Capitol Limited (Amtrak)
Amtrak's Capitol Limited is one of the two routes connecting Washington, DC to Chicago, running 764 miles (1230 km) via Cleveland, Ohio (the other is the Cardinal via Cincinnati). It was begun in 1981, and was named after the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's Capitol Limited, ended in 1971 with the formation of Amtrak.
On October 1, 1981, Amtrak inaugurated their Capitol Limited. It ran over the same route as the B&O's train east of Pittsburgh, but west of Pittsburgh it used the former Pennsylvania Railroad's Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railway. (The B&O route west of Pittsburgh was used by the Broadway Limited and Three Rivers from 1990 to 2005, with gaps in between.) On November 12, 1990 trains were rerouted west of Alliance, Ohio due to Conrail's desire to abandon part of the former PFW&C in northwestern Indiana; the Capitol Limited now uses that route.
On the eastbound trek, it leaves from Chicago in the early evening and arrives in Washington, DC the next day around noon. On the westbound trek, it leaves Washington, DC late afternoon and arrives early morning in Chicago the next day. The appearance of a shorter westbound ride is due to the one-hour time difference between Washington, DC and Chicago.
Between Washington and Pittsburgh, it mostly follows the historic B&O route along narrow river valleys hemmed in by steep slopes, including the upper Potomac, the Youghiogheny, and the Monongahela, which make for scenic if slow travel. Rail trails parallel much of this route, often on the opposite banks. The route straightens and levels out from Ohio onward.
The Capitol Limited operates over CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway trackage:
- CSX Metropolitan Subdivision, Cumberland Subdivision, Cumberland Terminal Subdivision, Keystone Subdivision, Pittsburgh Subdivision, and P&W Subdivision, Washington to Pittsburgh
- NS Pittsburgh Line and Fort Wayne Line, Pittsburgh to Alliance
- NS Cleveland Line, Alliance to Cleveland
- NS Chicago Line, Cleveland to Chicago
The Capitol Limited runs as train 29 westbound and train 30 eastbound, making the following station stops:
- Union Station (Washington, D.C.)
- Rockville, Maryland
- Harper's Ferry, West Virginia
- Martinsburg, West Virginia
- Cumberland, Maryland
- Connellsville, Pennsylvania
- Union Station (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
- Alliance, Ohio
- Lakefront Station (Cleveland, Ohio)
- Elyria, Ohio
- Sandusky, Ohio
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza (Toledo, Ohio)
- Waterloo, Indiana
- Elkhart, Indiana
- South Bend, Indiana
- Union Station (Chicago, Illinois)
- Mike Schafer, Amtrak's atlas, Trains June 1991