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Old 01-18-2004, 02:29 AM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Mohawk Valley, NY
Posts: 49

Well, that's worse than my last Amtrak trip. Coming back from Pittsburgh on the Capitol Limited, the train was actually early arriving at Pittsburgh. About a half hour out of Cleveland, still running on time, there was this crunch and scrape sound, much like a cup of ice spilling. Well, seems we hit a deer, and the dead critter got a little revenge on the train by knocking some air hoses loose. Not bad, only a ten minute delay, arriving in Cleveland 16 minutes late. Then came the Lake Shore Limited...
First off, the Lake Shore arrived in Cleveland two hours late (I had called ahead, and had got to the station about 15 minutes before the train). This is about 5 A.M. In order to get onto the car, you had to squeeze through a half open door, since the car has no power and the electronically controlled door is stuck. So we sit in Cleveland for about two hours or so, mind you it was about 30 degrees or so and having no power also meant no heat, and finally the train moves forward. Power has yet to be restored. We pull forward about a half mile or so, and stop. A minute or two later the westbound Capitol Limited, which had been waiting on us since 6 (it is now about 7) to use Cleveland's one platform, passes us headed into the station. After about a ten minute wait, our train then proceedes to back back into Cleveland's station. After about another hour, the power finally comes on and the train departs Cleveland for real at 7:57 A.M. (according to the clock on the huge sign on Cleveland Browns Stadium). Arrival at Utica (scheduled for 8:50 A.M.) occured at 3:30 P.M., six hours and forty minutes late.
This is actually the second defective Lake Shore I've gotten on in Cleveland. The first was in February, and was pretty impressive when in malfunctioned. Something went wrong in the battery box (I suppose) beneath the car directly back from where we were just about to board. A whole mess of sparks came shooting out from below the car (making the Conductor, who was about to start taking our tickets with his back to that car, jump). It was quite the fireworks display. They continued boarding the train (I was somewhat relieved to be put on the car ahead of the sparking car, rather than on it like the people ahead of me). They shut of power to the train, and we sat in Cleveland about an hour before the problem was solved.
Maybe I should stop getting on the Lake Shore Limited at Cleveland.
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