The Cardinal from CHI to NYP. What to expect

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Kbyrdleroydogg

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This is my first time taking the 51 Cardinal to and from NYC. A 26hr ride, what sort of scenery can I expect? I hear breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served? I'm in a sleeper roomette by the way but I got a bid for a bedroom in play.
 

WWW

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I too am taking the Cardinal #51 in late October -
?s about Bedroom - I thought that this train VL2 only had Roomettes ?
A railroad trip over and through the backbone of the Appalachians
About scenery take a look at this LINK:


- Autumn Colors Express

#51 operating on-time will be a daylight trip through the New River Gorge (National Park)

Meal schedule ????
Dinner is served shortly after leaving Chicago -
Breakfast sometime around Huntington Charleston -
Lunch sometime after White Sulpher Springs -
Dinner after Washington DC ?
 

joelkfla

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?s about Bedroom - I thought that this train VL2 only had Roomettes ?
All Viewliner sleeping cars have 2 Deluxe Bedrooms + 1 Accessible Bedroom.

The Accessible Bedroom, if not sold, is available to able-bodied passengers 2 weeks before departure. But be advised that the VLII Accessible Bedroom has a full-size toilet right out in the room, which some find distasteful.
 

Kbyrdleroydogg

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All Viewliner sleeping cars have 2 Deluxe Bedrooms + 1 Accessible Bedroom.

The Accessible Bedroom, if not sold, is available to able-bodied passengers 2 weeks before departure. But be advised that the VLII Accessible Bedroom has a full-size toilet right out in the room, which some find distasteful.
Why is it out in the room like that?
 

WWW

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Well the toilet is not all that obvious and not out in the MIDDLE of the cabin -
The commode is built into the cabin wall and there is cover (lid) over the bowl -
I believe I have seen where that lid is a step aid to get to the 2nd berth.
Look up some of the YouTube videos of the VL2 equipment - - -
If the toilet is not used and the lid not lifted - no use - no problem -
Might be some residual odor from cleaning or from previous use -
have the car steward fix it.
Cramped accommodation - probably no worse than a camper on a truck.
And you would no doubt only use it once (in a quickey emergency).
 

joelkfla

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Well the toilet is not all that obvious and not out in the MIDDLE of the cabin -
The commode is built into the cabin wall and there is cover (lid) over the bowl -
I believe I have seen where that lid is a step aid to get to the 2nd berth.
Look up some of the YouTube videos of the VL2 equipment - - -
If the toilet is not used and the lid not lifted - no use - no problem -
Might be some residual odor from cleaning or from previous use -
have the car steward fix it.
Cramped accommodation - probably no worse than a camper on a truck.
And you would no doubt only use it once (in a quickey emergency).
The lid is just a normal seat & lid like you'd buy at Lowes. Can't be used for upper berth access; the sink is between the toilet and the berths. A ladder is provided, which is usually stowed in the private shower.

I agree, it doesn't bother me, but some people apparently don't like seeing a toilet for their entire trip.

1656207428758.png


 
Last edited:

WWW

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Reference to two different sleeping quarters - the accessible one image and YouTube ---
and the Roomette which is half the size of the accessible one - obviously a person
with limited abilities is going to need that room and not a roomette and will not be
sleeping in a upper pullman berth !
 

WWW

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Did you click on the link I provided ?


Leaving Chicago expect city scape and then the industrial area (Indiana) then rural farm land - city scape of Indianapolis - more rural farm land
then river country Cincinnati - the rolling terrain leading to the river gorges of West Virginia (Autumn Colors Express shows this vividly) - miles
of following the New River exiting to the terrain of Washington DC and the interurban land-city-scape to the BIG APPLE.

Look up some of the Amtrak YouTube videos
Look at the schedule for trains 50 & 51 to determine the night (sleeping) hours and daytime viewing hours -

I haven't taken the trip YET to comment mile post to mile post of the scenery features of interest - - -
One thing to look out for is the New River Gorge bridge after leaving Charleston WV - - -
If you are a train buff (you must be you are here at AU) note the passing trains coal - oil - mixed manifest - - -
Oh and the Washington to NYC portion should be a fast electrifying trip !
 

AmtrakBlue

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I too am taking the Cardinal #51 in late October -
?s about Bedroom - I thought that this train VL2 only had Roomettes ?
A railroad trip over and through the backbone of the Appalachians
About scenery take a look at this LINK:


- Autumn Colors Express

#51 operating on-time will be a daylight trip through the New River Gorge (National Park)

Meal schedule ????
Dinner is served shortly after leaving Chicago -
Breakfast sometime around Huntington Charleston -
Lunch sometime after White Sulpher Springs -
Dinner after Washington DC ?
The Cardinal has had a VLII sleeper, in addition to the bag-dorm, since May. It’s been discussed in other threads.
 

JWM

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The scenery is great, but the train especially dining is just ok. I'm old enough to remember C & O's Sportsman, George Washington and FFV from my early teens. Wow, how well they were run. That's past sadly, but we must move on to today. I don't think you'll regret the trip as it is the most scenic route between the two cities ignoring the Hudson River part of the LSL.
 

jis

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#51 operating on-time will be a daylight trip through the New River Gorge (National Park)

Meal schedule ????
Dinner is served shortly after leaving Chicago -
Breakfast sometime around Huntington Charleston -
Lunch sometime after White Sulpher Springs -
Dinner after Washington DC ?

I would just very gently point out that train 51 does not depart Chicago. It departs New York. It is train 50 that departs Chicago.

Remember that generally railroad direction southbound and westbound are odd numbered while northbound and eastbound are even numbered.

This is my first time taking the 51 Cardinal to and from NYC. A 26hr ride, what sort of scenery can I expect? I hear breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served? I'm in a sleeper roomette by the way but I got a bid for a bedroom in play.
Train 51 operates from NYP to CHI. Train 50 operates from CHI to NYP.
 
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Besides the New River Gorge, there's a good bit of scenic run in the Valley and Ridge between White Sulfur Springs and Staunton, as well as some vintage rail equipment sitting in a siding at Clifton Forge, VA. There are also scenic views of the Blue Ridge from the south side of the train just east of the Blue Ridge Tunnel around Crozet, Virginia, which is a little west of Charlottesville.

Most of the scenery is visible on both the eastbound (50) and westbound (51) trains, but, except in the summer, most of the New River gorge is in the dark when riding 51. I did once get a nice view of the New River Gorge Bride while riding 51 in the dark, though. I was in a roomette on the side with the view, and I just closed the door, pulled the curtains facing the hallway, opened the window curtains, and turned off the lights. Nice view.
 

jpakala

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The Viewliner I accessible bedroom has the shower, toilet & sink in one sizable room and there also was a window (with a shade when desired) on the opposite end of the bedroom from the room's outside windows. It was great because we were going up the Hudson River valley and could see the river through that window because it was across the aisle from an outside window on the west side of the train. Our upper & lower windows on the east side provided nice views of the cliffs & greenery on the eastern side. This design would be preferable on any train as far as viewing is concerned. Viewliner II ladder evidently lacks (see video) what we had in our Viewliner I because also on that wall (where the sink & toilet are in Viewliner II) was a place for the ladder to hang during the daytime. (That wall adjoining the aisle of course has no door because the roon's wide door faces the door to the car.)
 

joelkfla

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The Viewliner I accessible bedroom has the shower, toilet & sink in one sizable room and there also was a window (with a shade when desired) on the opposite end of the bedroom from the room's outside windows. It was great because we were going up the Hudson River valley and could see the river through that window because it was across the aisle from an outside window on the west side of the train. Our upper & lower windows on the east side provided nice views of the cliffs & greenery on the eastern side. This design would be preferable on any train as far as viewing is concerned. Viewliner II ladder evidently lacks (see video) what we had in our Viewliner I because also on that wall (where the sink & toilet are in Viewliner II) was a place for the ladder to hang during the daytime. (That wall adjoining the aisle of course has no door because the roon's wide door faces the door to the car.)
The VL I H-room door also faces the vestibule. The VL II room has more room for maneuvering and storing a scooter, mainly because the door slides open rather than swinging inward, and also the mobility device can be parked in front of the shower. In the VL I, parking in front of the bathroom meant it had to be moved every time nature called, and parking it along the hallway made it difficult to get in or out of the room.

You are right about the hallway window, though. The window in the VL II does not line up with the seat, and is useless for seeing out the other side of the train. It's my least favorite thing about the new arrangement. However, it might be perfectly located for someone occupying a wheelchair facing rearward at the table.

My 2nd least favorite thing is that the sink slightly overhangs the seat, and even more so the lower berth. That end of the seat/berth gets water splashed on it when washing one's face. (OK, I'm a splashy washer. :D) I intend to lie a towel over it when washing up, but keep forgetting to do so. :rolleyes:
 
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