Recent content by Willbridge

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  1. Willbridge

    Virgin Trains USA Orlando Extension

    Whenever I hear about Brightline I remember that there was a deep thinker at Oregon DOT when I worked there who predicted that there would only be so much capacity in the then expanding highway system and that private operators might be able to run rail service at a profit eventually in some...
  2. Willbridge

    Will full service dining ever return to the Western trains?

    The attached GM&O menu card is from the Abraham Lincoln in 1967. I haven't looked up a cost of living adjustment, but a local transit cash fare in many mid-sized cities today is about 7 times the price in 1967 as a comparison.
  3. Willbridge

    Will full service dining ever return to the Western trains?

    In the summer and around winter holidays there were trains that split into two sections, by class, even in the 1960's. HOWEVER, full meals were offered in the Coach section diner or cafe cars, comparable to today's fast-casual restaurant dining. I posted a couple of samples previously.
  4. Willbridge

    Will full service dining ever return to the Western trains?

    Yes, the railroads marketed their passenger service to business people as a way of attracting freight business. The implication was that the company as a whole would be good to deal with. Here's a sample:
  5. Willbridge

    Will full service dining ever return to the Western trains?

    Good observation regarding retirees. In 1971 when Amtrak started up the critics explained that soon the old folks who remembered fine service would die off and then so would the demand for long-distance train travel. Instead, every year there were new retirees! And they wanted to go places.
  6. Willbridge

    Sunset Limited Pre Amtrak With Automat Lunch Counter

    I made a trip on the Cascade when they tried the automat cars. Until I actually experienced it I had an open mind about the concept, but after trying it... ! I think that part of the technical trouble was that the machines weren't built to handle the vibration and voltage variations. Of...
  7. Willbridge

    Who travels in the Sleeper Cars?

    I'll bet you know that there's a secret time zone in between Central and Pacific. :D
  8. Willbridge

    Sunset Limited Pre Amtrak With Automat Lunch Counter

    In Canada they were known as "CPR strawberries" as they were at one time a regular menu feature.
  9. Willbridge

    Who travels in the Sleeper Cars?

    Yes, when the schedule is right for one night there are business travelers. For two-night travel they seem to be entrepreneurs or people in the entertainment fields, both types with homework to do on the train. On the SWC I've met an (employed) actress traveling BOS>LAX and a movie producer...
  10. Willbridge

    Will full service dining ever return to the Western trains?

    The funny thing about the millennial angle is that in their choices of restaurants and bars they enjoy all of the things that current Amtrak management takes away. Until a few weeks before the police came and tear-gassed my street, I lived on Denver's Capitol Hill. It's an apartment house...
  11. Willbridge

    Small plane discussion

    Your experience is a good example of the downside of unplanned surges like major strikes, energy crises, wars, bridge failures, etc. When customers are forced onto something second rate their experience sticks with them as negative. In the same era, people were buying Greyhound Ameripasses and...
  12. Willbridge

    Sunset Limited Pre Amtrak With Automat Lunch Counter

    One of the few things that Phil Anschutz said publicly when he bought the SP was that he was surprised to find that so many people hated it. My dad, who grew up in Oregon, had a chuckle when I told him that. One clue was that even when I went to school, Frank Norris' book The Octopus was on...
  13. Willbridge

    Amtrak Line Plans FY20-25 Released

    A pause to remember the selection committee at Edmonton Transit that chose the Siemens DueWag LRV in 1977, in spite of pressure to wait for a domestic product. (The first cars arrived with German language safety warning stickers.) Here is a pre-grand opening session filming a television...
  14. Willbridge

    Small plane discussion

    During the 1966 airline pilots' strike, Dow Jones chartered two DC-3's from Carolina Aircraft Corp. (may not have the name exactly right). They flew the Wall Street Journal and Barron's which were printed in Palo Alto. One flight ran SFO>PDX>SEA>SFO and the other flew SFO>RNO>SLC>SFO. They took...
  15. Willbridge

    WSDOT retiring, selling Talgo trainsets, not acquiring "Wisconsin" trainsets yet

    As I mentioned earlier in this thread that some of the last Pool schedules did Portland<>Seattle in 3:45 with the Chehalis stops, but no Tukwila. I checked and the timetable dated October 25, 1970 showed three trains running that fast. One of them, BN196 (NP407), also showed a conditional stop...
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