Traveling by Train

Just back in Illinois from a layout delivery to Chico, CA. As long as I had the
time, I decided to take the California Zephyr back to Illinois. I know that I
am preaching to the choir here, but what a wonderful way to travel and see the
country. I have taken that train several times in the past, all the way back to
1957, and while many things have changed, it is still a great way to go.
Connection from Chico was a little difficult; while Amtrak left from a train
station, the trip was by bus to Sacramento. From there, on the Zephyr, the crew
was hospitable, food was OK, and meeting folks in the dinner and club car was a
joy. A few notable differences from the 'old' days (not to far back) was the
joining of the train from Las Vegas and Portland, OR in Salt Lake City (perhaps
Ogden). Now it is just one train from the San Francisco Vicinity through to
Chicago. The Desert Wind that used to go to Las Vegas is no more, and the
Portland train has been route via the Empire Builder to the north (I think) Of
course, earlier on, pryor to Amtrak, there was the change from the Western
Pacific to the Rio Grande, to the CB&Q. So, while there are still a few trains
to ride, I recommend everyone give it a try.
Don Cardiff
Model Railroad Design
Kaneville, IL
Modeling tip: Except for Kansas, the world is not flat.
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THE WORLD IS FLAT!!! There were four ships coming from Spain, the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa MAria, but you never hear of the fourth because it fell off the earth on the way over, thus, only three made it. Right??
All in fun! Mike PS I did make a trip from NYC to Phoenix in amn amtrak and you're right...,it was fabulous!!!
Reply to
Michael P Gabriel
So, while there are still a few trains
I took my grandson on Amtrak last year as part of a "Grand Tour" for finishing the first grade. We left Memphis in the morning on "The City of New Orleans" had breakfast and lunch on the train and arrived in New Orleans late that afternoon. We had a compartment with little table so he built a model while we watched the world whiz by. It was great. The service was excellent, everyone was friendly and there were no problems on the trip. We also took a riverboat trip and flew on Southwest back to Nashville. The train was the highlight I think though. It was his first train ride, first boat ride, and first airplane flight.
Reply to
John X. Volker
On 10 May 2004 16:44:56 GMT, (CBT2000) purred:
Indeed, the tragedy is so many trains have vanished, replaced by "AmBus". I live in Los Angeles and frequently go to the Fresno area. The first time I went I got reservations for Amtrack. When I arrived at Union Station (by subway, no less) I was directed to a bus painted to look like an Amtrack loco. It seems there was no service out of LA by rail so I ended up on AmBus for 3 hours and on the train for less time that my subway ride had been. How sad it is to expect to take the train and find, like streetcars, the rail service has vanished to be replaced with a cramped, uncomfortable, inefficient bus.
cat (missing the old US and current train service of Japan)
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For that location it has pretty much been that way for many a moon. In the middle 50s I remember taking the Golden Gate from LA to San Francisco. It was a bus from LA Union Station to Bakersfield, train to Oakland and then another bus across the bridge to San Francisco. To get to Bakersfield from LA by train you go through Cajon and Tehachapi which is the very long way around.
J. Bright
Reply to
On Mon, 10 May 2004 23:06:07 -0700, "jhbright" purred:
As far as I know it is still that way.
Still it would be more enjoyable that the 5 in a cramped bus with no dining or even water facilities.
cat (still loathing busses)
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Exactly! That would be a very popular route if they would actually run the train that way. Jim Bright
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Hello Michael; I'm glad that Amtrak is now routing to Phoenix. There was a time when they did NOT run a train through that area. Roe
Michael P Gabriel wrote:
THE WORLD IS FLAT!!! There were four ships coming from Spain, the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa MAria, but you never hear of the fourth because it fell off the earth on the way over, thus, only three made it. Right??
Reply to
Roe Thomas
I took the Empire Builder to Seattle last year to visit the folks. For somebody who's a fan of the GN (and a GNRHS member), it was really great! After only reading about the history of the line, seeing it first hand was an experience!
Doing the same thing this year, as part of the trip to the NMRA convention in July....
Reply to
Kennedy (no longer not on The Haggis!)
It's good to read some nice things about recent train travel. We've had a blast on trips to Florida from DC and (a few years ago) cross-country to CA and WA. Amtrak: It's the only way to fly! :)
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I am looking forwrd to my trips this summer.
Clemson, SC to Atlanta and the Seattle the Vancouver,BC (flying Atlanta to Seattle) All part of my trip to the NMRA national convention this year.
Reply to
Howard R Garner
A couple of years ago we got N.A. Rail passes and went across Canada on VIA and back across the US on Amtrak. Great fun, but I'd have to say the equipment and personnel were better on VIA.
Of course, this was soon enough after 9/11 that Amtrak had to bring a lot of stuff out of storage to meet the demand. There was a reason most of that was in storage :-). And it's possible that the increased work load was responsible for the higher degree of surliness among the Amtrak employees.
Not to give the wrong impression, most of the employees of both were great. But we only recall one bad VIA person, and at least a half-dozen bad Amtrak people.
Reply to
Larry Blanchard
Dear folks,
I just got back from Chicago on Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited. 9/11 or no 9/11, that equipment's ALWAYS old, except the Viewliners which I don't know anything about, since they cost extra, but it's still a blast. Chicago has a good 1/2 station. If they took what's left of Northwestern Station and what's left of Union Station and joined them together, they'd have a great whole station. Fixing up the Union Station concourse did make it look nice, but it's still a horrible design and too much like a stupid airport.
There was the usual cast of peculiar characters on the train. I don't know what it is about the train that seems to assemble these groups. That's probably the main reason I use the train. Amtrak's bureaucratic ways are irritating but the social life is great. Oh, and you get to drink water out of those conical paper cups.
Cordially yours, Gerard P.
Reply to
Gerard Pawlowski
Good fodder for the next romance novel.
of those conical paper cups.
And here I thought they were party hats! :) ...Bill
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When did they start it up again? We were in Phoenix last October visiting my mother in law and they only had bus service in and out of Phoenix. We had to go to Flagstaff to catch the Southwest Chief into Chicago. Then the Lakeshore Limited got us to Syracuse, where our grandchildren met us in time to get to a model train show at the NY State Fairgrounds. That was quite a week.
Bob McConnell N2SPP
Reply to
Bob McConnell
Phoenix, per se, does not have passenger rail service. The closest connection would be the Sunset Limited which stops at Maricopa; about 20 miles south of Phoenix a little way west of I-10.. I believe it only operates 3 times per week and arrives Maricopa early in the AM, (6 or 7 AM) if on time.
Reply to
John Stephens
The good news is..
1. You don't have to deal with downtown Phoenix!
2. Thanks to Uncle Pete, the train usually arrives mid afternoon!
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