Carolinian GSO-RVR end of July 2022

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McLeansvilleAppFan

Service Attendant
Joined
Jul 29, 2019
Messages
144
Location
Greensboro, NC
The wife and I took advantage of the credit card coupons and had our 29th Anniversary trip from Greensboro to Richmond last Friday to Sunday. On the way up we ended about 2 hours late and mostly we had to stop for a freight on, no surprises here, CSX a bit north of the NC-VA line. Then we had to wait on a south bound Amtrak that was more on time than we were ( or they arrived to the passing track before our train) but for what ever reason they had the track.

Business class was packed with maybe 3 or 4 seats open. I know it is not going to happen but they need to add a coach and/or business car to the Carolinian as the demand seems to be there.

Was something going on in DC on Sunday. The Southbound Palmetto had a very long layover in DC and the SB Carolinian was 20 minutes late into Baltimore but left DC an hour late. They told us they expected up to make up time but never really did much and then had to wait a few minutes west of Raleigh.

My wife rides the train for me, so she is a bit more irritated with late trains than I am but we went through two bad storms on Sunday and her comment was that she was glad we did not have to drive a car. And the business car southbound had about the same number of empty seats, (3 or 4 empty) and coach looked full when I visited the cafe car.

What's up with the Amtrak Employee Praise website. I tried a few times and the submit button would not work. Judy in the cafe car was doing a great job with a VERY long line on Sunday but I could not submit anything.
 

McLeansvilleAppFan

Service Attendant
Joined
Jul 29, 2019
Messages
144
Location
Greensboro, NC
One other thing I should have mentioned. I was playing Open Rails and running the sim of the line from Greensboro to Raleigh. Someone jumped on the train in Durham and walked the entire length of the car in the wrong direction and when he turned around saw my computer screen and mentioned he was an IT person and was so excited to see me doing this. I thanked him for validating my nerdy existence. Over the years I have done this off and on. I think he was a bit more excited than I was to be honest.
 

Michigan Mom

Conductor
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
1,114
Location
MI
The surcharge from Coach to BC on that train seems to be a far lower price hike than on the Michigan trains, so I plan to try it out next month when there. How's the station in Greensboro, is there a waiting area? And is the Go Triangle bus stop nearby?
 

McLeansvilleAppFan

Service Attendant
Joined
Jul 29, 2019
Messages
144
Location
Greensboro, NC
My daughter is taking this very train TODAY and mentioned the business class was only a $20 upgrade. 90% full when I checked about changing her seat last evening. She may make that back on free beverages. And it is running late due to a down signal from a storm requiring a slow speed west of Selma. So there is time for another round of beverages.

The Greensboro Amtrak station is where Greensboro city transit (GTA), regional transit (PART) inter-city (Greyhound and Sunway Charters) buses have a stop with various waiting rooms for all of this buses and a separate waiting room for Amtrak. Go Triangle is the regional transit for the Raleigh-Durham area and I can't speak about what is happening at present at Durham or Raleigh with intermodal. Greensboro is by far the best at tying this all together in North Carolina but Raleigh is fixing that over the next few years with more buildout at the Raleigh Amtrak station. I imagine there are some bus stops at both Durham and Raleigh Amtrak stations.


The Greensboro station is plenty big and has an ATM and small convenience store in the waiting area. Staffed 24/7 with checked luggage and such. Plenty of free off street parking as well ( get a pass from the Amtrak agent.) It makes the list of one of the most beautiful Amtrak stations in the country and is on lists with NYP, Chicago, Washington and LA. Beautiful station, though I am biased a little as I call it my home station.

 

Michigan Mom

Conductor
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
1,114
Location
MI
Sorry for this late response, thank you for the intel! I continue to be amazed with the transportation options in NC. Originally thought of arriving at Greensboro, on the Crescent. Son says there is an express bus from there to UNC campus, not exactly sure when it runs. Once in the campus area the Chapel Hill and Go Triangle transit are right there. Arriving on the Carolinian, there are several stops that would work. Cary has bus stops right at the station - right next to the track. To get to Raleigh earlier this summer, we found an express bus that left from UNC, no stops, endpoint a few blocks away from the station. This time going to try Durham. Looking forward to seeing that, and on a future trip, the Greensboro station.
 

McLeansvilleAppFan

Service Attendant
Joined
Jul 29, 2019
Messages
144
Location
Greensboro, NC
Yes PART (Triad regional bus) and Go Triangle (Triangle regional bus) both meet at the UNC Hospitals area.


One could take the Mountaineer East-West Express from Boone, NC to the Greensboro station and then a Amtrak Piedmont to Raleigh. The Carolinian could get you to Wilson but by the time the Carolinian roles through Greensboro or Raleigh the bus from Boone is not there yet, so one would need to spend the night. But the Carolinian in Wilson has a Amtrak Thruway bus to Wilmington, NC or Morehead City, NC so mountain to coast travel is doable without a car in NC with some planning. With the multiple Piedmont trains it would be nice if the Thurway was tied to the Raleigh station and. There is plenty to do and eat near the Raleigh station to spend a few hours on a connection. Or somehow run the Piedmonts to Rocky Mount. I know some of this is a pipe dream but a few changes could make this very easy to pull off. but that also means a need for a larger budget for the Thruway buses.
 

McLeansvilleAppFan

Service Attendant
Joined
Jul 29, 2019
Messages
144
Location
Greensboro, NC
I was on Facebook with someone in the know given his position in state government of NC. I thought the Thruway buses to the coast on North Carolina were state funded but based on my contact both buses are fully funded by Amtrak. The funding that was in place before Covid for a Thruway from Salisbury to Asheville was funded by the state it seems based on the conversations I have had over Facebook.
 
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