Commencing at historic New York Penn Station, the Cardinal journeys south and west through historic Union Station in Washington, DC. You then travel into many of Virginia's most historic and quaint towns. You will travel through Manassas with its poignant Civil War battlefields. And travel through Charlottesville, the home of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello.
There's no better way to see Virginia's landscape than by train. Where you can fully appreciate the 4,000-foot Blue Ridge Mountain peaks and the lush Shenandoah Valley. Appropriately Shenandoah means "river of high mountains," and as you travel, you will agree that the region was aptly named.
The Cardinal then heads into West Virginia and its Allegheny Mountains, birthplace of some of the world's most renowned country inns, which are perfect for romantic getaways. You'll also marvel at West Virginia's wild, white-water rivers, particularly in the awesome river canyon of New River Gorge. This fissure, within a national park, was carved through the limestone mountains by the New River (actually, the second oldest river in the world).
As the train twists and turns through the canyon, wooded cliffs rise to 1,300 feet, while the Kanawha River thunders below. The only other way to experience these 60 miles of unequalled grandeur is by raft.
Passing through scenic West Virginia wilderness, you will encounter the Great Bend Tunnel, where the legendary African-American, John Henry, became famous for his incredible strength. Just beyond abundant coal mining towns that speak of the local history, you'll get to the capital of West Virginia - Charleston. Enjoy the sparkling city skyline of Cincinnati before you drift off to sleep and wake up the next morning in the Windy city of Chicago.