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Fall Railfanning Trip - Cleveland To Sandusky, OH - October 18th, 2002

Fall 2002 Railfanning Trip:
Segment 3: Cleveland To Sandusky, OH on The Pennsylvanian
Friday, October 18th, 2002

Amtrak's Pennsylvanian At Cleveland, OH
Arriving 18 Minutes EARLY! - October 18th, 2002

   Paul and I rode the RTA Bus back to the Brookpark Station, then picked up the RTA Red Train back to Tower City, then the Waterfront Line Train back to the Amtrak Station. Upon arrival there, one other railfan was waiting for the train to arrive as well, the 3 of us chatted for a few minutes and at 7:12pm, arriving a whopping 18 minutes EARLY, was my train, #43, The Westbound Pennsylvanian. Tonight's train had P42DC's #85 and 96 for power. Shortly after the train stopped, I got out my camera and took the above photo on the platform with some 400 Speed Kodak Ektachrome Slide Film.
   I decided to head to the train after taking the photo since there was a misty rain falling and I didn't feel like sitting on the platform and getting soaked! I said goodbye to Paul and the other railfan who he knew from somewhere and was greeted by the conductor who told me to board any open coach, there was plenty of seats open. Well I had only 2 choices, the 2 coaches that were on the train! Tonight's train is one of the shortest I've ever rode on having only 2 coaches and 1 cafe car! One coach was refurbished, the other one wasn't, so guess which one I took? I had Amfleet II Coach #25017. Again, the coach was warm, refurbished and I had a window seat. I was also highly impressed about the fact that this train was running on time! The time spent at the station was used by passengers who wanted to smoke, so the platform became a rather large smoking lounge for the 23 minutes the train was there.
   I got settled into my seat and began chatting with 2 people sitting across from me who were on their way to Chicago from Philadelphia. We all had an interesting chat about the car these people were picking up when they get to Chicago. At 7:35pm, it was time to leave, ON TIME! It was past sunset so visibility outside the coach was limited but the conversation with other passengers onboard was nice and most everyone was relatively happy but tired especially since quite a few people were riding this train from Philly all the way to Chicago. We arrived into Elyria on time at 8:05pm and picked up a passenger or two. I had a David Berg Hot Dog and a can of Sierra Mist. The onboard crew on this train was again, very professional and happy to serve the passengers, more points for Amtrak! Virtually the entire way, we had clear signals West of Cleveland as NS requires train crews to call out signals. It wasn't until just outside of Sandusky, that we started to get approach signals because NS Train 21-K was ahead of us. This would have no effect on the train arriving into Sandusky on time, where I got off with 3 other passengers promptly at 8:39pm. I was highly impressed as I said before as this train's On-Time performance was great, and this isn't the first time either. On one of my trips last year, we were on time out of Cleveland, and another time only a few minutes late. I sincerely hope Amtrak does not eliminate this train as it is necessary being that during a good portion of the year, it runs at least partially in daylight, a luxury that the other 4 Long-Distance trains that travel in Ohio don't offer. A job well done to the Amtrak Crew on this train! Now, I'm in Sandusky, for the second destination in this trip. Myself and the 3 other passengers got a taxi to our hotels, mine being an Econo Lodge located about 5 miles from the Amtrak Station. I checked into my room then ran across the street and ate dinner at Taco Bell, then grabbed a Hot Fudge Sundae from Friendly's, located next to the hotel. After being wake some 24 hours without sleep, I'd peacefully fall asleep that night and would sleep for some 10 hours! Listed below is the Consist Report for Train #43, to see how I spent my day at the World's Greatest Amusement Park, Click in the table at the bottom of this page...

Amtrak's Pennsylvanian - Train #43 - Friday, October 18th, 2002
Car/Engine Type:
Amfleet I Cafe Car
Cafe Car
Amfleet II Coach
Coach (My Car)
Amfleet II Coach
MHC (16)
Road Railers (12)
Road Railers