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The journey I'm about to take you on will cover 14 days, 16 states, and approximately 6,000 miles. I've been planing this trip for the better part of a year now, and it's finally come together. So here we go.
June 30, 2005
Well what other place is there to start other than your house. I woke up at 5 to make my final preparations for the trip, all my bags were packed, and ready to go, I just had to get up and do a few last minute things. I said goodbye to my Father and my Mom drove me down to Ft. Lauderdale International (FLL).
June 30, 2005
Got to FLL around 6:15, and walked into the lobby. I think the term zoo is an understatement. In the post-9/11 era I've seen that place calmer around Christmas time than I did this morning. People are so boneheaded when it comes to some things, like self check in. If you don't know what you're doing and know you're going to need help, go use a real person, and let us competent ones use the kiosks. I popped my Sky Miles card in, it pulled up my reservation right away, let me choose how many bags to check, and then printed my ticket. The guy behind the counter took the bag tag, slapped it on my Overnight, and told me to take to the TSA check in. I dropped it off with TSA then got in the airport security line.
With airport security being as it is today I came prepared, I put my pants on that morning, got all my gizmos put in their place, took the pants off and into my grip along with my work boots, then put on a pair of basketball shorts and sandals. Getting through security was a breeze, although the screener took a long hard look at my grip. I went in to the bathroom, put on my pants and boots, putting the shorts and sandals in their place. I went over to the gate and waited for about ten minutes before boarding began.
They called for my Zone to board, handed them the ticket and boarded. I had the window seat, with a real estate guy and some really spiritual chick next to me. We shoved back from the gate on time at 7:20. We had a pretty smooth flight, only hit a little turbulence. But, at one point Paul got up to use the bathroom I stretched out my right leg and said that it always gave me trouble when I sat for long periods of time. The girl said that pain is caused by unforgiveness. Now I'm sorry, but trying to get me to buy into religion because I've got pain in my knee is bull.
At any rate, Song did a fairly efficient job for the price, but I still would rather fly Jet Blue they're much nicer, a lot roomier, and it was just a better experience. We arrived at Logan about 10 minutes late, due to rerouting around some rough weather. I walked over to baggage claim and waited. And waited. And waited. It took half an hour for Delta to get our bags from the plane to the carousel which is ridiculous.
June 30, 2005
Got to South Station without a problem. I took the new Silver Line bus from Logan over to South for a buck-twenty-five. The bus was brand new, didn't have any issues with traffic or anything. What was really different though was when we got to Silver Line Way the driver turned off the engine. I was a little confused, but then I realized he was putting up the pantograph so we could draw power off the catenary while we were in the tunnel, that was really cool. We arrived at South Station, I took the elevator up to street level, and was at the door to South Station, much better than arriving in the Bus Terminal and having to haul 100 pounds (literally) worth of stuff down to the station. I went over to the ticket counter and picked up my Downeaster for when Jon and I head up to Portland in a week and a half. I grabbed a slice of pizza and coke, and just hung out until they called for boarding of 447. The boarding call came at 12:50, I boarded, and was seated in the head coach. The consist was as follows:
P-42 Locomotive 71
Heritage Baggage 1753
Amfleet I Cafe 48160
Amfleet II Coach 25084
Amfleet II Coach 25077
We pulled from South Station on time at 13:00 and made our way down to Back Bay Station just one mile south. Pulled out of Back Bay, got about 3 miles down the road before we got a stop signal for CSX Lite Power 5015 and 658 to get on to double track. Made it to Framingham at 13:39, where waited for an empty rack train to cross over in front of us. We pulled from the station and crossed over to track 1. Made it out of Worcester at 14:19, and had a pretty smooth run into Springfield, except for one or two Approach signals from the Cab Signal. Got to Springfield around 15:30 where John picked me up. We drove up to his house, and had a good night. Had pizza for dinner, watched some DVD's life was good.
July 5, 2005
John and I decided to drive over to New York state on his day off. We found a great spot in Columbiaville off Route 22 right next to the Hudson River. We had a great day, saw 12 trains, and got pretty good at knowing when they were coming up without the need for the radio. We were able to catch (engine number noted in Parntheses) 281(708), 260(716), 251(709), 48(707), 286(700), CSX Ballast Train (8841, 8831), 283(704), 262(709), 291(703), 257(715), 68(714), 49(713). There was a great pizza place just north of the site on Route 9, a pretty good day except for the little bit of rain we got.
Continued in next section