In Transit, "Empire Builder" Film.

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I'm on Facebook - can I put this on there for you?
That would be very kind of you, thanks.

As you're interested in train travel you probably know of the Seat61 website, but if not...

The Man in Seat Sixty-One - the train travel guide...

Mark Smith opened up the world of train travel to so many people, always willing to help too. Whenever we plan a very long distance rail journey I start with his website, he has reference to so many obscure places and rail systems.

Took a look at Orient Express, very impressive and could see how it would appeal. We are all different but have to say it's not our style, and eye wateringly expensive too. I could get us at least half the way around the world for that sort of money, and actually nearly did this year until the virus intervened.

All the same, would like to read a trip report if you should take that train, it's certainly not an everyday experience.
 

Devil's Advocate

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Took a look at Orient Express, very impressive and could see how it would appeal. We are all different but have to say it's not our style, and eye wateringly expensive too. I could get us at least half the way around the world for that sort of money, and actually nearly did this year until the virus intervened.
These days many services leave me feeling out of place in one direction or another. There is so little in the way of mid-range options anymore. You either make do with no-frills or splash out on fares that sometimes border on the obscene. It's not just a matter of travel either, many shopping options now boil down to either rudimentary or extravagant products with not much of a market between.
 
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These days many options leave me feeling out of place in one direction or another. There is so little in the way of mid-range options anymore. You either make do with no-frills or splash out on luxury that sometimes feels like it borders on the obscene. It's not just a matter of travel either. These days many shopping options boil down to either rudimentary or extravagant products with not much of a market between.
Maybe the 'middle class' are disappearing, business is quick to work out where the market is and that may be the reason?

I think I was a little hard on Sam's choice, wasn't asked for my opinion and should have kept it to myself.
 

IndyLions

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Maybe the 'middle class' are disappearing, business is quick to work out where the market is and that may be the reason?

I think I was a little hard on Sam's choice, wasn't asked for my opinion and should have kept it to myself.
The middle class isn’t disappearing - it’s the travel industry that has drastically changed over the past 30 years.

Airlines are the best example, but they are not the only one. They are catering to two markets, the volume leisure traveler that books strictly based on price, and the big company business travelers that will pay whatever the luxury BC / First Class fare happens to be for their executives. They are even now de-emphasizing the “perk upgrades” for frequent regular business travelers and are attempting to sell those seats instead to boost revenue.

That leaves very little in between for people who are looking for a better experience without tripling the fare. I’m sorry - 2” of extra legroom for $50 doesn’t count.

Selfishly, I would really like to see Amtrak put some effort into improving and expanding LD Business Class. I think that’s a good middle ground today which would even be priced right if they improved it a little. Right now it is only offered on a few routes, and on those the only thing it buys you is a quieter environment (which I value). But expansion and some additional minor upgrades would be welcome for sure.
 

Samsbigtrip

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I think I was a little hard on Sam's choice [...]
Not at all V - and I didn't take it the wrong way.
I was so excited about the Empire Builder and seeing Montana on my way back from Oregon and now so disappointed that I probably won't be able to do it.
So, I was seriously looking at the Orient Express in September, the Elephant willing, as I'm making my annual Italian pilgrimage to L'Approdo Thalasso in San Marco di Castellabate but I have just checked for departures and the price has shot up from £1,750 to £9,500. I'm going to have to have a lie-down in a darkened room!
I asked in the Facebook Amtrak group about the film - which they had been talking about - and I'll let you know if and when they get back to me :cool:
 

caravanman

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I am always happy to jump into any train travel related chat, and have to say that for my tastes, both Portillo and Robinson's efforts are low on "train content".
I guess programme makers know that a presenter sitting on a train and gazing out of the window most of the time will only appeal to serious train fans?
I find a lot of the train travel/reviews on youtube to be excellent... I am sure there must be some great Empire Builder ones?

P.S. I found this one from Portland to Chicago... : Brit on Amtrak

Ed.
 
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Not at all V - and I didn't take it the wrong way.
Thanks


So, I was seriously looking at the Orient Express in September, the Elephant willing, as I'm making my annual Italian pilgrimage to L'Approdo Thalasso in San Marco di Castellabate but I have just checked for departures and the price has shot up from £1,750 to £9,500. I'm going to have to have a lie-down in a darkened room!
Ouch!

I'd send the bags ahead and book a series of trains. London to Brussels/Cologne, sleeper to Vienna, stay a day or so then a day train through the Alps to Rome, again spending a day or two there. Last a local express to your resort. Just an idea.


I asked in the Facebook Amtrak group about the film - which they had been talking about - and I'll let you know if and when they get back to me :cool:

Appreciated, thank you. Only got to see 2 minutes 13 seconds of the free showing posted here as internet is currently so bad. From what I saw it was superior to any of the UK tv programs if you want get the a feel of the EB, but it was not much to go on. Be very interested if a dvd was made available, also think it would a hit on UK tv, nothing else like it.
 

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I am always happy to jump into any train travel related chat, and have to say that for my tastes, both Portillo and Robinson's efforts are low on "train content".
Hello Ed, how are you doing?

I have tried not to be rude about either of them. The first of this Robinson series was more train travel oriented than anything else I have seen him do, but episode 2 reverted to type. We were disappointed as we were very interested in where he was supposed to be travelling through, but there you are.

I guess programme makers know that a presenter sitting on a train and gazing out of the window most of the time will only appeal to serious train fans?
I find a lot of the train travel/reviews on youtube to be excellent... I am sure there must be some great Empire Builder ones?
Have you seen the In Transit film? From what I have read and the little I saw it concentrates on the community on the train rather than the bare technical aspects of trains and travel, that was what got my attention hearing about this documentary a couple of years ago. I think it paints the picture that we all know that after a while a community builds on LD trains, and it's a community unique to long distance trains.
 

v v

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Selfishly, I would really like to see Amtrak put some effort into improving and expanding LD Business Class. I think that’s a good middle ground today which would even be priced right if they improved it a little. Right now it is only offered on a few routes, and on those the only thing it buys you is a quieter environment (which I value). But expansion and some additional minor upgrades would be welcome for sure.
Think that is a great idea, is there any way of proposing it to Amtrak?
 

caravanman

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Hello Ed, how are you doing?

I have tried not to be rude about either of them. The first of this Robinson series was more train travel oriented than anything else I have seen him do, but episode 2 reverted to type. We were disappointed as we were very interested in where he was supposed to be travelling through, but there you are.



Have you seen the In Transit film? From what I have read and the little I saw it concentrates on the community on the train rather than the bare technical aspects of trains and travel, that was what got my attention hearing about this documentary a couple of years ago. I think it paints the picture that we all know that after a while a community builds on LD trains, and it's a community unique to long distance trains.
Hi Jamie,
Doing okay thanks, I am taking the Corona outbreak seriously, so I stay indoors every day, which is starting to drag, as for everyone I am sure.
No, not seen that film, sounds brilliant. The community atmosphere in coach and on Amtrak in general is what makes travel so interesting for me.
Cheers for now,
Ed.
 

Michigan Mom

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It's the kind of film that stays with you days after viewing, if you love train travel.
I thought the cinematography was excellent in terms of capturing those moments, especially in the evening hours, pulling into a station (all of them seem more magical at night) and some passengers are disembarking, there's that interaction with the crew upon leaving, with train and station lights against a night sky, and others are staying onboard to continue with the train, through the night.
Use of lighting was subtle and very effective, sometimes these moments occurred in the daytime and captured an altogether different feeling.
 
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