The New York-Chicago Amtrak Cardinal is named for the state bird of each state of the train's route from Virginia to Illinois.
by Will Gawin
In Cincinnati, the train only comes around after midnight at either 1 am or 3 am depending on your direction of travel. Walking into the darkened Cincinnati Union Terminal building, my dad and I made our way past the museum and Omnimax ticket counters, once again following the "Amtrak Station This Way" signs through the dormant food court, our suitcase wheels echoing though the rotunda as we made our way to the waiting room.
There were greeted by a small crowd of people (about 30). We dropped our bags and went to collect our tickets from the two station agents (one I recognize because he always seems to wear a unique black sweater vest over his uniform). The station agents in Cincinnati are always cracking jokes about everything that happens in the station. Before you know it I was on the train, and even before we left Cincinnati I fell asleep.
After a good night's sleep, I woke up to the ever so familiar clickity-clack sound. I woke up my dad and we had breakfast in the Diner Lounge. My French toast was really good and my dad enjoyed his breakfast as well.
We went back to the Sleeping Car and I worked on homework for a while and put on my iPod, planning to go to the lounge sometime soon. Even after my homework was done, I just stared out the window for a long time until I saw the Dyer, Indiana, station. It hit me that it had been two hours and the conductor announced that we would be arriving in Chicago 30 minutes early.
Thirty minutes later, there we were in Chicago Union Station and the only thing I was thinking was that we were there so soon. Thank you Amtrak for another trip well spent.