Here is the grand hall at Chicago’s Union Station…
We hung out in the lounge Friday night and they took us to the our train around 8:30. We dropped our things in our room and went to the dining car for a welcome reception. Cheese and fruit plates with some sparkling cider.
After that, back to our rooms and we sacked out.
I slept a whole lot more. I set my alarm for 5:00 cause I wanted to step off in Cleveland, but I turned it off and went back to sleep. I got up around 6:15 and took a quick shower. Taking a shower on a moving train is an interesting experience!
At 6:30, everyone else was up and we all went to have breakfast. French toast all around. After, back to our rooms to hang out.
This train is not a double decker like the last one (those are too tall to fit into New York City). The sleeper cars are different. They have windows for the top bunk as well as the lower bunk. So instead of converting our room back to seats, I made the seats up on the lower bunk for me and left the bed down on the upper bunk for the boys. They can lay down or play up there with plenty of room.
We got a chance to step off the train in Buffalo. Here are the boys outside our sleeper car.
We continued on to Albany. This is where some interesting railroad stuff happens. The two locomotives and the front 5 cars of our train are disconnected and that train becomes train 448 and goes to Boston. The remaining 7 cars continues to be train 48 and continues on to New York City. They hook a different kind of locomotive up called a dual-mode. This loco can run like any other diesel, however because all the tracks in New York City are underground, they cannot run diesel engines in them. So when we get North of New York City, they shut off the diesel engine and lower a shoe which picks up power from a third rail.
The black and white cookie. In case you are not familiar, there was a funny bit on Seinfeld with a black and white cookie. Since Seinfeld was set in NYC, I thought it appropriate. Though Vicky did not get any of the bit I tried to reenact.
Our train followed the shores of the Hudson which is quite a beautiful trip by itself. A great way to finish up our trip to New York. Our train arrive at New York Penn Station about an hour early at 5:30.
A friend of mine I met from an online forum (that discusses, well, trains) who lives in NYC met us at Penn. he showed us around, helped us get our commuter train tickets and even rode with us out to Newark Penn Station (our hotel is across the river in Harrison, NJ). In case you read this, Alan, thanks again. Nice seeing a friendly face in a sea of people!
A hotel shuttle picked us up from Newark Penn and we got settled into our hotel room. It is a NICE BIG room and a fraction of the price of getting a little room in the city.
We have a big day planned tomorrow with many places to go. Should be a long, good day and we are really gonna get our feet wet in the NY subway system.
The video I posted yesterday failed to be converted by youtube. I am uploading it again and will post here if it works.