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O-H-I-O from NYC

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cpamtfan

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 7, 2008
Messages
841
Location
Long Island, NY.
Just finished up my trip out to Elyria,OH with my father and brother. Firsts for me include new milage between Harrisburg and Cleveland as well as south of Pittsburgh.

Our trip started on the LIRR into NYC from Long Island. Our LIRR train arrived on track 13 and coincidentally, train 43 to PGH also boarded from that track.

I noticed the full NEC Business Class car has replaced the 50/50 cafe/business class car on the Pennsylvanian. I would have been rather disappointed and felt ripped off if I had gotten a BC ticket.

We left on time from NYC and scooted down to Philly. There I went upstairs before walking back to see our P42 being placed upfront. While watching them couple it up, a nice employee let me up in the cab! Pretty cool(Well..actually it was a good 100 degrees in there but...) office.

We then moved along the Keystone Corridor towards Harrisburg. I stopped in the cafe car for a turkey club wrap. I have to say the food, although way overpriced (For profit), is much higher class then say 5 years ago.

At Harrisburg, the conductor announced that it was the engineers final run. I took a walk up front to take some pictures, but unfortunitly I just missed him.

Also, I saw a little history before my eyes. AEM7 901, the first (or second) locomotive of that kind, next to the GG1 parked under the shed. Pretty cool in my book.

We wound our way across the Susquehanna and up through mountainous Pennsylvania. It wasn't my lucky day, though. We were about 30 minutes late going up into Horseshoe Curve and, of course, the only freight train within nearly an hour passed right in front of Horseshoe Curve! Hopefully the Broadway Limited can make it's return from the dead so I can take that route again.

We "magically" made up our 30 minute deficite to be about 10 minutes early. That left even more time in Pittsburgh. Great..

The ticket agent was not present in the station the entire time we were there, a good 5 hours! So we ended up lugging my bags to Primanti Brothers for one of their famous sandwiches. We learned later that the area we had walked through a rather "bad" area, but we did not encounter any bad things even with our bags.

Our train was about an hour late in. After being told to walk to the wrong end of the train, we boarded the first coach. What was weird about it? The train was backwards! Instead of sleepers to coaches, we were coaches to sleepers. That gave a "dome car" like view from the front door of our coach. Pretty interesting change.

After getting a little sleep, I quickly jumped off at Cleveland before rolling into Elyria nearly 2 and a half hours late. And why was the consist backwards? Well there were 6 private varnishes on the back of our train. That is the most I've ever seen.

We then spent 4 full days in Ohio, going to the Ceder Point amusement park and a Cleveland Indians ball game.

We arrived at the station around 12:30. We spent around an hour there. The station was opened, but no one was there. Only 2 NS trains passed in the hour we were there.

Our train arrived at 1:40, we boarded a nicely refurbished sleeper in bedroom C. Now I got the wrong end of the stick on this one. I had to sleep in the chair, facing the wrong direction. It made a tiring night of sleep. Our food service cars were both TIGER rebuilds, and both were quite nice inside.

Anyway I had the always good french toast, my dad had an omelet, and we took my sleeping brother scrambled eggs. I did not realize that this train was using "china" now. After the plastic age, this was a big step up.

I pretty much missed most of the scenery to sleep. I woke up in Martinsburg and enjoyed the change from rural farmlands to the mass populated area. We made up all of the time we lost overnight and arrived a mere 5 minutes late. It had started to pour about 15 minutes outside of Washington, but I did not realize how much rain there actually was!

After a nice luch in DC, we boarded train 148 from the Acela Club. We had to fight the weather and a little trouble with our HHP8, but we managed to get into NYC only 15 minutes late. We scurried over to the LIRR section and we jammed into a crowded peak period train. A far cry from the quiet Capitol Limited.

Overall I am pleased with this trip. I experiened some "new" Amtrak for me, and hopefully next year I will make it out west for the first time!

I will try to get pictures up later this week!
 

PA Traveler

Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 25, 2011
Messages
115
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
I'm glad you enjoyed your trip.

As I live in the Pittsburgh area and take the train from the station here, I thought I might clear up something that seems to be confusing travelers in the station. Since I live here, I know the area, so I know it's not a "bad area." The train station is across the street from a brand-new Greyhound station. Across from the Greyhound station on another corner is one of the more elegant hotels in the downtown area and the convention center is only a few blocks away from that. In fact, the station is right at the edge of Downtown Pittsburgh. The area next to this, where Primanti's is located, is called the Strip District. It is full of nice restaurants, eclectic ethnic grocery stores, the Heinz History Center, businesses, and homes. Many of the older buildings are being converted to condos. No one in Pittsburgh considers this a bad area. And the building above the Amtrak station is the original station and has been converted into very expensive condos and business offices.

I think the confusion comes from a sign posted inside the station. My husband and I read this sign as a warning about going upstairs to the tracks. Even though I was just in the train station in the last month, I can't remember the exact wording. But I do think the wording on the sign isn't very clear. People who are unfamiliar with the area seem to take the warning as a caution about the area outside the station. On the way back on the CL from Chicago on our last trip, we had dinner with a man who was afraid to step outside of the station because he also assumed it was a really bad area. We spent a lot of time reassuring him that this is not the case, and he said he'd give it a try the next time he was there.

I'm not saying you wouldn't want to exercise normal caution in a strange city at night. I certainly would, but I know it's not a bad area. It's one that I shop in regularly and have been on the streets after dark without being unduly concerned.

I hope this information helps you if you are ever through again and helps anyone else who might be coming through.
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
20,741
Location
Austin Texas
Glad you enjoyed your trip!Sorry you missed the Horseshoe Curve, as you say it's always something! Next time for sure hopefully! Im surprised that yall had a Bedroom and you had to sleep in the chair, is your brother too large to sleep together, or did yall flip for the bed or what? :eek:

The previous poster beat me to it, downtown Pittsburgh is making a BigTime comeback like almost all Big Cities (poor Detroit is the exception! :( ), if you get a chance catch a ball Game in the Pirates new Stadium, it's a great place! Unfortunately the station isnt anything to write home about, as was said they turned the real station into condos and offices but it beats an Amshak! I need to get to Cleveland and see the new Stadium, Rock n Roll HOF etc.

(I'm a little long in the tooth for the Amusement Park! :lol: )
 

cpamtfan

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 7, 2008
Messages
841
Location
Long Island, NY.
Oh PA Traveler I fully understand. There is always an "unknown" about a new area. It actually wasn't bad, I just had that thought in my mind something bad would happen. But you can't assume an area is bad just because of what people say, you actually have to see it.

Jim, my brother took the top bunk as my dad has bad feet do the upper bunk isnt ideal for him. Last trip, in a Viewliner bedroom, I took the upper bunk since it has the window. I kind of payed the price this trip lol. I'm young and flexible enough up sleep in the 90 degree chair. Intact, I slept through most of the Sand Patch unfortunately! I'll see both again hopefully in the next decade.
 
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