Puffie rides Amtrak

September 24th, 2008 by puffie

Scott and Becky are stuffed into a small compartment on the train – now they know what I feel like being stuffed into a pannier all day while they ride their bikes! It took them awhile to find a way to get organized and comfortable in the seats. There is not a lot of leg room unless they each place their legs up on the others seat. Also, one of them must always be riding backwards. The roomette is a little bit odd, with a toilet right in the room. The space is quite tiny (I can’t even fly around in it), so having a toilet seem kind of dumb. It would be better designed if there were a shared restroom (we are in the States now, so no more “washrooms”, they are “restrooms” here) rather than the in room facilities. Watching Scott and Becky try to maneuver when one of them needs to pee is quite amusing!

At 6 pm, they made their way to the dining car for dinner. There was a wonderful assortment of meal options, including a salmon meal – which neither of them chose – grrrr. You’d think that one of them would be considerate enough to feed me a little bit of fish while I’m out! I can’t believe they had the steak and chicken. Becky said the steak was actually good – but grrrr I’m hungry and they should have had the fish.

While in the dining car we went through Baltimore. The area near the tracks looks like it belongs more in a war zone than a suburb of the US capital. From the tracks, I could see many houses with broken or boarded up windows. Every third or fourth house was significantly damaged by fire. It was a really sad contrast to the pretty monuments we could see as we passed through Washington DC.

Once we arrived in Washington DC the power went out. The train switch from the “high speed” engine (I think I can fly faster than the “high speed” train which topped out at 170 km/hr!) to a regular engine. After Washington DC the top speed of the train is only 130 km/hr.

After dinner we all relaxed in the roomette. Once everyone found a comfortable position, the ride was rather pleasant – although somewhat bumpy from time to time. There seem to be frequent places where the tracks intersected with other tracks causing the whole train to lurch from one side to the other on its rails. Watching Becky navigate the narrow hallways when the train is bouncing is rather amusing. It is much more convenient to be able to fly from car to car!

At 9:30 pm, the car host came to reset our roomette into sleep mode. He converted the seats into a bed and lowered the upper bunk. The room was tight, such that Becky and Scott had to take turns getting ready for bed – standing room for only one person!

Elevation Profile
Download GPS Track in GPX format

Elevation Profile
Download GPS Track in GPX format

One Response to “Puffie rides Amtrak”

  1. Manoj Prasad Says:

    Awesome blog, but I miss the maps showing progress.

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