Amtrak Northeast Direct Old Dominion
Steve's March 25, 1998 Travelogue
Steve's rail travel on the Amtrak Northeast Direct Old Dominion
from Newport News, Virginia to Washington, DC on March 25, 1998.
Click here for photos from this journey!
I got up at 6:00 AM and got ready. I was out of the room and checking
out at the front desk by 6:45 AM. There wasn't far too walk since my
room was right next to the front desk! I had made an appointment for
a taxi to come by at 7:00 AM the night before. The taxi arrived right
on time! The taxi got me to the station before 7:30 AM. The station
had opened at 6:45 AM and I briefly looked around inside. Lots of
chairs and a soda machine. Then I went outside and took photos around
the station. Those are shown below.
TUE 08:40 AM ET 03/25/98 Newport News,VA - Ch ?? 16?.???
The above 6 photos were taken around the station. You may need to click
on the last two to bring up a full size image to see them more clearly.
There was a steam locomotive and tender in a part directly across the
street from the driveway leading into the Amtrak station. The very last
photo shows the train I took pulling out from behind a long line of
coal cars. Since I could see a long way down the tracks in both directions
and did not see any Amtrak trains, I was wondering where they had it
stored. It was on a track behind the long line of coal cars!
Above is a sequence of photos showing how the Amtrak train moved from
storage to the platform. First, it pulled way down the tracks. Then a
CSX freigh train pulled up behind it and started to cross over to
the other side of the Amtrak train. I don't know what happened as
the freight train then backed up, not having changed tracks at all!
Then the Amtrak train crossed several tracks to the track by the platform
and backed into the station. The last photo shows the Club Car that
I boarded. This was an interesting car in that the front half was the
Custom Class section and the back half was the Club Class section,
with the kitchen area in the center.
Once onboard the train, I was immediatley given a Washington Post
Newspaper and offered a choice of beverages. I selected some Orange
Juice. The orange juice was brought to me along with a bag of pretzels
and a bag of goldfish. I put them away for later.
The Car Attendant then took out a list of names and took attendance!
One person was missing and there was one person in the car not listed.
They had a Club Class ticket, so they were O.K. A few other people
accidentally wandered into the Club Class section and they were
politely escorted out. I'm sure they just came in by mistake.
The Car Attendant then gave everyone a menu and explained the special
hot and cold selections for breakfast. I selected the hot breakfast
sandwich. It was served in a large tray along with a fruit plate
and more orange juice. Real silverware and a linen napkin were also
provided. After I finished, the tray was taken away and I was offered
a hot towel and a chocolate mint. I can't afford to splurge on first
class in an airplane, but for a few extra bucks, Club Class on Amtrak
is really worth the service!
TUE 09:03 AM ET 03/25/98 Williamsburg,VA - Ch ?? 16?.???
Click on the first photo above to see the CSX locomotives on the trestle
in the full-size photo. The second photo shows a gothic looking building
in Charlotsville, Virginia.
TUE 10:17 AM ET 03/25/98 Richmond,VA - Ch 54 160.920
The first photo shows the Beatrice MacDonald Cafe Car that was part of an
Amtrak train on the next track in the Richmond station. They pulled out
before we did and I took these pictures as the train was moving away. The
next two frames show the Amtrak RoadRailers. Look how close the tires are
to the tracks!
TUE 10:25 AM ET 03/25/98 Richmond,VA - Ch 54 160.920
TUE 10:37 AM ET 03/25/98 Ashland,VA - Ch 54 160.920
TUE 11:19 AM ET 03/25/98 Fredricksburg,VA - Ch 54 160.920
TUE 11:39 AM ET 03/25/98 Quantico,VA - Ch 54 160.920
TUE 11:51 AM ET 03/25/98 Woodbridge,VA - Ch 54 160.920
TUE 12:11 AM ET 03/25/98 Alexandria,VA - Ch 54 160.920
TUE 12:39 PM ET 03/25/98 Washington,DC - Ch 54 160.920
The Car Attendant let everyone know that this train would depart
promptly at 1:10 PM, but that he would like to see everyone back
by 1:05 PM. He told everyone not to worry about what the Conductor
said about making sure they had their ticket stubs. The Car Attendant
said that didn't apply to Club Class as he knew everyone by their
face already! He then took all of my bags and brought them off the
train. I thought it would be appropriate to tip him, but by the
time I got off, he had already hustled down to another section of
the train and was helping others! I did't see anyone else attempt
to tip him. Guess something else I'm going to have to explore so
that we can all learn what is customary in this circumstance!
The escalator was right by the door where I detrained and I headed
up the escalator. It was a short walk in Washington Station to
the Metropolitan Lounge. You can read the continuation of the
travelogues for this rail journey by
clicking here now!