Amtrak gave me a free round trip ticket to New York as compensation for staffing the railroad's exhibit at Pennsylvania's Farm Show, held this past January. On June 22, I used the ticket to have a luncheon with my college roommate who lives on Long Island.
Keystone # 644 departed on time. Upon reaching Elizabethtown, the train switched tracks and ran "wrong way" to Lancaster due "signal issues." Arrival in Penn Station was five minutes late; not bad considering all the track work issues in the station complex.
I bought a roundtrip senior citizen ticket for Manhasset on the Long Island Railroad's Port Washington branch. I noticed a humongous excavation next to the Flushing Main Street Station. If the dig were any deeper, I'd say the shovels would hit the water table. The line is double track until Great Neck when it goes single. Anyway, I got into Manhasset on time, and walked one block to Louie's Restaurant.
Shameless promotion: Louie's serves good food at reasonable prices with friendly service, so rail fans would enjoy dining there.
After a fine luncheon, I returned to Penn Station on an eight car EMU which arrived on time. A gate attendant was herding a large group of passengers down the stairs towards a Northeast Regional train due out twenty minutes ahead of my Keystone 651.
Fortunately, at my advanced years, I'm still spry enough to move quickly. One has to in Penn Station. Once the track number goes up on the electronic announcement board, throngs move sprightly to a narrow escalator so folks can get the best seats. If one is infirm, it's best to get a Red Cap.
I lucked out and got a seat in the Quiet Car. As 651 eased out of the station, a conductor spoke sharply to someone who was loudly talking on a cell phone. That person vacated to a vestibule. The train was full.
In North Philadelphia near the Delair Bridge, I spotted Amtrak Police lurking in some foliage. Good, I hope they catch dirtbags who throw shopping cards, blocks and other detritus at trains.
Passenger load thinned out at 30th Street.
Both inbound and outbound produced a rough ride. I had bought takeout at Penn Station and looked forward dining on board after the train left Philly. The tray table was not level and the track and/or aged Amfleet 1 rode rough (excessive yawing) so I had to hold onto to my salad bowl and drink bottle with one hand, and use my plastic fork to eat with the other hand. Oh well, maybe I'll get to Florida to test Brightline.
Arrival in Harrisburg was on time.
Edited by Sloan, 17 July 2017 - 09:59 AM.