The "Wot, No More Sam Adams?" USA Tour 2004

Day 4 : Saturday 1st May

Having got to bed a little before 00.30 it was an 04.45 alarm call to get us to the station for the 05.45 departure to New York Penn, a distance of 460 miles and taking almost 9 hours (dud no. 700). The booked taxis didn't produce - mainly as the receptionist hadn't actually booked them so there was a slight flap as we waited. Needn't have worried though as we all made it to the train with time to spare.

Much sleep southwards! Slack timings allow for being pathed to give freights priority (Amtrak are at the mercy of the freight railroads they operate over) but a good run meant "smoking stops" were made instead, waiting time. To us lot of course it was a photo-stop!

Amtrak 904 took us from New York Penn to Philadelphia 30th Street, 656 to Baltimore Penn and finally 653 to Washington Union. Another relatively early finish allowed an evening in the brew-pub right opposite Union station. For two of us a late night flit to the Hard Rock Cafe was also achieved! Some of the famous Washington sights were glimpsed from the taxis. One of our number (Simon Reed) had gone his own way the previous day to visit a couple of US states he had not been to before but he didn't arrive as expected to the brew-pub, nor could we contact him as he didn't have a mobile phone. As it turned out he'd over-imbibed at his destination the night before and failed to get up for the one train back to civilisation -Oops! A Greyhound bus had been his only sensible option out, the resultant late arrival into Washington meant he'd gone straight to the hotel.

Gary Thornton.

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