Crossing America By Rail?

BarstowRick Mar 22, 2019

  1. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yes. When Amtrak was formed, there were penalties established. But if and when they are applied at all, they are not even gnat bites on King Kong. They need of a kind which are inarguable and cause attention to detail.
     
  2. montanan

    montanan TrainBoard Member

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    It is so sad to hear about the dining cars. Growing up in southwestern Montana, we had the Milwaukee Road and the Northern Pacific right at our door step. We had relatives working on both railroads and took numerous trips east to visit relatives in Northern Indiana. The Milwaukee Road could take is right into Chicago and the North Coast Limited would change to Burlington Power in the twin cities for the rest of the trip to Chicago. This was in the 50's and early 60's.

    I have not had the opportunity to ride on an AmTrak train since we lost passenger service when AmTrak took over and the route across the southern part of the state, the old North Coast Limited was dropped.

    I loved the meals served on both railroads. For me they were one of the best parts of the trip (besides riding in the dome cars). It's really sad that AmTrak had top stoop so low.

    I can remember years ago when the airlines served great meals on flights. Now they serve stale peanuts. Is that the next step for AmTrak?
     
  3. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    At least with an airline passengers get over bad treatment in a few hours. With Amtrak they'll be treated badly for one or more nights and as many days.
     
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  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    It certainly appears to be headed there! And of course those train crew people will be losing their jobs, along with others no longer needed to maintain such a service. Such as a thinning of car shop personnel. :(
     
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  5. montanan

    montanan TrainBoard Member

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    I may be an old fart, but at least I had the opportunity to have enjoyed rail passenger service in its heyday.
     
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  6. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    I spoke with an ex-chef on the Crescent. He said he was fortunate that he had been promoted to chef from coach attendant, so could go back to that craft, though at lower pay. The folks who had been hired directly as chefs had no recourse except to be laid off without benefits. It's obvious that one of goals of this new plan is to reduce payroll. We're going to see many other fall outs of this plan as time goes on.
     
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  7. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

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    My sister and her husband have taken several trips via Amtrak over the past couple of years. They have strong mixed reviews.
    • Consistently poor to mediocre food
    • Consistently poor on-time performance
    • Consistently aggravating breakdowns / bused
    • Consistently poor routs / connections
    On the way home from Kentucky by Amtrack they sat in a not-so-nice part of town in the cold dark because the station was locked up. The train was an hour late. There was no edible food available.
    When Amtrak worked well the only complaint was the food.

    My own experience, horrible.
    On my honeymoon 5 years ago 'bridge down' no bus alternative and no promise of refund
    On a trip to the 'Big E' show in West Springfield in winter, frozen air lines. Had to take a bus home and no promise of refund.
    Argh!
    I can't wait to do it again.
     
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  8. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    This just in. I won't be quoting but rather paraphrasing.
    Idaho Press, is talking about a group in Oregon and another in Idaho pushing to return the Pioneer route from Seattle to Salt Lake City. AORTA is what I thought I read. Of course that caught my attention. I need to read the article further.

    I noticed the article as I was laying down pee-pads for my feline friends. I was about to lay down the above article for my colony of cats to poop on and instead chose to let them have the page where Shwarzee, announces he is running again for some office or the other. I think they will do a nice job on it.

    On the Article it was a picture of the Boise Train Station, and Headliner, Don't You Hear The Whistle Blowing? That caught my attention.

    More Later.
     
  9. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Mark my word and those of your own. Amtrak will bury itself. Of course you'd expect a retired mortician to say such a thing, wouldn't you?

    If I ran my business like they do, I'd be forced out of business of my own doing. I'd bury myself.
     
  10. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    I found the article in the Idaho Press.
    Entitlted: "Can you hear the Whistle Blowing?"

    Oregon group rallies to bring Amtrak back to Boise.

    In 1997 the last regular passenger train rolled out of the Boise Depot. A group calling itself AORTA hopes to bring the heartbeat of train travel back to the route from Portland, through La Grande and Boise and down to Salt Lake City.

    AORTA caught my eye and I'll let you read the article to see what it stands for.

    Cool if they can pull it off.

    Several problems to over come and the locals can address this better then I. But!
    The East track into Boise will need to be replaced.
    There is a grade into and out of Boise that in the past required helper units to get the trains into Boise.
    Once you get past Boise, going west and into Nampa, the tracks are in relatively good shape. Currently used by the Boise Shortline.
    The difficulties crossing the Nampa, yard to get to the now restored passenger train station in Nampa, will be a real trick. Back it in maybe but that just wastes time. Never mind U.P. is using the tracks in front of the station as some sort of set out tracks.

    What the valley really needs is a light rail system similar to the one that operated here years ago. With connections due south to the U.P. mainline where a new station could be built providing easy access to Amtrak's passenger trains. However, that's not what these folks are looking for. Honestly I'm on their side so we will see what happens next.

    More in the article if ye be interested. Click on the link provided above.
     
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  11. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    For many years, a relative of mine, who commuted daily into Boston, lobbied to have service restored on an ex-NH line that last saw passenger trains in 1959. Commuter rail trains finally began running on the line about ten years ago, just as he was ready to retire. :rolleyes:
     
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  12. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Not to far north of where I happen to be is the Canadian Border. I got to thinking which is always dangerous, well...for me. I thought you might like to compare what we have in Amtrak to what the Canadians have with their Via Railroad.

    You could say this is a glimpse into our past but not quite.



    I'd still like to make that trip.
     
  13. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    Wonder who at Siemens signed off on the performance of the new Amtrak Charger loco's windshield wipers and defroster under winter conditions?

     
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  14. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Those boys and girls in California, should know something about snow what with the Sierra's and all. Oh well, it is what it is.
     
  15. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    I've often wondered how the American Female would take to traveling by rail. Family wise most of the females in my family always enjoyed train trips Here's one more and a young lady's take on riding in a coach for four days. Really!

     
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  16. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Happy Thanksgiving. I'm sure we all have reasons to be thankful.

    Question: Does Amtrak serve a Thanksgiving Meal?

    The Answer: Today, Amtrak still offers long-distance passengers a Thanksgiving feast. The traditional meal includes sliced turkey breast with stuffing and gravy, as well as sides of three grain rice and cranberry sauce. To finish on a sweet note, diners may choose between gelato, sorbet or cake.

    So no one misses out by riding the train on Thanksgiving Day.

    Enjoy what's left of the day. Reflecting perhaps on a time when people were more likely to be thankful they survived then anything else.
     
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  17. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    Regardless of gender, would you really want to spend four days in an Amtrak coach seat versus about 5 hours in an airline coach seat?

    Can't quite decide?
    The Amtrak coach fare is about $250, while non-stop airline fares can be found for about $200.

    Still on the fence?
    You'd probably be spending at least another $100 for meals while on the train.
    Compare that to whatever the airlines might provide for free - if you even need to eat on that length of flight.
    Amtrak menus:
    CZ: https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/...routes/Long-Distance-Dining-Car-Menu-1119.pdf
    Lake Shore Ltd: https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/...ts/menus/national/National-Cafe-Menu-1119.pdf
     
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  18. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    No way would I enjoy a train trip in a coach longer then about 8 hours. I need a sleeper to crash these bones of mine. They holler as it is.
     
  19. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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  20. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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