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Onward to Cumberland 8/6/2018

by Chris Guenzler

We checked out of the Rodeway Inn and stopped at McDonalds for breakfast. As it was Monday morning, we stayed off Interstate 95 and took surface streets straight 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 gave them back the car keys. He emailed me the receipt and rental car No. 2 was done. We went into the station and 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 local 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 train action pictures.

The view looking east.

SEPTA Train 2617.

SEPTA Train 2610.

Amtrak Regional Train 172.

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 leaves for Philadelphia, its next stop.

Acela Express 2107 arrives 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 were extremely clean. So we rode all the way from Wilmington down to Washington, DC where we arrived seventeen minutes late but we 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. I opened the computer 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 McDonalds and brought it back to Club Acela to eat. One of the maids in the building 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. 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 what 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. Since I knew Elizabeth wanted to see Point of Rocks 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, which we arrived at 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 too. Our room was track side 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.