Cardinal 50 Trip

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:


OBS Chief
Jan 9, 2014
West Palm Beach, Florida
A trip report on the Cardinal 50 August 31 from Chicago to Alexandria. I arrived at Metropolitan Lounge around 2 ish. Place was empty as the west heading train passengers were gone. Check in was quick and easy and stored my gear. I passed a few snacks that were present and grabbed a bag of pretzels and cookies as I figured to skip lunch the next day. I went to the food court bar for a beer and some ice for my beverage cooler around 4:30 and no rush hour folks. It was pretty quiet. Usually this place is jammed. Back at the lounge I just sat out by the front desk as we were to head to board at 5:15. We were called at 5pm but there was confusion near gate 26 ( surprise ) and we boarded after a 15 minute wait.

My SCA Rob took everyones suitcase as they boarded and set it up on top of the 2-3 stairs going into the Viewliner sleeper. No one usually does that so points scored for the SCA. Nice guy also. I had roomette 1 and all was good. Old but clean. I told SCA if I didnt ring him I'd make my own bed. Ive been doing it so long i figured its just easier/quicker with him doing double duty serving meals in the sleeper. We did chat a few times and he brought me ice the next day for the cooler. BTW the room temperature was perfect the whole trip.

At dinner there were no rules on sitting with whomever. Diner was pretty full. I saw my neighbors from roomette 2 who had introduced themselves earlier and asked if i could sit with them. They asked questions and I said I was ok and vaccinated. We had menu place mats that were taken away after ordering so the table was bare. No tablecloth, no flowers, no salt, no anything. Beef dinner was not a big hit as Ive had it before. The warm roll with butter was the lone highlight! I took the brownie back to my room.

We kept up on schedule and I slept pretty well. Diner was quite empty at breakfast and I had oatmeal, warm muffin, butter and yogurt. Served quickly. That's actually not bad. Brought my own orange juice container to diner as no coffee, juice, ice or even empty cups in the sleeper.

The heavy rain was already up in the NJ and NYC area when I arrived in Alexandria. I needed my umbrella to walk 5 minutes to the Hyatt on King Street. Next two days the weather was beautiful but others heading north that night weren't so lucky . I read the train was stopped for 14 hrs. UGH.

A longer report on the Star Viewliner II bedroom to Florida in next post.