Facebook Page
Sandusky To Cleveland On The Pennsylvanian

Sandusky To Cleveland, Ohio On Amtrak's Pennsylvanian
Thursday, October 11th, 2001

Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame - Cleveland, Ohio
   Today, I set out to go back to Cleveland one more time before going back home to New York as my time at Cedar Point was nearly over. My last trip back in September was great and I had always wanted to see The House That Rock Built, AKA, The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, so I had to get back to Cleveland one more time.
   To plan things out for this trip, I decided to see what was involved in booking tickets online (I had never done this before) so a quick look at approximately 10 days before this trip showed me that there was 30% Off seating available on both of the Pennsylvanian Trains, #44 and 43. So after getting October 11th off from work, I proceeded to order the tickets online and have them mailed to me at Cedar Point. The automated voice on Amtrak's 800 number claims their online ordering system is "Easy Easy Easy to use", so let me set the record straight, IT IS very easy and quick to use and you can stand to save quite a bit of money as the "Rail Sale" discounted fares can only be found on the web site.
   After choosing the trains I wanted to ride and booking the reservations, my total cost with the 30% discount was $11.90 round trip Sandusky To Cleveland. Amtrak wasted no time in Fed-Ex'ing my tickets to me from California of all places, and they arrived the Friday before my trip. That morning, I stopped at McDonald's across the street from my dorm for a quick breakfast before walking the 5 miles to the Amtrak Station, of course with my 10 pound camera bag and my Cedar Point Umbrella (Rain was predicted for today, like a boy scout, gotta be prepared!) I walked to the Amtrak Station, it didn't rain which was good, and of course with all my trips I try to arrive early, if for no other reason, just to get in some trainwatching before my train arrives. As I started waking up North Depot Street in Sandusky, which of course parallels the tracks, I noticed today's Triple Crown Train just getting ready to head East, shown in the photo to the right is today's train with a brand new C40-9W #9599 on the lead. Special thanks to the NS Conductor who yelled out the train symbol from the window of his cab, as the train stopped right after I took this slide. Today's train was symboled I-62L210. After taking roster shots of both units, I started walking the rest of the way down the street when I saw something that just made me laugh. Graffiti has always been a problem on railroads but I've never in my life ever seen graffiti that actually carries a positive message. In this photo taken of the covered hopper car seen to the right, there are two messages spray-painted on the hoppers, the first one reads "Don't Use Drugs" and the other says "Go Back To School". That car was sitting in the small yard located next to the Amtrak Station and well, I thought it was rather interesting to see something like that on a freight car. Anyways, I arrived at the station and found nobody else there yet when I got there. I generally arrive early enough to get in the trainwatching, definitely the "railfan in me"! Before long, some freight action did come by, although not very much. I think its safe to say that NS doesn't run as many trains here as Conrail once did but I'm sure the slow economy doesn't help that either. Railroading is a business that definitely booms when the economy is booming, which unfortunately wasn't the case in the year 2001. Before long, the local NS Yard job showed up in Sandusky with today's power being a former Conrail GP15-1 #1406, this unit was built back in the late 1970's for Conrail by EMD using parts from older retired units. I believe the frames these units were built on were from retired GP9's.

Former Conrail GP15-1 #1406 is today's Yard Job Power seen in the yard near the Amtrak Station at 11:53am.
NS Train 15J is next up with C40-9W #9457 on the lead at 11:57am.
   And now, the fun begins, I seem to say that in all my travelogues but hey, the fun is just beginning, as my train, #44 The Pennsylvanian has now arrived in Sandusky about 20 minutes late, I still say, no big deal, in this trip, its OK to be a little late because I don't have to catch a specific RTA train or meet a bus connection like I had to the last time. For starters, today's train had brand-new P42DC #169 on the lead and for coaches had 1 Amfleet I Cafe Car, 1 Amfleet II Coach and 2 Refurbished Horizon Fleet Coaches. I rode today in Horizon Coach #54538. I boarded the train and took my seat, wrote down all the necessary info and then headed to the Cafe Car for a bowl of Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup and a Diet Pepsi which I enjoyed from the comfort of my coach seat as I watched the fall foliage go by throughout North Central Ohio, what a beautiful site! This trip ran well as we stopped in Elyria, picked up a few more passengers, then headed into Berea, started paralleling the RTA Red Line and started coming into Cleveland. We arrived virtually on time into Cleveland, thanks to some padding in the schedule in that area. To see more from Cleveland, check out the table below...