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  1. mlanoue

    Reading the timetables

    The "Fresh Air" stops are one of my favorite parts of riding the long distance routes. It's always fun to step off for a minute and get a quick look at a station in a town you probably have never heard of or would think to visit. Most of the time you can't stray very far from the train, but...
  2. mlanoue

    Amtrak’s own numbers show LD trains holding their own

    That looks nice, although I can't see how it's better than having a roomette. Seems like these seats take up a lot of space in the car and doesn't really give you anything like privacy. Of course if the price is somewhere in between a room and a regular coach seat--then, it makes more sense...
  3. mlanoue

    Havre question (re road bridge near station)

    This is a pretty close look at that bridge. It's probably what you were seeing from the train. Street View of Havre bridge
  4. mlanoue

    Flexible dining - Requesting a review from a recent rider

    I received a post card in the mail from this company the other day and took a look. Freshly - Plans & Menu Haven't tried them yet, but it seems like if their meals are any good, then there could be hope for decent meals without a chef on trains. These are pre-cooked and, upon first glance...
  5. mlanoue

    USA Today Article on LD Service Cutbacks

    I think if anything, this article is also showing how these frequency cuts will seriously cause problems for the many people who really do use Amtrak LD trains for transportation. They're not just the supposed "land cruises" some people assume they are.
  6. mlanoue

    Will full service dining ever return to the Western trains?

    And, this doesn't seem to be discussed much, but driving isn't a joy for some people. It's an exhausting chore. I hate the fact that there are lots of places I'd like to see, but I'd have to be on alert for 10 hours strapped to a chair at 70+ MPH making sure I don't hit somebody or get hit. I...
  7. mlanoue

    Amtrak to Iowa City?

    Yes, you can find old references to the "Tri-Cities" in old encyclopedias. My wife is from there, and she said that at one time East Moline was--I suppose unofficially--the fourth city, but in order to balance the Illinois-Iowa split, it gradually became Bettendorf. Might be true, might not.
  8. mlanoue

    What I miss about Amtrak train rides . . .

    Great posts so far! I miss getting off the train for Fresh Air brakes at stops in towns I’d never heard of, and probably would never visit otherwise. I miss waking up in the middle of the night in my roomette as we pass through a small town and I see the red lights from the crossing gates whiz...
  9. mlanoue

    Amtrak to Iowa City?

    I think having the Quad Cities line extend to Iowa City would definitely get more ridership. Unfortunately it seems hard enough just to get the QC train up and running, let along ever getting Iowa back on board.
  10. mlanoue

    Amtrak to Iowa City?

    At this point I'm just continuing to investigate this for my own amusement, since a bus from Mt. Pleasant to Iowa City is just not practical with Amtrak even if it were possible. But, there is (or was) a BT route #1489 that's a straight shot up un US 218. I think it's on this map: Midwest Bus...
  11. mlanoue

    Amtrak to Iowa City?

    I don't think it's impossible to get from Mt. Pleasant to Iowa City by bus. Rome2Rio.com shows a Burlington Trailways bus leaving from there every day at 2:45 pm. That doesn't work as a connection to #5, unless you want to book a hotel when your less than an hour away from your destination. It's...
  12. mlanoue

    In Transit, "Empire Builder" Film.

    Just watched the first 10 minutes. Wow--that really captures an LD Superlinar trip like nothing else I've seen. I'm going to watch it with my daughter who is definitely missing train travel right now, too.
  13. mlanoue

    LSL Sleeper Lounge community seating

    Not having been on any of the sleeper lounge set-ups, I'm guessing these cards are only on some of the booth, right? As in, "sit here if you hope somebody else will show up, have a seat, and strike up a conversation." Seems like a good compromise for those who really savor the group dining...
  14. mlanoue

    What are the best and worst commuter rails in the U.S.?

    Don't know if it qualifies as best in any way, but I've always been pretty happy with Metra. They have lots of routes, even if some of them don't offer a mcuh frequency. The Rock Island line isn't all that exciting, but there are a lot of frequencies and the trains are usually pretty clean. It...
  15. mlanoue

    teen daughter traveling alone

    Over the years I've seen what appears to be college-aged women traveling home for the holidays or a weekend or whatever. They usually are reading a book or listening to something on their phones and nobody seems to bother them at all. I think my 15 year-old daughter could probably pass for that...
  16. mlanoue

    Upper peninsula of MI by rail?

    Like everyone has said, no train, but you can connect from Amtrak to an Indian Trails bus in Milwaukee or Grand Rapids. They go through the UP, but most of the routes are overnight, I believe. I've done it a few times from Milwaukee, but go all the way across the straits, into the morning...
  17. mlanoue

    The Curious Case of Stobe the Hobo

    Yes, I've watched a lot of Stobe's videos over the past year. Usually very informative, kinda sad at times, but always entertaining. I never could figure him out, but I liked his tours of the towns he was stuck in. I'm guessing it's he who plays the piano during those little montage sequences...
  18. mlanoue

    How do I snag a window seat on upper floor of CZ west of Denver?

    There usually does seem to be a pretty big line for coach boarding at Denver, so the earlier you get in the line, the better your chances of getting the seats you want. However, getting two window seats would mean you're not sitting together. I'm not sure how that would work if you'be booked...
  19. mlanoue

    Trains that kept their pre-Amtrak numbers

    Not exactly the same train, but the California Limited was numbered 3 & 4, at least in 1952. It generally followed the route of the SWC, but made dozens more stops.
  20. mlanoue

    How to get to Toronto or Montreal

    The International was a long ride, but, man, it was cheap and easy. I can't believe what a hassle it is to get from CHI to TWO by train now. It requires a lot of waiting or switching to various busses or taxis. It's the kind of thing I don't mind doing, personally, but I can't sell my wife on...
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