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 Post subject: Colorado Springs to Columbus on Northwest 3602 and 1492
PostPosted: 16 Jul 2009, 15:57 
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Joined: 06 Aug 2007, 19:59
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Location: Falcon,Colorado. The cold spot
first post in a long time

Well, another month, another trip!
This month's trip started on Tuesday around 8 in the morning when mom woke me up and we got ready to go. This trip I got assigned "Pack mule" as i was carrying my bag, my moms bagpack, and our laptop. We got to the airport around 9ish and walked to the Northwest check-in which delta is slowly starting to take over. The counter agent was still trying to figure out the new delta system so it took us awhile to get our bag through. but finally it went. We walked to security and proceeded through. Was kinda a funny thing though. I had to take the laptop out of its case, the xbox out of my suitcase (don't ask me, wasn't my idea to bring it), and the router out of my mom's bagpack. (I am SO glad there won't be security when we go on amtrak). During security my little sisters bag ripped open and things went everywhere. So after security we brought her a new bag at a store behind security. The it was a quick rush to gate 4. Followed by us getting sqeased into a CRJ-900 (tiny little regional jet) for the first flight to minneapolis/st paul. THe flight went well (my sister didn't like it because i got the window). We made a rather bumpy landing in st paul and grabbed a sandwich at TGI ridays to go. On the way to TGI fridays my little sister started nagging my mom for pizza. My mom didn't want to pay the $10 they wanted for a tiny personal pan. but the cheesesticks where only $3 so she was gunna buy 3. when we got to the counter the lady could hardly speak english. We said "cheese bread" and she brought back garlic bread. after a little bit of talking she said "oh" and went back and brought us breadsticks that had been sitting on the counter for god knows how long. we repated our order twice. then left for TGI Fridays.
One thing at the airport I thought was kinda neat, was this giant vending machine you could buy cellphones and electronics in. I don't need anything new but it was fun to watch (not shure i would want to put $300 in a vending machine.....).
Our next flight was Delta 1492 (which i was kinda scared of due to american 1492). It was one of northwests DC-9's that had been repainted into delta colors and refurbished. Out of all our luck the TSA decided to do a random screening at the gate, and out came all the electronics again. Best part was, my sister was still upset we didn't get pizza, then..... the seats we where assigned where in the last row. which on the DC-9 means no window. She was mad to say the least. She got even worse when the engines started. I loved the sound that came with that. During taxi i saw one of deltas new repaitned 747's takeoff, rare sight for me. Our takeoff was kinda fun. It seriously hurt at full throttle sitting next to JT8-D's. Drink and snack service took the crew forever. (Didn't bother me because i fell asleep, the noise and vibration it makes are good sleeping remedys) They got to us by the time we where descending and barely had time to sit down. followed by a smooth landing at colombus. We ended up pulling in at the new concourse C which had our friend who was picking us up lost because we normally arrive at concourse B.

On the 2nd of Augest we go back to colorado on amtrak. We leave South Portsmouth at almost 11 at night on #51 the cardinal. we get into chicago the next day early in the morning. we have an almost 5 hour layover then we board #5 the california zepher to denver.

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 Post subject: Re: Colorado Springs to Columbus on Northwest 3602 and 1492
PostPosted: 15 Aug 2009, 03:46 
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Joined: 06 Aug 2007, 19:59
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Location: Falcon,Colorado. The cold spot
might as well continue it

Trip report Amtrak #51, the cardinal, and #5 the Zepher.
We arrived at South Portsmouth's amtrak station in kentucky around 9:30PM, wayyyy to early for our 10:41PM cardinal train to chicago. so we decided to cross the road to the speedway gas station and pick up dinner, which in my case was a hot dog and a cola slushie. The station at south portsmouth is nothing more then a city bus stop that is inclosed with glass. it had one long bench and a trash can inside, outside there was a sign that contained the arrival times for our train and its counterpart #50. The employees remarked that amtrak was never ontime into portsmouth and ran on a "calender shedule" so i called "julie", amtraks automated machine that works pretty well. I found the Cardinal was delayed until 11:46PM on estimate. So we poked around a little and came back. Called again to find the delay was now until 12:04AM. So we hung around the station for awhile. 15 minutes later i called again and found it was now 12:00AM on the nose when the Cardinal was due to arrive. Suddenly the signals beyond the CSX offices lit up and my sister started to get jumpy because she thought it was our train. However I knew the signals where facing the wrong way and on the wrong track to be amtrak. Shure enough 5 minutes later a CSX Junk/rail train flew by on the opposite track. The signals went dead again after the train left. but re-lit to the same configuation about 20 minutes later and a CSX coal drag flew by on the same track. Then I heard the distinct tone of a P42 K5LA and told everyone amtrak was on its way in. About 2 minutes later, P42 #60, 3 amfleet coachs, a Amcafe', and a viewliner rolled into the station. We where assigned seats 22,23, and 24 in the 3rd coach. It was around midnight when we pulled out and dissapeared into the thick fog bank. I tryed going to sleep but had no sucess. so i moved up a row and infront of my mom and sister, I had the whole row to myself. I watched the ohio river and factorys along it fly by for awhile before I fired up my zune to entertain myself.

By now the train was running about an hour and a half late and we arrived in cincinati around 3 in the morning. the approach into cincinatti is somthing neat. You come off the CSX mainline on a flyover and then climb to a height about 3 storys. the tracks weave between buildings and in some cases over them. To my right I saw a arched roof simaler to the orchestra pit near hollywood. which I reconised to be cincinatti union station. we made a curve and headed in that direction.

At Cincinatti almost everyone on the train got up and left. I thought we we're about to have almost the whole car to ourselfs. But then almost three times as many people that got off, got on. The car was now completely full. the train soon pulled out and I fell asleep.

I woke up at 6 and caught our arrival in Indianapolis. There we coupled onto 2 Horizon coaches on track 1 and our train became the combined Cardinal/Hoosier State train. We then went to breakfest in the cafe' car. I had doughnut holes and a bottle of fruit juice.

We left indianapolis about 10 minutes late (there is a major 2 hour time gap between the arrival time to the departure time. Crews use this to catch back up on shedule as if they arn't 2 hours late they will be able to catch back up.) However fright traffic and other problems kept forcing us more and more behind shedule. I fell asleep again and stayed that way until we got in the chicago area. I saw UP 1989 (the DRGW heritage Unit). and about 120 amtrak coaches of all shapes and sizes. Even an amtrak Dash-8 and a handfull of F40PH "Cabbages" (hey it was a first for me!). We arrived at 11:30ish (sheduled at 9:30) after quite a few delays. We walked in and Checked our bags for the next leg of the journey. We met up with my uncle and had lunch together at the metro cafe' off the great hall of union station. then we went to Gate D to board #5, the zepher.

We got on the rear coach in the train. I sat in the last row so i'm as far back as i can be. then i was going to get a picture of 1989 on the way out but we took the opposite leg of the wye. I was enjoying the view until BNSF mantinace held us up at a metra station. we got delayed 50 minutes before pulling out again. We had blocked a crossing so there was a LONG line of cars backed up on either side. an ambulance with lights flashed was escorted around the back by a BNSF mantinance Crew. then a parade of mantinace vehicles passed by before we got under way.
I napped for awhile and listened to my zune before we went and had dinner in the lounge/cafe' car. I had a microwaved Cheese Pizza, some pretzels, and a mountain dew. Then we played uno in the lounge for about an hour. we saw the mississippi river from a swing bridge and watched our arrival into burlington.

Then we returned to our seats and I begain writing everything you are reading now.

I started walking around the train and getting to know my surrondings. The car we where in, had electronic and plumbing issues. as a result, the lights would randomly turn off during station stops, the plugs where in-active, and the bathrooms in the car where shutdown.

I spent about half an hour in the lounge looking at the scenery before it got dark. then mom, sis, and I took seats together in the lounge after nightfall. i charged my laptop, my phone, and my zune. After awhile of talking, mom and sis returned to coach but i headed downstairs to the cafe' area under the lounge car. There i took a table. setup my laptop, and other electronics hooked up to the train power (normally I wouldn't do this without a surge protector as the train power surges from time to time, but oh well). I played the argentina mission of Railroad Tycoon 3 and listened to a playlist for about 2 hours. then i retired back to the coach. I typed up more traveloge, then i fell asleep.


Around midnight we arrived in omaha, nebraska. the last point on the transcontinental railroad i hadn't been to. The jolt of stopping woke me up. I got off, snaped a few pictures, and walked around the station. about 10 minutes later we got back on and left.

I woke up to the farmlands of northern colorado rolling by the window. Mom and rose wanted to know what i wanted for breakfest and i said a bagel or somthing bread related. Then i snoozed for a few minutes before i fully woke up and walked to the lounge car. Amtrak no longer sells bagels so they got me a cinamin roll and a mountain dew (the soda was to wake me up, i origonally ordered a milk). After eating that i went up and ordered my favorite amtrak food. Microwaved pizza. we sat around for awhile before heading back to the coach. I saw a shortline interchange and denver subburbs. then we backed into denver union station. We walked to the depot and waited for our checked baggage. It took about 30 minutes to get our bags.

After that we walked to the RTD light rail station to an E-line trolley. But, our late departure ment that all E-line trains where stopped until 2 in the afternoon. so we got on a C-line trolley to Broadway station and got picked up by jennifer.

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