Getting to the Chicago Show


Not our train but a Southbound Amtrak train pulling into Trenton Station

This year’s Chicago O Scale Show started out a little different for me. My wife could not make the drive with me from New Jersey and she really didn’t want me to make the drive by myself. So to keep peace at home and still get to the show I needed a different means of travel to the show.

I have no desire to ever fly again. So, I opted to take the train out and back. This was partly due to the fact that I would not be riding the train alone. Turns out three other Proto48 modelers, Michael Rahiley, Matt Forsyth and Theo Rahak, were taking the train to the show also.

The trip started out nice enough, Michael and I got on an Amtrak train in Trenton for the ride to New York Penn Station. From there we got on the Lake Shore Limited which wasn’t as limited as the name implies.

I have photographed along the Hudson River many times. I even participated in a Day-in-the-life kind of shoot on the Hudson that resulted in some of my photographs being displayed in a Museum show back in the early 1990’s. I have also rail-fanned along there as well many times. Now I was on the train that just flashed through the scene, and the locations that I had spent time at were passing past my window.


Michael watching the Tappan Zee Bridge go past.



The layover in Albany waiting for the Boston Section of the train to come into the station


The train stopped at Albany where it was joined by the cars from the Boston train. We were also joined at this point by Matt and Theo. We all talked for hours before trying out the train diner car. That was an experience I always wanted to try. How was it? I’d equate it to a good diner back here in Jersey, not the best but not the worst either.


Matt Forsyth and Theo Rehak in the dinning car


Most of the trip west was after the Sun went down so there was not much to see out the windows. But if you have sent some time around either Matt or Theo you would know that they both can tell a colorful story. Our conversations lasted longer into the night than most folks in our car probably would have liked.

The morning brought another trip to the diner car for breakfast. Then we had the pleasure of the rather flat countryside of Indiana and Illinois to enjoy.

We arrived at Union Station in Chicago and from there caught a commuter train out to near the hotel. I have to say the commuter rail system in the Chicago area is very nice compared to some I’ve been on in other places.


Michael walking on the platform at Chicago Union Station



Inside the commuter train



Our commuter train at the station I still can’t remember the name of


On the return trip Amtrak seat Matt and Theo in the section of the train that was headed to Boston. So we ended up spending most of the trip back in the cafe car. Again many stories were shared on the trip back.


Inside the dinning car at breakfast time



The two locomotives that brought us from Chicago with the Boston section



Our Cafe car



The Boston section pulling out of Albany. Our train which will take us to New York City is on the right.