We got up at 5:00 am, at breakfast at 6:30 am, and left the hotel at 7:30 am. We arrived quite early to the station and sat in the waiting area of “gate” 17. The students had lots of luggage, so they “checked” them with the guys who load up the bags in the back of your particular car at a rate of $3.00 per bag. Are those guys called porters?
About 30 minutes before boarding, everyone started to cue up to be in line for the “good” seats. There was a huge line. We ended up boarding about five minutes late and since we were going to YNY (Yonkers), we were in the 2nd car, away from those going to Penn Station, and we had our pick of seats. Somehow I ended up at the emergency exit row of my car and there was slightly more room. The conductor announced that this was going to be a FULL train for most of the 10.5 hour ride to NY. So it appears gas prices are affecting train loads.
We departed about 10 minutes late at 9:40 am. The trip back was extremely uneventful and LONG. The food was the same, the stops were the same, but the customs stop was only one hour 15 minutes this time.
The only complaint I would have is that when that train stops in, they really ought to take out the trash from the cars, replenish/restock the snack car, and CLEAN and FRESHEN the lavs! Let’s just say the lavs got a bit rank after 10.5 hours and lots of people using them.
We arrived at YNY only 15 minutes late at, purchased our tickets, and were off again on Metro-North back to Tarrytown. Yes, it was a backtrack. In retrospect, we should have purchased tickets from Croton-Harmon instead of YNY, but I purchased the tickets before we reserved the hotel rooms. We had nice accommodations in Tarrytown at the Courtyard for around $160 per night–including breakfast for four–and this is the third trip with students that I have stayed at this hotel. I am a repeat customer!