July 5, 2011
Newark, Trenton, Philadelphia, Wilmington, Baltimore, Washington, Alexandria, Manassass, Culpepper, Charlottesville, Lynchburg, Danville,Greensboro
I spent a lovely morning on a lovely day walking down 7th Avenue to Central park and then back to the hotel on Avenue of the Americas. It was about 60 blocks going north and south and the blocks are rather short going in those directions, They are much longer going east and west and
I don’t know why.
But there is something to see every foot of the way. I went through the fashion district and Times Square and just to the edge of Central Park. It was lovely and interesting with throngs of people everywhere. Great fun.
I boarded the Crescent at 2PM and at first I thought I had gotten on the Underground railroad by mistake. I was the only white boy in my car. And I was the lightest. So I was feeling really special.
This train scoots along at 110 plus miles per hour on the only ‘high-speed’ section of rail in the US. With an Acela train it can reach speeds of 150 MPH but it cannot sustain it for very long. Odd that a country as broad and as advanced as the US and the fastest train averages 68 mph.
The scenery was pretty nice passing through some of the old historic cities of the US. While there seems to be some obvious decay the town all seem to have a vibrant downtown so I guess they will survive a few more years. We went through the ‘Chemical Capital of the World’ at Wilmington and crossed the Mason-Dixie line as we entered into Maryland. Then we went into Baltimore where the American railroad was born. And then we went on to Washington
where we changed our engine from an electric to a diesel-electric.
Factoid: Electric locomotives get their power from a third rail. Diesel-electric locomotives generate electricity and use that electricity to drive traction motors to move the train. Diesel trains drive the train off of the diesel motor through a transmission and are not that common. I
am usually right 98% of the time and the other 5% no one cares about.