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Onward to Cumberland 8/6/2018

by Chris Guenzler

The four travellers, namely Robin, Bob, Elizabeth and myself, checked out of the Rodeway Inn in Newark and stopped at McDonald's for breakfast. As it was Monday morning, we stayed off Interstate 95 and took surface streets into Wilmington. We pulled up in front of the Amtrak station, took our luggage out of the car and while Bob, Elizabeth and Robin waited, I went into Enterprise and returned the car keys. The receipt was e-mailed to me and the second rental car of the trip was done. We went into the station, found four seats together and waited for our Acela Express Train 2107. Elizabeth went and picked up her and Bob's Acela tickets while Robin and I sat waiting. I visited the store in the station and bought some Coca-Cola for the trip down to DC and to Cumberland later today. About 8:10 AM, we decided to walk up onto the platform and take some pictures of the train action.

The view looking east.

SEPTA Train 2617.

SEPTA Train 2610.

Amtrak Regional Train 172 bound for Boston.

A SEPTA train leaves for its next stop on the way to Philadelphia. Amtrak Regional 172 sat in Wilmington for about twelve minutes until it scheduled departure time of 8:45 AM.

Amtrak 172 finally left for Philadelphia, its next stop.

Acela Express 2107 arrived at Wilmington twenty-three minutes late. We boarded the train and walked through two cars until we found a table which was empty and we took it. We sat down and decided to take pictures of each other on the Acela Express.

Robin's second time on the Acela train and Bob and Elizabeth's first experience on the Acela Express.

The interior of our Acela Express car. I got online and decided to delete the old View-NXi program and re-install it, all while going 120 miles an hour. This worked and we were back to uploading stories again. Thank you Amtrak for having such good internet on the Acela Express that allowed me to do this. The ride on the Acela Express is superior to the Amfleet cars. The overhead bins allowed us to fit our luggage in, the seats were very comfortable and the windows extremely clean. So we rode all the way from Wilmington down to Washington, DC where we arrived seventeen minutes late but did not mind. It had been a very good Acela Express trip.

As I walked away, I took one last picture of Acela 2107. I went into the Club Acela using my Guest Rewards Select card which allows me access to any lounge on the Amtrak system. After I checked in, I sat in the upper area and proceeded to write the Capitol Trolley Museum story and the B&O Museum story, while I enjoyed the atmosphere of the lounge. About 2:00, I took my luggage to the storage room and went to McDonald's and brought it back to Club Acela to eat. One of the maids in the lounge informed me that outside food was not allowed. To me this made no sense so I quickly finished my meal of hot cakes and sausage and everything was fine. About 3:45, a Red Cap came and escorted me to the Capitol Limited. I had lower level seating and found a seat before the section filled up and then Bob, Elizabeth and Robin joined me after their ride on the DC Streetcar and visit to the Smithsonian Museum of American History to see the transportation area with a Southern Railway steam engine. Elizabeth sat with me and we worked on stories while Bob and Robin sat separately.

Capitol Limited Train 29

When we walked out to the train, we noticed that Amtrak had three of their private cars on the rear of the train. Departure time came and went and we finally left twenty-five minutes late. I asked the conductor the reason for the delays were and he responded "those three cars on the back of the train". We worked on stories until I knew we were nearing Point of Rocks and since I knew Elizabeth wanted to see the station again, this time from the train, we went to the lounge car. We saw Point of Rocks and stayed until after Harpers Ferry when I went down and bought a hot dog. We continued to work on stories most of the way to Cumberland, at which we arrived an hour and eight minutes late. We walked off the train, very glad to finally be here and then ran into John Goodman, Dan Meyer and Dawn Holmberg who kindly took our luggage to the hotel in their car while we walked. I was brave enough to take the underpass while the others waited for the Amtrak train to clear. So I checked in first then Bob and Elizabeth did so. Robin's and my room was trackside on the second floor so we would be able to see plenty of CSX action in Cumberland, while the Alkire's room was on the street side of the hotel. We then called it a fairly early night since we had a big day tomorrow.