Amtrak teases upgraded bedding/amenities for sleeping cars

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ET2020

Service Attendant
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Jan 28, 2020
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120
My hubby seems to be warming to the idea of a train vacation, even before we retire. (Plus he's getting REALLY tired of not being able to go anywhere on weekend day trips!) So just before the weekend, he suggested that the two of us take a week off this fall for a train journey. If we go East, he'd like to visit Gettysburg and Mount Vernon (but NOT DC). Plenty of time to research such a trip before actually booking it, at least!
I agree with your Hubby -- I would avoid DC, unless you absolutely wanted to see the Smithsonian and/or Monuments, or Arlington.
I would look into the Frederick, Charlestown, or even Harper's Ferry areas. Lots of Hotels and, and you could tour Antietam, Devil's Backbone Park, and Harper's Ferry in addition to Gettysburg.
 

IndyLions

Lead Service Attendant
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I suspect we might have to go via DC on the train; he just doesn't want to spend the night there or attempt to drive a rental car in DC. (We were there once for a convention a couple of decades ago, and the traffic seemed even worse than Chicago!) Fall colors would be nice, though, and fall weather in the Mid-Atlantic states should be moderate enough for pleasant travel.
Even if this trip ends up being Gettysburg or somewhere else, don’t let the traffic in DC deter you. There is absolutely no reason to drive there. Amtrak arrives downtown, the Metro is fantastic, and in between you can walk (or bike, or bus) anywhere you’d want to go. Doesn’t matter whether you stay downtown or in Alexandria - we’ve done both and loved both.

Besides, at the hotel when you see how much they would have charged you to keep your car there (parking fee) - it makes you feel smart you saved so much money!
 

Bob Dylan

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I agree with your Hubby -- I would avoid DC, unless you absolutely wanted to see the Smithsonian and/or Monuments, or Arlington.
I would look into the Frederick, Charlestown, or even Harper's Ferry areas. Lots of Hotels and, and you could tour Antietam, Devil's Backbone Park, and Harper's Ferry in addition to Gettysburg.
Harpers Ferry is a really Cool Place!:cool:
 

Rasputin

OBS Chief
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Jan 17, 2019
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I would not care to drive in DC either. However for the past few years we have taken an Acela to visit friends in DC who do not own a car. We have found it very easy to get around on the Metro, Uber, H Street trolley, etc.
 

Dakota 400

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Mar 5, 2014
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After getting off the Auto Train and heading to Greenbelt, Maryland on I-95, I missed a turn that I intended to take to get onto the Beltway. Ended up in D.C. with only a very faint idea of where I was. Pushed my little blue button for Onstar and I was able to get to where I needed to be. Thank goodness for that amenity!
 

MccfamschoolMom

Service Attendant
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Feb 28, 2020
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217
After getting off the Auto Train and heading to Greenbelt, Maryland on I-95, I missed a turn that I intended to take to get onto the Beltway. Ended up in D.C. with only a very faint idea of where I was. Pushed my little blue button for Onstar and I was able to get to where I needed to be. Thank goodness for that amenity!
Our version of that is me firing up Google Maps on my phone while my husband drives, and praying that he pays attention and we don't get routed onto any toll roads or into any construction zones. ;)
 

gwolfdog

Train Attendant
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Mar 27, 2020
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After getting off the Auto Train and heading to Greenbelt, Maryland on I-95, I missed a turn that I intended to take to get onto the Beltway. Ended up in D.C. with only a very faint idea of where I was. Pushed my little blue button for Onstar and I was able to get to where I needed to be. Thank goodness for that amenity!
Was that a recent Auto Train trip? If so could you answer some questions for me. Thanks
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
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Messages
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Was that a recent Auto Train trip? If so could you answer some questions for me. Thanks
Yes, my trip was in late January of this year. I'll be glad to try to answer your questions. If I don't know the answers, others on the Board probably will.
 

ET2020

Service Attendant
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Jan 28, 2020
Messages
120
And I believe you can get there from DC by Amtrak or by commuter rail so you don't have to drive or rent a car.
Lots to do and see, god food, great history, Train Tracks everywhere.
Some very steep terrain however, if you plan to walk through the town.
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
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Apr 5, 2011
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And I believe you can get there from DC by Amtrak or by commuter rail so you don't have to drive or rent a car.
However...
All of the trains run outbound from DC in the afternoon/evening, and all of the inbound trains back to DC leave Harpers Ferry in the morning. Sou if you wanted to take the train to Harpers Ferry, you'd have to spend the night there.
 

ET2020

Service Attendant
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Jan 28, 2020
Messages
120
However...
All of the trains run outbound from DC in the afternoon/evening, and all of the inbound trains back to DC leave Harpers Ferry in the morning. Sou if you wanted to take the train to Harpers Ferry, you'd have to spend the night there.
That might be interesting -- They used to have "Haunted Tours" at night, and the Charlestown Casino & RaceTrack is right down the road.....
Could be a nice overnight jaunt :)
 

MARC Rider

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That might be interesting -- They used to have "Haunted Tours" at night, and the Charlestown Casino & RaceTrack is right down the road.....
Could be a nice overnight jaunt :)
I'm not sure if there's any lodging within walking distance from the station, or whether there's a car rental anywhere nearby, or whether there are Uber/Lyft drivers around.

Usually, when I visit Harpers Ferry, I park my car at Weverton, MD, hike the 2.5 miles up the C&O Canal towpath, and cross over on the Appalachian Trail footbridge. However, due to some sort of CSX wreck on the bridge (It's a CSX branch line that shares the bridge with the trail), the bridge is closed until CSX gets around to fixing it. They've mentioned this the past two months in the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club newsletter, with no estimate of when the job will be done. This means if you're in Harpers Ferry, you can't cross over and do the hike up to Maryland Heights or walk the Canal towpath without getting in a car and driving over to the other side on US 340.
 

ET2020

Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Messages
120
I'm not sure if there's any lodging within walking distance from the station, or whether there's a car rental anywhere nearby, or whether there are Uber/Lyft drivers around.

Usually, when I visit Harpers Ferry, I park my car at Weverton, MD, hike the 2.5 miles up the C&O Canal towpath, and cross over on the Appalachian Trail footbridge. However, due to some sort of CSX wreck on the bridge (It's a CSX branch line that shares the bridge with the trail), the bridge is closed until CSX gets around to fixing it. They've mentioned this the past two months in the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club newsletter, with no estimate of when the job will be done. This means if you're in Harpers Ferry, you can't cross over and do the hike up to Maryland Heights or walk the Canal towpath without getting in a car and driving over to the other side on US 340.
Well there's definitely lodging at and surrounding the casino. If you stayed there, I imagine they would have pick up service from the train station, and probably Uber/Lyft, though I can't verify that from experience.
 
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