plateman
Posts: 646
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 9:36 am

Amtrak Open House Trip Report ( 27 Pics)

Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:42 pm

I enjoyed reading everyone's trip reports and realize the time and effort that you all put into them. I never have the patience to do one per se, but wanted to give back by sharing some rail pictures taken this past Sunday. I welcome your comments, questions, etc.

BACKGROUND
I now work full-time in Washington DC and really enjoy exploring the city. I for some reason always read traffic reports and noticed that Union Station was reporting celebrating its centennial celebration with an open house provided by Amtrak.

Realizing I could get there via all highways (and thus not have to sit in DC traffic), I said why the hell not and off I went to Union Station, located on Massachusetts Ave NE, right neat the U.S. Capitol, and near I-395, a spur road from Northern Virginia.

I got there and expected a train or two but what was there was amazing. Amtrak brought in equipment from around the country, opened the doors and invited the public to hop aboard. Nothing was off limits, the crew areas, kitchen, all open.

The trains were also working, in that you could play with light switches, water, etc. Tons of crew to answer questions as well.

Enough talking, I write for a living so excuse the wordiness and on to the important part, the pictures:

This was interesting. Memo published after the LA train disaster about use of cell phones on board by crew:


About to hop aboard a Superliner. They brought it a combo train of national equipment, bringing together numerous pieces not normally found together:


Kitchen aboard the superliners, big, but Amtrak's Exec Chef told me typically only one person working, a lot of food is pre-heated but steaks are grilled on board. He was really intresting to learn about food prep, but do not call it airline food, it offends them,


In the crew area, all aboard. Ignore the sign that says "DO NOT OPEN" or when you open it and have an Amtrak VP standing right there


Crew Rest Area on the Superliner:


Beds aboard, really cramped, I am standing at the door with no zoom:


Bed as couch during the day:


Still cramped, but a suite:


Private shower and bathroom, all in one:


General Acela Picture:


Acela Express First Class Car:



Acela snack bar:


Acela business class seating (normal)


You will never find me here;


MARC (Maryland Commuter Rail) was hooked on to an Amtrak train (try seeing that again)



1948 Ford Truck (restored)


They brought in really old locomotive. Had tours of old, luxury private trains, but the lines were too long and frankly, I wasan't intrested in them:



Tracks leading out of Union Station:


Union Station:

They had outside a brand-new few week old Metro bus in the new livery, but sadly my battery on the camera died. The new WMATA (Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority) livery is really nice and the bus smelt nice and new. They also had a DC connector bus and 1948 bus...intresting.

Thanks for reading/viewing. Please comment.

Cheers.
Brian
"Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain
 
MSYtristar
Posts: 7543
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:52 am

RE: Amtrak Open House Trip Report ( 27 Pics)

Tue Oct 07, 2008 6:01 pm

Great pictures.

You'd be surprised at how spacious those Superliner Bedrooms are actually if you travel in one. If you've never seen them before, yeah, they do appear sort of cramped. But it's still the most comfortable way to travel across the country.  Wink
 
57AZ
Posts: 2371
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:55 pm

RE: Amtrak Open House Trip Report ( 27 Pics)

Fri Oct 10, 2008 3:05 am

I wouldn't call an E-8A "very" old-they're old but many have been refitted to keep them in service. They're great locomotives for high speed passenger service-many are capable of 90+ mph as long as the track and signalling is good for that speed. The E series build by Electro Motive were one of a few designs that employed twin diesel motors. The Es are powered by two sixteen cylinder prime movers and can run on a single engine (at reduced speed) in a pinch.
"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."
 
Cadet57
Posts: 7174
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 2:02 am

RE: Amtrak Open House Trip Report ( 27 Pics)

Fri Oct 10, 2008 3:16 am



Quoting PlateMan (Thread starter):
Acela snack bar:

random gripe: why cant they cake debit cards on regional trains  grumpy 

But very cool pictures. WAS is a cool station. I hopefully will be there this january when I do a SPG-WAS-BOS-SPG overnight on regional 66 and the LSL
Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
 
plateman
Posts: 646
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 9:36 am

RE: Amtrak Open House Trip Report ( 27 Pics)

Fri Oct 10, 2008 3:09 pm

Thanks for the feedback!

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 1):
You'd be surprised at how spacious those Superliner Bedrooms are actually

That is what everyone says...I guess there must be...it also must be the amazing scenery you see.

Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 3):
WAS is a cool station

I love Union Station, so beautiful, espically when compared to my old home --NYP Penn Station.
"Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain
 
747400sp
Posts: 3889
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 7:27 pm

RE: Amtrak Open House Trip Report ( 27 Pics)

Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:50 am

Nice photos. I reasonly took a round trip on Amtrak from Newport News to Washington DC and back. Washington DC Union Station should not be called a train station, it should be called a mall! I was very impressed with Wastington DC station, but it a pan in the neck to find your way around.
 
KevinL1011
Posts: 2858
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 3:48 pm

RE: Amtrak Open House Trip Report ( 27 Pics)

Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:30 am



Quoting PlateMan (Thread starter):
They brought in really old locomotive. Had tours of old, luxury private trains, but the lines were too long and frankly, I wasan't intrested in them:

Shame on you!

Quoting 57AZ (Reply 2):
The E series build by Electro Motive were one of a few designs that employed twin diesel motors. The Es are powered by two sixteen cylinder prime movers and can run on a single engine (at reduced speed) in a pinch.

Hell yes! They powered the golden age of passenger rail travel. Seeing those E- units would have put chills up my spine and probably a tear in my eye. Thanks for including them in your post.
474218, Carl, You will be missed.
 
UH60FtRucker
Posts: 3252
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 9:15 am

RE: Amtrak Open House Trip Report ( 27 Pics)

Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:32 am

Wow.... the Acela is kind of crappy.

Having taken trips on the KTX, TGV and 500 Series Shinkansen.... the Acela just seems to be "lacking".

But nonetheless, great pics.
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
luv2cattlecall
Posts: 649
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 6:25 am

RE: Amtrak Open House Trip Report ( 27 Pics)

Tue Oct 14, 2008 2:59 pm



Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 1):
Great pictures.

You'd be surprised at how spacious those Superliner Bedrooms are actually if you travel in one. If you've never seen them before, yeah, they do appear sort of cramped. But it's still the most comfortable way to travel across the country. Wink

True...but the bathroom is way too short and small....I'm 6'4 and..not to be too graphic, but my long legs didn't get along with the narrow walls come wiping time. Also, the shower pressure is about as good as the water dispenser on your refrigerator. It is great having a viewing car that's nearly always empty though....and going through Colorado is something everyone has to do once in their life, at a minimum!

Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 3):
random gripe: why cant they cake debit cards on regional trains grumpy

Probably something to do with not being able to verify the PIN instantly? Should be able to work with debit cards with a Visa logo, however.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 7):
Wow.... the Acela is kind of crappy.

Having taken trips on the KTX, TGV and 500 Series Shinkansen.... the Acela just seems to be "lacking".

But it's not competing with those...it's competing with US Airways and the like, and I'll leave it at that  Smile!
.
 
KevinL1011
Posts: 2858
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 3:48 pm

RE: Amtrak Open House Trip Report ( 27 Pics)

Tue Oct 14, 2008 5:53 pm



Quoting Luv2cattlecall (Reply 8):
But it's not competing with those...it's competing with US Airways and the like, and I'll leave it at that !

Meaning....
You'll get thrown off of the train if a full fare passenger needs a seat?
474218, Carl, You will be missed.
 
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DocLightning
Posts: 20147
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:51 am

RE: Amtrak Open House Trip Report ( 27 Pics)

Tue Oct 14, 2008 6:54 pm



Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 7):

Having taken trips on the KTX, TGV and 500 Series Shinkansen.... the Acela just seems to be "lacking".

The inside of the train is fine and comparable with high-speed trains anywhere else. Where it's lacking is the average line speed of 86 MPH between Boston and New York. That's NOT high-speed.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
MSYtristar
Posts: 7543
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:52 am

RE: Amtrak Open House Trip Report ( 27 Pics)

Tue Oct 14, 2008 7:03 pm



Quoting KevinL1011 (Reply 6):
Shame on you!



Quoting Luv2cattlecall (Reply 8):
True...but the bathroom is way too short and small

It can be a tight fit in there that's for sure. Perhaps if there's ever a new generation of LD passenger cars built this issue will be improved some. I think it's about time for a "Superliner 3" order.  Wink
 
Cadet57
Posts: 7174
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 2:02 am

RE: Amtrak Open House Trip Report ( 27 Pics)

Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:05 pm



Quoting Luv2cattlecall (Reply 8):
Probably something to do with not being able to verify the PIN instantly? Should be able to work with debit cards with a Visa logo, however.

What is the difference on the acela? My point is that they dont even offer to take credit or debit on regional trains, when obviously the ability for them to do so on-board is there.
Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
 
glid4500
Posts: 482
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2005 5:05 am

RE: Amtrak Open House Trip Report ( 27 Pics)

Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:39 am

i particularly like the viewliner roometes. I wish the Viewliner sleeping cars were on routes that travel to the west coast....particularly like the toilet, folding sink, and in-room air conditioner/heater controls.


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