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Bucket List trip May 2020: trains 421, 4 and 50

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vinceg723

Train Attendant
Joined
Jun 12, 2009
Messages
16
Since we‘re talking about bucket lists, I always regret that, 20 years ago, I opted to take the Southwest Chief (for the second time) instead of the California Zephyr from Chicago to California. I’m dying to make the CZ trip, but never seem to have the time.

I‘d like to finally take it this year, and just trying to weigh the pros and cons of what time of year.

— This July or August, I figure might be ideal. Compartments arent too outrageous in price. Summer means lots of daylight. I can take the vacation time. I’m just concerned a bit about COVID, not so much for myself, but I’d probably visit family in CA and I might be uneasy about spending time with them after traveling in public spaces for several days.

— someone (on this thread, I think?) raved about CZ in the winter. I love winter scenery, I was just concerned about the lack of daylight. I assume it would be dark around 6 pm in January? That’s so much scenery not seen.

— Next April might be a good compromise, with snow still on the ground and more daylight. I just fear if I put it off that long, something will get in the way and it won’t happen.

any thoughts? Anyone have a favorite time of year for the CZ? Please help me make up my mind :)
 

oregon pioneer

Conductor
Joined
Feb 15, 2011
Messages
2,264
Location
near Seneca, Oregon
I love fall in the mountains, when the aspen turn golden. Think late September through the first half of October (someone correct me if I'm off). I also love winter -- that's usually when I have time to travel. Have you considered winter with a full moon? The snowy landscape glows under the moonlight. Might be cloudy and snowing, but that's beautiful too. I recommend westbound for all-daylight through the Rockies, but I will say that I actually prefer eastbound because the lights of Denver are spectacular as you descend the front. If you can go both ways, that's best.

As for visiting family, if you can find a hotel that does full-on sanitizing, and visit your family outdoors (picnics or hiking together?), you're probably good. It will be hard to forego the hugs and staying in the same house, but better than not seeing them. I hope you get to do your trip, and good luck!
 

20th Century Rider

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
701
Location
Oregon Coast
Just stopped in Alpine TX so I got cell service again. Better hurry to get an update report in here while I can.

So, the power never came on last night. We left the train in San Antonio to get some fresh air and food.

Surprise, surprise, the Amtrak station in San Antonio is about the size of my cats' room in my house, so no food there. A makeshift outlet suspender in a corner, someone had plugged in an extension cord with multiple outlets, so I could plug in and call my husband.

He wasn't enthusiastic anyway about this trip and when he heard about the utter lack of service, he got angry.

I was soaked in sweat, likely ruined my garment, and had it not been for a kind lady sharing her pizza with me, I would have gone hungry.

It started raining and thundering and around midnight I went back to the train to get back in my room, but doors were closed. The Sunset LTD had arriven and they were taking their good ole Time with the connecting of the trains.

Around 2am we could go back on board, and despite being connected to a new engine now, we still had no power.

I was so tired, even considered to go to sleep unshowered, but I couldn't get my bed folded out. It said push for bed on some metal handle but nothing worked, and I didn't want to risk losing my fingers in the metal there. So I waited for the new attendant.

Oh well...
Catherine on the TE had been very helpful and forthcoming, did everything she could and offered help all the time. But she left in San Antonio.

Brian is now my Porter and he is so not keen to get a tip. I was waiting in my roomette for him but he chatted away with a couple first-timers who just boarded and were so thrilled to be on a train for the first time.

It was way after 3am that Brian asked if I wanted my bed down. I thought "duh" but said "yes, please!!!!!" with audible interrogation marks.

Then I had a lukewarm shower, I really needed that badly and I didn't even mind that the water wasn't warm yet.

Slept for about 4 hours between 4 and 8 this morning. We left San Antonio at 3.51am, I checked the time when we started moving. Fell asleep soon after and slept well, the bedding is comfortable and with my 5'4" I can stretch out.

The power came back on and eventually the temperature on the train got colder. At some point during sleep I grabbed my blanket to get covered.

Got up for breakfast around 8.30am and Sandy in the dining car got me fed. Nothing great, nothing fresh, but she got me fed. Shout out to Sandy who was kind and caring despite me being grumpy from the lack of service from before.

It is hard for me to put in pictures here, since I use my phone instead of my tablet now. I have been putting up posts on Albgardis Tausendschoen (@albgardis) • Instagram photos and videos because that's uploading even when offline, so it isn't wasted. If I lose service while posting here all might be lost.

I will spend all day tomorrow in the LA Union station so I will upload files then, assuming they have wifi.

Until then please see my pics and videos on Instagram. Will try to put in pics here when I have service.

Oh, back to Brian. When I returned from breakfast around 9.30am my bed was still down! I was stunned. Eventually he came strolling by and asked me if I wanted my bed up. Another DUH moment, I said "yes, Brian, please".

I noticed he didn't make any coffee, and while I don't drink coffee, I wondered about the other passengers. In my CS ride last year the attendant had put out coffee, water and juice, even hard candy. She was always offering service and was very nice.

So I was looking for bottled water and there was none. Brian came by and I asked about it. He seemed surprised, "oh, you want some?" Yes, Brian, please!

He handed me one half liter bottle. I asked why the water was not put up next to the cold, unused coffee maker, and he found it strange (I am guessing that from his face). No, I didn't mention the coffee maker, I just pointed to the coffee station where I thought the water would be.

Then I finally asked the question: Brian, are you new here? He said no, he came on last night. I clarified, no Brian, are you new on this job? Is this a new job for you?

I said it as kindly as possible. He said no, he's been on the job for 10 years.

He finally got a hunch and said "yeah, everybody is doing things differently". I laughed and said "yes, I noticed".

Stay tuned.
My gosh! Let us respect our Amtrak worker friends... let us be polite, let us be reasonable customers. But let us also expect the service we are paying for and let us expect that the attendant is doing what he is paid to do. He's been on the job 10 years? Er... um... my gosh! You may want to call customer service on your cell. Perplexed at your patience and the level of service you are having to deal with!:eek: 🥶 o_O🤢
 

Sauve850

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 9, 2014
Messages
543
Location
West Palm Beach, Florida
Since we‘re talking about bucket lists, I always regret that, 20 years ago, I opted to take the Southwest Chief (for the second time) instead of the California Zephyr from Chicago to California. I’m dying to make the CZ trip, but never seem to have the time.

I‘d like to finally take it this year, and just trying to weigh the pros and cons of what time of year.

— This July or August, I figure might be ideal. Compartments arent too outrageous in price. Summer means lots of daylight. I can take the vacation time. I’m just concerned a bit about COVID, not so much for myself, but I’d probably visit family in CA and I might be uneasy about spending time with them after traveling in public spaces for several days.

— someone (on this thread, I think?) raved about CZ in the winter. I love winter scenery, I was just concerned about the lack of daylight. I assume it would be dark around 6 pm in January? That’s so much scenery not seen.

— Next April might be a good compromise, with snow still on the ground and more daylight. I just fear if I put it off that long, something will get in the way and it won’t happen.

any thoughts? Anyone have a favorite time of year for the CZ? Please help me make up my mind :)
I have done CZ both directons in June and also in early September. Scenery is truly great. I also did one Chi to Emy in March. Lots of snow and great photo opportunities. I really enjoyed that trip.
 

20th Century Rider

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
701
Location
Oregon Coast
I remember seeing your picture, it actually reminded me to not forget my water boiler at home!

I brought an extension cord with me so I have 3 outlets, and I brought my water boiler (electric kettle) with me. Since you can't get real tea anywhere I have to bring everything with me.

The cell connection is so bad, I have hardly time to write here and post it, as the connection windows are so short. Yesterday I got connection at the various train stations, but in between stations there was mostly nothing.

Have been offline since Colorado.

Woke up this morning in Kansas City and thought I would connect but no, still not! So weird!

Now in Missouri for some unknown reason I see 2 bars.

Have been posting to Albgardis Tausendschoen (@albgardis) • Instagram photos and videos as those posts are saved for later posting if offline. Not sure this works here so didn't take a chance.

Young Stefanie (SC attendant) is some Honey, too. Never bothered to put my bed up, even long after breakfast. Remember she brings me the food, there is no sitting down in the diner. Only staff sits there.

So after she hands me the bag with my various breakfast items she walks off. I don't want to sit on my bed so I move across the hall to the other roomette.

Those people had boarded somewhere after LA and had left in Flagstaff. Yes, Flagstaff, thus early Saturday morning. Their beds had been unmade until Kansas City, I kid you not! All day and all night it was as they left it.

So now she had made that other bed up, and I sat down across the hall from my own roomette and ate there. That was 2 hours ago.

She never came back, and I wondered if she would ever put the bed up again. I need to pack up before detraining in Chicago.

So now at 9.30am she comes back and sees me sitting in the other roomette and scolds me! "This has been sanitized already!"

Well, I had to sit somewhere, and you never came to put my bed up. Yes, I said that. Then she points out I should have called with the call button.

I said I thought that I was doing her a favor by not calling her, considering her busy.

For 1400 bucks this is not First Class service, I tell you that!
I googled how much an Amtrak sleeper attendant makes in a year...

"How much does an Attendant make at Amtrak in the United States? Average Amtrak Attendant yearly pay in the United States is approximately $51,470, which is 105% above the national average."

I remember the many years I did substitute teaching to make ends meet after I retired from teaching... and made much LESS than a starting sleeper attendant... and I have a master's and post graduate degree. I worked really really hard and the main satisfaction was to be requested again because I did a good job for the students and for the teacher I was subbing for. My point is this: if you're gonna be lazy and not care about the folks you are supposed to be serving, you don't deserve your job. I find it sickening at the lack of care this attendant has for you and the others she is supposed to be serving per her job description. I agree with what others on this forum are saying and suggest you call customer service. This is an area where Amtrak has disappointed me many times. You paid $1400 for your ticket? Demand compensation, demand accountability, and demand change at Amtrak! 🤠
 

Michigan Mom

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
662
Location
MI
Viruses are not political and the deaths are not a hoax. Why did you decide to make this a political statement? It could have just been travel.
Also, people don't riot and protest for no reason.
And yes I've seen people like you in stores wearing masks around their necks so they can pull it up in case it becomes an issue.
Really sorry that the whole experience was such a disappointment for you, you chose to travel during a pandemic and nothing was up to your expectations.
My prediction for you trying to scam Amtrak out of a voucher: Zero dollars.
Anything you get on top of that is gravy.
I hope this entire thread is gotten rid of.
 

Barb Stout

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
478
Don't be so sure. Covid does not affect all people the same. I'd suggest that you get a test for the virus and/or the antibodies test.
Back when I worked with a bunch of people with children, at times my co-workers would be falling ill left and right (because children are germ factories), but most of the time I would only get tired. I strongly suspect that I got what they had, but I had a better/different immune system and that is how infectious diseases often presented in me. We worked in very close quarters.
 

anumberone

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Aug 8, 2015
Messages
1,700
Location
Los Angeles
While I am still sitting in the Lounge I would like to add some general thoughts I had during my trip on the TE/SL and the SWC.

The advice given here is very accurate and spot on! Where to go, which direction, everything was so right!

I am so glad I found this forum last year! Somebody wrote that the best part of the TE is west of San Antonio, and I am glad I followed the advice to go south from Austin, not north.

The SWC was amazing, I mean from the views, from the locations we passed through. Not the service, obviously, and certainly not the food, but the ride was really great.

During the 2nd night on the chief I remembered someone writing how bumpy it is in Kansas. Haha, so true! It rumpled and pumpled for hours, but I had no problems sleeping. Maybe the rocking and swinging even helped?

Amazing how different everything looks after Kansas City. The landscape, the colours, the sky, the houses, everything looks different. Since I live in PA I didn't find it breathtaking anymore, it looked rainy and gloomy for a while, and the houses could have been in Ohio or Pennsylvania as well.

So today I will board the eastbound Cardinal, I am very curious about what I will see. I was in West Virginia last year for work, and my own home sits in a secluded field between two mountain ridges. So I wonder how familiar the views will be. But I will enjoy the ride, whatever the views will be.

I think I mentioned it before in one of my previous posts on this thread, the roomettes were laid out differently on the Chief than on the 421 TE/SL.

The shower had a glass door and a corner seat, loved it! While on the TE they had the pesky curtain in the shower cabin.

Also the upstairs toilet in the roomette hall way was laid out differently.

The roomette itself was different in that the closet was placed elsewhere, also the light fixtures (buttons) were different.

Now I wonder, which is the newer version? Both are Superliners, obviously, but they are not the same.

Now I am aware that my upcoming ride in the Cardinal will get me a third version of the roomette. I think those cars are called viewliners, there is no upstairs.

Will update here as I can! Thank you for reading and commenting, I really appreciate your feedback!
Overall I enjoyed your trip. but, I only had to read it once. I don't envy your husband who gets to hear all about it. Oh, one thing, if one has to take a whiz quite often, it's better to have the facility's in your room than maybe having to wait for the public restroom every time.
 

Barb Stout

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
478
The next days I was so exhausted that I actually wondered if I was getting sick. The slightest activity, like making a single sandwich, had me so exhausted that I had to lay down afterwards and get some rest. This is not normal for me so I started wondering if I might have caught a bug, or even THE bug of the season...

But in reality I am no longer 17 when you can do weeklong trips without physical consequences. I didn't get sick, I was only very tired. That lasted for anout 4-5 days, then things got back to normal again.
As another member noted, you may have indeed caught "the" virus or perhaps some other microbe. Back when I worked with a bunch of people with children, at times my co-workers would be falling ill left and right (because children are germ factories), but most of those times I would only get tired. I strongly suspect that I got what they had, but I either got a lower dose or had a better/different immune system and that is how infectious diseases often presented in me. We worked in very close quarters.
 

20th Century Rider

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
701
Location
Oregon Coast
As another member noted, you may have indeed caught "the" virus or perhaps some other microbe. Back when I worked with a bunch of people with children, at times my co-workers would be falling ill left and right (because children are germ factories), but most of those times I would only get tired. I strongly suspect that I got what they had, but I either got a lower dose or had a better/different immune system and that is how infectious diseases often presented in me. We worked in very close quarters.
When taking Amtrak across the country from Oregon to Brunswick ME last January, I had some kind of an illness when I arrived and didn't feel well for the rest of the trip. Now with Covid I will wait before getting back on the rails. I am concerned about cleanliness of the public restrooms... which are shared with everybody and anybody. How often and how thoroughly are they cleaned. If someone who may be infected uses the restroom just before you, how would you know? Safest way is the bedroom on the superliners... but that a lot of $$$!
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
2,124
Location
Baltimore. MD
Oh, one thing, if one has to take a whiz quite often, it's better to have the facility's in your room than maybe having to wait for the public restroom every time.
Unless you're sharing the roomette with someone. Then you still have to find a public restroom anyway.
But when I was in that situation, I never had to wait. There are 3-4 coaches after all, each with 2 restrooms.

If I travel by rail overnight with my wife again, we'll get a bedroom, which has it's own private restroom.
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
2,124
Location
Baltimore. MD
When taking Amtrak across the country from Oregon to Brunswick ME last January, I had some kind of an illness when I arrived and didn't feel well for the rest of the trip. Now with Covid I will wait before getting back on the rails. I am concerned about cleanliness of the public restrooms... which are shared with everybody and anybody. How often and how thoroughly are they cleaned. If someone who may be infected uses the restroom just before you, how would you know? Safest way is the bedroom on the superliners... but that a lot of $$$!
I would want to know what's the risk of catching anything in a public restroom vs. just catching it from people's breathing or coughing on you or touching a surface outside the restroom. I get the suspicion that restrooms are really no more dangerous than anywhere else where there have been a lot of people. In any event, my doctor didn't warn us against using public restrooms if we were to take a road trip, which he said was a perfectly reasonable thing to do. You just have to remember to wash your hands and use hand sanitizer before touching your face. And wear a mask around people, which he was more insistent that we do.
 

OBS

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Nov 9, 2011
Messages
1,581
Location
Webster NY
I googled how much an Amtrak sleeper attendant makes in a year...

"How much does an Attendant make at Amtrak in the United States? Average Amtrak Attendant yearly pay in the United States is approximately $51,470, which is 105% above the national average."

I remember the many years I did substitute teaching to make ends meet after I retired from teaching... and made much LESS than a starting sleeper attendant... and I have a master's and post graduate degree. I worked really really hard and the main satisfaction was to be requested again because I did a good job for the students and for the teacher I was subbing for. My point is this: if you're gonna be lazy and not care about the folks you are supposed to be serving, you don't deserve your job. I find it sickening at the lack of care this attendant has for you and the others she is supposed to be serving per her job description. I agree with what others on this forum are saying and suggest you call customer service. This is an area where Amtrak has disappointed me many times. You paid $1400 for your ticket? Demand compensation, demand accountability, and demand change at Amtrak! 🤠
Let me start by saying I totally agree that the OP should complain about the SCA not doing his job. However, when people start throwing around annual salaries and making formed opinions without all the facts, I have a problem. What goes along with that average salary is the fact that the SCA averages approximately 200 hours a month (paid hours) not including the many non paid hours that are spent on the train away from home. This is not a simple 40 hour per week job, which if it was, would not be averaging $51,000 per year.
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
2,061
someone raved about CZ in the winter
I am one who has praised the winter routes of CZ and EB on a variety of threads. Oregon Pioneer, on this thread, described the beauty of the night time winter, snowy scenery as the train travels along the rails. Turn off the lights in your sleeper accommodation, pull the curtain to shut out the hallway lights, and enjoy! If there is fresh fallen snow, or snow still falling, it's like traveling through a winter wonderland.
 

anumberone

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Aug 8, 2015
Messages
1,700
Location
Los Angeles
Unless you're sharing the roomette with someone. Then you still have to find a public restroom anyway.
But when I was in that situation, I never had to wait. There are 3-4 coaches after all, each with 2 restrooms.

If I travel by rail overnight with my wife again, we'll get a bedroom, which has it's own private restroom.
You ever hurried to four restrooms and they're all busy, or been on a plane with multiple restrooms and a long line. The lady was traveling alone and noted she had the frequency issue.
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
2,124
Location
Baltimore. MD
You ever hurried to four restrooms and they're all busy, or been on a plane with multiple restrooms and a long line. The lady was traveling alone and noted she had the frequency issue.
Actually, I've been in that situation, and I had no problem finding a free restroom pretty quickly in coach. In fact, practically every time I needed to, I found a free restroom in the first coach car, right behind the cafe car. (This was on the Silver Meteor, and it was pretty full.) And I'm an older guy who has a "frequency issue" myself.
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
2,124
Location
Baltimore. MD
Let me start by saying I totally agree that the OP should complain about the SCA not doing his job. However, when people start throwing around annual salaries and making formed opinions without all the facts, I have a problem. What goes along with that average salary is the fact that the SCA averages approximately 200 hours a month (paid hours) not including the many non paid hours that are spent on the train away from home. This is not a simple 40 hour per week job, which if it was, would not be averaging $51,000 per year.
I agree, and I would like to point out that $51,470 a year is $25 an hour. Many people (and jurisdictions) believe that the minimum wage should be $15/hr or $30,000 a year. This is considered the minimum that a single person would need to live at just above the poverty level. I see no reason why a sleeping car attendant should be paid poverty wages just because the job doesn't require some sort of fancy college degree or special skill. Their pay is totally average, and if anyone thinks these people are raking in big bucks, they don't know what they're talking about.
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
20,267
Location
Austin Texas
Theres two kinds of people that complain about what "Blue Collar" working people make,those who make More, and those who make less!

People also complain about Unions, but most benefits and job protections Workers have were gained by Unions back when they were strong and spread to Nkn Union Employees.

Remember, the Federal Minimum Wage is still $7.25 an Hour=$290 Week/$15,080 Yr.

Would you want to work for that? It wont even pay the Rent in most Cities in the US, let alone that Millions of Workers have No Benefits Whatsoever!
 

dogbert617

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
836
Location
Chicago, IL
In Superliners, there may be a plate on the wall (at eye level), down in the foyer at entry level. This plate, if present, will give you some info about the type of car you are in. As I remember, there were two generations but I can't remember the name of the manufacturers (it's been a while).

I took the Cardinal a few years back, and I was diligent about waking up as early in the morning as I could. I did not want to miss a moment of the New River Gorge. You picked the best direction for that! After we left the gorge there was a section of track that was the loudest I have ever been on. The car just rocked from side to side at a rapid rate! The conductor said it was because it was old jointed track. I'd be curious if that's still the case.
I do remember when I rode the Cardinal somewhere in eastern West Virginia or western Virginia, that indeed there was some area along the Cardinal's route(going east on #50, btw) where the train felt shaky, due to the condition of the track! At least that didn't occur during while we were passing through northern Kentucky, during that overnight portion of the route.

Note during summer months that you do hit sunrise, right after you pass South Shore (South Portsmouth), KY. So if you're lucky enough to wake up that early, the occasional views along the Ohio River till a little after you pass Ashland, KY, are nice to catch!

Since we‘re talking about bucket lists, I always regret that, 20 years ago, I opted to take the Southwest Chief (for the second time) instead of the California Zephyr from Chicago to California. I’m dying to make the CZ trip, but never seem to have the time.

I‘d like to finally take it this year, and just trying to weigh the pros and cons of what time of year.

— This July or August, I figure might be ideal. Compartments arent too outrageous in price. Summer means lots of daylight. I can take the vacation time. I’m just concerned a bit about COVID, not so much for myself, but I’d probably visit family in CA and I might be uneasy about spending time with them after traveling in public spaces for several days.

— someone (on this thread, I think?) raved about CZ in the winter. I love winter scenery, I was just concerned about the lack of daylight. I assume it would be dark around 6 pm in January? That’s so much scenery not seen.

— Next April might be a good compromise, with snow still on the ground and more daylight. I just fear if I put it off that long, something will get in the way and it won’t happen.

any thoughts? Anyone have a favorite time of year for the CZ? Please help me make up my mind :)
I think that's a good compromise, for a future CA Zephyr trip. Where you'd still see snow on the mountains, but that you would also be on daylight savings time as well. Plus like you said, not be limited by the very short days of winter for daylight.

One of these days, I'd like to take a CZ trip, and perhaps west to Glenwood Springs at least. As myself, I've only gone on that train once, and to Denver myself. Though I'd be open to considering going west to Grand Junction, myself. And perhaps after visiting Grand Junction (and maybe from there renting a car?) or Glenwood Springs, stop in Denver before heading back to Chicago?
 
Last edited:

vinceg723

Train Attendant
Joined
Jun 12, 2009
Messages
16
I think that's a good compromise, for a future CA Zephyr trip. Where you'd still see snow on the mountains, but that you would also be on daylight savings time as well. Plus like you said, not be limited by the very short days of winter for daylight.
As much as I love snow, and as beautiful as it sounds, I’m leaning toward seizing the moment now and making this trip this summer. I’m not sure what next year will be like, and if CZ is running three days a week then, I wouldn’t be able to make a one-day stopover in Denver.

My main concern is a crowded train. I just posed the question on another thread, but curious to know what coaches are like these days and whether I can count on having much of the space to myself.
 

dogbert617

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
836
Location
Chicago, IL
As much as I love snow, and as beautiful as it sounds, I’m leaning toward seizing the moment now and making this trip this summer. I’m not sure what next year will be like, and if CZ is running three days a week then, I wouldn’t be able to make a one-day stopover in Denver.

My main concern is a crowded train. I just posed the question on another thread, but curious to know what coaches are like these days and whether I can count on having much of the space to myself.
Oh yeah, I totally hear you on that! Since there are potential situations when you look at the Cardinal and Sunset Limited schedules(which both long have been 3 days a week sadly), where after arriving at a certain station, that you'd have to spend 2 or 3 nights in a certain city or town in the middle of the route, before you could ride back in the other direction. :(

I mean I can see the likely 3 days they'd run the Texas Eagle on(to coincide with the Sunset Limited, and for attaching/detaching the #421 and #422 through cars in San Antonio), but I have no idea on which 3 days they'd run trains on for other routes starting in October 2020. I worry doing this is just going to kill off ridership, and that they won't go back to 7 day service by summer 2021(as Amtrak allegedly claims) myself! And of course we know how much people like Anderson(even if he is leaving Amtrak), Gardner(still with Amtrak unfortunately), have been greatly cutting the quality of service and amenities(i.e. station agents, Pacific Parlour Car being removed from Coast Starlight, the downgrade of full dining service on eastern trains to flex/contemporary(my arse!) dining, restrictions making it harder for private cars to be added to the rear of long distance trains, probably forgetting a few additional annoyances Anderson and Co have done.....).
 

20th Century Rider

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
701
Location
Oregon Coast
Oh yeah, I totally hear you on that! Since there are potential situations when you look at the Cardinal and Sunset Limited schedules(which both long have been 3 days a week sadly), where after arriving at a certain station, that you'd have to spend 2 or 3 nights in a certain city or town in the middle of the route, before you could ride back in the other direction. :(

I mean I can see the likely 3 days they'd run the Texas Eagle on(to coincide with the Sunset Limited, and for attaching/detaching the #421 and #422 through cars in San Antonio), but I have no idea on which 3 days they'd run trains on for other routes starting in October 2020. I worry doing this is just going to kill off ridership, and that they won't go back to 7 day service by summer 2021(as Amtrak allegedly claims) myself! And of course we know how much people like Anderson(even if he is leaving Amtrak), Gardner(still with Amtrak unfortunately), have been greatly cutting the quality of service and amenities(i.e. station agents, Pacific Parlour Car being removed from Coast Starlight, the downgrade of full dining service on eastern trains to flex/contemporary(my arse!) dining, restrictions making it harder for private cars to be added to the rear of long distance trains, probably forgetting a few additional annoyances Anderson and Co have done.....).
During the summer when there was daily LD service the trains were full; with frequency cuts there's every reason to think that many will scramble to book in anticipation of complete elimination. So you will have sky high prices, and jam packed coaches. Coach seating, in a full train, can be very hard... you WILL be sitting next to a stranger who may or may not be friendly. You may or may not have a window... sitting on an isle in the train when you are going for the scenery is a turn off. Then there are the babies crying and kids running around; the occasional loud talker, and other constant disruptions. The observation car WILL be full and they may limit how long you can sit there. Then there's the bathrooms... on a full train how clean will they be? [And how long will you have to wait for your turn???] You may end up wishing you were sitting in your own car with complete control of your comforts and your life. With this kind of elbow to elbow suffocating discouragement the entire 'take the train' concept becomes quite the challenge. Good luck to all of us.😣😡:eek:
 
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