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  1. jloewen

    Train 6 - Directional Positioning of Sleeping Cars?

    Shouldn't you sleep feet first? That way if your train hits something or derails your feet will be broken instead of your head....
  2. jloewen

    What train holds the record for latest arrival/longest delay on Amtrak?

    Has a train ever arrived AFTER the next day's train?
  3. jloewen

    City of New Orleans routing

    I took the IC, perhaps the Magnolia Star, from Jackson MS to Mattoon IL, around 1970. Between Centralia and Mattoon, it was scheduled at 81 MPH with stops (Effingham). We made up 15 minutes. I did the math and concluded we had to be moving at 110-115 MPH. Right about then, the Metroliner had...
  4. jloewen

    The Olympian Hiawatha, The Empire Builder, The North Coast Limited

    I thought the Milw. Road used electric because they HAD to. They were the third route thru the Rockies and the flattest routes had already been taken, and electric trains can climb grades that steam could not. True?
  5. jloewen

    New dining options (flex dining) effective October 1, 2019

    You are exactly right. There should be no room for employees who are OK with being rude to customers.
  6. jloewen

    The Olympian Hiawatha, The Empire Builder, The North Coast Limited

    In the early 1960s I took the train from Chicago to St. Paul and back, en route to Carleton College in MN. Always overnight, both ways. Four choices, as I recall: Northwestern, Milwaukee Road, something Pacific (Northern? Union?), and Soo Line. Each was scheduled at about six hours, except the...
  7. jloewen

    Amtrak restores staffing positions at Marshall station

    The customer is usually wrong?? Don't think so. Some Amtrak employees consider customers to be interlopers who mess up an otherwise fun train ride.
  8. jloewen

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

    Ten years ago, after a speaking engagement in Jacksonville (FL), my wife and I took 92 back to DC where we live. At breakfast we were seated with an older couple (we were then c.68). He looked to be about 75, she maybe 80. They were not only taking Amtrak all the way to Boston, their stuff was...
  9. jloewen

    How do feel about riding "Coach" ?

    By chance my wife and I took the next-to-last sleeper from DC to BOS and then the first overnight train from BOS to DC that did NOT have a sleeper. Amtrak had sold us a sleeper both ways. We booked a bedroom up (so we could take a shower before speaking etc. in Boston) and a roomette back south...
  10. jloewen

    Amtrak to Iowa City?

    Last year LIES MY TEACHER TOLD ME came out in a new version for 11-year-olds!
  11. jloewen

    Amtrak to Iowa City?

    Several years ago, I spoke in four of the five Quad Cities. (I wrote the book LIES MY TEACHER TOLD ME, a best-seller, and enterprising folks put together engagements for me and for Chris Crutcher, author of terrific teenybopper novels that relate to HS social studies inter alia.) Spoke in...
  12. jloewen

    Why trains instead of planes for long distance?

    When MY niece was maybe half that age, we went to a really nice restaurant for breakfast and she ordered "a quickie." Turned out to be a sort of egg pie with cheese in it....
  13. jloewen

    Why trains instead of planes for long distance?

    The "Metroliners" had little pay phone booths in them, and definitely did not have to be in a station. That was a selling point. That and their "astounding" speed, which as I pointed out here was not as fast as the City of New Orleans and/or Magnolia Star on the...
  14. jloewen

    Favorite snacks to bring onboard

    No, it's a bad idea to skip mayo. For decades this has been an example of theory without data. Mayo is too acidic (vinegar) to support or allow bacteria (probably viruses too). Try this: make a tiny batch of chicken salad with and another batch without mayo. Put each in between quarter sections...
  15. jloewen

    Egypt by Rail ~ 2020

    My wife and I took the overnight train from Cairo to Luxor last April in a sleeper cabin that slept two, perpendicular to the direction of travel. As a result we slept better, since most pitching is L/R, not forward/back, on a train. Got dinner and continental breakfast, which were adequate...
  16. jloewen

    Increased Security Presence on Trains

    When I was a kid in Decatur, IL, some NY Yankees (Mantle, etc.) were put off the Wabash Cannonball in my hometown, en route to playing the Browns, and had to take a taxi to STL (120 miles). I wrote a new verse to the song about this, here:
  17. jloewen

    Best roomette on the Capitol Limited

    Awhile back, my wife and I took the Capitol Limited to Pittsburgh and then walked (c.11PM) to our hotel. No problem. No dark alley. Then we spent two terrific days in Pittsburgh, walked everywhere -- to Fort Pitt at the confluence of the rivers, to a funicular and up it, along the ridge to a...
  18. jloewen

    Laptop in Café car

    Not on the NEC. My wife and I like to play a game (pinochle, Carcasonne) while enjoying a snack or lunch in the cafe car. About 2/3 of the time, no tables for two are available, including no tables with two people already sitting opposite each other, leaving two more opposites for us. Why not...
  19. jloewen

    Pregnant on Amtrak

    Many kids get TWO last names, and if "Justine" were followed by "Time" that would be appropriate.
  20. jloewen

    What Will Amtrak Look Like in 2020?

    Those who argue that maintaining long-distance rail is too expensive, compared to airports, neglect the synergy between long-distance passenger rail and long-distance freight rail. The rails undergirding the LD routes will still be maintained even if Amtrak disappears. Witness the problem in...