Late Night Train
by Victoria Principato
I can't lie: at 2 o'clock this morning, our morale was a little low. After a wonderful and activity filled day of exploring Niagara Falls, followed by a city tour of Buffalo, New York, Cate and I were ready for some shut eye! But at the ripe hour of 2 AM, there we were, in the midst Buffalo train station, awaiting the arrival of the Amtrak 0049. We stood on the platform, the chilly Buffalo breeze blowing in the trees behind us, the grey fog of the night covering the light of the moon. A freight train rolled ever so slowly by, and to be honest, Cate and I felt like we were in the perfect setting of some kind of scary movie. Just when we thought we couldn't stand another minute of it, the lights of promise showed around the bend, Our Amtrak 0049 had arrived, and we couldn't have been more excited!
Our room attendant helped us with our luggage, and showed us to our sleeper car. This was my first experience sleeping overnight on a train, and to be honest, I was a little nervous about it. I'm an extremely light sleeper as it is, (my roommates will attest to that) and I figured the sound of the train clickety-clacking on the tracks would keep me up all night. But I'm happy to report that I was able to sleep through the entirety of the evening! The sound of the train on the tracks was actually must have soothed me to sleep.
Amtrak's sleeper cars have a variety of designs. The one that Cate and I stayed in last night was similar to a bunk-bed, with one bed fixed on top, and a folding bed on the bottom. When we arrived, our attendant had kindly made up our two beds for us to collapse into. There was just enough space for our suitcases in the overhead compartments, and our backpacks fit perfectly just beside our beds. (For tips on packing for long-distance travel, check out our blog post here!)
I was perfectly comfortable in my twin-sized bottom bunk. Each bed has two windows next to it, with curtains to block any light coming in. Cate left her curtains open, and said it was wonderful to wake up with the sun. (Unlike myself, who slept with the curtains closed, and almost slept through breakfast.) Regardless of your sleeping preference, the sleeper cars in Amtrak's trains are comfortable, and offer beautiful views to wake up to! It was super simple, and a wonderful experience, to fall asleep in Buffalo and wake up in Indiana, en route to Chicago. Windy City, here we come!