BR715-A1-30
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Train Stories: Share Them Here

Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:57 pm

In the world of Non-Aviation, we have had a few "train trip" stories, but the purpose of this thread is for EVERYONE who has been on the train, whether it be Amtrak, or all the way over in Europe; feel free to post your tales. Why did you go? Who did you go with? What service did you recieve on board? What was the cabin like? Did you get a sleeper? Did you eat the food? you know the drill.

It was January 10, and I was visiting a friend in Minneapolis, MN. We decided we would take the late night Amtrak "Empire Builder" to Staples, MN. Why? Well, we had no real purpose but to just go and have fun.


So, we looked online and found a "Cheap Train Tonight" and booked 2 tickets for $38.00 R/T. After that, we hiked our asses down to the train station in a Grand Am, and slammed our feet onto the Empire Builder and took our seats (more like claimed our seats and headed to the Sightseer Lounge).
There we proceeded to wait, and I proceeded to eat some surprisingly good McDonalds Chicken McF***its


Our train started moving, and it was then, since this was my first train ride (pathetic, I know), I decided to go on a Lewis and Clark expedition through the train. I saw people sleeping their trip away, I saw some people worrying about what others were doing in "Their" section, and I got my way out of trouble by pretending to not know where I was. The fool was a fool.. It was a train, how could one get lost? He believed it though, and did not call the Conductor.

I made my way back to the sightseer lounge

and continued looking at the scenery, and shootin the shit with my friend.

We had a small stopover in St. Cloud, MN where we changed crews, and off we went to Staples.

STAPLES, MN:
Well, I was expecting to see a small greeting party when we stepped off at Staples, but instead I got off with my friend, and we saw tumbleweeds blowing around and possibly a dead cowboy over on the street from the 1800s western era. I tell ya, this place WAS DEAD. The only signs of life were the fact that someone had recently installed a nice gas heater in the station, and that extremely bored chick at Ortons, whom we kept company for a little while and we dicked around the store checking out their selection of Pringles and Sodas. So after we made our excessive purchases and my friend got his free coffee for the umpteenth time I guess, We headed back to the SPL station, and watched Freighters go by. Our train was about an hour late getting there, so after we boarded, we decided to stay awake, and eat in the dining car.


We met a nice couple in the diner car, and shared some stories and factoids of life... 3 of 4 of us had French Toast, and the other had something else... I can only think about french toast. It was pretty damn good french toast, some I would order again.

So we finally pulled into MSP
and disembarked, tired as rats, and went home




So now, feel free to share your stories of your train rides.. As we know, trains are becoming increasingly rare due to Commercial Aviation, and you don't see as many trains today as you did when Superfly and KROC were kids. Post some pictures too, and feel free to add some comedy...
Puhdiddle
 
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KaiGywer
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Mon Feb 11, 2008 4:00 pm

I haven't had the chance to ride a train here in the US yet, but have ridden several times in Norway. I'll take some pics in two weeks when I go there.
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Dougloid
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Mon Feb 11, 2008 4:19 pm

I grew up in a railroad town. We had the main line of the PRR, the Reading and the Lehigh Valley going thru town....I hopped freights on the Elhigh Veeley as we called it on a number of occasions. My mom used to take me down to the REA depot to sit on the carts and watch the trains go by...the Pennsy was still using K4s on the high iron in those days.

Standing next to the main line and seeing a pair of these going by at the better part of 100 mph from about six feet away was a real experience.

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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Mon Feb 11, 2008 5:09 pm



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 2):
and the Lehigh Valley going thru town

It's a shame to see what has become of the LV line today. I go to school at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, and it's a sad state of affairs. The only active line is the freight line that goes by the old steel mill. I wish there were commuter train service to Philadelphia, I would go in so much more often.

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nighthawk
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Mon Feb 11, 2008 5:23 pm



Quoting BR715-A1-30 (Thread starter):
and shootin the shit with my friend.

you did WHAT with your friend??

Quoting BR715-A1-30 (Thread starter):
but instead I got off with my friend,

... your not one of them are you??

i cant believe youve never ridden on a train before - most people in the UK ride the train twice daily!
 
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Mon Feb 11, 2008 5:54 pm



Quoting Nighthawk (Reply 4):
most people in the UK ride the train twice daily!

Unfortunately, yes, and it's even worse when you have to go through Birmingham New Street - what an utter dump!  grumpy  This past weekend I had the pleasure of several visits, it's not easy carrying a heavy mountain bike up and down the stairs to the platforms.

One particular rail trip I enjoyed a lot was from Beijing to Xi'an in China, on a school trip there several years ago we took the overnight sleeper train between the two cities, great fun and boy was the beer cheap, even if it was Budweiser! In a way I regret not travelling more on the trains around Europe, I've been on a few; Amsterdam to Brussels, Amsterdam to Cologne and Geneva to Zurich and it's been good fun, especially the latter through the Swiss countryside.

This summer I'll be taking the sleeper train from Warsaw to Kiev, then travelling around the Ukraine a lot by train before carrying on to travel across Georgia and Azerbaijan also by train. Very affordable and hopefully a great way to see the countryside, then if all goes to plan, in the late Autumn I will fly out to Beijing and come back all the way to my home city of Plymouth on the train, via Ulan Bator and a good few places in Russia, six or seven thousand miles overland in total.


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trekster
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Mon Feb 11, 2008 6:10 pm

Im planning on the nite train to Scotland in June which should be cool. And plan to do a few in euro land at some point as well.

I get the train up to MAN a few times, and did the train to Cornwall which was long, but some good views along the way.
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Mon Feb 11, 2008 6:13 pm

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 5):
This summer I'll be taking the sleeper train from Warsaw to Kiev, then travelling around the Ukraine a lot by train before carrying on to travel across Georgia and Azerbaijan also by train. Very affordable and hopefully a great way to see the countryside, then if all goes to plan, in the late Autumn I will fly out to Beijing and come back all the way to my home city of Plymouth on the train, via Ulan Bator and a good few places in Russia, six or seven thousand miles overland in total.

Sounds great!   I guess you know about Bahn.de? Can go from Moreton-in-Marsh (my nearest train station) to Vladivostok. 203 hours and 46 minutes - just under 8.5 days. Routing Moreton-London-Brussels-Cologne-Moscow-Vladivostok. "Goodbye, dear, I'll be back in 10 days."  

There was a great site - Polets.ru - listing loads and loads of domestic Russian flights with fares, times, etc. Alas, the English section hasn't worked for ages.

I've gone Bangor, North Wales, to Sarajevo, Bosnia, via London and Brussels - but that was by bus, not train. :P Think I only paid about £100 return a few days in advance.

[Edited 2008-02-11 10:13:52]
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andessmf
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Mon Feb 11, 2008 6:31 pm

Jr. just loves his trains. So far this year we already took an extended weekend SMF-RNO during a snowstorm, rented out a caboose for his birthday, added to his Thomas Train collection, drove to the nearby Roseville Freight Yard and got more of the scheduled freight run timing figured out.

Those freights runs are fun, since you can sit and watch the train decouple, run ahead, switch back, uncouple, and continue on. The entire run around our house can go for hours. Saw it for a bit last night, but it was too late to see more. The last time we saw part of it, we sat for 45 minutes watching the train in one spot move cars around.
 
BR715-A1-30
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Mon Feb 11, 2008 6:43 pm



Quoting Nighthawk (Reply 4):
... your not one of them are you??

HA HA Nighthawk... Very funny  Silly

Yah, I had never been on a train before... When I lived down in MS, I had wanted to go on the Sunset Limited, as it used to run past my house every night.. I just never got the chance. If I had the chance to do Sunset Limited today, going through Ocean Springs, MS, I would do it in a heartbeat (although it only stopped in Gulfport, Biloxi, and Pascagoula)
Puhdiddle
 
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:37 pm



Quoting Trekster (Reply 6):
Im planning on the nite train to Scotland in June which should be cool. And plan to do a few in euro land at some point as well.

I get the train up to MAN a few times, and did the train to Cornwall which was long, but some good views along the way.

Yeah the sleeper service to and from the South West is very useful, good way to get up to London and back cheaply and in relative comfort. Browsing around http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ I found that you can go from Penzance to Wick/Thurso for about £58 one way - so that's something which would be cool to do, bottom to top of the British Rail Network!

Quoting [email protected] (Reply 7):
I guess you know about Bahn.de?

Ah, not actually heard of that one, but I do use Seat61.com

Quoting [email protected] (Reply 7):
I've gone Bangor, North Wales, to Sarajevo, Bosnia, via London and Brussels - but that was by bus, not train. :P Think I only paid about £100 return a few days in advance.

Wow - that does sound enticing, was that with Eurolines? O looked at Prague by coach from Birmingham a while back and it was about £70 return.


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metroliner
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:10 pm



Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 5):
This summer I'll be taking the sleeper train from Warsaw to Kiev, then travelling around the Ukraine a lot by train before carrying on to travel across Georgia and Azerbaijan also by train.

Cool plan - I'd love to do that personally!

Wouldn't the visas be a bitch though! Big grin

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IH8BY
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:23 pm

Spent far too much time on trains over the last few years. GNER First Class looks great, but the service is haughty and the offering is poor value even on the discount tickets. I don't think I have any complaints with the First Class service on the late (how appropriate) Virgin Cross Country - staff were great and the seats are far more comfortable than you first imagine.

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 5):
it's even worse when you have to go through Birmingham New Street - what an utter dump! grumpy

Don't get me started! I have always made a point of booking trains that don't make me connect in New Street, which is a pity as if you're going between the south and the north east it's almost a given you'll at least pass through it if you're avoiding London. However, I've had enough train terminations there that I've got plenty experience of said creepy cavern.

Quoting Trekster (Reply 6):
Im planning on the nite train to Scotland in June which should be cool.

Something I've always wanted to do, but I don't know what I'd do when I got there. The Night Riviera sleeper would be better, as it doesn't go to Scotland.  duck 
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57AZ
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:25 pm

I've got plenty of stories from my ten years on the railroad. One that comes immediately to mind involves a particular fireman who had a tendency to wander off from the locomotive whenever we were in the station. The engineer assigned to this trip was the son of an old time L&N engineer and wasn't in the mood to put up with the fireman's antics that hot summer afternoon. I was Conductor that afternoon and signalled the engineer to proceed, not knowing that the fireman wasn't aboard. Instead of radioing me that we didn't have our fireman (as most engineers would have done), Toombs just whistled off and pulled down without tending to the fire. All of a sudden, the fireman came rushing out of the depot dining room. He nailed the last coach as it was clearing the platform, walked through the train and climbed over the tank. The engineer was royally annoyed with the fireman that afternoon-I heard so afterwards.
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:27 pm



Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 10):
Wow - that does sound enticing, was that with Eurolines?

National Express to London, Eurolines to Brussels, then a Bosnian bus firm (part of Eurolines, I think) to Sarajevo. And BiH was excellent and well worth a visit.  Big grin

It's fun to on Nationalrail.co.uk and find fares and times from anywhere in the UK to Dublin (I search to Ferryport) or Belfast, including the train and ferry. What about Penzance to Dublin tomorrow? £27 one-way please (OK, it takes at least 13.5 hours! LOL). Or Birmingham to Dublin tomorrow? £25 one-way (min 6 hours) or a cheap daytrip for £29 return. Or Birmingham to Belfast tomorrow? £25.75 one-way (min 10 hours).

Regarding Penzance-Wick or Thurso, you can actually get it much cheaper than £58 one-way.
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:35 pm



Quoting IH8BY (Reply 12):
Don't get me started! I have always made a point of booking trains that don't make me connect in New Street,

Well my other options for connecting are in Walsall and Wolverhampton, so really I'm stuffed by all options!

Quoting [email protected] (Reply 14):
Regarding Penzance-Wick or Thurso, you can actually get it much cheaper than £58 one-way.

That is interesting, certainly I've got to try it some time. I Plan on doing PLH-NQY-Scillies-LandsEnd-Penzance-London-Edinburgh-Thurso then on up to the Scottish isles and fly about on some Twotters and Islanders, so the less money spent on trains means more money spent on planes  Wink

Quoting [email protected] (Reply 14):
National Express to London, Eurolines to Brussels, then a Bosnian bus firm (part of Eurolines, I think) to Sarajevo. And BiH was excellent and well worth a visit.

You know I am so tempted just to walk down to the coach station and book that tomorrow... Big grin
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IH8BY
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:41 pm



Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 15):
Wolverhampton

Been there, done that.

That said, I was on a school trip. Wolverhampton can't have know what had hit it. A 6th form boys' school trip back from Edinburgh. A stereo. And the CD soundtrack to "Blood Brothers". So obviously, in true British spirit, we managed to muster a mini-musical outside the waiting room. The funny thing was that the teachers were the loudest and worst singers. We were on the platform for 45 minutes; for us it seemed like 20, but it must have seemed about two hours for our fellow passengers.
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:44 pm

Getting caught on a late April snowstorm in the Sierra Nevada. The train was 7 hours late arriving Emeryville past midnight.



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Wolverine
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:46 pm

I took some train rides frequently during the last 2 years, to visit my gf, she lives in Switzerland.
So normally I take the ICE from Frankfurt to Basle, it takes nearly 4 hours. Well, on this route you will be riding the older Versions of the ICE, and mostly the trains are full. So I'm used to travel on the floor, but even that can be funny.
So, once I met 2 girls from Miami, they were on vacation, they were sitting beside me, and also an older man had to sit on the floor. First the girls talked about how to get to Nuremberg (wrong direction), then they started to teach the old man some english. He was really amused about it.

Then on a train to Munich there was a woman, that had no ticket. She told the conductor, that she bought it on the Internet, and she wanted to print it, but her printer broke down, and she had had no time to get it repaired or to get a new one. First she talked in a normal volume, but as the conductor told her, that she would have to buy a new ticket from him, she got angry and soon the whole coach had turned to see what's happening..

I will go on an Interrail-Trip this summer, and I will go to southern France, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and Switzerland..
Only with a Backpack and a tent... I think this will be the greatest train adventure, I ever had!
Does someone want to join me?
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PlymSpotter
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:46 pm



Quoting IH8BY (Reply 16):
That said, I was on a school trip. Wolverhampton can't have know what had hit it. A 6th form boys' school trip back from Edinburgh. A stereo. And the CD soundtrack to "Blood Brothers". So obviously, in true British spirit, we managed to muster a mini-musical outside the waiting room. The funny thing was that the teachers were the loudest and worst singers. We were on the platform for 45 minutes; for us it seemed like 20, but it must have seemed about two hours for our fellow passengers.

 rotfl  I can imagine that probably brightened up some people's lives actually  silly 
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:03 pm

I went on NJ Transit from Princeton, NJ to New York. On the first day at the Princeton station high speed trains went right by (it was surprisingly loud as they passed). An NJ Transit train came to the station and we had to ask if it was going to New York Penn Station. It was so we boarded. Then after going to the Empire State Building and going on a bus tour we went back to Penn Station. Penn Station was really crowded and after hearing that our train was boarding many people including us ran to the platform. We asked the conductor if the train was going to Princeton and he said "I hope so".  Silly My second train trip to New York was the same. I was going to ride the New York subway but I chickened out.  banghead 
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mhodgson
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:05 pm



Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 19):
I can imagine that probably brightened up some people's lives actually

It's Wolverhampton; it doesn't take much.
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:18 pm

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 15):
That is interesting, certainly I've got to try it some time.

All based on one-way:

The cheapest you can get Penzance-Wick as one ticket and all by train is £40.90.

Or if you want to save more, you could get Penzance-Wick for £25.80, which would include both train and bus travel (bus only when it's vastly cheaper, and often quicker, than by train).

The cheapest you can get Penzance-Edinburgh for is £19.80 (it'd be by train, and involve buying Penzance-Exeter and Exeter-Edinburgh tickets), but the problem is then the cost of trains from Edinburgh to Wick or Thurso. One way around that is to get a bus from Edinburgh to Inverness; this will cost from £1. Unless you want to stay overnight in Edinburgh and then do Edinburgh-Inverness-Wick in one day, you'll have to stay overnight in Inverness. From Inverness, the cheapest and quickest way (out of train or bus) to Wick is by bus; you can get a ticket for £5.

Being stupid now, you could in theory go from Penzance to Wick for £9... Penzance-Plymouth by train (£2), then Plymouth-London (£1 by National Express), London-Inverness (£1 National Express - yep, I've seen it for that price), then Inverness-Wick (£5 with City Link). Of course, all that would be by bus, and be pointless considering your aim.

PM me if you want any more info.

Incidentally, you can actually go from Penzance to Plymouth in first class from £3.95 !!!

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 15):
You know I am so tempted just to walk down to the coach station and book that tomorrow...

Go for it! Just make sure you wrap up very warmly! 

[Edited 2008-02-11 14:22:04]
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:37 pm



Quoting Metroliner (Reply 11):
Wouldn't the visas be a bitch though!

Sorry I missed your comment the first time around! Poland is fine now that they are in the EU, the Ukraine has dropped it's visa requirements for the UK, as has Georgia (although I will double check that with the Embassy) and Azerbaijan is much easier now and may well follow suit with dropping visa requirements, as they are currently bidding for the summer Olympics in Baku! You can get a visa at the airport currently, but not at the train station/border crossing.

Quoting [email protected] (Reply 22):
Being stupid now, you could in theory go from Penzance to Wick for £9... Penzance-Plymouth by train (£2), then Plymouth-London (£1 by National Express), London-Inverness (£1 National Express - yep, I've seen it for that price), then Inverness-Wick (£5 with City Link). Of course, all that would be by bus, and be pointless considering your aim.

That sounds very interesting, it's not until this time next year that I'll have time to do it, but yes, that sounds almost as much of a challenge as the 100 Ryanair flights for £1 Big grin

Quoting [email protected] (Reply 22):
Go for it! Just make sure you wrap up very warmly!

Yes, but chilly over there now I've heard!


Dan  Smile
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steeler83
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:46 pm

How is this for a train story:

It was my first ever Spring Break back in March 2003, and I was on my way from Lancaster back to the Burgh to be with my family for a week. Just as my train, the Three Rivers (41), was just about to pull into Pittsburgh, we came to a halt about 2 miles from the platform. It turned out that the Capitol Limited was running late, and took its good ol' time boarding or deboarding people. In any event, we sat there for like over an hour and a half! That -- was NOT fun!! Some start to my spring break!  banghead 
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:06 am

Last Year my wife and I took Amtrak’s Auto Train back to Florida and back, it was the first time we were on a Amtrak long distance train so we had nothing to compare it with as far as other Amtrak long distance service. The cars are the same but the service is a little bit different.

The Auto Train operates between Lorton, VA, 30 miles south of Washington DC and Sanford FL, about 30 east of Orlando FL. One train a day operates in each direction, each train departs at the same time in either direction. Boarding time is 2:30 pm and boarding closes at 3 pm at which time they start connecting the car carriers to the rear of the train and then they run their brake tests. Departure is scheduled for 4 pm but on both trips we pulled out of the stations about 15 minutes early. Both stations are right off the main CSX Transportation tracks so as soon as we are on the main line they got up to track speed. I had my Magellen GPS with me and was able to check on the ground speeds are at times we were doing 72 mph.

South of Richmond VA, to Jacksonville FL the CSX main is mostly single track so we passed quite a few freights who were on a siding to let up pass. Amtrak’s other northeast to Florida trains also use the same tracks so occasionally we took to a siding to let another Amtrak train pass. Most of CSX tracks are welded rail but there are long sections in the Carolinas that are still joined rail and this makes for a rougher ride than the welded rail. We must have gone through a few hundred road crossings because by federal law the train has to blow their whistle before and while crossing the road and it seemed at times the engineer was constantly blowing the horn.

Arrival is around 8;30 in the morning, at which time you detrain and then go into the terminal and wait for your car to be unloaded, Because they have to uncouple the car carriers and then break them up to 4 cars length units it can take from one half hour to and hour and a half to get your car, it just depends where it is on the car carrier. When you first drive into the terminal, in the parking lot an attendant checks your ticket, gives you a boarding pass and places a magnetic number plate on the side of your car, as the cars are unloaded they call out the numbers and you just wait until your number is called, but if you stand outside you can see the cars being driven off the car carriers.

The Auto Train does have some distinct features that do not pertain to other Amtrak trains.

A - You have to travel with a motor vehicle, you cannot book travel just as a passenger.

B - The Auto train operates from their own dedicated terminals in Lorton, VA and Sanford FL, no other Amtrak train operates from these terminals.

C – The Auto Train is the longest nonstop Amtrak train, their only stop is for a crew change and refueling in the middle of the night in Florence, SC

D – Because it is nonstop, the Auto Train is the only Amtrak train that allows smoking on board, each of the lounge cars on the lower level has a small closed room for smokers.

E – With the car carriers, the Auto Train is by far Amtrak’s longest train, in the busy season the train can be almost a mile long, consisting of a crew dormitory car, a sleeper dining car and a lounge car for the sleeper car passengers, 4 to 5 sleepers, 4 to 6 coach cars, a lounge car and 2 dining cars for the coach passengers and from 17 to 35 car carriers bringing up the rear.

F – The ticket price includes dinner and breakfast.

G - Seats in coach are assigned at check in, and at the same time dinner reservations are made, either 5, 7 or 9 pm for dinner, the dining cars are open for breakfast from 6 to 8 am.

Taking the Auto Train saves over 800 miles of driving and an overnight stay in a hotel so the cost is almost the same as if you did the drive and a lot more relaxing. If we did the drive we would leave Connecticut the same time in the morning, 7am and not even get to Orlando until at least 6 pm the next day, instead we arrive in Sanford at 8:30 am an can be on the road by 9:30 am to continue our trip to the final destination Sarasota, FL which is 2 and a half hours from Sanford.

Attached are some photos I took of the train and the terminals, I didn’t take any inside photos of the cars but the Superliner cars are the same as others have posted. The seats are a little bit wider than coach seats on an airliner, but the leg room is fantastic and the seats have foot and leg rests like first class seats on an airliner, I found them quite comfortable. On both trips there were plenty of unoccupied seats so a lot of passengers had a double seat to themselves, I grabbed an unoccupied seat so my wife and I had room to spread out.

We will definitely take the Auto Train whenever we have to drive to Florida, it sure beats the long boring drive.

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Cars at the gate attendent, Lorton, VA
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Cars waiting to be driven to the car carriers
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The platform area in Lorton, VA
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Engines idling in Lorton, VA
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Another view of the car carrier loading ramps
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Our car being loaded in Lorton, VA
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The terminal in Lorton VA
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Boarding in Sanford, FL
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Auto Trains engines, Sanford FL
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Auto Trains engines, Sanford FL
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Car loading ramps, Sanford, FL
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Car loading ramps, Sanford, FL
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In the station, Sanford, FL
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In the station in Sanford FL
 
ronglimeng
Posts: 562
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:08 am

Its hard for me to believe, but I haven't been on a train in Canada since 1990. That was a 300 km run from Sarnia to Toronto. We started out around 06:00 and didn't get to into Toronto until after 12:00 . I think we went in the hole for every freight going west that morning. I liked to go by train but that was just too much and I gave it up.

My most memorable trip was back and forth on the Tazara Line from Kapiri Mposhi to Dar Es Salaam for Christmas '78. It was all Chinese rolling stock, Chinese-style stations at each end of the line, and Chinese signalling equipment in the middle of Africa. I was in a 2nd class compartment with a shelf for a berth, but it was still a hell of a lot more comfortable than trying to sleep upright in a day coach, or in Economy Class on a 744 for that matter.

There seemed to always be people trying to ride for free and the conductor had a full-time job evicting people from the compartments. Food vendors along the rails at every station stop. I'd like to do it all again but the wife says no.
 
NeilYYZ
Posts: 2443
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2006 12:55 pm

RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:22 am

I take the train constantly. VIA Rail on the Windsor/Toronto corridor about once a week. The service is alright, I generally travel VIA 1 (first class) so that I can get some work done, however, if I think I'm going to sleep the whole way I just go coach, get a window seat and sleep. It's no royal service, but for a 4 hour trip it does the trick.

The worst situations I've been on with VIA is twice I've been on the train when someone decides to park their car on the track, which is a real pain in the arse. It takes forever to get the car and people cleaned off the grill of the train, normally doubles the time the trip takes.
It may be too early to drink scotch... But it is NEVER too early to think about it...
 
BR715-A1-30
Topic Author
Posts: 6525
Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 9:30 am

RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:52 am



Quoting Jetstar (Reply 25):
I had my Magellen GPS with me and was able to check on the ground speeds are at times we were doing 72 mph.

Wow, that sounds like a cool idea... I should take mine with me next time I board... Thanks for that man
Puhdiddle
 
57AZ
Posts: 2371
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:55 pm

RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Tue Feb 12, 2008 4:05 am



Quoting Jetstar (Reply 25):
I had my Magellen GPS with me and was able to check on the ground speeds are at times we were doing 72 mph.

That's slow man. Most of Amtrak's eastern routes are 79 mph speed limits excepting temporary slow orders. Out west here, some of the lines have a 90 mph speed limit across the plains. Sometimes they will be limited to lower speeds during times of extreme temperature when the risks of sun kinks is greatest. Fastest I've ridden on Amtrak was 125 mph on the Metroliner and 110 mph on the Crescent. As for timing, you don't need a GPS. All you need is to have a watch with a second hand and a speed conversion table. Time yourself between two mile posts and look it up on the chart. Up until the 1930s, many of the express locomotives were not equipped with a speedometer.

Quoting NeilYYZ (Reply 27):
The worst situations I've been on with VIA is twice I've been on the train when someone decides to park their car on the track, which is a real pain in the arse. It takes forever to get the car and people cleaned off the grill of the train, normally doubles the time the trip takes.

I remember working one trip on the old Central of Georgia Railway line from Chattanooga to Trion, Georgia. On the trip down, we were stopped behind some strip mall due to some moron parking too close to the right of way. Flagman got off the locomotive and went to some of the businesses to see if the owner of the car could be located. No such luck, so I (as Conductor) had to decide what to do-whether to call and wait for a wrecker or try to move the car somehow. Looking at the car, I realized that we lacked only a foot or two of clearing its rear. It also turned out that the car was a small, four door Japanese import so I got the fireman, flagman and head end brakeman to get off the locomotives and lend a hand. The four of us grabbed a hold of the car's rear end, lifted it and moved it over enough to get it out of the way. That only cost us about fifteen minutes versus the half hour or so it would have taken to get a wrecker.

Quoting Af773atmsp (Reply 20):
I was going to ride the New York subway but I chickened out. banghead

Been there, done that. Actually, NYC has done a very good job of cleaning the subway up-last time I was there, not a bit of graffiti to be found on the trains and they are now air conditioned! Can't say the same for the stations though. If you get a chance next time, visit the New York Transit Museum. It's located in the old Court Street Station and is very nice. You pay your "fare" at the token booth and the first level of the museum is divided into three or four galleries that show the history of subway construction, station decor and equipment such as turnstyles and such. The real treat is down on the lower level-the trains themselves. The museum has several historic trainsets on display at a time, most of which are open to explore. A subway interlocking tower at Court Street is also open and you can see the trains arriving and departing nearby Hoyt-Schermerhorn station and those crossing the interlocking between Jay Street-Borough Hall and Bergen Street Stations.

A side note regarding the trains displayed at the Transit Museum-they are fully restored and maintained in operating condition. Periodically, the cars will be switched out and replaced with other vintage trains that are stored at Coney Island Yard-operations base for the Transit Museum's trains. Periodically they will operate fan trips over the system using the restored trains.
"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."
 
greggarious
Posts: 239
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Tue Feb 12, 2008 4:56 am

Hmmm, I've had a few train rides in the past couple of years myself...

I'd have to say that the best train trip I've had was my first and (sadly) only ride on a Thalys train from Gare du Nord to Centraal Station. I went with three of my high school friends the summer after graduation; we splurged and got first-class Eurail passes and skimped on accommodations the rest of the trip.   Anyways, we were pretty much blown away by our first trip on a high-speed train and the service that came with it (all sorts of canned beverages, candy bars, chocolate dishes, and the like... we came away with a great appreciation for the delicious and wonderfully-named European candy bar called Nuts!). Not to mention that the scenery between Paris and Amsterdam was beautiful.


The best!!!

Here's another one: Last fall I went to Spain and Portugal for my fall break with three others and got a three-day pass that was good for the peninsula. The first trip was supposed to be an overnighter from Barcelona to Madrid. Unfortunately, RENFE decided that this would be a good time for a strike, and we were unable to get a train until the following morning. At first, we grumbled and got on with the unfortunate scenario of spending a night at an empty train station. Little did we know that the station closed at midnight and soon enough, the police kicked us out (with no small degree of satisfaction... jerks!) We schlepped over to a bar a few streets down, which remained open until 02:00. The rest of the night (until 05:00 or 06:00 or so) was spent half-asleep at a bus stop waiting for the station to re-open (and it was COLD!!!). We managed to catch the first train to Madrid without a problem, though... crisis averted!  

My most memorable rail experience here in the States would have to be my one and only Acela trip last May, between Philadelphia's 30th St. station and New York's Penn Station (short and quick!). It was the reading day before finals began at my former university (Villanova), but I was hell-bent on transferring and decided to day-trip it to Manhattan to visit a school I had applied to. The morning run along the Northeast Corridor was great and very relaxing, which really helped me take my mind off of the impending exams (but even more so, the impending acceptance/rejection letters). Sure enough, I came away feeling really good about the trip and by the time I had wrapped up finals I had gotten the letter telling me I had gotten into NYU! Not quite as ridiculous as a Eurotrip, but undoubtedly the best karma-boosting train-related decision I've ever made! 

Quoting Af773atmsp (Reply 20):
My second train trip to New York was the same. I was going to ride the New York subway but I chickened out.

Oh no, what a shame! I have to admit, my daily rides on the 4 and 5 to and from Union Square are always memorable. Be sure not to miss the subway on your third trip to NYC. It really is tons of fun!

Edits: the picture and adding the word "former" to university (Villanova)
[Edited 2008-02-11 20:58:01]

[Edited 2008-02-11 21:03:07]
 
NeilYYZ
Posts: 2443
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:06 am



Quoting 57AZ (Reply 29):
The four of us grabbed a hold of the car's rear end, lifted it and moved it over enough to get it out of the way. That only cost us about fifteen minutes versus the half hour or so it would have taken to get a wrecker.

I wish that could be the way it always is. Last time someone drove onto the tracks in front of our train was Thanksgiving, the guy was killed instantly I guess, but still the firemen came, the police were there and then of course there was the coroner that had to show up and remove the body. And then to top it all off they had to find a replacement crew (which I understand, I'm sure that was the quickest part of the whole ordeal).

It's unfortunate the people feel the need to end their lives by driving onto the train tracks. I've also been on the TTC subway twice in Toronto when there was a jumper. I don't mean to seem cold, but if you're going to end your life can it not be done in a way that inconveniences hundreds if not thousands of people.
It may be too early to drink scotch... But it is NEVER too early to think about it...
 
us330
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Tue Feb 12, 2008 6:26 am

I've ridden the Metro North routinely from New Haven to Grand Central....need I say more?

Also, the new york subway isn't that bad--most of the manhattan stations are relatively clean (by US big city public facility standards), as are brooklyn and queens--most of the Bronx stations, though, are absolute dumps.
bash it all you want, but it i
 
greggarious
Posts: 239
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:42 pm

RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Tue Feb 12, 2008 6:47 am



Quoting US330 (Reply 32):
bash it all you want, but it i

Allow me to complete the thought: "But it is the best!"  Big grin I absolutely love the NY Subway!
 
jetstar
Posts: 1414
Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 2:16 am

RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:02 pm



Quoting 57AZ (Reply 29):
That's slow man. Most of Amtrak's eastern routes are 79 mph speed limits excepting temporary slow orders. Out west here, some of the lines have a 90 mph speed limit across the plains.

There is no need for the Auto Train to go any faster, if they did they would arrive at the destination to early, they are covering 855 miles in just under 16 hours. Factoring in the midnight crew and refueling stop of about 45 minutes and other slow downs, they probably needed an average speed of 55 to 60 mph.

Before our arrival in Lorton, they made an announcement on the train that they were running early so that they would be slowing down to arrive at our scheduled time of 8:30 am, because the shift at the station starts at 8:15 am.

The train never really held a constant speed for any length of time, it seemed they were gradually speeding up or slowing down, it was hardly noticeable from the passengers seat, but I was able to watch the speed changes on my GPS. As we approached a larger population area with a lot of grade crossings we would slow down to about 50 mph or even slower, then once clear would accelerate up to track speed.,

As I posted, most of the track is welded rail, but there is still a lot of sections that are joined rail, and that made for a very rough ride. In the Carolinas it was in the middle of the night so I had didn’t have my GPS on to check the ground speeds but I doubt we were going over 50 mph over this section of track.

One thing interesting about the GPS, the rail lines were not GPS mapped so most of the time it showed us way off of the track, on sections where we were running parallel with roads the GPS had us on the road, not the track marked CSX Transportation. In some sections in the south we were so far off the beaten path I could not even get a cell phone signal.
 
57AZ
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:55 pm

RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:39 pm



Quoting NeilYYZ (Reply 31):
And then to top it all off they had to find a replacement crew (which I understand, I'm sure that was the quickest part of the whole ordeal).

Depends. I was Conductor on one train that was involved in a grade crossing collision. Unfortunately, due to the smaller size of our operation we often don't have the available manpower to put a relief crew together. In my case, the crew had to work the train onwards. Worst grade crossing collision I've ever seen was a school bus in Tennga, Georgia at a crossing just off US 411. A Murray County, Georgia school bus pulled into the crossing in front of a CSXT train and was literally torn to pieces (train was running at 50 mph). Three grade schoolers killed (two instantly, the third lingered on for a day or so). Driver was found criminally neglegent and got a fine plus a couple of years in the state pen.
"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."
 
NeilYYZ
Posts: 2443
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2006 12:55 pm

RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:25 pm



Quoting 57AZ (Reply 35):
Depends. I was Conductor on one train that was involved in a grade crossing collision. Unfortunately, due to the smaller size of our operation we often don't have the available manpower to put a relief crew together. In my case, the crew had to work the train onwards.

What happens a case when the crew was too shook up to continue? That's actually a delay I don't mind. If the crew is too upset about killing someone, even though it's not their fault, I understand, it's taking forever to remove the car from the tracks because the coroner has to come that annoys me.

When there's a jumper in the subway it's less of a pain because, although a lot of cars are still in the tunnel they allow people to walk through the train to the first car that is in the platform and then leave to the buses via the first exit.
It may be too early to drink scotch... But it is NEVER too early to think about it...
 
jcs17
Posts: 7376
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2001 11:13 am

RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:30 pm

Ask KROC and LHMark about their favorite train stories.
America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
 
us330
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Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2000 7:00 am

RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:22 pm



Quoting Greggarious (Reply 33):
Allow me to complete the thought: "But it is the best!" I absolutely love the NY Subway!

close, I was actually going to say, best, cheapest, and most efficient way to get around New York City. The people watching can't be beat either.
 
57AZ
Posts: 2371
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:55 pm

RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:55 pm



Quoting NeilYYZ (Reply 36):
What happens a case when the crew was too shook up to continue?

Then the train waits until you can find another crew. We've never had such a situation. On some Class Ones, a relief crew is mandatory-on others it's up to the crew involved. In our case, after about 45 minutes the engineer was all right to continue on.

Quoting NeilYYZ (Reply 36):
I understand, it's taking forever to remove the car from the tracks because the coroner has to come that annoys me.

Removing the car/vehicle involved isn't a big deal-take pictures and roll it off into the weeds for the wrecker to retrieve later. In the case of the Murray County school bus, the body ripped off of the frame. The frame ended up in Tennessee and the bus body in Georgia. As for the coroner's inquest, that's a matter of law. Can't do anything with the remains until they rule on the cause of death.
"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."
 
A342
Posts: 4017
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Tue Feb 12, 2008 8:30 pm

My most recent train trip was through the Loetschbergtunnel in Switzerland. We went skiing in Zermatt and putting our car on the train saved us much time. The trip takes only 10-15 minutes and you stay in your car. There's one radio station you can receive in the tunnel, but all they play is Swiss folk music. So you are sitting in your dark, shaking car, and listen to Swiss folk music. It's simply hilarious. You have to experience it once.  bigthumbsup 
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
lobster
Posts: 653
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Tue Feb 12, 2008 8:51 pm

My first time riding on a train was the Tube. Went from Heathrow to Victoria. Later in the day, took a train up to Birmingham. The coolest train that I've been on so far is Thalys between Paris and Amsterdam. I've done the trip a few times and the high speed portions are pretty cool. The longest train I've done was a night train from Munich to Venice. That was an experience!! The conductor came around and asked for our passports. My cousin whom I was traveling with just handed them over. Well, I didn't know that they take them for the border crossing so you can sleep at night. Well, I tracked the guy down and kept asking for it back. He kept saying "morgan", turned out it was "morning". Luckily we had two Germans in our sleeper who explained the whole thing. I still didn't like giving him my passport though. But all turned out well, and we made it to Venice just fine.
 
jetblueguy22
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:07 pm

Well if this includes any train I went on Thomas the Tank Engine with my little brother. It was like a half an hour ride. We went from our train station in Waterbury, Connecticut and then rode it to I believe Naugatuck, Connecticut and turned back around. All the little kids on board were going crazy and saying we rode Thomas! And they each got a little certificate showing they rode Thomas the Tank Engine.
Cool but I think I'll stick to flying!
Blue
Look at sweatpants guy. This is a 90 million dollar aircraft, not a Tallahassee strip club
 
Airdolomiti
Posts: 758
Joined: Fri May 16, 2003 10:05 pm

RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:15 pm

One of my most memorable train rides was a little over a year ago, Moscow-St.Petersburg and back. Of course, being Russia, even just getting a ticket was an experience in itself, as I had to submit my passport and, with my limited Russian, try to explain what kind of ticket I wanted  Wink

The ride to St. Pete was on the "Krasnaya Strela" (Red Arrow) which runs both ways every night, covering the trip in 8 hours. The train is very comfortable and clean, and you even get a free meal (IIRC, a sandwich plus bread/jam/butter for breakfast). Definitely worth the 1300 rubles (about $45).

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v676/venexiano/trains/KC_spb2.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v676/venexiano/trains/KC_3.jpg

The trip back to Moscow was on the "Afanasij Nikitin" train, slightly less luxurious but still very much OK.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v676/venexiano/trains/train_spb.jpg


(Note: the beer wasn't complimentary, we bought it before boarding the train  Wink )



The only other time I took a sleeper train was a few years ago, Venice-Paris-Venice, on a schooltrip: the (French) train was appallingly dirty and uncomfortable, a huge contrast to my Russian experience.

Other memorable/enjoyable experiences include the Amtrak from Los Angeles to San Francisco (I think it was an 11-hour ride, very nice views from the train), the Swedish X2000 from Stockholm to Göteborg, and a Paris-Amsterdam trip by train with my family when I was little. Also, I used to travel from Venice to Munich at least a couple of times a year on the daily DB train, which takes 7 hours and is a very nice ride.

I won't mention my weekly rides on Trenitalia's lovely (NOT!) regional trains, although I do admit that the Eurostar Italia trains are quite good.

Federico
 
57AZ
Posts: 2371
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:55 pm

RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:31 pm

My first train ride that I can remember was riding behind Texas and Pacific No. 610 on one of the Southern Railway Steam Excursion Trips back in like '83 or '84. My first long haul trip was a round trip on the Crescent from Atlanta Peachtree Street Station to Washington Terminal-Washington Union Station. For many years, the Crescent was the long haul flagship train as one of Amtrak's early heads was an ex-Southern Railway man. Southern Railway and the Denver and Rio Grande Western were two of the last railroads to join Amtrak-Southern in 1979 and the Rio Grande main line passenger operations in 1983 IIRC. D&RGW narrow gauge operations never went to Amtrak-they were sold to Terry Bradshaw, Jr. and the States of Colorado and New Mexico respectively. Bradshaw got the old Silverton Branch, along with all of the original passenger cars and the States of Colorado and New Mexico jointly purchased the main line between Chama, NM and Antonito, CO.
"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."
 
NoUFO
Posts: 7397
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 7:40 am

RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:33 pm

Back in those days when you could actually open (sometimes prey open) a window on a train, a friend of mine threw what was left of his apple out of the window. Just in this moment we passed by a power pole which was hit by the apple, firing it's particles partially right back into our compartment. In a comic book it would sound like this: Swish .... BANG! .... splash

// --------------

Back in those days when you could actually open (sometimes prey open) a window on a train, there was a red button right below the wheel where you could adjust the heater, maybe 20 inches above ground.
We, two friends and I who used to spend a lot of time on trains, often wondered what the button was for.
"It's an emergency brake for dwarfs."
"It's not."
"It is! Look, it's painted in exactly the same bright red like the brake over there."
"Which is in fact difficult to reach for small people."
"See, ... I told you!"
"Press it."
... hesitating ... "What if it's really an emergency brake, or something similar?"
"We'll see, now press it."

Michael reluctantly pressed the button - and sure enough, right in this moment! - the train came to a grinding, screaming stop.

The "button", btw, was just an on/off-indicator of the heater.

// --------------

Back in those days when you could actually open (sometimes prey open) a window on a train, and when there were 5- or 6-seater compartments, and when I was younger and more beautiful, I had sex with a few ladies I met.

Why does this side show this salacious "Date me today" banner?

[Edited 2008-02-12 13:39:35]
I support the right to arm bears
 
aloges
Posts: 14850
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 3:38 am

RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:56 pm

That'd be Bergensbanen in Norway.

The whole Norway trip was Kiel-Oslo by ferry, then on by train to Bergen, up to Kirkenes and back on the boat, back to Oslo on a sleeper train and finally back to Kiel via Hirtshals (and through all of Jutland by bus) because the direct ferry to Kiel had engine problems or something.
The daytime rail trip was nothing short of stunning. It was spring, so the coastline near Oslo and Bergen was at worst a bit chilly. However, that changed along the trip. There's a gradual increase in altitude over the first 250 km or so, which meant that the landscape slowly changed back to winter along the route. Then on we went to the Hardangervidda, Europe's largest mountain plateau, and a maximum altitude of 1222,20 m. That meant snow all over the place, people skiing along the track and getting on and off the train in their full winter gear, long tunnels for avalanche protection and so on. It was truly impressive, perhaps the best way to experience winter if you don't want any of the cold.  Wink Finally, the train descended back down to Bergen where it was wet and rainy again.

Quoting US330 (Reply 38):
The people watching can't be beat either.

That's very true. I saw a teenaged boy solving a series of Rubik's cubes in matters of seconds once; he'd take a short break after one, mess the cube up again (or however you might call that) and then solve it so quickly that his fingers were more of a blur than a solid picture. F***ing incredible!  Wow!

Quoting A342 (Reply 40):
So you are sitting in your dark, shaking car, and listen to Swiss folk music. It's simply hilarious.

I do belive that!  Silly
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
BR715-A1-30
Topic Author
Posts: 6525
Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 9:30 am

RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Tue Feb 12, 2008 11:52 pm



Quoting NoUFO (Reply 45):

LOL, Why do all of your stories start off with the "This one time, at Band Camp." lingo?
Puhdiddle
 
MSYtristar
Posts: 7543
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RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:07 am

I've been on quite a few Amtrak runs in my day...

California Zephyr (Chicago to Emeryville,CA roundtrip; Chicago to Denver)
Capitol Limited (Chicago to D.C)
City of New Orleans (New Orleans to Chicago roundtrip about five times; Jackson,MS to N.O about four times)
Crescent (N.O to New York City; D.C to N.O; Atlanta-N.O roundtrip; D.C-ATL; N.O-Birmingham; N.O-Meridian about ten times)
Lake Shore Limited (New York City to Chicago)
Pacific Surfliner (L.A to San Diego roundtrip; L.A to Anaheim)
Regional (Boston to Providence roundtrip about ten times; Providence to New Haven)
Southwest Chief (L.A to Chicago)
Sunset Limited (N.O to L.A twice; Orlando to N.O; N.O to San Antonio roundtrip three times; N.O to Lafayette)
Texas Eagle (San Antonio to Fort Worth)
Three Rivers (Philadelphia to Chicago)
Vermonter (New Haven to Burlington/Essex Junction,VT)

Over in Europe...

Cisalpino (Geneva to Milan)
EuroCity/InterCity (Frankfurt to Cologne; Cologne to Brussels; Venice to Innsbruck; Innsbruck to Salzburg; Salzburg to Munich)
Eurostar D'Italia (Milan to Venice)
ICE (Munich to Frankfurt)
SNCF (St. Clair Les Roches to Marseilles; Marseilles to Cannes)
TGV (Marseilles to Lyon; Paris to Geneva)
Thalys (Amsterdam to Paris; Brussels to Paris)


I really enjoy all aspects of train travel. I like the idea that you really get to see the country and get to meet some interesting people along the way. I go by train whenever I have the time. I have several Amtrak trip reports posted with a ton of pictures.
 
bok269
Posts: 1568
Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 10:19 am

RE: Train Stories: Share Them Here

Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:26 am

Living in NY I take the Metro-North Commuter Train about 2-3 times per month. Its weird, whenever Im on it, my attention span never kicks in-Im never itching to get off of it as fast as possible. That being said, I've never ridden a "real" train. I'm hoping to do so in the next couple of years. I'd love to do a transcon on amtrak.
"Reality is wrong, dreams are for real." -Tupac

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Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos