Train Trip Across the USA Part 2


This is Part 2 of my train trip across the USA, and this feature was published in the June 2018 edition of Western Australia’s seniors’ newspaper Have-A-Go News.

This time I travel from Denver, Colorado to New York, the final leg of my train trip across the USA.

Starting in Denver, a city I really loved, we have left the Rocky Mountains and are now on the great plains heading east.

Still aboard the California Zephyr, we left early evening and it got dark fairly quickly. Although I was sitting up I did sleep comfortably. We did stop throughout the night, but I didn’t really notice. We had a long stop in Omaha, Nebraska at dawn and it was nice to get out and stretch the legs. We continued east and as the sun rose I enjoyed watching the scenery out the window. The landscape was as flat as a pancake but seemed to be very rich farmland.

We had some brief stops at various towns and our next longer stop was at Ottumwa, Iowa. This town looked to be rather sad as the platform had lost its roof and the place looked like it had seen better days. Burlington, our next major stop was much more interesting. It seemed to me to be a typical mid-western town, and it was where we crossed the mighty Mississippi to enter Illinois, what a terrific experience that was.

I stopped off in Chicago for a few days and just loved it. Chicago far exceeded my expectations, it was a very attractive city with some lovely architecture and Lake Michigan was just gorgeous.

In Chicago, I boarded the 50 Cardinal en route to Washington D.C. As this was also a late afternoon departure it soon became dark. We traversed Indiana, and I had a brief break at Indianapolis, also walked onto the platform in Cincinnati, Ohio but completely slept as we traversed Kentucky. I really loved the scenery in West Virginia as we broached the Appalachian Mountains, we went through Virginia before arriving at Union Station in Washington D.C., where I also had a couple of days sightseeing.

The shortest part of my journey was taking the Northeast Regional from Washington D.C. to Penn Station, New York. This was a day commuter train and I loved passing through cities such as Baltiroe, Wilmington and Philadelphia, plus Trenton and Newark in New Jersey, then getting my first glimpse of Manhattan before entering a tunnel and staying underground until reaching Penn Station.

New York – Brilliant. Mere words can’t explain the excitement.

So ended my train trip across the USA. I wasn’t ready for it to end, it was a fabulous journey, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

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