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  1. tomfuller

    Is it to soon to be booking a cross country trip in Sept?

    If you are OK with coach travel, you could each get a 15 or 30 day USA Rail Pass. You can decide later when you want to go and what routes. You have to use it within a year. You can also get your $ back or get a voucher.
  2. tomfuller

    COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic: Amtrak-related Discussion

    Yesterday's southbound Coast Starlight (11) did not leave Seattle. The northbound (14) will leave LAX this morning. Why can't Amtrak Police carry thermometers and ride the trains instead of having the National Guard standing on the platform?
  3. tomfuller

    Are California LD Trains in Limbo?

    The northbound CS will be arriving in Klamath Falls OR about 10AM. I have no idea how many people are escaping California on the train. It left Sacramento a little after midnight without the Governor trying to stop it. "Welcome to the Hotel California". You can check out any time you like but...
  4. tomfuller

    Baggage and roomette questions (Empire Builder)

    FYI: There is a Home Depot about 1.6 miles south of King St. station (Utah Ave. S). They might even have a pickup to move stuff you buy there. Please don''t strain your backs lugging stuff you can get in Seattle.
  5. tomfuller

    Whats the earliest you can board the train?

    Don't count on your train arriving at 8PM in Tucson. Last month I turned in my rental car in Tucson at 5PM and waited in or near the station until it arrived at 2AM.
  6. tomfuller

    Why trains instead of planes for long distance?

    In early February I was going from Chemult OR (Podunk) to Yuma AZ (not as Podunk). Since I didn't want to get off in YUM at 4AM, I stayed on until Tucson and got my rental car there. I still had to wait over half an hour for Enterprise to open 9AM Arizona Time. At least I had a seat to myself to...
  7. tomfuller

    Increased Security Presence on Trains

    For the first time ever in many thousands of miles on Amtrak over 18 years, I saw an Amtrak Police officer riding northbound on the Coast Starlight. He had his wife/girlfriend with him. He was a native of the Bronx. I told him that my first Amtrak trip was about 5 weeks after 9/11 from WAS to...
  8. tomfuller

    Still around, and ready to ride the rails again!

    If you have any desire to purchase silver or turquoise jewelry, there will be at least one vendor on the platform in Albuquerque. It is a refueling and engineer change station so you will have some time to step off onto the platform.
  9. tomfuller

    Hop on and Off Empire Builder

    A few years ago, my wife and I got off in Cut Bank MT on May 31 (6PM). We had a car rented from a local car dealership with the key in the gas cap flap and the rental paper on the sun visor. We left our Cut Bank motel early in the morning and went through Browning and north to St. Mary and then...
  10. tomfuller

    Oregon to Tucson and return

    I left CMO about 10 minutes late 8:20PM on 2/6. We arrived in SAC about 30 minutes early (5:45AM). Since I had a connection to make in Los Angeles to the Sunset Limited I chose to take the bus to Stockton, San Joaquin to Bakersfield and bus to LAX route. I arrived at LAUS 2 hours before the...
  11. tomfuller

    Empire Builder Operational Questions

    If you are awake in Spokane, there will be a period of time (5-10 minutes) that the train will be "unplugged" and the heating/AC and lights will be out while the engines are shuffling. Don't worry the power will be on before the combined train starts moving east. You should step off the train...
  12. tomfuller

    Empire Builder Operational Questions

    Good answers above! I have taken this very trip a couple of times. On your trip from Chicago to Erie, you will be on either train 48 or 448 both designated as the Lake Shore Limited. 48 is the one that goes into New York Penn and 448 splits off at Albany and goes to Boston South station...
  13. tomfuller

    Storing Luggage

    Last week I was on the Coast Starlight south of K-Falls in the Lounge Car. Someone who was a bit "hot under the collar" came in an said that his bag had been stolen from the downstairs luggage. The Amtrak employee (not Conductor) went down with him to check. Someone had rearranged all of the...
  14. tomfuller

    What's the longest vacation you've taken by train?

    Someone mentioned the North America Railpass (30 days). My very first Amtrak and ViaRail trips were on a North America Railpass in October-November 2001. The trip started in Washington DC about 6 weeks after 9/11 (to NYP). The first NE Regional of the day left WAS at 3AM. I transferred to the...
  15. tomfuller

    What train discontinued before Amtrak would you like to see brought back?

    Before Amtrak i remember going with my dad to go pick up my great aunt in Elmira NY. She got on the Phoebe Snow at the Port Authority in New York. I believe the train went onward across southern New York state to Buffalo. Phoebe wore white gloves because the locomotive used hard coal that burned...
  16. tomfuller

    SWC and CZ: which is best east and which is best west?

    For the timing of the scenery I prefer the CZ eastbound to see Ruby Canyon, Grand Junction and the Glenwood Canyon in daylight. Ruby Canyon is often dark by the time the westbound train gets there. Last month I took the Empire Builder eastbound and saw flooding along the Mississippi River. I...
  17. tomfuller

    California Zephyr: Sleeper & Coach Travel

    I saved a few bucks traveling with my wife taking the CZ out of Chicago in coach to Omaha and moved to a Roomette along the outside of the train at 11PM. We had the Roomette as far as Glenwood Springs and moved back to coach to Winnemucca where our car was parked. It is easier to move from one...
  18. tomfuller

    Taking 15-day Amtrak trip - Need hotel recommendations

    There is a HI hostel in Seattle (former American Hotel) about 5 blocks east of King St. station. Good luck on getting a reservation if there is a sporting event at the stadium nearby. I agree on the HI hostel in Chicago (largest in the US). Taxi ride + hostel will be close to $100/night. I will...
  19. tomfuller

    Breakfast on SWC

    My best breakfast on the SWC was in New Mexico with Mark Murphy (Amtrak VP for Long Distance routes) and 2 other gentlemen. If the train is early, count on a breakfast at Phillipes.
  20. tomfuller

    California Zephyr advice

    To save a little money on a trip on the Zephyr, my wife and i switched from coach to a roomette in Omaha about 11 PM. We had the Roomette until Glenwood Springs. I agree Glenwood Springs would be better unless you want a huge city (Denver).  There is good bus service up from Glenwood Springs to...
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