747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3301 posts, RR: 2 Posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 3642 times:
What is your favortie RR companies?
2: BNSF. I used to like both Santa Fe and Burington Northern, so of corse I am goinng to like the merged product.
3: Norfolk Southern. Great logo and livery.
4: Union Pacific. Part of US history, and there history of over built locomotives.
Aaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 7636 posts, RR: 28 Reply 4, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 3533 times:
The largest private commuter rail provider in the greater Nagoya area, Meitetsu (Nagoya Railroad Co.). Service started in 1921 and they are the main local competitor to JR. 275 stations on 20 lines, and a recently introduced smart card that combines commuter fares with points for touch-pad use in shops, restaurants, and vending machines.
Their rolling stock are well-designed, with impeccable interiors.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
I take them once a month to Cardiff and it's a nightmare every time; something always seems to go wrong (which can be quite infuriating when I have a flight to catch!). As well, it's a huge ripoff if I don't purchase in advance.
12 months: mco fra ory nce mxp doh pvg hkg bkk zrh iah lhr gva iad clt lax nrt sin mnl ceb del jai gay vns szx zuh
57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2550 posts, RR: 2 Reply 8, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3369 times:
1. Southern Railway System-NS Railway: railroad managed by railroaders and have plenty of friends who worked for and had great respect for the old Southern. It has quite the historic legacy and promotes railroad heritage. Their PR department is second only to the UP's.
2. CSXT: serves many of the towns around where I grew up. Also has a great historic legacy and promotes railroad heritage.
3. Union Pacific: a survivor. Has great historic legacy and promotes railroad heritage.
"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."
PanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 7771 posts, RR: 26 Reply 9, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3359 times:
It has to be Union Pacific, the only US railroad that has survived from the early beginnings till today, never has been merged into another carrier, has kept its logo and appearance from the beginning. But I put BNSF on the same level, the result of 4 grand railroads (AT&SF, CB&Q, NP and GN) merged into one, they have proudly kept the heritage of the original companies.
Union Pacific never changed its name but BNSF is an excellent name made up from the heritage of four great lines.
N867DA From United States of America, joined May 2008, 974 posts, RR: 1 Reply 10, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3353 times:
1. Amtrak - keeping passenger train travel alive since 1971! I've heard the horror stories, but I've never had a bad trip with AMTK
2. Indian Railways - there's nothing better than feeling the wind on your face while on a train!
3. BNSF - They probably care more for Amtrak than any other Class 1 RR
4. Norfolk Southern - nice colors, and SOU was a great company
5. Union Pacific - Look at 10 pictures of their trains out west. They cross some AMAZING scenery.
IH8BY From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 1117 posts, RR: 3 Reply 11, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3327 times:
Quoting Airstud (Reply 1): Some of which survives today as Amtrak's Empire Builder.
Went on that train a couple of years back - a wonderful experience that provides a unique perspective on America. It takes over 40 hours, but I'd go again...
In the UK, erm... hard to tell. I quite liked GNER before they lost the East Coast franchise. Proper loco-hauled long distance trains and a great image. The much-maligned Virgin Trains makes it into my good books too; I've been impressed by the quality of the staff and the service offered, and I'm still a bit bitter that they lost the Cross Country franchise to Arriva. I've travelled the Cross Country route from North East to South on a great many occasions, and I've watched the fares go up, the standard of service go down (not on the part of the staff, who do their best in often difficult situations), and in particular I've noticed that value advance tickets seem practically impossible to find since the takeover of the franchise.
Have you ever felt like you could float into the sky / like the laws of physics simply don't apply?
AzoresLover From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 744 posts, RR: 8 Reply 12, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3253 times:
1) Union Pacific, for reasons way too numerous to mention here.
2) British Columbia Railway (BC Rail in the closing years) Doesn't exist anymore, is now part of CN (Canadian National.) But it was a unique railroad in my mind, traveling through incredibly scenic country. I had many great experiences with this railroad.
Those who want to do something will find a way; those who don't will find an excuse.
bj87 From Netherlands, joined Jun 2009, 444 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3245 times:
With the great rail network here in Europe I have traveled on too many railroad companies to mention. The following are noteworthy though. A couple of US rail road companies included.
1) (SNCF - Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français) Both the SNCF TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) and SNCF Téoz trains offer great service at good prices.
2) Shared 2nd place between Thalys and Eurostar, fast, comfortable, and very convenient. If you don't book far ahead it can be expensive though.
3) NMBS - Nationale Maatschappij der Belgische Spoorwegen (Belgian National Railroad) not that expensive and very comfortable trains. The stopper trains can be old and a little noisy but the inter city trains are magnificent and I have yet to suffer a delay of any meaning. Also they have great staff, although the French speaking onces can be a little stubborn when it comes to communicating in English or Dutch.
4) DB - Deutsche Bahn. Can sometimes be a bit expensive but if there is a problem on the rails the staff and service are impressive. Depending on your route the trains will be either modern and comfortable or old, crowded and a little uncomfortable.
5) NS - Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch National Railroad). For all the wining and complaining of all the Dutch people, me included, they offer a great network. The train is expensive and delays can be the norm on certain days but you can still get a train at least once every 30 minutes to any destination in the Netherlands without dealing with traffic jams and stressed drivers, just get out your book and relax. Staff are helpful, polite and sometimes quite funny. Like with the Belgian Railroad the stopper trains can be a little old and noisy but the sprinters and most inter city trains are modern.
6) Shared place Amtrak in the USA and National Express East Coast Train in the UK, drove on both of them twice. Horrendously expensive but very comfortable trains. Amtrak does have a limited network though. The UK east coast train offers good connectivity.
7) Veolia. Modern yet uncomfortable trains, just as expensive as NS but do offer more trains per hour than NS used to. Service in case of problems is dismal though.
Last but not least.
8) Strasburg Railroad, Pennsylvania USA. Great tourist railroad with steam powered locomotives. They offer a great ride through the Pennsylvania countryside but their only stations are the starting point and a pick nick spot making them absolutely useless as a transportation option but still worth mentioning, hence the 8th place.
Little bit of advice. try to avoid, Italian, Romanian and Russian trains. Old, dirty and unreliable are the norm there.
Side note: I do love the bright yellow and blue colors of the NS trains. (On an aviation related note the train below will reach it's operational top speed of 160kph on the Utrecht to Schiphol airport route. According to wikipedia anyway.)
Nimish From India, joined Feb 2005, 3078 posts, RR: 9 Reply 14, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3198 times:
Definitely Indian railways - the joys of traveling by train in the subcontinent are "different" but something I enjoy thoroughly. The "antiseptic" railways of the western world are quite boring by comparison!
czbbflier From Canada, joined Jul 2006, 933 posts, RR: 2 Reply 15, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3197 times:
My experiences with railways are somewhat limited but my choices for good railways are:
SNCF, and DB for passenger trains.
CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) at the top for freight trains. The story behind the CPR is also very compelling- not just the political stuff, but the physical building-of-the-line stuff.
One that hits the not-so-favourite list is VIA rail. What a national embarrassment. It has decent service in Central Canada, but Vancouver gets three departures and arrivals A WEEK but twice daily service from AMTRAK.
Although it has improved in recent years, it was so bad that it was seriously lampooned by a satirist a few years back, saying that VIA had had a promotional campaign contest called, "VIA RAIL: WHEN YOU NEED TO GET THERE IN THE WORST WAY". First prize: 1 return-fare for two anywhere VIA went. Second prize: 2 return-fares for two anywhere VIA went.
It was so bad I actually thought the promotion had been real at first.
I remember years back, returning to Canada after riding the rails in France, taking the train from Montreal to Toronto. After the TGV and 'lesser' services on the SNCF, my VIA Rail train rumbled and rocked out of Montreal's main (and VIA's flagship) station, clickity-clacking past decades-unused wooden telegraph poles, smoke from the engines wafting past the window at the breakneck speed of 20 MPH for what seemed like hours.
extspotter From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 992 posts, RR: 1 Reply 16, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 3154 times:
My opinion (and rank) on the current UK operators which I have used:
1. East Coast
The trains, whilst quite old are very comfortable and refurbished to a high standard, the staff are fantastic and when I used them during the very bad snow in december (London to Durham took 7 hours rather than 3) the staff were fantastic in dealing with the unhappy travellers and making the best of a bad situation.
Based on a few journeys between Edinburgh and Dundee I took I have never come across an unhelpful member of staff and the trains are more comfortable (and newer) when compared to other companies which operate in similar situations (FGW).
3. First TransPennine Express:
I have never found anyone working on the railways in the northern part of the UK who was anything other than helpful and nice. The benefit of FTPE over northern is the more comfortable, newer, trains, however past this there isn't much to choose between them.
As said with FTPE above, good staff, but the trains are old and uncomfortable.
Of the 3 South London Commuter lines has more comfortable seating and the best staff, however standing is more likely due to the more generous seating leading to fewer seats.
6. First Capital Connect
Similar seating to Southern, however staff generally seem more bored and uncaring.
7. South West Trains
Staff are a bit of a mixed bag, the stock is generally quite new (as with the other 2 above) however is comparatively less comfortable (with 5 across versus 4 across on southern/FCC's routes to the south coast).
The trains are simply too small for the demand at any time of the day, the seats are uncomfortable and delays are definitely the norm. The staff is generally ok, the only positive thing with the company.
9. First (Worst) Great Western
The worst train company I have ever had to deal with. The high speed service trains are not large enough to cope with the demand, on the services between Plymouth and London (~4 hours) if you don't book a seat and get on at Exeter or later, you'll be lucky to not be standing or sitting on the floor for 3 hours. Going the other way if you get on at Reading (the first stop after London) you WILL be standing at least to Taunton but probably to Exeter, 2 hours standing up for a ridiculously high fare. On the London area commuter trains, a refresh is desperately needed, the seats are very uncomfortable and unsuitable for the longer journeys e.g. London - Hereford or Reading - Gatwick Airport, as for the country lines, as with Northern the trains are the old leftovers from everywhere else, increasing the lengths of some train services has been a good development from FGW, however the ride quality and comfort on some of these trains is unbearable.
AF BE BY FR MV PD SZ U2 VZ DHC6, 8-3/4Q, 732/8, 763ER, A319, A380
T8KE0FF From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2009, 400 posts, RR: 1 Reply 17, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3133 times:
Quoting czbbflier (Reply 15): The trains are simply too small for the demand at any time of the day, the seats are uncomfortable and delays are definitely the norm. The staff is generally ok, the only positive thing with the company.
Could not agree more with this!! The trains themselves are lovely, but I just hate them. With a passion. Every Friday I have to brave the 1731 from Birmingham New Street to Manchester Piccadilly. In my whole entire life, I have never ever got a seat on this train, ever, even in first class. So we all have to stand, it's cramped and just awful. You really are squished in like sardines. And then it's ALWAYS late, without a doubt. Last week we were 20 minutes late. Just ridiculous. And then I have to go back on them on the Sunday.
London Midland are also a company which I dislike. Living in the West Midlands, if you want to go anywhere you have to go with them. Except for the 'cross city routes', just like CrossCountry there are far to many people for the train. I live in a town called Bromsgrove, south Birmingham and the trains are always packed. You'll never get a seat. There's only ever two or three carriages making things not the nicest. of experiences.. However they do have a excellent presence on twitter letting you know if there are ever any issues anywhere on the network.
On a more positive note, I do rather like Virgin Trains. I guess like anything else with the Virgin brand it's cool, hip and funky. The trains are always sparkling clean inside and out, and of course they are very fast.
MYT332 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 9112 posts, RR: 74 Reply 18, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3127 times:
Quoting IH8BY (Reply 11): The much-maligned Virgin Trains makes it into my good books too; I've been impressed by the quality of the staff and the service offered, and I'm still a bit bitter that they lost the Cross Country franchise to Arriva.
That makes two of us who are still bitter about that. Ever since Arriva took over Cross Country, us in the North West have had to settle for no direct services to the South West or anywhere north of Edinburgh. On top of that Virgin were left with Voyagers to run totally under the wires from Birmingham to Glasgow/Edinburgh but hey, this is the Department For Transport we are talking about here! Bring on the Pendolino's on the route I say...
DanTaylor2006 From UK - England, joined Feb 2006, 459 posts, RR: 0 Reply 19, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3077 times:
Quoting extspotter (Reply 16): The trains are simply too small for the demand at any time of the day, the seats are uncomfortable and delays are definitely the norm.
I think 'any time of the day' needs rephrasing slightly. I've regularly travelled back from Sheffield after 7pm, up to Manchester at 7am, and up to York in the middle of the day and had the carriage to myself. Unfortunately, during the busy periods they do suffer and this is purely down to a lack of foresight when the stock was ordered. These trains should not have been 4/5 car ever. Fortunately the mistakes were rectified on the Meridians currently in use with East Midlands Trains. Here's hoping DaFT see sense and allow Bombardier to electrify the 22x's and lengthen them to 7 car trains.
Aside from that, I've never found the seats uncomfortable either, on long or short journeys. I find the seats used in FGW and XC HST's to be worse. On a delay related note, most of my delays with XC (all of which I have been compensated well for) are actually down to infrastructure issues, not TOC related.
As to my favourite TOC's...
1. Virgin Trains. They offer a very good, solid, product which has never failed to disappoint me, especially the staff. The fleet is modern and comfortable, although the Pendo's can be awfully claustrophobic at times... I much preferred my journeys in the 10 car Super Voyagers.
2. East Midlands Trains. Never had a problem using them down to London St Pancras, or across the Pennines to Liverpool and vice versa. Modern fleet, good interiors, and the staff have been okay. They also used to have some excellent 1st Advance deals.
3. First TransPennine Express. Used them a number of times to get to and from Manchester Airport, and have generally been reliable. The trains can get packed occasionally, but I've not had a bad experience with them or their staff.
4. East Coast. The standard of the refurbishment of their stock is excellent, and I've had a number of pleasant journeys with them, both when they were GNER, National Express, and now East Coast. The staff have always been friendly too.
5. CrossCountry. For all their failings (which are mostly down to the government and the stock it ordered) I have a soft spot for CrossCountry. I've never had a bad member of staff, and correspondence to delay repay claims and other issues have been addressed swiftly every time. I also, as previously mentioned, do rather like the Voyagers when they're not standing room only.
I've also had the pleasure of using London Midland, Northern Rail and Southern. The former is my local operator in the West Midlands, and I've had numerous cancellations and late running with them, but again, these are often infrastructure related and thus unavoidable really. Northern are okay, the stock is very poor, but otherwise friendly staff and good customer service. The latter I have only used for one journey, but it was on time and not full so I cannot complain.
Gotta love the UP for their investment in preserving railroad history. That means a lot to me.
Although the ATSF will always be close to my heart. Many family and friends have worked for Santa Fe. I've always loved their Warbonnett livery. Ever since I was a kid, I've collected Lionel trains. My favorite locomotives have always been the ATSF Warbonnet diesels. Anybody whose ever had a model railroad has had to have an ATSF locomotive of some kind.
B747-4U3 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2002, 983 posts, RR: 0 Reply 21, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 3003 times:
Quoting extspotter (Reply 16): Of the 3 South London Commuter lines has more comfortable seating and the best staff, however standing is more likely due to the more generous seating leading to fewer seats.
Quoting extspotter (Reply 16): Staff are a bit of a mixed bag, the stock is generally quite new (as with the other 2 above) however is comparatively less comfortable (with 5 across versus 4 across on southern/FCC's routes to the south coast).
Most Southern trains have 5 across.
Those used for Metro services all have 5 across. The 377s all have a mix of 2+2 and 2+3 seating with the exception of the 3-car trains mostly used for the Brighton fast services. The Turbostars also only have 2+2 seating but they are mainly used on the London Bridge to Uckfield route.
The 442s that are used for certain Southern services as well as Gatwick Express are 2+2...they also have in my opinion the best ride of any UK train. Very smooth and quiet.
Quoting extspotter (Reply 16): Similar seating to Southern, however staff generally seem more bored and uncaring.
In my opinion FCC are awful. Most of their trains, the 319s, are 2+3 seating and look old and uninviting. They run 4-car trains in the shoulder peak periods which is totally insufficient to deal with demand...indeed I've found their services just outside of peak times are more crowded than their already hideously overcrowded peak services.
They cancel trains left, right and centre for no apparent reason - or lie about the reason. I found out that my train was cancelled once because of no driver - the reason given over the tannoy was a fault with the train which later proved to be nonsense because when a driver was found, that exact train was used to operate the service.
They can be 10 or 15 minutes late arriving in Central London but make up the time before reaching their final destination and therefore not be classified as late.
I would love to comment on the quality of their staff, but to do that I would have to find one first!
747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3301 posts, RR: 2 Reply 23, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2847 times:
Quoting KevinL1011 (Reply 20): Although the ATSF will always be close to my heart. Many family and friends have worked for Santa Fe. I've always loved their Warbonnett livery. Ever since I was a kid, I've collected Lionel trains. My favorite locomotives have always been the ATSF Warbonnet diesels. Anybody whose ever had a model railroad has had to have an ATSF locomotive of some kind.
I grow up not to far from the main ATSF RR tracks that connected Long Beach or Los Angeles Harbor with the rail yard behind downtown Los Angeles, so I grew up liking ATSF. I remember back in the days when locomotives could be heard for miles, you would hear the horn, then you know when the train was passing by due to the sound of the locomotives. I pretty sure I heard a few ATSF SD-45s, because I heard that slighty high pitch hump come thpugh that area before. I believe that the first container train I ever seen was an ATSF train back in 1991 or 92. Sadly I missed the locomotives that morning.