COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic: Amtrak-related Discussion

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v v

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Our friend Milton has just travelled from Los Angeles to Syracuse, NY by Southwest Chief and the Lake Shore Limited. He spends the three winter months in LA, then back to his farm to farm for the rest of the year. He needs the winter sunshine boost as he is no longer quite as young as he was, and he doesn't fly.

He emailed us to let us know he managed the journey safely, but the standout comment in a short email was the trip was surreal, and it's not the type of word Milton would use so we are just waiting to hear in a few days what happened.

Have to add he has used this route for about 60 years at least once each way each year so a very experienced Amtrak rider. If it is of any interest to those reading this thread what a right up to date virus influenced 2 1/2 day LD Amtrak journey is like I'll ask if it is ok to publish a little of the story here, just let me know.
 

MikeM

OBS Chief
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
506
Our friend Milton has just travelled from Los Angeles to Syracuse, NY by Southwest Chief and the Lake Shore Limited. He spends the three winter months in LA, then back to his farm to farm for the rest of the year. He needs the winter sunshine boost as he is no longer quite as young as he was, and he doesn't fly.

He emailed us to let us know he managed the journey safely, but the standout comment in a short email was the trip was surreal, and it's not the type of word Milton would use so we are just waiting to hear in a few days what happened.

Have to add he has used this route for about 60 years at least once each way each year so a very experienced Amtrak rider. If it is of any interest to those reading this thread what a right up to date virus influenced 2 1/2 day LD Amtrak journey is like I'll ask if it is ok to publish a little of the story here, just let me know.
Please, do tell! It would be interesting to hear what precautions they're using on the train, how the crew morale is holding up, etc. This whole experience has been one for the record books.
 

MARC Rider

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Apr 5, 2011
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1,803
My dematologist is in Washington. I'm in Baltimore. Because he detected some melanoma last fall (and I had the cancerous mole removed, so I'm fine), I have to visit him every three months for a "head-to-toe" scan. The last one he was able to do via telemedicine, and he didn't find anything. However, if he had found something in the scan, I would have been forced to travel to Washington for an excision and biopsy. This can't be done by telemedicine. Even Dr. McCoy on the Starship Enterprise can't do something like that remotely. This I would have needed to travel to Washington to have the procedure done. Even with the shelter in place, etc., I would prefer not to have to drive all the way to Washington, it's a very tedious and stressful trip. Thus I would have either ridden Amtrak or MARC down and ridden the Metro from Union Station to the doctor's office.

The point of this is that despite the term "lockdown," there are still legitimate reasons why people might be traveling. I suspect we would all be better off if we just worried about our own behavior rather than attempting to police that of others.

By the way, given the apparent low passenger loads, riding the train may be just about as safe as driving. I know that on my last transit rides of March 10 on the Boston T and the Acela, I had no trouble conforming to the social distancing guidelines.
 

niemi24s

Conductor
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
2,209
A gentle reminder for those still in Florida looking for low bucket fares to head North. If you hadn't already noticed, come 1 May sleeper fares on the SS will rise from 19% to 77% (bucket-for-bucket) and become equal to those on the SM. There's no change in Coach fares as they remain the same:

32 - 31 Mar 2020 Amtrak Fare Bucketsa.jpg

Use AmSnag to see the actual differences.
 
Last edited:

Anderson

Conductor
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
9,563
My dematologist is in Washington. I'm in Baltimore. Because he detected some melanoma last fall (and I had the cancerous mole removed, so I'm fine), I have to visit him every three months for a "head-to-toe" scan. The last one he was able to do via telemedicine, and he didn't find anything. However, if he had found something in the scan, I would have been forced to travel to Washington for an excision and biopsy. This can't be done by telemedicine. Even Dr. McCoy on the Starship Enterprise can't do something like that remotely. This I would have needed to travel to Washington to have the procedure done. Even with the shelter in place, etc., I would prefer not to have to drive all the way to Washington, it's a very tedious and stressful trip. Thus I would have either ridden Amtrak or MARC down and ridden the Metro from Union Station to the doctor's office.

The point of this is that despite the term "lockdown," there are still legitimate reasons why people might be traveling. I suspect we would all be better off if we just worried about our own behavior rather than attempting to police that of others.

By the way, given the apparent low passenger loads, riding the train may be just about as safe as driving. I know that on my last transit rides of March 10 on the Boston T and the Acela, I had no trouble conforming to the social distancing guidelines.
(1) I can concur with the assertion in re the load factors. On my trip to FL a few weeks ago:
-SB on 97, I had a sleeper to myself RIC-JAX (the train terminated there).
-NB on 92, I had one other person in my sleeper originating in SAV. Of course, they got plopped in the room across from me...*eyerolls*
 

gwolfdog

Train Attendant
Joined
Mar 27, 2020
Messages
54
Our friend Milton has just travelled from Los Angeles to Syracuse, NY by Southwest Chief and the Lake Shore Limited. He spends the three winter months in LA, then back to his farm to farm for the rest of the year. He needs the winter sunshine boost as he is no longer quite as young as he was, and he doesn't fly.

He emailed us to let us know he managed the journey safely, but the standout comment in a short email was the trip was surreal, and it's not the type of word Milton would use so we are just waiting to hear in a few days what happened.

Have to add he has used this route for about 60 years at least once each way each year so a very experienced Amtrak rider. If it is of any interest to those reading this thread what a right up to date virus influenced 2 1/2 day LD Amtrak journey is like I'll ask if it is ok to publish a little of the story here, just let me know.
 

gwolfdog

Train Attendant
Joined
Mar 27, 2020
Messages
54
Interested, also from Syracuse. Took Auto Train to Florida, then trip back was cancelled after Derailment. Asked Condo Owner to extend lease and now looking for Safe Way home. Whom am I kidding?
 

v v

Conductor
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Dec 4, 2012
Messages
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Don't expect to hear from Milton for another day or so, and if he OK's me repeating his experience here it will be short, a man of few words. I'll drop him a line tonight to explain that others are interested as it affects them now. He's a kind person so hope he will oblige.
 

Rover

OBS Chief
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May 13, 2015
Messages
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Texas Gov. Abbott has just announced in an ongoing Press Conference that there will be checkpoints by the state at the border of La. So this is for all vehicle traffic and trucks, I'd assume.

I'm wondering though, how will this affect Amtrak from New Orleans. Or bus service into Texas from La. for that matter.
 

AmtrakBlue

Conductor
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May 6, 2011
Messages
11,612
Texas Gov. Abbott has just announced in an ongoing Press Conference that there will be checkpoints by the state at the border of La. So this is for all vehicle traffic and trucks, I'd assume.

I'm wondering though, how will this affect Amtrak from New Orleans. Or bus service into Texas from La. for that matter.
Wonder if they’ll let church goers come into the state. 😛
 

DonNewcomb

Train Attendant
Joined
Jun 11, 2019
Messages
43
IF I were to go I’d for sure be getting a sleeper!!
But my question was a specific reply to a comment about riding coach.
Labatt's breweries has just announced the switchover of an entire production line to produce hand sanitizer.
I read that Modelo is suspending the brewing of beer, including Corona, owing to it being judged non-essential by the Mexican Govt.
 

lonewolfette9847

Train Attendant
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Apr 17, 2018
Messages
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Happened to notice NE Regional Train 173 has resumed service as of yesterday (4/6). It was suspended after the 3/13 run.
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
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Apr 5, 2011
Messages
1,803
Texas Gov. Abbott has just announced in an ongoing Press Conference that there will be checkpoints by the state at the border of La. So this is for all vehicle traffic and trucks, I'd assume.

I'm wondering though, how will this affect Amtrak from New Orleans. Or bus service into Texas from La. for that matter.
Well, guess I'll have to drive up to Texarkana and cross over into Texas there. :)
More security theater, a waste of taxpayer money, and it won't do much to contain the epidemic by this point.
 

Palmland

OBS Chief
Joined
May 25, 2006
Messages
793
The people who are buying tickets and riding them? An example would be.... someone who lost their job in LA and has family in Klamath Falls..... maybe they need to quickly move in with family because they can’t pay the rent anymore.

That’s why a transit system exists....
While the circumstances were far different than now, we did encounter in the dining car a young sing;e mother and daughter on the Sunset some years ago. They were going from NOL to LAX to start a new life after leaving an unhappy home in Florida. They were taking the train because they could ship all their belongings with them in the baggage car. A sad story but they were full of hope.
 

gwolfdog

Train Attendant
Joined
Mar 27, 2020
Messages
54
I just re-booked a WC Room on the Auto Train for 4/15. My prior reservation was cancelled after the Derailment. (no stress there) Have a WC Van, only my wife drives, and with all our crap we brought down, we just had to make a decision. Syracuse doesn't seem much worst than Pompeno Beach at this time, Covid-19 wise. But who knows, we're both in High Risk Group and maybe will get lucky and no one will cough on us. Hate the Stations, overcrowded and insane. Anyone have any tips, besides masks and sanitizers, would appreciate, ESPECIALLY, recent travelers.
 

pennyk

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I just re-booked a WC Room on the Auto Train for 4/15. My prior reservation was cancelled after the Derailment. (no stress there) Have a WC Van, only my wife drives, and with all our crap we brought down, we just had to make a decision. Syracuse doesn't seem much worst than Pompeno Beach at this time, Covid-19 wise. But who knows, we're both in High Risk Group and maybe will get lucky and no one will cough on us. Hate the Stations, overcrowded and insane. Anyone have any tips, besides masks and sanitizers, would appreciate, ESPECIALLY, recent travelers.
My guess is that Syracuse may be "safer" than South Florida. In Florida, we have not yet reached our peak. My guess, under the guide of Governor Cuomo, New York residents may be taking things more seriously than Florida residents. I wish I had words of wisdom other than I wish you and your wife the best. If you can find Nitrile gloves, they may be helpful, but definitely masks, sanitizers, etc. ☮
 

IndyLions

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
317
If you haven’t started already - work REALLY HARD to break the common human habit of touching your face. Supposedly most people (pre-pandemic at least) do it many times an hour. Getting your hands near your eyes and nostrils are supposedly the most common points of entry.

Supposedly drinking lots of water is also a good thing.
 

Qapla

OBS Chief
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
850
Wearing Nitrile gloves is a very good idea .... but, remember to sanitize the gloves the same as you would your hands!

Including sanitizing them just before you take them off to discard them - it doesn't do any good to wear them if you are going to touch the outside of them with your bare hands when you remove them in the gloves have not been sanitized.
 

NW cannonball

Conductor
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
1,552
Good attitude, Ed
Nobody knows what the future will bring. Like the old Austrian saying -- Life's uncertain, so eat dessert first.
Me, I actually saw and spoke with my daughter today, keeping 3 meter distance. They live a walkable 5 miles away. I even got to shout and wave to the pre-school grandkids for the first time in two weeks, they in their dad's car and 20 feet away.
About non-adult beverages, the reason my daughter came 3 meters close was to get empty milk bags. Cause she donates breast milk. I donate blood.
I'm on the wait-list here to donate blood, seems folks are so far responding to the covid decline in blood donations here very positively, all appointments booked two weeks out.

Amtrak-related life changes -- my daughter's family and in-laws had planned and reserved a 5-day vacation in Chicago for 4 adults, 4 kids.
that's not happening. Good to know they get refund, no penalty.
 

pennyk

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I saw 92 again this evening. There were 2 engines, 2 coaches, cafe, 1 sleeper, baggage
Same consist on 92 today coming through Orlando (on time).
 

Ziv

OBS Chief
Joined
Oct 25, 2011
Messages
592
When you take off gloves, take the first one off by the inside of the wrist. Pull it off without touching the outside of the glove but allow the glove to go fully inside out. Then roll it up and remove the other glove in the same way. Put the first glove inside the second inverted glove without touching the buggy parts of either. Then tie the wrist of the outside glove, sealing the inside glove away. Put in a plastic bag and get rid of the plastic bag soon.
This is not the time to use a reusable plague bag, use disposable plastic bags from the grocery store. They may be buggy, but they are nowhere near as dirty as most reusable shopping bags.

Wearing Nitrile gloves is a very good idea .... but, remember to sanitize the gloves the same as you would your hands!

Including sanitizing them just before you take them off to discard them - it doesn't do any good to wear them if you are going to touch the outside of them with your bare hands when you remove them in the gloves have not been sanitized.
 
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