Day 5 : Wednesday 3rd May
Our replacement loco turned up at 01.10 (AMTK 69) and after it was attached to the front we finally got under way again at 01.42am.
The first booked stop, Dyer Indiana (quite appropriate!) was due at 20.57 but we arrived there at 2am so basically we were 5 hours down. Head down for some kip on the seats (Amtrak Coachliners have seats similar to those in business-class on an aircraft so a reasonable nights kip can be had). I awoke about 6am to see us run into Indianapolis. We festered here for almost an hour as dead AMTK 57 was dropped off - this being close to the Amtrak loco workshop at Beech Grove.
Breakfast consisted of a micro-wave cheeseburger and coffee...wow!
It was still an enjoyable days journey, reasonable scenery and a few passing freights to spot. In the back of our minds was the fact our 19.45 booked arrival Wednesday evening was now looking more like 2am on Thursday, but what the hell?!? Running out of beer on the train was only to be expected and it duly happened (our group big on beer drinking? Nah, must be thinking of another group of cranks...).
At Charleston (of 20's dance fame) it all went a bit wrong - re-signalling work combined with a lot of freight congestion to add a further FOUR hours delay to our journey. Yes - we hit (and exceeded) 10 hours late! For 8pm arrival read 6am the next day :-0
It was a shame we were running so late as it meant some of the most scenic parts of the journey would be traversed after nightfall. All the more reason to return another year to do it again!
When we passed the Amtrak service heading the other way (this being sometime after dark fell on our train for the second time) both trains stopped alongside each other and there was an exchange of passengers (from ours to theirs) and food/drink (theirs to ours) before we set off again, Can't imagine that happening half way up Stoke Bank on the ECML!
As the train had emptied of a lot of people our second night on board was more comfortable as we all managed to get two seats to spread out a bit. Midnight came...
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