To Florida by Autotrain
We decided to try to get in some railfanning while making a necessary trip
to Florida. On Monday morning, Feb. 21 it was snowing in Bridgeport, but I
got to the station plenty early to catch Metro-North at 10:53 am bound for
Grand Central. While waiting, I saw another train heading towards New Haven,
and a truck running on the rails a bit later. The fellows in the truck gave
me a friendly wave as they went by, I was glad they didn't mind my picture
taking. The ferry terminal is adjacent to the train station and the ferry was leaving for Port Jefferson. Then my train arrived, and I noticed that the traveling crowd was
very light. At South Norwalk, the platform hadn't been shoveled yet. Upon
arrival at GCT at 12:12, I stopped to take a picture, but being still a bit
unfamiliar with the new camera I didn't realize that I had not disabled the
flash. The picture was not what I had hoped for as a result.
I had plenty of time to get to Penn Station, for purposes of picture taking I had planned to take the 7 and
transfer to the A. Found out that the 7 was not running, so took the Shuttle to Times
Square instead and then a 2 (or was it a 3?) heading downtown.
It was my first visit to Penn Station in several years. I had put away the camera since I
didn't want any aggravation about picture taking, since others have reported
run-ins with New Jersey Transit personnel. I walked around a bit, bought
lunch, and waited for the 2:14 NJT Northeast Corridor train to Trenton.
Leaving Penn Station, just before the tunnel, a NJT locomotive was seen.
We arrived at Trenton where I met my ride for the next leg of my trip.
Passengers continuing to Philadelphia transfered to the SEPTA train
on the same track as the NJT train we arrived on! Before leaving the station
we saw a short Amtrak train, headed north.
The following day, we went on by car to Lorton, VA, to meet Amtrak's Auto Train.
The cars were loaded and the train left on time, 4pm, pulled by two locomotives.
Arrival at Amtrak's Sanford, Florida, station was the next morning at about 8:30 am, also on schedule.
The previous time I had gone to Florida, my train was 7 1/2 hours late! I was very pleased with this trip.
Enjoy your visit!
Updated March 7, 2005
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