Unbreakable Journey

Train Travel

Posted on by Amanda

Train travel. Does anyone travel by train anymore? That question is how my whole mini-vacation began. I woke up one day and decided I wanted to ride a train. Now, I could have just ridden the train for a short while, but I didn’t. I bought myself a round trip ticket from Richmond to Connellsville, PA. Never heard of Connellsville, PA? Don’t worry I never had either before I bought my ticket. Connellsville, PA was the closest location to one of my favorite vacation destinations Morgantown, WV. Okay, Morgantown isn’t my favorite vacation destination… but my brother is a senior at WVU and I do enjoy getting to visit with him.
Jerad dropped me off mid morning on a Wednesday and the famed Main Street Station in Richmond, VA. I was on my way, armed with smallest suitcase I’d ever packed 2 books, my journal and a couple of gossip magazines for good measure.

The ride from Richmond to DC was extremely peaceful. Great scenery, a seat to myself and a little time to catch up on reading…

Yep, I’m a bit of geek and read a book about blogging all the way to DC. A girl has to be well-versed in blogging to keep everything looking good and running smooth.
The inside of the train was about what I expected. It was a lot like riding in an airplane. Although the train didn’t seem to be too handicapped friendly for my wheelchair friends but I’m sure it was up to code. An inside look at the train:

Three hours after boarding the train, I arrived in DC and was bound for Union Station!

Union Station was beautiful. There were shops, restaurants, but no free wi-fi. I had a two hour layover in Union Station before I would board my next train.

I grabbed lunch and walked around the station for an hour or so and then headed to my assigned gate to board my next train. Imagine my surprise when it turns out my train was delayed due to police activity in Rockville, MD! So I waited, and waited and waited some more. I didn’t board my train bound for Connellsville until 7:00pm and wouldn’t arrive in Connellsville until after midnight.
The fun didn’t end there. An individual was kicked off the train for smoking, that was an experience. The train to Connellsville was actually an overnight train to Chicago. Amtrak determined it was bed time at 10:00PM. You couldn’t talk, have your light on or use electronic devices without headphones. Wouldn’t you know, I forgot my headphones and couldn’t use my iPad the remainder of the trip! Yea, it didn’t make for much of an entertaining trip after that.
At 12:24am… after 14 hours of train travel I arrived in Connellsville, PA. I didn’t make it to bed until almost 2:00am. Connellsville, PA is an hour from Morgantown, WV.

Aaron, my brother, scored us tickets to see the WVU home game on Thursday! So, of course we went.

We sat in the student section, as you can imagine it made for some good entertainment.

Friday Aaron and I headed to Chinese for lunch and then headed to my parents hometown to visit with some family.
What was my fortune cookie from the Chinese restaurant? Inspiration within is waiting for you. It’s time to go deep.


Sunday came too soon and it was time to make the trek back home to Richmond. Aaron dropped me off at the train station at bright and early at 6:45am. This is what the Connellsville train station looks like, its really just a glass shed.

While on the train I enjoyed a nutritious breakfast (just kidding) and finished up Sean Stephenson’s book Get Off Your But.

I must confess, I didn’t ride the train all the way home to Richmond. I jumped ship at Harpers Ferry, WV to meet up with my parents and aunt and uncle.

On the way home my parents and I stopped in Fredricksburg, VA. One of my favorite cities, I LOVE Sammy T’s in old town. We ate and then wandered around a bit.

I’ll admit I probably won’t ride the train again. It was tiring, long and awkward. I’ll stick to flying or driving but it was a fun adventure! But, I’m already ready for my next excursion!

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About Amanda

Amanda is a native of Richmond, VA. She enjoys writing, blogging, traveling, shopping, and spending time with friends and family. Want to contact Amanda? Email her at Amanda@unbreakablejourney.com or follow her on twitter @oijourney.

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2 Responses to Train Travel

liz says: October 20, 2010 at 7:32 pm

so sorry your train journey wasn’t as smooth as you had hoped it would be….

i love trains… and train travel. it’s definitely hard to do in this country, though.

we do travel by train on occassion – as long as we don’t have to get there “on time”… haha. the rails in the midwest aren’t the quickest, either.

but this weekend, we’re taking a 30 minute train ride to the wineries… i can’t wait!

Amanda says: October 20, 2010 at 11:02 pm

I loved train travel in Germany. So, I thought I’d try it out in America. Its not the same. I loved the 3 hour ride from Richmond to DC. I’d ride it at any any time.

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