A Quick Trip for a Broadway Show

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Seaboard92

Engineer
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
4,391
Location
South Carolina
Normally I would do a whole section called planning and prep but there was none of that on this trip.

Day 1: Of One Day

So initially I was supposed to have a White Plains, NY overnight on the 29th of October and I was so looking forward to it because that's only thirty minutes away from Grand Central via Metro North's Harlem Line. But as so often happens when I have a good trip the line holder comes back and I get bumped from the rest of the trip. Unfortunately it happens that when there are turns, super long flights, or Canada flights attached to a trip the line holder has a cough and doesn't come in. But the minute whatever leg they didn't like is gone they magically get better, it truly is a miracle. Honestly I would love to see some discipline action come for this because this is a too common occurrence. But when they removed me from White Plains, NY they gave me Albany the next day. Now when I was planning on going to White Plains I was planning to go see Come From Away the Broadway Musical about 9/11. So I was really disappointed when I couldn't go see it.

So then I looked at the Empire Service schedule to see if it was possible to to take Amtrak into the city and see the show. Getting to New York wouldn't be a problem because there are plenty of trains that leave, and I was landing around 11:30 in the morning. The show is an hour and forty seven minutes long and starts at 7 PM, while the last train is at 9:15 meaning I would have a little under half an hour to get from 45th Street to the Penn Station. I was a bit nervous about doing that but I also decided that it was worth doing because I could always leave the show a bit early if I had to. So I didn't buy a ticket till I knew which train I was going to be getting because there was a 12:05 and a 1:05 train. My flight landed almost at 11 which was good for me making the 12:05 unfortunately our hotel van was slow coming to pick us up. We eventually made it to the hotel at 11:30 and I threw my bag in my room. I opted to continue wearing my uniform as it is the warmest thing I had packed figuring it would be chilly in New York. So on my Lyft with a really nice driver I bought my ticket on my phone.

Then when I arrived at the station I attempted to use one of my upgrade coupons for the trip but for some reason i was blocked from doing so because the station agent didn't know exactly how to do it. Eventually after working for forty five minutes with three people, and a help line we gave up so I could just catch the train before it left. I attempted to upgrade myself on the app and it worked and I snagged the last business class seat on Empire Service Train No. 284 while I was sitting in a coach seat. So I got off and walked down the platform to business class and was unable to get a window seat. I love the split business class cafe cars though because 2/1 seating is so much better. One of the reasons the Business Class was so important to me was because the Hickory Creek was bringing up the markers on the westbound Empire Service to Albany and business class was on the rear. As we cruised down the Hudson at close to a hundred miles an hour I monitored the status of the other train with the Hickory Creek to see where we would meet it so I could use the railfan window to photograph it.

We paused just north of the Hudson platform because the other train arrived first so I asked the conductor if I could use the railfan platform which he had no problem with at all, in fact he even wiped the window clear of rain and dirt for me too before the train arrived. Then I photographed the ghost of the 20th Century Limited passing me by on the Hudson Line. We were a bit late but that wasn't a problem. At Rhinecliff a women with a two pair of seats detrained so I moved into her riverside window seat for the remainder of the ride down to New York. The Hudson is interesting because in the course of the 141 miles the weather completely changes. Albany was rainy, somewhere around Rhinecliff was sunny, then it was overcast in Croton but then sunny again in New York. The Fall colors on all of the trees though are amazing. The 141 miles between Albany and New York are definitely some of the most scenic in the Amtrak system, and definitely one of the more scenic corridors. I would say though that the Cascades north of Seattle, and the Pacific Surfliner might have it beat however but that's more a matter of opinion.

We managed to make up most of th etime we lost waiting at Hudson for the platform by Croton Harmon actually. Along the way there I saw a few freights on the west shore line, Bannermans Castle, and West Point. We had to wait for the Lake Shore Limited to depart Penn Station before we were able to continue into the station arriving just a few short minutes ahead of the advertised timetable. I wanted to visit my favorite train store when I was a child which is the Red Caboose on 45th St between 5th and 6th so I was in a hurry to leave the station. I ran over to the subway at Herald Square and took the F train one stop to Bryant Park. So then I went over to the train store because there is something I definitely want to acquire. At the beginning of the pandemic I bought the Walthers HO Scale New York Central 20th Century Limited but with out the locomotives. The owner of the shop wasn't too pleased when I had him unlock a case because I couldn't tell what the models were as the label with the name was on the wrong side. I happily turned everything around for him as it wasn't a problem. He had the E Unit I wanted for my 20th Century Limited but his price was ridiculous. The box was covered in rat, or mice poop and urine and he wanted $150 for it because it was an old model. My local shop would sell it for $75 which was the same price it was when it was new and it wouldn't be covered in rat poop. The store is smaller than I remember to be truthful.

After I left the store I decided to walk over to the theater to see if I could get a rush ticket and I got a nice ticket for thirty dollars. I requested an aisle seat just so I could get out fast to catch my train. After I bought my ticket I went to my favorite Juniors for dinner. It has always been a family tradition in my family to go to Juniors every time we go to New York. Honestly it wasn't as good as I remember but it wasn't bad. I definitely love the size of the plates but it was also a lot more expensive than I remember as well. After my dinner I walked over to Rockifeller Center as I wanted to go to the Lego store but that had moved a few blocks away. So I walked up and went there and saw so many things I could happily spend a few paychecks on if I wasn't constantly traveling for fun. Travel costs money and I believe it is better to have experiences than physical items because we won't always be able to travel. And we can always look back on the good times when we took random impromptu trips to New York, or riding the Trans Siberian.

After leaving the Lego Store I walked up fifth avenue to Central Park because my friend Viktoria loves American movies and wanted to see the Plaza and the original FAO Schwartz from her favorite movies. So I happily obliged. Then I took a detour over to the theater via Central Park. Probably my first time in Central Park to be honest because I almost never go there. After my sunset stroll thru the park I went down Broadway towards 50th Street before going over to 8th Avenue to avoid the mess of crowds that is Times Square. I then went into my show I had been looking forward to for years. Every time I have been close to seeing the show something happens like the line holder coming back, or the time I was going to see it in Toronto and the Canadian was 27 hours behind schedule. The show started a few minutes late which made me a bit nervous to be honest but it wasn't that bad because it still ended on schedule. I loved the show and I got so much out of the Canadian Humor in it because of the amount of times I've been to Canada. So many small jokes about Tim Hortons, and Shoppers. I loved the show but I had trouble focusing because of how tight my connection was. So at the end of the show in the final number I moved to the back of the theater. The minute the lights went to black I was out the door and rounding the corner to get on the A train to Penn Station. I was lucky the A came in the exact moment I needed to get on a train and went one stop.

I was in Penn Station by 8:57 PM and they didn't bother boarding my train till 9:12 PM for a 9:15 PM departure which wasn't bad considering the light load but still somewhat of a shock to do it that last minute. I settled into the Amfleet and resolved to sleep for the short ride to Albany because I had a very early morning the next day. My van time was 0500. So I had to sleep whenever I could. I woke up just before the final stop at Albany. Once at Albany I attempted to get a Lyft or an Uber and I couldn't find one. There was nothing to come. Next a random taxi cab driver just drove up and he picked up a passenger. Then he is like I'll take you to as it's on the way. He ended up with five passengers going five different places. So he made good money on that hour of work but it was definitely nice to have a ride to the hotel. I was in the hotel by 12:47 and had to be up at 0400.

An add on bonus to this trip report is I had a three hour sit in National Airport to a deadhead. Then I noticed the Silver Meteor was running over two hours late going north with the new Pepsi Can engine on the point so I left the airport went down to Alexandria King Street I photographed the Silver Meteor and then went back to the airport.
 

Seaboard92

Engineer
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
4,391
Location
South Carolina
Hickory Creek.jpg
Hickory Creek on the rear of the Empire Service at Hudson

Bear Mtn Bridge.jpg
Fall on the Hudson

Bannermans.jpg
Bannermans Castle on Bannermans Island

Hudson Bridge.jpg
The first bridge south of Albany

Empire Service.jpg
The Empire Service at New York Penn Station

NYC-1.jpg
New York City near Penn Station

NYC-2.jpg
New York City from Central Park

Radio City Music Hall.jpg
Radio City Music Hall

NY Penn.jpg
New York Penn Station at Night

98 Pepsi Can.jpg
The Silver Meteor at Alexandria with the Pepsi Can P42DC. That is a sharp looking locomotive.
 

Seaboard92

Engineer
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
4,391
Location
South Carolina
Keep 'em coming! Glad to see that you're living the good life! :D
I'm working on getting it done before I go to Russia again in four days. So far I'm halfway thru my report. The difficult part for me is I don't take notes on my travels so I rely on google maps, street view, and my photos to see where I've been. And in the case of Russia I had to go back to bank statements for some restaurant names.
 

PVD

Engineer
AU Supporter
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
5,965
Location
NYC/Queens
I thought Come From Away was excellent. I was very happy to see that it returned post Covid, Next to the last show I've seen. A few weeks after I attended, my sister was visiting from AZ and wanted to see it, but since I already had, she went on her own, and saw Bryan Cranston in Network with her.
 

Palmland

Conductor
Joined
May 25, 2006
Messages
1,035
Location
Central Florida
Thanks for the interstimg report and photos. Amazing how you do so much in a short time. Do you know what the car is ahead of Hickory Creek and can you explain more on the ‘line holder’ you mention?
 

Seaboard92

Engineer
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
4,391
Location
South Carolina
Thanks for the interstimg report and photos. Amazing how you do so much in a short time. Do you know what the car is ahead of Hickory Creek and can you explain more on the ‘line holder’ you mention?
A Line Holder is the regular who is assigned to a run. So when we bid a schedule we get a set amount of pairings (trips) per month. Each pairing has two flight attendants and whomever wins that bid becomes the line holder for the entire line of pairings.

I'm reserve or as I still call it Extra Board. I actually love the extra board because it has great variety and I love the adventure. But the problems with it is the line holders can bump us at any moment. And scheduling can extend us when we get back to base with little to no notice.
 

Seaboard92

Engineer
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
4,391
Location
South Carolina
I just finished writing my Russian trip report but I'm not sure when I will get time to post it. As it takes me about two hours to post a full trip report when you count copy and paste for the text. Then adding photos from my computer, and writing captions. And tomorrow I leave for Russia tomorrow morning at 0520 again. Then I'll have to write another trip report but there are very few trains in the next trip.

Then I have to write a quick report on the Downeaster I did last week, the Alaska Railroad, and my VIA Corridor Trip in December.
 

AmtrakMaineiac

Streetcar Motorman
AU Supporter
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Messages
148
Location
Lubec, ME
Nice review thanks for posting. Radio City reminds me of my only time there back in 1975 on a trip where my Mom and I took my cousin from England on a trip from Boston for a weekend in the Big Apple. We stayed in a hotel near Columbus Circle and I recall we walked over and back to the show. For me the highlight of the trip was riding back to Boston on the UAC Turbo Train in the rear dome section 😀
 
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