at the small "pub" and we chatted about traveling and the potential of him taking a train to San Diego to see his nephew. I was a solid spokesman for Amtrak.
Before I knew it it was time to board train 50, the Cardinal, to Penn Station in New York City. The trains on the east coast lines are older and a different style. Whereas the Southwest Chief is of the Superliner class with 2 levels, the Cardinal is a Viewliner, single level train.
A big difference between the two train types is that there is NO dining car. I think it's suppose to be due to Covid but they call it "Flexible" dining. You order of the menu and the car attendant brings the meal to you to eat in your room. It's on par with airline food so it's subpar and certainly not worth spending some bits and bytes to take a picture of it. Trust me, I did you a favor.
I awoke somewhere in West Virginia - last station was Prince, WV..We're in the mountains now, and we're following a beautiful river nestled in a valley and going through long tunnels - quite a contrast from the prairies of New Mexico.
We're supposed to arrive in NYC around 10:30 PM. So stay tuned - time to absorb the beauty out my window and try to get a few photos.
Until next time, be kind, be safe, and stop and smell the roses, it's worth it.