Amtrak OTOL Roanoke Excursion RNK-WAS-NYP-BOS-ALB-CLE PART 2

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Railroad Bill

Buckeye Train Watcher
Staff member
Jun 28, 2007
Northern Ohio
Sunday July 11

Next morning I joined JebR for breakfast downstairs and then we walked on the Lick Run Greenway trail down to meet the OTOL BRRE members outside the Roanoke Hotel. A classic structure built by the N&W RR and now serves as a grand hotel and conference center. Several of the members of our group stayed there Saturday night.

We walked across the glass enclosed overpass and down to track level to prepare to board our Amtrak #156 back to 8:50am. Locomotive #14 will lead our consist. Our BC car was nearly full as we left Roanoke on time. Nice to see the scenery I had missed on my trip Friday night. Made good time with a few delays created by a late running Crescent #20 at Charlottesville. Since I was upgraded to First Class on Acela 2256, I chose not to have an additional meal in the café car, but joined several of our OTOL members for conversations for the remainder of the trip. We lost a little time and would now arrive in WAS about 45 minutes down. Several of us had some tight connections to our next train, but all made it and our brief encounter as OTOL travelers came to an end.

After leaving 156 at WAS, I rushed up the escalator and caught my Acela 2256 with about 15 minutes to spare. I used an upgrade coupon to go FC and this was my first trip in FC Acela. Very nice. Food was good. Excellent seatmate. Young guy who worked in NYC, originally from Buffalo and played hockey. Despite some major delays in New Jersey due to a trespasser incident, we arrived in NYP around 5, I decided to stay Sunday night at Fairfield Inn across from Moynihan Train Hall, spent some time in the lounge after dinner, watching people and enjoying the ambiance of this beautiful new Amtrak venue.

Monday July 12

Monday morning I left on Acela 2150 after a nice breakfast in the lounge. Our power units were 2004/2018. Also my first trip on this section of the corridor so found it very interesting and had no seatmate since the gentleman who was sitting with me at NYP was moved to handicapped seating with his five pieces of luggage A nice scenic ride leaving New York City and then through Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts with many coastal waterways full of boats, several different commuter lines running up to New Haven and of course that 140+ mph ride on this high speed train.

We arrived in BOS at 11:45 which gave me some time to grab lunch and explore the station before my Lake Shore Limited #449 departure at 12:50. It had been several years since my last visit to South Station, but except for several closed restaurants and mask wearing, the scenes were familiar. Took my bag up to the Acela Lounge and greeted by a very friendly agent who offered free beverages and snacks from behind the counter. This lounge is quite elegant with its chandeliers and comfortable seating and sorry I did not have more time to enjoy it. Grabbed some Chinese and brought it back to the lounge before the call to board occurred at 12:30.

Walked to the BC car, a 2-1 seat configuration with café at the other end of the car. I ended up in a double seat but had no seat mate until Springfield. Amtrak P-42 #111 was waiting at Springfield for its run as we boarded many passengers there.

Café attendant was quite pleasant and I had a cranberry juice as we moved across Massachusetts. We had recently taken 449 from Worcester back to CLE so this scenery was quite familiar. The Berkshire Mountains are always a pleasant view as we worked our way closer to Albany.

We arrived at the station 10 minutes early and soon after 49 arrived from NYP lead by #706 for the soon to be combined train to Chicago. I walked the platform and took a trip up into the station after storing by bags in my room in 4911 room 2. Met my friendly car attendant David who welcomed me to his car. Dinner would be at 7 after our train left ALB.

To my great surprise the newly painted Loco 100 50th Anniversary was our lead engine and with a friendly engineer posing for photos, it became a popular place to spend time on the platform. Our second P-42 was #122.

Dinner in the diner was the pasta-meatball combo and the luscious brownie. Enjoyed the scenery along the old Erie Canal and then hit the bed at 9:30 after departing Utica and awoke in Ohio. We were 10 minutes early into CLE. An hour and half drive back home and my trip was officially over. Enjoyed the experience. Nice to meet and see old friends and new. Look forward to future excursions.
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Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
May 31, 2009
Austin Texas
Another nice trip Bill!Thanks for sharing.😊

I think back to when I played Baseball in Salem in 1962 when it was much Smaller, and going to Roanoke was visiting " The City".😉

Based on my 25 years in DC, I think that the Heat and Humidity while you were on the Mall was what made you feel unwell, it can be Brutal in the Summer.