History Train - Rail Journey in Private Rail Cars   Page 3

Thursday, September 3 to Sunday, September 13, 2015

 Day 4 - Sunday, September 6, 2015


We had seen Washington, DC.  Knowing we would be on our own today, we had planned to go the National Capital Trackers modular layout show at the College Park Aviation Museum. We enjoyed seeing the airport where the Wright brothers taught pilots to fly their plane. We also learned how to use the Washington, DC public transportation system.

FYI the Senior SmarTrip® Card, purchased at a Metro Sales Office, allows seniors to use system at very reasonable rates. The Card works on the DC Circulator that takes you everywhere the expensive private trolley runs. The DC Circulator busses stop just outside the flags at Union Station.
We had dinner at the restaurant in the Great Hall of Union Station while watching people. We joined the other passengers in the Royal Street for a break before the 7:00 PM Illumination Tour (Page 7 of Tour Book).

  Day 5 - Monday,  September 7, 2015

      We took the Washington Area Tour (Page 7 of the Tour Book).  We returned to our cars at the station platform at about 5:00 PM. We had snacks and drinks in the Royal Street followed by dinner by Chef Carol. While we were eating dinner we noticed the Amtrak car inspector going over our cars.

THIRD Private Rail Car Adventure

 A half hour before Amtrak #85's scheduled departure the Amtrak inspector informed Roger one of the wheels on the Pacific Union was spalling and would have to be ground before proceeding. Since we had been around the station for two days and Amtrak did the inspection so late, Roger was not happy. Our cars could not be added to the Amtrak train. Roger arranged for the cars to go back to the yard and had to scramble to get the wheel set ground. Monday was Labor Day and the Amtrak supervisors were difficult to locate.

Day 6

The passengers in the Pacific Union sleeper got "rare mileage" in the early morning hours when their car went through the wheel grinder.  Afterward our cars were pulled back into the station platforms so we could disembark for the first tour scheduled from the Richmond, VA station. Becky had been able to arrange for the Richmond tour bus to pick us up at the Washington, DC station at about 7:15 AM.  Roger would have our cars in Richmond, VA after our day's tour.

Roger got the cars to Richmond and Chef Carol fed us another good dinner. Our cars were spotted on a siding at the station while we were in Richmond.  Freight and passenger trains ran by frequently.

  Days 7, 8 - Sunday, September 9, 2015

See Day 7 tour photos, Day 8 tour photos, and Page 8 of Tour Book.   It was great to be able to return to our private car in the evenings.  Julie and Kat served drinks and snacks while we socialized and waited for Carol's dinners. All the passengers were interesting and convivial. The Royal Street lounge was a great place to watch trains.
 Most of the passengers followed the special guides on all the tours.

Richmond Platform

CSX Freight

CSX Freight 2

CSX Freight 3

CSX Freight 4

CSX Freight ETD


Richmond Station 1

Richmond Station 2

  Day 9 - Friday, September 11, 2015

We ate breakfast while running from Richmond to Washington, DC.  We arrived Washington, DC at 8:15 AM, and disembarked train.  All passengers left the train as our cars went to be serviced.
We passed on the optional tour and ventured out on a Duck Tour of the Potomac River. From the river it's even more startling how close Reagan International Airport is to the United States Capitol Building and the White House.

After the Duck tour the DC Circulator dropped us near the Navy Yard where we found a good place for lunch.


Navy Yard Area 2Navy Yard Area

Navy Yard Area 3

Dog Walker

Dog Walker Car


Navy Yard Area Rental Bicycles


We returned to Union Station via the DC Circulator bus. At 3:00 PM we returned to our train for Amtrak #29's departure to Chicago. Boarding is a breeze when you can just walk to your car as soon as it's at the boarding platform.
There is a McDonald's located at Street Level - Eastside Train Concourse in Washington, DC Union Station. Near 1 PM there had been a shooting at the McDonald's. The station had been locked down for a while and all seemed clear when we boarded our cars. While listening to my radio scanner with all the station and train traffic the station workers and train crews still seemed rattled. We left the station late and didn't even care since we were in our private cars for snacks and drinks, then dinner.
Before arriving at Cumberland around dusk we attempted to spot the new bridge. Some of the people in the dining room spotted the cranes and old bridge on the right as went over the new bridge but I was in the observation car and missed the new bridge. This is when I should have had my GPS tracking open on my laptop.  It was too dark for photos.



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