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User currently offlineGlid4500 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 587 posts, RR: 6
Posted (10 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 6598 times:

Hello guys

This trip report was done the week after the CMH-CLE-PIT trip
One of my friends i met up in Cleveland wanted me to spend time with him and his family in this small town in New Jersey, not far frm PHL. This trip would be significant in many ways

1. My first time riding a Boeing 764ER
2. Havent rode a 737-200 in many years
3. Taking the Amtrak Sunset Limited
November 21, 2005

630am-Woke up, dressed, showered, packed last minute goodies, etc.

730am-leave home for the airport via taxi

820am-arrived at the Delta Terminal. It wasnt crowded, so I proceeded through to the checkpoint, and to the gate area. I had quite some time to kill here, so off to the McDonalds I went for a light breakfast.
One thing I do like about Delta Airlines is the automatic talking announcements, made a few recordings of them too  Smile

The agent at gate 57A made an announcement concerning my flight ( DL 1488 to ATL ). Boarding was delayed for 40 minutes due to weather.

40 MINUTES LATER ... boarding began for our flight. I was really impressed with the 764. Looks just like the triple-7 inside. liked the raked wingtips. Made my way to seat 44H i think. got the whole 2 seats to myself ... and this flight was pretty full too.

1120am or so - we taxied to the runway, and while making our way over to the runway, we stopped on the taxiway for a while, and then off in a remoted area. The captain informed us that we were being held for an additional 50 minutes due to the weather in ATL, again. He apologized and promised to make up for some lost time.

12pm- The engines started up again, and we were on our way to ATL. Finally. I did make a takeoff video of DL 1488, but will email it to those who request it.

The flight was about 3hrs 39 minutes. There wasnt any turbulence until we reached the ATL area. Landing was rather smooth ... and i was really impressed.

642pm-The doors opened up, and everybody were racing off the plane. I myself was one of them, due to the fact i had a connection that was suppose to leave at 630pm. When i got to the tv monitors, I found my connection DL 339 was to depart at 720pm now, which was a blessing...cuz i didnt wanna miss this opprotunity in riding a 737-200  Smile

710pm-After taking the tram, and walking all the way down to gate A2 on the opposite end, and grabbing a cup of coffee + Rice Krispie treat along the way, i finally reached the gate. Boarding hadnt even began, because the plane wasnt stocked with snacks yet.

727pm-Boarding began

743pm-We finally left the gate. The takeoff was full of bumps and violent motions to the left and right. It was as if the crew up front had difficulty keeping the plane under control. When we reached to the cruising altitude, things calmed down. The weather on the way down was pretty much the same in ATL, but a lil calmer.

Around 10pm or so, we landed in PHL. It took us about 15 minutes to pull up to the gate, but once we did, i went out to the arrival area and waited for my friendto get me at the airport.

Nov 22-24 : spent the3 days with my friend and his family

November 24, 2005

400pm-My friend drove me to PHL. My next destination was San Antonio Texas, where i will spend 1 day there ... since I failed to realize that Amtrak Train 1/2 ( Sunset Limited ) runs 3 days/week.
Went through security, and the airport is like a ghost town.

515pm-Boarded was started for United 563 to ORD. The aircraft was a Boeing 757-200. There were about 40 people on board this flight. The takeoff was a lil bumpy, overall ride was smooth. We landed in ORD on time.

After deplaneing, I discovered that my connection, UA 77 to SAT, was at the same gate....phew what a relief. ORD is soo big.

700pm-Boarding began for UA 77 to San Antonio. The aircraft was a Boeing 737-500. I was seated in the last row, and the plane was booked solid. The boarding process seemed like it took forever, but we got off the ground at about 730 or so. After snacks were served, i just fell asleep. Woke up, and it was time to come back down.

950pm or so-We pulled up at the gate, everybody including the crew deboarded. I went to the taxi, and off to myhotel in Downtown San Antonio.

1017pm-I stayed at the Comfort Inn Riverwalk in San Antonio. Very spacious rooms in a nice spanish setting  Smile .

Woke up the next morning around 7am or so. Very good night sleep. I got dressed, got my camera, and went exploring San Antonio. I caught a trolleybus towards Downtown, and bought a VIA 1 day pass for the transit buses there...only cost $ 3.00 for the pass. not bad. Also picked up a few bus schedules to find my way around the city.

VIA 313 ( 2005 NewFlyer D40LF )

The temperature in San Antonio was in the 70s, which was verygood. A lil chance of some rain ... but it didnt disrupt the day.

I rode around the city on the buses for a while, made my way outside city limits and went to this mexican restaurant on the west side. Went back into town and visited the Alamo, and other downtown attractions. I returned back to the hotel around 7pm or so. Went to bed around 8pm

November 26, 2005

3am-Woke up, packed, got dressed, etc

420am-After crosscheking the hotel room, I made my way out. The hotel clerk called a taxi for me, since i cant physically walk it.

430am-The taxi shows up, and it was off to the Amtrak Station

440am-We arrived at the Amtrak Station. I went inside and checked in at the counter. The train was already on the platform waiting for people. Guess i was the only one.

443AM-I proceeded to board the train. Since i bought a sleeper, the sleeping car attendant showed me to my room.... which was in the Transition Sleeper Car ( Crew Car ) Room 17. That was a good thing, since the dining car was a few feet away. The sleeping car attendant showed me where the showers were, and also the complimentary coffee, ice and juices ( apple juice and OJ ).

540am- We left on-time out of San Antonio. The ride was smooth, nice, and comfortable. After a while, the sun came up from the clouds and rain. The city limits disappeared. I fell asleep after converting the seats into a bed. The car attendant came by and reminded me of breakfast in the dining car. I decided to have breakfast brought to me instead of eating in the dining car...so i can enjoy the view in peace. I had an omlette and some fruit slices. to get me goin for the morning.

After i finished with breakfast, we passed by some beautiful scenery and made a few station stops in between.

This is as close we get to the Mexican border. The river is what seperates it. There were several Immigration Partol vans in the area as well.


Crossing the Pecos River


Just about 60 miles west of El Paso ... in a small city called Sierra Blanca. Thats Interstate 10 in a distance.

Dinner Just before El Paso

The locomotives pulling Train 1 ( GE P42DCs # 139 lead and 7 )

545pm-We made it El Paso, Tx. We had a quick crew change, picked up people, and we continued westbound on time at 6pm. We made several stops in the sidings for UPRR trains to pass us between El Paso and Los Angeles. Overall we was about 80 minutes late at about 1140am. Not bad compared to the typical 17+ hrs this train has been late....but that was prior Hurricane Katrina.

About 30 minutes from Palm Springs. Thats the Salton Sea in the background


1141am-deboarded Amtrak 1, and found myself on Track 12. It made the short walk to the Union Sta Patsouras Transit Bus Plaza and took MTA Bus 446 home.

100PM-Got home. Did Laundry and prepared for another trip to the Bay Area for 1 day.

7 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineMikesairways From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 783 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (10 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 6557 times:
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Very cool report!

How is Amtrak - I'm a big train geek as well as into planes and have never been on an Amtrak. So you say are coming to the Bay Area? Be sure to wave if you flying into SJC!

The red zone is for the immediate loading and unloading of passengers only, there is no stopping in the white zone...(Ai
User currently offlineGlid4500 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 587 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (10 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 6542 times:

The Amtrak ride was great, especially on the Sunset Limited. The other long-distance train ive been on was the Southwest Chief ( LA-Chicago ).

Ill be sure to wave whilst in SJC .. hehe

User currently offlineLH459 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 886 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (10 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 6317 times:

I just saw this report, after having seen the Coast Starlight report yesterday. Another very interesting report! I especially like that you use public transport wherever you go, instead of renting a car--makes things much more interesting!

"I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is temporary; the evil it does is permanent" - Ghandi
User currently offlineFlyboy_se From Sweden, joined Feb 2000, 894 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (10 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 6296 times:

Hey Glid4500,
very nice reports.very enjoyable to read.
Will have to try Amtrak when i come to LA in April.
Hope u can help me out with the ground transportation  Smile

I prefer to be crazy and happy rather than normal and bitter
User currently offlineGlid4500 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 587 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (10 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 6287 times:

Quoting Flyboy_se (Reply 4):
Hey Glid4500,
very nice reports.very enjoyable to read.
Will have to try Amtrak when i come to LA in April.
Hope u can help me out with the ground transportation

Thank you Flyboy_se

April is a pretty good time to come. Dont forget your umbrella.
For the past 15 yrs, i relied on transportation here in los angeles, so I know routes in LA and Orange county areas.

User currently offlineFlyboy_se From Sweden, joined Feb 2000, 894 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (10 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 6262 times:

Hey thats great.
When people hear i am going to LA and dont have a drivers license they think i m crazy....LOL
btw, how long was the train ride from San Francisco to LA?

I prefer to be crazy and happy rather than normal and bitter
User currently offlineGlid4500 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 587 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (10 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 6186 times:

Quoting Flyboy_se (Reply 6):
how long was the train ride from San Francisco to LA?

The train ride on the Coast Starlight is approximately 12 hours.

The San Joaquin train ( Oakland-Bakersfield ) + Amtrak Thruway Bus ( Bakersfield-LA ) is 7.5-8 hrs total

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