Penn Station. Pennsylvania station. The half-renovated basement rec room of New York City transportation. All Amtrak trains leave from this dim warren. There isn’t a choice. Thread your way underground to the Amtrak departures board and wait there for the track announcement. New York to Chicago, Lakeshore Limited. Yes, there are lounges with seating, but you are about to sit down for eighteen hours, and the auxilary departure displays are sometimes delayed. Did you buy food before you got here? It’s a long trip. You should have. If you haven’t, buy food now.
It gets dark in upstate New York, and the porters walk the aisles dispensing pillows in disposable sleeves. Pillows don’t mean a night’s sleep, and don’t expect one. Nap, jerking awake long enough to stare at Cleveland in the dark. When you get tired enough to sleep again you will.
AMTRAK’S LAKESHORE LIMITED
ONE WAY TICKET COACH CLASS $75
DEPARTS NEW YORK, NY DAILY 3:20PM
ARRIVES CHICAGO, IL NEXT DAY 9:05AM (SCHEDULED) OR 11:30AM (OUR ARRIVAL TIME)
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY: Feeling morally superior to people with more luggage than you.