Day 7 - Sat 15 April 06
The beds in American sleepers run down the side of the train, where as every European sleepers seem to run across the train (maybe it's to do with the size of the rolling stock). I did sleep, but got woken up a few times. I planned to have breakfast at 07:00, and I was just getting up when I heard the conductor outside saying "well, this is the end of the line I guess they will bus them to Chicago". I thought it was a joke, but no, it seems that a tornado ripped up some of the track between Indianapolis and Chicago. So, it's 07:30 and I'm sitting on a greyhound bus waiting for a four hour trip to Chicago!
In fact it seems that it was three tornados with golf ball sized hail, and Amtrak were on the ball this morning, it can take a lot longer to get the buses organised! Why do tornados always hit trailer parks?
We're on the Interstate now, and the fog is really thick in places. Only another 160 miles to Chicago. We're travelling in convoy with another coach, and we've just pulled over on the hard shoulder so that our driver could hand over some bog roll to the over coach. The fog has lifted, and the landscape is as flat as far as the eye can see.
09:02 80 miles to go, our first and hopefully last rest stop at a truckstop in the middle of nowhere. The last part of the run into Chicago is on a toll road 15 cents for cars, and 45 cents for a bus, is it even worth collecting it?
Got to Union Station with help from a knowledgeable passenger, the bus driver didn't know Chicago that well! I checked in at the 1st class lounge, had a cup of tea and a muffin before leaving my bag there and heading out on to the streets of Chicago.
I retraced my steps from when I was here in 2004, past the Sears Tower, and down to the art gallery. I got to see a lot of impressionists, a couple of Turners, a Constable, and Nighthawks by Hopper. Then it was back up to Union Station to get something to eat (Caesar Salad), and back into the 1st class Lounge. I've also arranged a $66 credit for the lack of 1st class facilities on the bus for Chicago.
The train left Chicago on time, and with no real incidents to report! I got a good view of the St. Louis Arch (at night) as we pulled in, took some photos, but don't expect them to come out. Supper was Cod and Rice, with fruit desert with a $12 bottle of wine.
NextView my route through the USA here