To The Capitol… By Private Car(s)

June 4-11, 2010

  The St. Louis Chapter’s fourth annual private car trip to Washington DC was another success. Due to car availability we left St. Louis on a Friday rather than the usual Wednesday. This put us in the Capitol on Sunday afternoon and weekdays, rather than the usual weekend to tour the area. Additionally, we could not get on the Cardinal between Chicago and Washington DC so we took the Capitol Limited both directions.

As we have done the previous two years, we took two cars – ex-Frisco 14-4 sleeper Cimarron River and ex-Union Pacific 10-6 sleeper Pacific Union.

We experienced clouds and rain Saturday morning in Chicago and on the way to Washington. After a thunderstorm upon arrival in Washington DC Sunday afternoon, the weather turned sunny and mild. As usual our 28 passengers found many things to do and see during their stay, including free concerts at the Kennedy Center and on the Capitol steps. Some even went to Baltimore to see the B&O Railroad Museum.

Thursday was departure day. Rain fell off and on as we departed Washington DC and headed up the Potomac River valley. Mist laid in the valley as we departed Cumberland, MD and headed up Sand Patch grade. The next morning dawned clear as we crossed Indiana. After a day layover in Chicago we returned to St. Louis to complete another fabulous trip.

Here are a collection of memories from the trip. Hope you can join us next year!

The St. Louis boarding assistants (left to right):  Steve Binning, Steve Siegerist, Erin McQuitty, Brian McQuitty, David Graham, Fred Blank and David Huelsing.

Roland Klein, Glenda Hares, Bruce Zuckerman and Laura Tyrey enjoy the welcome aboard party on Pacific Union.

Pacific Union
carries the St. Louis Chapter NRHS drumhead upon arrival in Chicago.  Our cars were in reverse order leaving St. Louis, something that was corrected in Chicago.

Early Sunday morning arrival at the Pittsburgh Amtrak station.

Ron Gawedzinski (left) and Jack Stroker enjoying the welcome aboard party in the lounge on Cimarron River.

Steve Binning and Al Feldmeier upon arrival in Chicago.  Steve assisted with the trip as the attendant on Pacific Union.

Bill Peters in the lounge on Cimarron River.


Eastbound through West Newton, Pennsylvania.  Check out the houses facing the tracks on both sides – a sidewalk but no street.

Dick Labore gets the shot from the vestibule of Cimarron River.

Ron Gawedzinski takes video in daylight.

The eastbound Capitol Limited climbing Sand Patch grade.

Al Feldmeier in the vestibule on Sand Patch.

Ron Gawedzinski takes night time video in Sand Patch tunnel, at least it seems to be night time when you are in the tunnel.

Passing beneath the former Western Maryland Railroad bridge east of Meyersdale, Pa.

Steve Aylward enjoys a quiet moment in the lounge on Cimarron River.

Pat Kurre, Mary Hoffman, Mary Birdsell and Steve Binning  partake in a card game on Pacific Union viewed from inside the car.

The 11-car eastbound Capitol Limited makes its stop at Cumberland, WV.

Cimarron River and Pacific Union being turned after arrival in Washington DC.

Same view from outside the car.


Our home on track 9 in Washington D.C. Union Station.

We were moved to track 15 in Washington DC Union Station the night before departure.

hile traveling through the Potomac River Valley, Steve Binning and Mary Birdsell take in the vestibule action from Pacific Union .

Mary Hoffman, Ron Gawedzinski and Al Feldmeier return from a day’s adventure in Washington.

Leaving Washington D.C. on track 15.  K Tower is at left and commuter trains on the right.

t least 6 folks taking in the Potomac River Valley scenery from Cimarron River.  The vestibule appears to be filled to capacity.

Westbound Capitol Limited at Cumberland, MD.

Sunrise in eastern Indiana from Cimarron River, just a few hours from Chicago.

South of Joliet , Ill., on train 301 to St. Louis – the last leg of our fabulous trip.

Maryland Heights and the Harper’s Ferry Tunnel at Harper’s Ferry, WV.

Through the mists of the Potomac River Valley on the eastbound Capitol Limited.

All photos by Rick Sprung.

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