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Amtrak's Silver Star- New York to Florida- Coach Class

2/13/98 4:46pm- The seats on this train recline tons, there are large leg rests, and foot rests. So far the train is on time and and perfect. They are also going to be showing movies. I hope this level of service continues. Washignton Union Station is amazing, beautiful high cealings, and tastefull architecture. There are many fine resteraunts and shops. The place is great. You could never tell that Amtrak is on the verge of bankruptcy from this station. The reservation desk for Amtrak looks like a Hyatt Resort reservation desk. It is gold covered with wood ect. 2/13/98 4:46 pm- Our dinner reservation is for 8:00 in the dining car. I hope the meal is good. On these carts there are curtains and guge clear windows. In Washington we switched train engines from electric to diesel. 2/14/98 8:11 am- The night ride was very nice and comfortable. I woke up once and a while, but overall I slept pretty well. We are now sitting in Jacksonville, FL. We were scheduled to leave at 8:06, and it is 8:13 right now. We have been generally ontime so far. Our dinner last nigh was great. I got a prime rib. It was served with mashed patatoes, and another vegitable. There was also a salad and rolls served with dinner. The scenary has been pretty. In the middle of the night I woke up and the train was going very fast and it was very bumpy, but shortly I fell back to sleep. When I woke up in the early morning it was very foggy, and the train was smoothly gliding slowly along the tracks. Then in about 15 minutes we started to gain lots of speed. 2/14/98 4:24 pm- When I got off at West Palm Beach it was hot! Wow, it is nice and sunny outside. We are now running 40 minutes late. At some times we are going real fast, but then all of a sudden we just stop and sit for 15 minutes. The reason for the stopping (which has made us late) is because Amtrak does not own the track on most routes (except Northeast Corridor) which gives the freight railroads priority. This morning we were riding along, but then we just had a huge sudden stop. It julted me forward. Then we sat for 15 minutes, well we saw police cars and fire trucks ahead at a crossing. Then an anouncement came on saying there was an object on the track. Later, the conducter told us that we had stopped 6 inches short of hitting a car. That would have been a mess. Later on we had to stop for another 25 minutes because ????, well we don't really know, but first they said over the intercom that it was because the Silver Meoteor was coming at our up coming single track station. That couldent of been all though, because we were sitting there 20 minutes after the Silver Meoteor passed us. We also had to stop 10, maybe more minutes for the Florida State Commuter Rail, again, Amtrak does not own the track. If you add all those points in time where we stopped you will see that it is more then 35-40 minutes late, the amount we are running right now. That is because Amtrak is trying to make up for lost time. It could be 30 minutes or less by the time we get to Miami. Hope things go well from here. (4:38 pm) We did arrive 40 minutes late in Miami, which was not bad. We arrived at 5:30 pm, thanks to the Florida State commuter rail. Thank you Amtrak for a good trip on the way down!