On Friday evening, June 27 we rode our bikes from the downtown hostel in Buffalo to the De Pew Amtrak Station about 9 miles east. We rode out Broadway to Dick Road, and there was the station. We arrived about 8:30 with sundown at 9, so we had light all the way out.
On the way we turned off Broadway and took a good look at the old New York Central Station, now standing totally abandoned. At one time there were 5000 people working there and 200 + trains a day. It is about 4 miles east of downtown in what is now a "rough" neighborhood. Judging from the churches, it was once a Polish area. Today it was largely African American, though there was a lot of empty space. We rode through (with their permission) a street basketball game as we approached the historic station.
The train was posted 90 minutes late when we arrived at the De Pew Station. It didn't take long to box the bikes and check two panniers each, through to Kansas City. Then we sat down to wait. We dozed. We went outdoors and sat with the trainspotters and watched the double-decker container trains pass by. At midnight we struck up a conversation with a fellow traveler, also a bike tourist. We had a good talk, comparing trips, and before we knew it, the train rolled in at 1:30 a.m.
Both of us slept well on the train and by daybreak we were in eastern Ohio, then passed through Elkhart and South Bend, Indiana. We finally arrived at Union Station, Chicago, at 1:30. That late arrival stole the time we had counted on to walk down to Millenium Park, so George ran out to buy us "fixings" for supper and I played on the Internet and guarded our remaining panniers in the station. At precisely 3 pm, train #3, the Southwest Chief, pulled out. And at 10:25 pm, we pulled into Union Station Kansas City.
We waited 20 minutes for the Main MAX bus and were back home by 11:30 pm. Today we fetched the bikes, the checked panniers, and two bike boxes from the station.
It was a very good trip.