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Pittsburgh to Indianapolis

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Pittsburgh to Indianapolis
Posted by Lithonia Operator on Friday, February 12, 2021 9:09 PM

Like some folks in the other thread, I find the Amtrak website very hard to use. So can someone just tell me what my options would be to go from Pittsburgh to Indianapolis. Assume this would be when Covid is at bay, and things are back to normal.

Since I don't know the name of the train, I'm striking out trying to find a schedule. I really hate the Amtrak website.

If someone could provide a link to the appropriate schedule, it would be most appreciated.

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Posted by josephr33 on Friday, February 12, 2021 9:21 PM

Your options are not very good; there is no direct route.  You would have to take the Capitol Limited to Chicago and then the Cardinal to Indianapolis.  Not sure what the three day a week schedules would do to your trip, but those are the schedules to look up. 

The Capitol Limited to D.C and then the Cardinal to Indianapolis would be even more roundabout, but quite scenic.  In any event, it might be a fun trip, but not the easiest way to get between those two points.  

Of course, Amtrak's new plan for Ohio service would make this an easy trip, but that is just a pure hypothetical at this point.

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, February 12, 2021 9:22 PM

The Capitol Limited to Chicago or Washington and the Cardinal that operates between Washington and Chicago via Indianapolis.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, February 12, 2021 9:47 PM

Part of the problem is that the Cardinal route describes a kind of semicircle around Pittsburgh, never coming particularly close, so there is little advantage in going from Pittsburgh south to board the train for Indianapolis.

I would strongly recommend taking the Capitol Limited east, and then the Cardinal west, as suggested for the best 'experience outside the train'.  Unless you find staying over in Chicago worth more than staying over in DC.  I haven't run the most competitive fares or any applicable discounts; someone might do that as a check.  See if one of the ways is cheaper; I'd bet the trip via DC is far likelier to be keep time once you board in Pittsburgh.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Friday, February 12, 2021 9:52 PM

Well, scratch that idea! I thought you could go direct.

BTW, does the Pennsylvanian do the same route (via Altoona) as the Capitol, only ends in Pittsburgh?

Thanks guys!

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Friday, February 12, 2021 10:05 PM

Never mind. I was confused. Obviously the Capitol takes a more southern route than the Pennsylvanian.

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Friday, February 12, 2021 10:25 PM

Lithonia Operator
Well, scratch that idea! I thought you could go direct.

BTW, does the Pennsylvanian do the same route (via Altoona) as the Capitol, only ends in Pittsburgh?Thanks guys!

No Capital Limited operates via former B&O through North West Virginia to Wasington DC. Pennsylvanian operates Pittsburgh through Pennsylvania to Phillidelphia. You could connect to the Cardinal in Philadelphia. However the Cardinal departs there @ 8:18 AM Wed, Fri, Sun while the Pennsylvanian Arrives at 2:59 PM. 

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, February 12, 2021 10:54 PM

Electroliner 1935
You could connect to the Cardinal in Philadelphia. However the Cardinal departs there @ 8:18 AM Wed, Fri, Sun while the Pennsylvanian Arrives at 2:59 PM.

What he might do is to take the Pennsylvanian east, then stay over in Philadelphia or New York and take a different Corridor service south to Baltimore or Washington to catch the Cardinal 'in progress'; if he gets a sleeper this might remove a chunk of charge because he won't get it 'overnight' at New York for the morning departure, and then won't need it until well west of Washington... that adds one city to his round trip, too.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Friday, February 12, 2021 11:22 PM

Indy was not really the objective, per se. I was trying to configure a r/t trip to Chicago from the east coast, and not travel on any track we've done before (except for parts of the NEC, which can't be avoided.) I was trying to not do any of the Lake Shore's route.  And I wanted to go over Horseshoe Curve.

So, OM, I'm now thinking of going with your plan, but with a wrinkle. Cardinal to Chicago, Capitol to Pittsburgh, then Pitt-Phila on the Pennsylvanian.

Or the reverse order. Depending on where we would be in daylight. I haven't yet examined the schedules to know whether to go clockwise or counter.

While in Chicago area, would rent car and try to see some fast trains on the Chillicothe sub, as suggested in a different thread.

Then, on a different trip, fly to Chicago, then do the Zephyr to CA, r/t. We've done the Chief, Zephyr and Builder, but only the Builder in both directions. I really want to ride the Zephyr again, and in both directions.

I hope these trains (and I!) last long enough for us to make these trips. Ideally they would be in early June, so the daylight would be plentiful.

I appreciate the suggestions and info, guys.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, February 12, 2021 11:53 PM

Lithonia Operator
Cardinal to Chicago, Capitol to Pittsburgh, then Pitt-Phila on the Pennsylvanian.

Cool ... but remember that IIRC just west of Cleveland (north of Elyria?) the Capitol adopts the route of the Lake Shore to the west... you said you didn't want that.  Going the other way on the Capitol saves you that ... from Pittsburgh to Indianapolis.  Doing the round trip via Chicago, you'll be riding the Lake Shore's route at some point -- perhaps the question then being what time of day or night the Cap covers it one direction or the other.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Saturday, February 13, 2021 5:29 AM

Yeah, that's what the mythical Pitt-Indy part was designed to avoid. Hey, it is what it is. But there are some interesting industrial scenes along the Cleve-Chi leg.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Saturday, February 13, 2021 3:32 PM

It looks like this is the way to go:

Fly to NYC.

Pennsylvanian to Pittsburgh, spend night or two; Capitol to Chicago, spend several nights in area; Cardinal back to Washington, spend a few nights; NEC train to NYC, spend a night or two.

Fly home.

Or, of course, do it all by train. But we've ridden the NEC a lot already.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, February 13, 2021 3:39 PM

Lithonia Operator
Fly to NYC.

Why not Philadelphia?  The airport connections are better (by train!); the cheese steaks are better; the people are nicer, and you don't have to ride the Corridor on the Pennsylvanian equipment and then back up from Washington at Corridor prices x2.  The flight is probably cheaper, too, booked in advance, even though it's an intrastate flight leg...

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Posted by NKP guy on Saturday, February 13, 2021 3:58 PM

   Lithonia Operator:  Yours sounds like a fun trip, the kind of take-my-good-time travel experience that so many people would like to do if only they could.  I hope you have the best time!

   Today I heard on NPR the term "revenge spending" to describe the expected surge in consumer demand, especially for luxury goods, that's already starting to develop in China and will likely spread here later this year as the US economy gradually reopens and people try to make up for lost time or such.

   Like Lithonia Operator, I intend to do my share.  

   That's why I think this is also going to be another good year for stocks and not so much for bonds.

 

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Saturday, February 13, 2021 5:57 PM

Overmod

 

 
Lithonia Operator
Fly to NYC.

 

Why not Philadelphia?  The airport connections are better (by train!); the cheese steaks are better; the people are nicer, and you don't have to ride the Corridor on the Pennsylvanian equipment and then back up from Washington at Corridor prices x2.  The flight is probably cheaper, too, booked in advance, even though it's an intrastate flight leg...

 

 

Heck, I'll look into that! Never really thought of doing that. I'm not a big fan of NYC (although I've spent a lot of time there), but we do have some relatives there to visit, and we'd like to take a walk on the High Line.

But Philly. Hmm. Was only there once, on a photo shoot. It was arrive very late at night, work like hell all the next day, and head for the next stop, which I think was Newark. My assistant and I had a few nice experiences on that trip, but mainly it was a long, hard grind. We got really lost, for an hour, when we first arrived in Philly, and wound up in some really spooky places; maybe I repressed the whole idea of Philadelphia.

I will definitely look at flights to there. Thanks.

I found that riding the Cardinal eastbound will be better for scenery in daylight.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Saturday, February 13, 2021 5:59 PM

NKP guy

   Lithonia Operator:  Yours sounds like a fun trip, the kind of take-my-good-time travel experience that so many people would like to do if only they could.  I hope you have the best time!

Thanks, man.

I think I'll take (some of) my real photo gear. I've been Mr. iPhone since I retired.

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Posted by runnerdude48 on Sunday, February 14, 2021 7:41 PM

You guys wear me out.  If I was in Pittsburgh I would catch an Uber to the airport and then fly to Indy and arrive in a fraction of the time.  I'm exhausted reading all these suggestions. Think I'll go to bed.  I'm too old to travel by train any more.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, February 14, 2021 10:23 PM

runnerdude48
If I was in Pittsburgh I would catch an Uber to the airport and then fly to Indy and arrive in a fraction of the time.

But that would be no fun, on so many levels.

In case you missed it, "Pittsburgh to Indianapolis" was much more a justification to do "new" route miles than to 'get from one place to the other'.  As noted, Amtrak routing is almost computer-designed to make it difficult to go straight from one city to the other, even if speeds were higher, delays absent, and reputed service friendlier.

And the OP is certainly not too old to travel by train any more, even if some of us chronic responders might now be.

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, February 15, 2021 2:49 PM

Just fire up the Wayback Machine and take PRR's Capitol Express from 1925-29

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, February 15, 2021 2:56 PM

BaltACD
Just fire up the Wayback Machine and take PRR's Capitol Express from 1925-29

Interesting that for a couple of years ('25-'27), he could have used the Capitol Express directly, or the Capital Express the other way for the first prospective leg of his roundabout route...

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Monday, February 15, 2021 3:34 PM

Truth be told, Indianapolis may be the location I'm LEAST interested in.

Having said that, I've been there once, and that was for the Indy 500, which was totally awesome. I've been to many auto races, of all types. But when we first went to the track, for the Friday practice session, the first time I saw cars entering Turn 1, at those speeds, it was mind-blowing. I'd never seen anything like that before.

Then, in the race, 33 cars doing it. OMG.

Indianapolis is a nice enough town, seeing its Amtrak station from the train won't beat that visit!

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Monday, February 15, 2021 9:30 PM

Overmod
BaltACD

Just fire up the Wayback Machine and take PRR's Capitol Express from 1925-29 

Interesting that for a couple of years ('25-'27), he could have used the Capitol Express directly, or the Capital Express the other way for the first prospective leg of his roundabout route...

You don't have to go that far back, in the early 50's He would have had SIX trains. The following is from the Oct. '52 Official Guide. 

20210215_211936.jpg

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, February 15, 2021 9:34 PM

Electroliner 1935
 
Overmod
BaltACD

Just fire up the Wayback Machine and take PRR's Capitol Express from 1925-29 

Interesting that for a couple of years ('25-'27), he could have used the Capitol Express directly, or the Capital Express the other way for the first prospective leg of his roundabout route... 

You don't have to go that far back, in the early 50's He would have had SIX trains. The following is from the Oct. '52 Official Guide. 

20210215_211936.jpg

Bad Link - 403 error.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, February 15, 2021 9:47 PM

BaltACD
Bad Link - 403 error.

You're lucky.  I get a full Forbidden 401 error, complete with a call to 'start a new browser session'.  

From the look of what I see of the URL before things get nasty, the file is sitting in an Xfinity 'appsuite' mail account, perhaps securely linked to his computer -- you can't paste link session information directly from there like that!

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Monday, February 15, 2021 9:56 PM

Overmod

 

 
BaltACD
Bad Link - 403 error.

 

You're lucky.  I get a full Forbidden 401 error, complete with a call to 'start a new browser session'.  From the look of what I see of the URL before things get nasty, the file is sitting in an Xfinity 'appsuite' mail account, perhaps securely linked to his computer -- you can't paste link session information directly from there like that!

My bad, I wanted to paste a copy of the Official Guide and tried to copy a PDF and could not so thought I could print a photo. And since I could see it, I forgot that I am not inserting an image, I  am inserting a link. What do I need to do to make an scan or a pdf visable to others. 

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Monday, February 15, 2021 10:07 PM

Hey, I'll take tour word for it!

I may be wrong, but I think the only way to show a photo is to link to it.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, February 15, 2021 11:35 PM

Electroliner 1935
What do I need to do to make an scan or a pdf visible to others.

Be sure the scan save is in one of the JPEG formats, then upload it to any photo site (where it should appear, and be linkable in various ways, like any other JPEG image.

PDFs can be more involved, especially if some sort of protection has been set on them.  While there are often good reasons to 'print to PDF' to generate word-processing file output and images that everybody can be set up to read 'free', it is NOT as good an idea as making a good JPEG as far as this forum is concerned.  Some programs have the ability to 'save' a PDF as JPEG -- I believe in some cases an actual JPEG-format image is embedded in PDF code -- and I think some sites can 'serve' PDFs, although I don't know if they have native ability to do so with Kalmbach's link or embed facilities.

If you have a hosting site that takes PDFs (Yahoo Groups was one) just paste the URL to it using the little 'chain' tool, or paste the embed code without using the tool if the site supports that.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Sunday, February 21, 2021 10:47 PM

Man, I priced a bedroom on the Cardinal, Chigago-Washington for a late June trip, two adults, one way.

It is over $1100!!!!! I had no idea. Wow. Indifferent

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Posted by Sunnyland on Sunday, March 7, 2021 5:46 PM

Our railfan friend who plans our annual trip to PA this year, has us taking the Capitol Ltd. to Pittsburg,  then Pennsylvanian to Altoona, as he wants us to go around Horseshoe Curve, then pick up the rental car and drive  around to see places. On return drive to DC and take Cardinal back to Chi. We went to New River Gorge in 2015 on our way home from riding with #611 and we have been at the top and now we can see it from the bottom. He had it scheduled for last june, but cancelled of course, but we are set to go for mid-July. I rode the last north Hoosier State in 2019 with railfan group, many rail advocates on the trip and at the stops. The conductors were going to work the Cardinal, which was already running 3 times a  week.  

 

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