Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Day 5 Morning

And the adventure continues...But it's getting to be not so fun any longer. After we signed off on last night's update, we tried to get some form of rest on the floor of the Metropolitan lounge, and during which time, things started to get somewhat ugly. Information was not forthcoming from the people who had it to the people who wanted to share it with us. Conductors came and went with tickets and assurances for those ticketed on the Empire Builder (trains 7 and 27 to Seattle and Portland respectively) and yet the train was not being boarded.

The Lake Shore Limited was even worse...guesses were made as to when the train would be ready to go, but those times came and went and nothing further.

So a few people were demanding to be put up in a hotel but due to the time of day (so late at night, it's morning), the agents in the lounge were not able to help out in that respect. Legal actions were threatened (only in America!), people started rushing the desk, and it wasn't until an Amtrak Police agent came in and very loudly and firmly got everyone back under control.

A little while later (give or take 2:15am), train 354 to Detroit was announced as being ready for boarding. This was a train due to leave Chicago around 6pm but didn't due to much the same reasons why the other trains weren't leaving either (frozen equipment, lack of locomotives, etc.).

So with no news about the Lake Shore Limited, I checked out what sort of availability VIA Rail had out of Windsor. Sure enough, there's space available from Windsor (just across the river from Detroit) to Toronto, and if we're lucky, we'll get into Toronto around 5ish pm as opposed to 8ish...Provided of course that we wouldn't end up with yet another misconnect between the LSL and the Maple Leaf. So, went to talk to Isabelle (one of the Met Lounge agents) and asked if there was space aboard the Wolverine she just announced boarding for. She did, so I said we'll take the train to Detroit and then make our own way to Windsor and VIA. We're now aboard that train, with a somewhat quirky arrangement. Our entire coach of passengers going through to Detroit is sitting backwards, the engine's pushing us (I'm not sure whether we've got a Cab Car or another engine at the "front" of the train), and the door at the back end is stuck open. We're getting a little chilled as a result, but managing to get some sleep in the trip. I gave Michaelea the idea to use the toque as an eye mask, and once she removed her glasses, worked fine. Managed to get some decent sleep too. Me, I got a few winks here and there, and hopefully will get a few more aboard VIA. After all, if the car rental is still available (and bloody well should be given that I made a couple phone calls yesterday to Alamo's main call centre and the Toronto desk to advise of our late arrival and to NOT give our car away since we're no-shows for the 22nd), we've got ourselves a few more hours at the wheel to get to the cottage outside of Haliburton.

So, upcoming will be arrival into Detroit (hopefully not much more than an hour) and then get the Maple Leaf refunded, and find a cab willing to take us across the border into Canada.



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