Car Wreck and a Few Railroads

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

Maglev

Conductor
Joined
Sep 4, 2016
Messages
1,081
Location
Orcas Island, Washington
As a lifelong island boy, I do not like driving on interstate highways. I wish trains were an option for travel to Seattle from my area, but alas even if the schedules did work out they're not running due to the Canadian border closure. So it was with some trepidation that we headed out for SeaTac in our Tacoma. There was rain along the way, and I had to do some of that 70-mph driving through truck spray that I find terrifying. But past Seattle, in heavy somewhat slow traffic, a man test driving a private individual's Miata lost control at an on-ramp and slid across three lanes to hit our truck. All the airbags deployed, but neither my wife nor I were hurt at all. The other driver was okay too, no other vehicles were involved, and with the help of a passerby, we were able to push his car off the road. My truck was barely drivable. The Washington State Patrol was on the scene within minutes, and we were in a tow truck headed for our hotel within a half hour (our flight was the next morning). Except for having to rent and return a car at the end of our trip, the accident did not impact our vacation. I have not heard from my insurance company with a decision yet, but it sounds as if the truck is a total loss. It was a 2016 with 24k mi.

I had estimated that it would cost $8,000 to travel Seattle to Kissimmee by train ($2,000 for EB, $1,000 for CL, and $1,000 for SM/SS for edrooms each way), and add about ten days to the trip. After buying the plane tickets, I checked on Amtrak to see what it would really cost to travel by train, and Bedrooms were not even available on the EB in either direction, yet it would still cost $6,600. I simply could not afford to spend that much time or money, so we bought first-class plane tickets right to Melbourne. We flew A321's between Seattle and Charlotte, and CRJ900's between Charlotte and Melbourne. Our outbound flight was diverted to Knoxville due to thunderstorms, and due to equipment and crew shortages, our connecting flight to Melbourne was delayed five hours .

We spent a week at the Doubletree Suites Melbourne Beach Oceanfront, and it was a fine hotel. Some of the room fixtures were a bit worn (notably the sliding glass balcony door was very hard to open and close), but the room had a nice layout and the hotel restaurant was decent. Our AARP rate was $170 a night, but we upgraded to a high floor room for an extra $36 per night (and our room was on the top, or ninth, floor). We also made an overnight trip to St. Augustine.

I did see some railroads on this trip. There was construction of Seattle's light rail system visible along I-5 north of Seattle, and I saw where Brightline is going to cross I-95 in Florida. There were no "High Speed Trains Coming Soon" signs at any of the grade crossings in Melbourne.IMG_8258.jpeg


IMG_8287.jpeg
 

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
23,071
Location
Austin Texas
As a lifelong island boy, I do not like driving on interstate highways. I wish trains were an option for travel to Seattle from my area, but alas even if the schedules did work out they're not running due to the Canadian border closure. So it was with some trepidation that we headed out for SeaTac in our Tacoma. There was rain along the way, and I had to do some of that 70-mph driving through truck spray that I find terrifying. But past Seattle, in heavy somewhat slow traffic, a man test driving a private individual's Miata lost control at an on-ramp and slid across three lanes to hit our truck. All the airbags deployed, but neither my wife nor I were hurt at all. The other driver was okay too, no other vehicles were involved, and with the help of a passerby, we were able to push his car off the road. My truck was barely drivable. The Washington State Patrol was on the scene within minutes, and we were in a tow truck headed for our hotel within a half hour (our flight was the next morning). Except for having to rent and return a car at the end of our trip, the accident did not impact our vacation. I have not heard from my insurance company with a decision yet, but it sounds as if the truck is a total loss. It was a 2016 with 24k mi.

I had estimated that it would cost $8,000 to travel Seattle to Kissimmee by train ($2,000 for EB, $1,000 for CL, and $1,000 for SM/SS for edrooms each way), and add about ten days to the trip. After buying the plane tickets, I checked on Amtrak to see what it would really cost to travel by train, and Bedrooms were not even available on the EB in either direction, yet it would still cost $6,600. I simply could not afford to spend that much time or money, so we bought first-class plane tickets right to Melbourne. We flew A321's between Seattle and Charlotte, and CRJ900's between Charlotte and Melbourne. Our outbound flight was diverted to Knoxville due to thunderstorms, and due to equipment and crew shortages, our connecting flight to Melbourne was delayed five hours .

We spent a week at the Doubletree Suites Melbourne Beach Oceanfront, and it was a fine hotel. Some of the room fixtures were a bit worn (notably the sliding glass balcony door was very hard to open and close), but the room had a nice layout and the hotel restaurant was decent. Our AARP rate was $170 a night, but we upgraded to a high floor room for an extra $36 per night (and our room was on the top, or ninth, floor). We also made an overnight trip to St. Augustine.

I did see some railroads on this trip. There was construction of Seattle's light rail system visible along I-5 north of Seattle, and I saw where Brightline is going to cross I-95 in Florida. There were no "High Speed Trains Coming Soon" signs at any of the grade crossings in Melbourne.View attachment 22319


View attachment 22320
Ditto for me about your accident,😟 and the nice trip!😎

I used the Pass you so kindly sent me @ the New Metro Lounge in Moynihan Train Hall, thanks again!😊

Hopefully your trip home goes well and your Insurance Co. will take good care you you .

Keep us posted! Jim
 

Dakota 400

Engineer
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
2,914
There was rain along the way, and I had to do some of that 70-mph driving through truck spray that I find terrifying.
I am glad that your wife and you were not injured and hope that your insurance company will do what you have been paying them to do.

Why were you driving 70 mph in that kind of weather/road conditions?
 

Maglev

Conductor
Joined
Sep 4, 2016
Messages
1,081
Location
Orcas Island, Washington
Why were you driving 70 mph in that kind of weather/road conditions?
I guess the best answer I can come up with is that I wanted to keep up with the flow of traffic. We had similar experiences in Florida through thunderstorms on I-95, and at one point we waited out a storm at a rest area.

The insurance company has declared the vehicle a total loss, and will cut us a check for $34k. We paid $38k for the truck; similar used vehicles are selling for $27k.
 

Maglev

Conductor
Joined
Sep 4, 2016
Messages
1,081
Location
Orcas Island, Washington
Exactly one month after the collision, we picked up a new Tacoma from a Toyota dealer. We had ordered the previous vehicle custom-built, and waited three months for it, but the vehicle we have now was on order for the dealer already. Our salesperson made a special trip on the ferry out to Orcas Island so we could sign the purchase papers in May and get a rebate that was expiring in June. The new truck has highway tires and no off-road suspension, which so far I like because mileage is up from 18 to 21 mpg, and the ride is smoother on the poorly-paved roads we have here.
 
Last edited:

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
23,071
Location
Austin Texas
Exactly one month after the collision, we picked up a new Tacoma form a Toyota dealer. We had ordered the previous vehicle custom-built, and waited three months for it, but the vehicle we have now was on order for the dealer already. Our salesperson made a special trip on the ferry out to Orcas Island so we could sign the purchase papers in May and get a rebate that was expiring in June. The new truck has highway tires and no off-road suspension, which so far I like because mileage is up from 18 to 21 mpg, and the ride is smoother on the poorly-paved roads we have here.
Glad to hear you like the New Ride, Toyotas are in Big Demand, especially Trucks,Hybrids and SUVs.

Sounds like your Dealer and Salesperson went "above and beyond" to help yall!😎

How are things out in the San Juans, are the Tourists coming back in droves like Pre-Pandemic, and is the Ferry Service back to Normal??
 

Maglev

Conductor
Joined
Sep 4, 2016
Messages
1,081
Location
Orcas Island, Washington
Things are pretty busy here in the San Juans. The ferry service is more or less back to normal, with the exception of the international route to Sidney, BC, which will remain suspended at least until the border reopens.

All the customer service on our trip was outstanding. The Washington State Patrol officer at the crash scene was kind and helpful. In Melbourne, the Enterprise car rental agent stayed two hours beyond his normal quitting time because our flight was delayed, and then found a car for me even though I had postponed my reservation because I thought the counter would be closed. And all the attendants on our flights were courteous and efficient.
 

Maglev

Conductor
Joined
Sep 4, 2016
Messages
1,081
Location
Orcas Island, Washington
After a month with the new Tacoma, I have put only 300 miles on it. It is made in Mexico--my previous model was built in Texas. The new vehicle has no rattles (the old one had a few), but the doors don't close as easily (I'll see if the dealer can adjust them when I take it in for its first service).

The new technology, or lack thereof, on the new model is interesting. It doesn't have the same keyless ignition, but there are still buttons on the keys to lock and unlock the doors, as well as a panic button. Unlike the old truck, the map app. wasn't installed; the dealer told me to sync. my phone with the truck and use my phone's app. and the map will appear on the truck screen.

In other train news, I have yet to ask my wife if I can take a train trip in the fall. The new truck had an impact on our disposable savings, and we have yet to pay for the $2,400 camper top--about the cost of the trip I want to take. I know I won't be getting any Bedrooms, as they're all north of $2,000 for a two-night trip.
 
Last edited:

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
23,071
Location
Austin Texas
After a month with the new Tacoma, I have put only 300 miles on it. It is made in Mexico--my previous model was built in Texas. The new vehicle has no rattles (the old one had a few), but the doors don't close as easily (I'll see if the dealer can adjust them when I take it in for its first service).

The new technology, or lack thereof, on the new model is interesting. It doesn't have the same keyless ignition, but there's still buttons on the keys to lock and unlock the doors, as well as a panic button. Unlike the old truck, the map app. wasn't installed; the dealer told me to sync. my phone with the truck and use my phone's app. and the map will appear on the truck screen.

In other train news, I have yet to ask my wife if I can take a train trip in the fall. The new truck had an impact on our disposable savings, and we have yet to pay for the $2,400 camper top--about the cost of the trip I want to take. I know I won't be getting any Bedrooms, as they're all north of $2,000 for a two-night trip.
My Hyundai ( 2018) was made in Mexico and is just as good a Car as the Previous 2009 Model( made in Korea) I had for 150,000 miles.( of course there no.longer any " Pure" American or Foriegn Cars since they are Assembled, not Manufactured, from parts from all over the World)

Toyota generally makes Excellent products( I've had 3), but Hyundai/Kia has really caught up in the past few years.( I looked @ a Corolla when I bought my Hyundai, but it was $25,000 and the Hyundai Acceent was $17,000 for a Comparable Vehicle with a 10 year Warranty and Free Dealer Maintaince Service for 5 years)

Know what you mean about the Sleeper Prices, I'll be Flying on any LD Travel I do this year, even to the Gathering.
 

Dakota 400

Engineer
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
2,914
Toyota generally makes Excellent products( I've had 3),
Automobile quality and reliability have been interesting to observe over the past decades. I have owned 5 Buicks since 1982. Each one built and more reliable than the others (with all of them being what I would call dependable, good vehicles until it became time for something new). My current Buick is a 2020 Envision AWD Trim II SUV. Made and assembled in China. The car has been to see the dealer's service department once since I took delivery in November, 2019. That was for scheduled maintenance: an oil change, rotate the tires, etc. Minor stuff.

Knowing that it was made/assembled in China, I bought an Extended Warranty Plan knowing that with all this new "tech" stuff on the car, if some of that goes haywire, it could cost major $$$ to get it fixed. Now, I am wondering if I should have done that. (But, a "gambler" at heart? I am not.)
 
Top