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  1. J

    Interesting facts and notes in old railroad magazines

    Re a train barber shop, the few routes out west that had those ran on smooth track even though it was not continuous welded rail. The maintenance of course was excellent. Besides NY Central, other roads such as the B&O also had all-Pullman (The Capitol Limited) and all-coach (The Columbian)...
  2. J

    Interesting facts and notes in old railroad magazines

    I meant to add that bedrooms varied much. Some had a sofa with a smallish window because on the outer wall next to the window were the toilet & sink above it, so if the wall between rooms was fan-folded back toward the doors you had two toilets & two sinks next to each other and two sofas facing...
  3. J

    Interesting facts and notes in old railroad magazines

    Drawing Rooms had two windows (although the one in the Canadian observation-dome-cars has one lengthier window). The 2 Master Rooms in the PRR observation car had 3 chairs. They had the only showers on the train, and 2 two lower beds (one across & one sideways as in Drawing Rooms, but no upper...
  4. J

    Ownership of Amtrak stations?

    The Kirkwood [MO] Train Station Foundation, to which we (though not Kirkwood residents) and many others contribute is a splendid example of support for major preservation and longer-range enhancement projects. For years the garden club has helped provide flower beds, window boxes and also huge...
  5. J

    First long trip on Amtrak (SAS to VAC)

    Have a blanket or long coat for warmth if needed (coach may be chilly for some of us any time of year). Decades back, pillows often were provided free (or for a small fee) to coach passengers. I don't use a pillow in bed but at least a small one in coach may be helpful to bring along. Consider...
  6. J

    Interesting facts and notes in old railroad magazines

    I can't imagine how Pullman porters made up all the 32 beds in a 16-section car or the 27 in those countless 12-section plus drawing room cars. With their coats, ties, and caps and no air conditioning (at least for initial decades) plus long hours must have been very taxing (Googling "Pullman...
  7. J

    Can Union Pacific bring back their own passenger trains?

    D&RGW was the third RR that did not join Amtrak. The reason was not that of the CRI&P (couldn't afford it) or the Southern (which as I recall had its doubts as well as resources to continue passenger service), but I forget D&RGW's reason or at least the one I did read at the time (perhaps in...
  8. J

    Tipping on Amtrak

    I didn't realize our SCA would be leaving the TX Eagle at San Antonio, so when I got off to look around I didn't tip him. I was sad when I realized. Operational but not service employees on trains have crew changes, but the San Antonio situation obviously is different on the 3 days a week that a...
  9. J

    Tipping on Amtrak

    I forget what we did in 1965 in London, being there only one day, but in Geneva, Switzerland for example, the tip was viewed as part of the bill. That was a real surprise as in the U.S. it was always voluntary.
  10. J

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

    Mention of duplex rooms reminds me of the range of rooms there had been and the full single beds, full facilities in rooms, lack of any squeaks or rattles, substantial linens & blankets, pull-out armrests in sofas, shoe-storage boxes with opening to room & to aisle (shoes shined during the...
  11. J

    Winter Storm 2024 cancellations

    I remember when there were no Interstates, no jets, most cars had two flat glass plates for windshields and I don't recall trains (my father took from Pittsburgh to NYC or sometimes Detroit, St. Louis, etc.) being cancelled. I wonder how much cancellation occurs in Scandinavia and Russia today...
  12. J

    Amtrak Dining and Cafe service discussion 2024 Q1

    From pre-Amtrak years I don't recall diners ever having few people dining, both because having room service was unusual (mainly for handicapped, very elderly or maybe someone with a cough or perhaps contagious) but of course coach passengers always were welcome (some trains were all first-class...
  13. J

    Sleeper accommodation discussion

    We are okay with roomettes except for Superliner ones which have lower ceilings, no luggage space over the aisle, no window for the upper berth, no sink or sink/toilet. So on the TE/SSL we got two roomettes (the bedrooms also have the lower ceilings, and one rather than two windows.
  14. J

    Amtrak Dining and Cafe service discussion 2024 Q1

    On the Texas Eagle/SSL (IL to AZ) the tables each had a couple (or one party of 3 or 4 occasionally); perhaps Covid was not far enough in the past when we traveled in March 2022. But prior to Covid we've also been seated with another couple when the diner was virtually empty. At first, I was...
  15. J

    Historical Amtrak equipment and travel experiences

    Boarding in Pittsburgh for Chicago in the mid-1970s I had a duplex roomette even though PRR did not have those (though PRR alone had duplex rooms apart from the single rooms under NP dome sleepers, e.g.), and I overheard the conductor & another staff member commenting about how long it had been...
  16. J

    Cartogram of Amtrak Ridership by State, 2022

    What I wondered is why some states (e.g. VA, RI) are in boldface even though they have fewer blocks than states with more (e.g., CA, PA).
  17. J

    Pennsylvanian (the train(s) and route) discussion

    Using the same platforms for through trains and those ending their run at Pittsburgh is complicated by the fact that those not going farther can use stub tracks, of which at least historically there were a lot (I lived there from 1944-72). Heading west out of the station's north side the tracks...
  18. J

    VIA Canadian and the Canadians

    Having used both single & double slumbercoach rooms and both duplex roomettes & roomettes, I must say that the single slumbercoach room was much smaller than a duplex roomette, which is why there were 24 single & 8 double slumbercoach rooms in a car as opposed to 24 duplex roomettes needing the...
  19. J

    Winter 2023-24 Roomette Companion Sale

    When I reached the point of paying the lower fare (wife & me in roomette, FL to DC on 3/7/24) it said my email & something (credit card or reward number or?) did not match. In the end I phoned 800-USA-RAIL and got the best person I've had with any company or other entity. She ended up with the...
  20. J

    Discussion of expansion of service in Western States

    My Dad was born in Red Lodge in 1901, went to MT State in Bozeman and drove tour bus in Yellowstone in summer '27, met Mom who had come from SD on special train for summer staff & worked at Mammoth near Gardiner entrance. Except for some "sagebrushers" coming by car everyone came by train to...
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