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  1. M

    Road trip to Maine in the age of Corona

    NOTE: Yes, there's some reference to rail here. Just be patient, please. In the Age of Corona, it looks like no long-distance train trips for a while, but the family was getting so hot sitting under the Heat Dome in Baltimore that we decided to drive up to Maine to my Dad's cabin on the lake...
  2. M

    Road Trip (and public restroom) Discussion

    Just having returned from a road trip, I have to second this statement. :) I think the risks of infections from public restrooms have been overstated by many. Even in the northeastern states where they're taking Covid very seriously, all the highway rest stop public restrooms that I visited...
  3. M

    Mr. MARC Rider goes to Washington (so you don't have to)

    I had to go down to DC to see the dermatologist for my quarterly "head to toe" screening. (Don't ask. I'm fine, but I'm glad I was able to have the doc look me over in person.) The dermatologist is over by 17th and Eye NW, so after some thought, I decided that taking the train wasn't so much...
  4. M

    Meltdown on 94

    I'm riding NER 94, which left Washington at 205 pm. A bit past New Carrolton, we stopped. Then an announement about the horn not working. Then an announcement that we are going to have to back up tp Washington and either get a new motor or get put on the next train. We are now slowly backing...
  5. M

    New Northern Central Railway -- BAL -HAR

    Obviously, the quickest way to fill a service hole in the Northeast, connecting Washington/Baltimore with Harrisburg, would be to run the trains up the NEC to Perryville, and then up the Port Road to Harrisburg. However, the only intermediate stop in a town of any size would be at Columbia, PA...
  6. M

    Maryland Purple Line threatened

    Looks like the contractors had so many overruns and then got hit by the Coronavirus that they want out of the contract unless the state forks over mucho $$$$. It's not clear who's responsible for the overruns or whether the contractor lowballed their bid, nonetheless, they have the state in a...
  7. M

    To Boston on the Night Owl -- 1987

    This was the first time I rode the NEC all the way to Boston. In December 1986 I started dating a young woman from South America. Over the holiday break, she visited family in Montreal and rode up and back on the Montrealer. I picked her up at the station when we came back, pleased that I...
  8. M

    NYC subway L train back on track

    I rode the L train to my hotel in Brooklyn on a trip last summer. The service was a bit disrupted because of track work. Looks like the track work is finished, ahead of schedule and under budget. NYCT Canarsie Tunnels Repair Completed And there's even an Amtrak angle:
  9. M

    Tier status extended

    Just got an email from AGR: Well that's nice, as I suspect I won't be doing a whole lot of Amtrak traveling this summer, and maybe not even that much in the fall.
  10. M

    The joyride I should have taken in 1966

    October 1966. I was 13 years old and beginning to do the train geek thing. We had just moved from the Main Line suburbs to a new home in Center City Philadelphia. This made it a lot easier for me to get to the train station on my own and such. So here's a trip I never thought about doing...
  11. M

    Filling the MARC-SEPTA gap

    Maryland looks at connecting MARC toward Philadelphia and within Baltimore Looks like our governor has on his desk a bill to require the Maryland transit Administration to "enter good-faith negotiations" about two possible expansions of MARC service: Through-running trains on VRE to Alexandria...
  12. M

    Hike on the Northern Central Railway

    DISCLAIMER: no safety rules were broken, and I am not so foolish as to actually hike along active railroad tracks. Last weekend, cabin fever was setting in, so it was time to comply with my state's "stay-at-home order" by leaving the house to engage in some outdoor exercise. In this case it...
  13. M

    Pre-Amtrak Experience: The NEC 1960-1971

    OK, they didn't call it the NEC back then, it was the Pennsylvania Railroad (the Penn Central during the last years), service between Washington - Philadelphia -- New York. They ran trains roughly every 2 hours between Washington and New York, hourly trains ("Clockers") between Philadelphia and...
  14. M

    Maine March Madness 2020 with an Acela First Class Food report

    I managed to squeeze in my annual cross-country ski trip just before everything shut down for the pandemic. Actually, I didn't do any skiing because the snow was crusty, icy, and generally beyond my current skill and comfort level, but I did snowshoe and some snow hiking wearing spikes on my...
  15. M

    Favorite snacks to bring on board ... your car

    There's a thread over in the Amtrak discussion about favorite snacks to take on board a train, but what about those who are taking road trips? It's true that this is a little less of a problem, as those traveling by auto usually have a wide choice of food sources along the the road where they...
  16. M

    Like the old days at New Haven

    The Acela I'm riding got into New Haven 15 minutes early. So they held the train until scheduled departure. It was like the old days, for those who remember, before New Haven to Boston was electrified, and you had to wait while they swapped locomotives. They even held the doors open and let...
  17. M

    East Broad Top Railroad back from the dead

    When I was in Huntingdon last week, I noticed in the local paper that the East Broad Top Railroad was going to go back in service in 2021. I perked up when I saw that, as my wife and I last rode the line in 2010, the year before they stopped running the trains. We splurged for a ride in the...
  18. M

    Pennsylvania Turnpike road trip, plus I-83

    I had to go up to central Pennsylvania last week. I haven't been up there for a couple of years, just a few notes on the drive. They widened the Turnpike to 6 lanes between Carlise and the Blue Mountain tunnel. I'm not sure why they did that, as there's not more traffic in that section than...
  19. M

    The airplane seat recline controversy heats up again

    Surprised no one has commented on this yet: https://www.chicagotribune.com/travel/travel-news/sns-nyt-debate-rages-over-airline-seats-20200218-xq62vfb5cnbadnmabkziikx7ta-story.html It was an 80-minute flight (so seatbacks had to be upright for at least 20 minutes of that time, anyway). I saw...
  20. M

    Can you still ride SEPTA from 30th st to Center City with Amtrak ticket?

    Of course, back in the day, everybody could ride SEPTA trains free between 30th St and Suburban and Jefferson Stations because conductors never checked for fares. However, starting a year or two ago they started putting faregates for the Key Cards on the entrance at 30th St. Still no problem...
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