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  1. John Bredin

    First Amtrak #5 Back Has Private Car

    Ayn Rand would be spinning in her grave like a generator at the thought of a railcar with that character's name being pulled on a government train.🤣 And anyone who remembers the train in the tunnel chapter of Atlas Shrugged will cringe a little at a car invoking Atlas Shrugged being on the...
  2. John Bredin

    Amtrak short term cancellations and restorations (2022)

    I'm curious why the eastbound Capitol Ltd. and Cardinal left Chicago last night (15th) but the eastbound Lake Shore Ltd. didn't. It's the last train out of Chicago as I recall. Was timing bad for the westbound LSL to leave Boston & NYC on the 15th, so there'd be an equipment imbalance?
  3. John Bredin

    The effect of the potential rail strike on Amtrak

    The wire story says the vote would be after a cool-off period of a few weeks, so no strike now either way. The stories I've seen so far don't say how much the unions got on the time-off issue, which was the remaining sticking-point after the PEB recommended pay increases.
  4. John Bredin

    The effect of the potential rail strike on Amtrak

    If the dispatchers, who are freight railroad employees outside the NEC and a few commuter lines, either strike or honor other rail workers' strike, Amtrak can't run on the freight lines even if there aren't any freight trains in Amtrak's way.
  5. John Bredin

    AGR credit card change (October 2022)

    The BofA fee notice also says (on p. 2): "We will credit your account for the Annual Fee if you close your account by calling us at 1.888.704.9515 (open 24 hours a day) within 30 days of the mailing of the statement on which your Annual Fee is billed." Although that doesn't resolve the...
  6. John Bredin

    AGR credit card change (October 2022)

    To follow up on my own post, I called BofA to ask if my BofA AGR card would become a non-AGR card after 10/23 or would close. The first person I spoke with said the former, and that I would still have the $79 annual fee on the new BofA card. Well, I don't mind the now-$99 annual fee for an AGR...
  7. John Bredin

    AGR credit card change (October 2022)

    I didn't see anything in FNBO's FAQ (linked earlier) that addressed what BofA is doing with the old credit cards. No reapplying, as you say: FNBO's new cards will be sent in October and won't kick in (once activated) until noon Central on October 23, and the BofA card will work (and presumably...
  8. John Bredin

    Texas Central Railway

    Fair enough, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. If TC doesn't start moving forward in some way (land acquisition, hiring, at least an updated website :)) in a few months, then the issues were deeper than fighting the eminent-domain legal-political battle.
  9. John Bredin

    Texas Central Railway

    The opposition to this project has been all about politics: "Texas is an oil/trucks/highways state!" and "How dare a private company (that's not an electric utility, or oil pipeline, or....) use eminent domain!" If there was any under-the-table money here, the pols would "stay bought" and this...
  10. John Bredin

    Southwest Chief derailment

    A useful article for its description of the circumstances and lay of the land, but IMHO the reporter uncritically relayed the farmer's layman's opinion that "the railroad" is at fault. Which, curiously, the article managed to not identify. It repeatedly says "the railroad" without ever saying...
  11. John Bredin

    Texas Central Railway

    Of course it's the standard bearer: just like standard bearers in pre-WWI armies, it's been constantly harried and shot at by its enemies to prevent it going forward. Has it had real issues? Yes. But IMHO opponents have repeatedly and grossly exaggerated them in an effort to make it out to be a...
  12. John Bredin

    "The US isn't ready for High Speed Rail:"

    Did the "hoods from Chicago" thing actually happen, or did some paranoid locals pull this out of their ... hats? This sounds like the old "loot rail" crap from the early Internet of the Nineties defrosted and warmed over for a new decade. Firstly, they've got cars, whether their own or stolen...
  13. John Bredin

    New Traditional Dining Menu

    I've seen potatoes with skins that were naturally beige or brown, red, and blue. Blue potatoes. "Stretch" beige into white and you've got the traditional tricolors.
  14. John Bredin

    Bedroom downgraded to Coach a week before departure

    The lengths of most long distance trains can be seen on railcams, including free ones on YouTube. Of late, the Capitol Ltd. has had three coaches (including a baggage car AND a baggage-coach), the combined Lake Shore Limited has had five coaches, and the Southwest Chief has had three coaches...
  15. John Bredin

    Expected state of Amtrak for the summer and fall travel season (2022)

    Equipment shortages aren't done, but March isn't necessarily a fair measure a couple of months later. YouTube also has live railcams, and I've recently seen five coaches on the Lake Shore Limited and three coaches on the Capitol Limited when both stopped at Elkhart IN.
  16. John Bredin

    Brightline Florida update

    Nope, a grant is not a loan and is not repaid.
  17. John Bredin

    What should Amtrak change?

    San Jose Diridon is owned by Caltrain*, so of course Amtrak should spend money installing wifi there. (Sarcasm, thrust! Sarcasm, parry!) *Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, technically.
  18. John Bredin

    Eastern LD train staffing and equipment discussion

    As I understand it, several sleepers (and other cars) were mothballed during Covid. As Amtrak hires to fill openings at its shops, many will come out of mothballs a lot sooner than new cars can be ordered. Maybe I'm recalling badly from the relatively short time between 65/66/67 having sleeper...
  19. John Bredin

    Elizabeth Line and some additional bits about Transport for London

    Sounds a bit like the Great Chicago Flood, where contractors driving piles to protect one of the Chicago River bridges punched through to one of the old freight tunnels, which were connected to the subbasements of a lot of older Loop buildings to (in previous decades) deliver coal and...
  20. John Bredin

    LD Train Configuration

    Amtrak's careers website advertises several positions at Beech Grove and a "hiring event" just yesterday. I'm strictly a white collar worker so I don't know exactly which positions are mechanical, but the advertised openings include journeyman carmen, journeyman machinist, journeyman...