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All Aboard Amtrak…All Aboard


(Amtrak commercial from 1985!)

I remember this jingle and I always want to sing it when I’m waiting to board an Amtrak train. Ironically, they started using the old Metroliner cars on the Keystone and Pennsylvanian service…or at least, they were yesterday and today. I amused Tim by calling it “the boxy loco” because the engine part looks like a box. Apparently they no longer need to change the engine in Philly and haven’t needed to since 2006….shows how often I’ve ridden the train since 2006. Shame, really, since I used to take it all the time to visit friends.

I was fortunate enough on both trips to grab express services. The Pennsylvanian only stops at Harrisburg, Lancaster, Paoli, and then 30th Street, and the Keystone “express” skips about half the stops in the middle, too. All-in-all, a pleasant ride in both directions, though this morning I sporadically napped since I was worn out from the Carbon Leaf show at WXPN World Cafe I went to last night with my friend Erin.

30th Street even has free pubic wi-fi at both the McDonald’s and the Cosi, and Cosi even has comfortable booths and tables to sit at. We saw a lot of people lined up around the perimeter of both restaurants “mooching” wifi. I went inside Cosi, ordered a hot tea, and sat at a table for hours using their wifi and reading while I waited for Erin. No one seemed to mind.

Unless something comes up, the next time I get on Amtrak it will be to pick up Tim! 😀 He visits in less than 2 months now!

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5 Comments so far

  1. Ran Barton June 3rd, 2009 17:57

    Pennsylvania paid to upgrade the tracks and wires between HBG and PHL, so Amtrak is now using cab cars (which are indeed the old PRR Budd Metroliners) and AEM-7 engines in push-pull service for the new Keystone Corridor trains. A perfect example of the useful, incremental service improvements Amtrak is pursuing, rather than the pie in the sky multi-billion dollar 200+ MPH HSR schemes being kicked about these days.

    Glad you enjoyed your rides.

  2. Rebecca June 3rd, 2009 18:01

    Thanks for the information Ran! My boyfriend is a big rail enthusiast from the UK, but of course his knowledge doesn’t quite extend to Amtrak (yet). All I was able to tell him was that it was “a box” on the end and we spent at least an hour searching through Wiki, google, etc. trying to figure out what in the world I had ridden on!

    Do you know when they did the upgrades? I used to travel quite frequently between LNC and PHL, but that was at least three years ago, if not longer!

  3. Ran Barton June 3rd, 2009 20:37

    This entry is a little dated, but it gets you i the right ballpark:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keystone_Corridor#Construction_Progress

    Cheers!

  4. Rebecca June 3rd, 2009 20:39

    Thanks again!

  5. Ran Barton June 3rd, 2009 20:37

    …in the right…

    dreaded typos

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