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Amtrak ATL-BHM-ATL Day Trip (Pics And Video)  
User currently offlineMSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6572 posts, RR: 51
Posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3146 times:

I took Amtrak's Crescent down from ATL to BHM today to meet a friend...of course, if the train was on time, I would have had a three hour visit there, but seeing how it was an hour and a half late, we didn't have time to do much....but it was still fun though, and as always, I enjoyed my "therapy from the real world"...aka, riding the train. It's about a four hour ride from ATL to BHM and you pass though a bunch of forests, over a few bridges, and through a few small towns. Nothing overly scenic like the trains out West, but it is nice nonetheless. Seeing the Anniston Army Depot was neat...there must have been 100 tanks there getting worked on!

I am happy to report that both trains were very full in both directions...each coach was occupied to about 90%. And on the way back, dinner in the gorgeous Heritage Dining Car (one of the old stainless steel cars built in the 50's by the Budd corporation) was a fun time as always, even though it did have a flat wheel.  

My next train trip will be in two weeks when I take the Crescent (in a Sleeping Car room this time) down to the end of the line: New Orleans.

Here are some pics from the trains today, as well as some from BHM...we visited the Vulcan park as well as an old, deserted steel mill which is rumored to be the most haunted place in the country...you have virtually unlimited access at the place, and let me tell you, it is something to see!

1) Atlanta's very small Amtrak station
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y34/Nolaguy79/IMG_2745.jpg

2) Hmm, which way should I go?
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y34/Nolaguy79/IMG_2746.jpg

3) Amfleet 2 long distance coach
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y34/Nolaguy79/IMG_2749.jpg

4) Small town America
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y34/Nolaguy79/IMG_2750.jpg

5) This route is perfect for tree lovers
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y34/Nolaguy79/IMG_2760.jpg

6) Meeting a Norfolk Southern freight
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y34/Nolaguy79/IMG_2764.jpg

7) Chugging along


8) U.S Army locomotive at the HUGE Anniston Army Depot
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y34/Nolaguy79/IMG_2772.jpg

9) Some big lake in Alabama
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y34/Nolaguy79/IMG_2773.jpg

10) Birmingham skyline


11) BHM station
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y34/Nolaguy79/IMG_2787.jpg

12) Vulcan (live long and prosper)


13) At the huge and mysterious steel mill
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y34/Nolaguy79/IMG_2795.jpg

14) It was darker than it looked down there
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y34/Nolaguy79/IMG_2793.jpg

15) This is supposedly a "bottomlesss" pool of water...it was pitch black in there, only light was the camera flash
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y34/Nolaguy79/IMG_2797.jpg

16) Boys and their toys, eh?
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y34/Nolaguy79/IMG_2794.jpg

After about 20 minutes of exploring the mill, Crystal dropped me off back at the train station. Ten minutes after I got there, our train arrived. Here's the video...

Amtrak #20 arriving Birmingham

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17) Back on the train, it was time for dinner, after we had to wait an hour for crews to fix broken track switches
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y34/Nolaguy79/IMG_2801.jpg

18) Amfleet 2 lounge car
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y34/Nolaguy79/IMG_2804.jpg

the end.

[Edited 2007-08-05 06:28:42]

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offline57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2550 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3123 times:

Looks like you visited Sloss Furnace there in Birmingham. Hard to believe that before the 1870s, there was virtually nothing there. You must have had a New Orleans based crew in the diner. Last time I rode the Crescent, I had a NYC based crew and the service was horrid.

The Amtrak station in Atlanta is small but very nice. You can leave your car in the paid parking lot across the street without any fear of it being stolen or damaged-they have 12 foot cyclone fences with concertina wire and an attendant at all times. That station is the old Southern Railway Peachtree Street Station and is used by Amtrak as the old Atlanta Union Station was demolished many years ago.



"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
User currently offlineMSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6572 posts, RR: 51
Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3118 times:

Quoting 57AZ (Reply 1):
Looks like you visited Sloss Furnace there in Birmingham. Hard to believe that before the 1870s, there was virtually nothing there. You must have had a New Orleans based crew in the diner. Last time I rode the Crescent, I had a NYC based crew and the service was horrid.

Sloss, that was it.

Also, actually, the service wasn't great in the diner...but the crews were at least friendly. It got sort of busy and they had a hard time keeping up, which seems to be the norm these days.

Quoting 57AZ (Reply 1):
The Amtrak station in Atlanta is small but very nice. You can leave your car in the paid parking lot across the street without any fear of it being stolen or damaged-they have 12 foot cyclone fences with concertina wire and an attendant at all times

I liked the station a lot, actually. And as far as that lot goes....I guess I parked in the wrong one today....I followed the "Amtrak Customer Parking" sign, but it was not a pay lot. It seemed pretty safe.


User currently offline767Lover From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3116 times:

That station is in an extremely safe neighborhood. Course, I wouldn't walk alone at 3 am, but safe enough to park in reasonable hours.

User currently offlinePJ295 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 166 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3094 times:

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 2):
Sloss, that was it.

I was just there Monday night for a White Stripes concert. It was a really cool venue (nothing like a rock concert in an industrial setting)....very hot and humid on the inside. The #1 shed is cleared out so there is enough room to cram in a stage and a couple of hundred people.


User currently offline57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2550 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3076 times:

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 2):
I liked the station a lot, actually. And as far as that lot goes....I guess I parked in the wrong one today....I followed the "Amtrak Customer Parking" sign, but it was not a pay lot. It seemed pretty safe

That area is one of the safest I've seen. The lot is right across the side street from the station and they only charged $5 a day at the time-nice considering I was giong to be gone for several days. Much cheaper that it would have cost to park at any airport. Parked the car, checked in with the security man and walked my bags over to the station in ten minutes. No TSA nonsense and a hell of a lot more comfortable than first class. On the Viewliner, the coach seats and spacing are as nice as any first class cabin. As for me, since I was traveling overnight to NYC, I booked an economy bedroom. I'm 6'5" and fit comfortably into the berth. It was cozy to be sure, but not cramped. Trains are the most comfortable and economical way to travel if you have the option.



"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
User currently offlineAcidradio From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1874 posts, RR: 10
Reply 6, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3072 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

This steel mill, is it a museum or is this something you have to sneak into? I'm fascinated with old industrial stuff, as every city has that, especially the "ruins" of old factories. But if I go to another city and have to sneak around closed stuff with lots of danger, I kind of like to go with a local who knows the lay of the land...


Ich haben zwei Platzspielen und ein Microphone
User currently offlinePJ295 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 166 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3020 times:

Quoting Acidradio (Reply 6):
This steel mill, is it a museum or is this something you have to sneak into?

You can tour it.
http://www.slossfurnaces.com/media/html/home/sloss_story.php


User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75
Reply 8, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2972 times:

I really enjoyed my ride on Amtrak from ATL to MSY. My service was pretty good, and the engineers and conductors seemed to enjoy showing me around the train.

I need to do that again.



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineTom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 33
Reply 9, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 2956 times:

I took the girls train watching yesterday.....wouldn't you know it, the ten minutes it poured down rain was during the time when the City of New Orleans was passing through Kenner. We then went downtown to the UPT and ooohed and aaahed over the older Amfleet cars operating the Crescent that were resting there. I think I got them interested enough to take some sort of a daytrip somewhere...at least to start...

.....Then I'll spring the Sunset Limited to LA on them  wink 

Great report and pics, btw. Give me a shout when you get here...

Tom at MSY (on the CrackBerry)



"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
User currently offlineMSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6572 posts, RR: 51
Reply 10, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 2953 times:

Quoting Tom in NO (Reply 9):
I took the girls train watching yesterday.....wouldn't you know it, the ten minutes it poured down rain was during the time when the City of New Orleans was passing through Kenner. We then went downtown to the UPT and ooohed and aaahed over the older Amfleet cars operating the Crescent that were resting there. I think I got them interested enough to take some sort of a daytrip somewhere...at least to start...

You're making me proud, Tom. You're making me proud.

A great place to watch the trains at the UPT is right behind the arena by the chain link fence....they got used to seeing me there I think.

Quoting Tom in NO (Reply 9):
.....Then I'll spring the Sunset Limited to LA on them

Just be sure to bring plenty of books for them for the typical 5 hour or so delay.  Wink

Quoting Tom in NO (Reply 9):
Give me a shout when you get here

I will do that.  Smile


User currently offlineTom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 33
Reply 11, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 2924 times:

Talk about thinking along the same lines, behind the arena looking through the chain link fence is exactly where we were.....parked on that short side road on the UPT side of the arena and walked the hundred feet over to the fence. Great place to watch.....it'd be nice if there was more traffic though...memo to Amtrak: bring back Orlando!

Btw, we also saw a couple of derelict Amtrak coach cars in the yard off of Airline...reminded me a little of Marana  wink 

Tom at MSY (on the CrackBerry)



"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
User currently offlineMSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6572 posts, RR: 51
Reply 12, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 2907 times:

Quoting Tom in NO (Reply 11):
memo to Amtrak: bring back Orlando!

It's a shame they haven't brought it back. They are sort of holding the states hostage in a sense, looking for them to cough up $$$ to operate that portion of the route. They have said for two years that service is "suspended". Legally, they have to issue a 180 day train off notice before they can permanently cancel a route.


User currently offlineUAL777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 1556 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 2897 times:

Quoting Acidradio (Reply 6):


This steel mill, is it a museum or is this something you have to sneak into? I'm fascinated with old industrial stuff, as every city has that, especially the "ruins" of old factories. But if I go to another city and have to sneak around closed stuff with lots of danger, I kind of like to go with a local who knows the lay of the land...

They actually turn Sloss into a haunted house during Halloween and its really cool (and scary). The whole thing takes like a half-hour to walk through and you get the shit scared out of you the entire way. I remember 3-4 years ago when I went they had a large room at the Sloss Fright Furnace where guys would run at you with running chainsaws....

Oh how I miss BHM.



It is always darkest before the sun comes up.
User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12251 posts, RR: 35
Reply 14, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2888 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Nice report. I'd love to go somewhere on Amtrak, but my choices are rather limited out of MSP.

Quoting 57AZ (Reply 5):
if you have the option.

and time  Smile



911, where is your emergency?
User currently offlineMSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6572 posts, RR: 51
Reply 15, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2877 times:

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 14):
but my choices are rather limited out of MSP

What you do have in MSP though is the flagship of the Amtrak long distance trains: the Empire Builder. That train runs with newly renovated cars and more amenities.

You could always go for a ride down to Wisconsin for the day, I've heard it's a nice ride.


User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12251 posts, RR: 35
Reply 16, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2872 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 15):
You could always go for a ride down to Wisconsin for the day, I've heard it's a nice ride.

I'd believe that. I was working in Red Wing over the weekend, and it was pretty down there. I was right off the train tracks too, but missed the train go past. I guess I could take the train Mpls-Red Wing  Smile 1 hr 4min, $9



911, where is your emergency?
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