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  1. jloewen

    Why aren't overnight trains able to compete with flying?

    Darn it, here's the lack of vision problem. Amtrak IS competitive with air travel for business in several places, IF it were reliably on time. And if it went as fast as, say, the Magnolia Star on the ICRR in 1970, it would be MORE competitive with air travel. Consider: I was on the Magnolia Star...
  2. jloewen

    Why aren't overnight trains able to compete with flying?

    I take Amtrak on business from WAS to CHI (as well as to points in N IN such as S Bend and Elkhart). The only problem with the Capital Ltd. is on-time performance. I should be able to schedule a lunch talk or 11AM meeting, since it supposedly arrives around 8:30AM. But that can be risky...
  3. jloewen

    Most Beautiful Train Stations in the US

    So, the renovated Union Station in Chicago includes NOT ONE little conference room ... not even a nook ... that might be used for a little meeting of 3-6 folks. Even DC has a conference room. Amtrak THINKS Union Station has a conference room, but when you phone the station itself, they say they...
  4. jloewen

    First look at Moynihan Train Hall

    Here is a good story about the transcontinental rr. [I don't know how to start a new thread. Maybe the admin. can do it?] What can the transcontinental railroad teach us about anti-Asian racism?
  5. jloewen

    Disobedience on Amtrak

    4 letter word starting with B that is a real no no around women. Please teach me that word. I've been thinkin' and thinkin', to no avail...
  6. jloewen

    Disobedience on Amtrak

    When I was a kid growing up in Decatur, the NY Yankees stars were ejected from the Wabash Cannonball for being drunk and disorderly. They had to rent a taxi to drive the last 120 miles to STL to play the Browns. This made the Decatur newspaper, and I wrote a verse about it for the famous song...
  7. jloewen

    Atlanta losing checked baggage service?

    My gosh! Losing baggage at ATL! Surely it's the largest metro area served by Amtrak in the eastern third of the country, after NYC and DC!
  8. jloewen

    Amtrak focus group

    I too was in that focus group. One failing of the website: if you didn't finish and submit your reply to the 3 or 4 open-ended queries in time, the reply got scrubbed. It should have been saved even if incomplete. Yes, several questions were about: if you could use AGR points to book things like...
  9. jloewen

    Amtrak Dining

    My biggest single peeve with Amtrak. Fixable at a cost of $0. Increases revenue because, as Starbucks etc. knows, people sitting on premises buy more, compared to empty seats. Doesn't symbolize bad attitude, which in turn causes folks actually to HAVE bad attitudes.
  10. jloewen

    "The Dining Car Problem"

    Yes, each of the above steps seem rather obvious. Add one more: require train crews (on ALL trains, not just overnight ones) to confine themselves to occupying no more than 4 seats in the cafe and dining cars, total, thus freeing up more seats for eating customers.
  11. jloewen

    Fares fair?

    A week ago I booked a trip in Nov. from DC to IND (on the Cardinal), then flying (!) to O'Hare, then CHI to Ann Arbor, then Ann Arbor via TOL back to DC (on the Capital Ltd.) Costs for the two overnites: WAS-IND, $261.40; AA-WAS $270. Then I needed to make a change, converting the outbound to...
  12. jloewen

    Legislation to Provide Permanent Funding for Amtrak

    No, some are about petty autocrats.
  13. jloewen

    Long haul train travel times

    I too take Amtrak overnite for business, and you are right: "The most important thing for using the train under such circumstances is that the train arrive on schedule, or early." This is a key improvement Amtrak needs to make, and can, I think. Maybe Biden could just jawbone the rr executives...
  14. jloewen

    Amtrak Dining

    Well before "flexible dining," CONO disappointed. They went to sandwiches and did not even include a muffaletta! No sense of place!
  15. jloewen

    Amtrak Dining

    Unfair! I stayed at a Motel 6 recently. Discouraging. NOTHING but coffee. Also, a substandard sliver of soap and substandard towel. From now on, it's the luxurious Quality Inn for me!!
  16. jloewen

    Do we need "Long Distance " trains?

    Yes, when I had a Fulbright to Australia (and was younger!), I bought a bus pass. The company (Greyhound?) had a night train and a day train linking all the main cities (except Perth). I took the night train from Melbourne to Sydney, so I could spend the day doing stuff and learning stuff and...
  17. jloewen

    Amtrak Dining

    North Korean trains serve no food. You have to bring it on board with you. Here is a fascinating account of a trip ... the ONLY trip possible for Westerners ... recently taken from Pyongyang to the Chinese border. Take a train through North Korea's rarely seen countryside
  18. jloewen

    Do we really need HSR for LD?

    You all are talking about heavy use corridors like DC--Atlanta. I've taken the Crescent from DC to ATL and back several times. It does NOT get heavy use. Maybe 30 people on a good day. None of them (but me) traveling for business, from the looks of them and who meets them. Since the trip puts...
  19. jloewen

    Sleeping cars returning to WAS-BOS starting 05APR21

    My wife and I rode the next-to-last sleeper from WAS to BOS and the first train from BOS to WAS without a sleeper, back. What happened was, I had a speaking engagement in the Boston area and a friend (Ezra Vogel, who died last week Ezra F. Vogel, Eminent Scholar of China and Japan, Dies at 90 )...
  20. jloewen

    Amtrak Dining

    Not in the 1800s but in 1962 the NWern railroad en route from Duluth/Superior to Chicago stopped at Antigo for 20 minutes for lunch. Amazingly, they then added a cafe car at the next stop, 30 min. later! Also, since trains in the 1800s were all steam (and much later, too) they had to stop every...