There is something regal about the name “Capitol Limited.” Perhaps it is because of its association with a Baltimore & Ohio train of the same name that uses the same route of Amtrak’s Capitol Limited between Pittsburgh and Washington. That B&O train ran between Chicago and D.C., just like the Amtrak edition, albeit on a different route west of Pittsburgh.
Perhaps it is something about the name itself. The term “Limited” was used by railroads at one time to indicate a train that went to where it was going in a hurry with few stops along the way. Typically, these trains had some of the best service, if not the best service on the railroad.
And of course the term “Capitol” denotes the seat of government and there is something special about Washington, the ultimate seat of government in the United States.
Amtrak’s Capitol Limited has some of the best scenery in the eastern United States, particularly in its passage through the mountains of Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
The eastbound train is scheduled to take in all of that during daylight hours. The westbound train, shown here arriving at Harpers Ferry in August 2008, sees much of it, depending of the time of year.
This view is one of the classic scenes on the former B&O. Thousands of images have been made of passenger and freight trains coming out of this tunnel, which lies on the Maryland side of the Potomac River. These are CSX tracks now, the B&O name having been retired decades ago.
Of course, I waited for No. 29 to arrive so I could get this view, which was made on Aug. 13, 2008. It never gets old seeing it.
Tags: Amtrak, Amtrak Capitol Limited, Amtrak long distance trains, Amtrak P42DC locomotives, Amtrak P42DC No. 76, Amtrak Superliners, Amtrak trains, Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, Capitol Limited, Harpers Ferry West Virginia, railroad tunnels