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Round trip from Chicago to Eugene Oregon via PDX

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Steve4031

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This is a trip report on a bout a round trip on 27 and 28 with a trip to Eugene Oregon on the Talgo and return on the Coast Starlight.

I am packed. Got a newscanner, and got everything lined up for a great trip. I enjoy riding in the sleeper on 27/28 because it is the last car on the train. This provides great views from the railman window, and great views of the train rounding curves as it progresses through the mountains.

The ride in on Metra illustrates the impact of Covid 19. Including myself there are 7 people in my half of a double deck Metra car that would probably be 3/4 full.
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Steve4031

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We boarded from track 28. Glad I used a redcap. That’s a long walk. The LSA came through and took dinner reservations. I have a 6:30.

I had the meatball pasta. They did their best heating the roll and serving me a second coke with the Brownie. I was seated by myself.

Many of the passengers in the 2730 car ate in their rooms. This gave the sca a workout. I ate in the diner to make things easier for him. And to see what was like.E160086F-05C2-40F6-82F9-CB94AA4677B6.jpegE160086F-05C2-40F6-82F9-CB94AA4677B6.jpegBAA6FAFD-3AE7-4E3E-AD37-E8B1637E60B5.jpegBAA6FAFD-3AE7-4E3E-AD37-E8B1637E60B5.jpegE160086F-05C2-40F6-82F9-CB94AA4677B6.jpegBAA6FAFD-3AE7-4E3E-AD37-E8B1637E60B5.jpeg527FAFA6-6EEB-42F9-81EA-778AF95F6344.jpeg
 
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Steve4031

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I slept well during the night. There were no towels in the bathroom at 6 am. I used what was in my room and was successful in getting a clean feeling again.

I ate by myself at breakfast. Then took another nap and slept until Minot. After Minot I noticed a rough sided to side motion on every switch accompanied by banging. Time to do some track maintenance.
 

Steve4031

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I observed two older looking Amtrak cars that were heritage fleet vintage attached the the rear of a freight train near Nassau, Montana. This did not look like a work train. Longer than that with a variety to f freight cars and no maintenance equipment.
 

pennyk

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Is the pasta and meatball entree the same size as it was previously when it was the children's entree? Was it enough for you to eat or did you have to fortify your meal in the cafe car?
 

caravanman

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Interesting trip at such times, please elaborate on the mask wearing, etc. Did you visit the coach cars, I am interested to know how much space/distance is maintained between passengers in coach? Was there any evidence of more regular cleaning/disinfecting of communal areas while the train was in motion?
It's the stuff that is different now that makes for added interest, I feel...
 

20th Century Rider

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Hey there Steve... thank you for sharing your trip. EUG is my boarding city and I usually take the CS or local service to connect with either the EB to the north or the CZ to the south. Longer days this time of year would allow daylight until Essex and beyond which is nice for that mountain scenery.

Am trying to imagine what it is like to travel during the pandemic... are you getting enough to eat??? Those little meals are nothing much. Your impressions will certainly be helpful for those of us planning. I do have a scheduled trip for early January but have no idea what that will be like!

Last car means you're going through PDX? Normally the dining car goes on to Seattle out of Spokane - before the pandemic sleeping car passengers got their food from the cafe under the sightseer lounge. Wonder how they are doing it now.

The Talgos are being retired so enjoy your ride on that train... one of my favorites.
I observed two older looking Amtrak cars that were heritage fleet vintage attached the the rear of a freight train near Nassau, Montana. This did not look like a work train. Longer than that with a variety to f freight cars and no maintenance equipment.
Wonder if those will be used to replace the Talgos out here???

Looking forward to following your adventure. Safe travels!🤠
 

Steve4031

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Hey there Steve... thank you for sharing your trip. EUG is my boarding city and I usually take the CS or local service to connect with either the EB to the north or the CZ to the south. Longer days this time of year would allow daylight until Essex and beyond which is nice for that mountain scenery.

Am trying to imagine what it is like to travel during the pandemic... are you getting enough to eat??? Those little meals are nothing much. Your impressions will certainly be helpful for those of us planning. I do have a scheduled trip for early January but have no idea what that will be like!

Last car means you're going through PDX? Normally the dining car goes on to Seattle out of Spokane - before the pandemic sleeping car passengers got their food from the cafe under the sightseer lounge. Wonder how they are doing it now.

The Talgos are being retired so enjoy your ride on that train... one of my favorites.

Wonder if those will be used to replace the Talgos out here???

Looking forward to following your adventure. Safe travels!🤠
Those cars were older. I think they are owned by BNSF and still have Amtrak markings.
I eat the Pasta and meatballs for dinner, s cheeseburger for lunch, and fruit loops complement the breakfast sandwich. If you can find one thing for dinner and one thing for lunch that you like you can get by. It’s not crowded which is nice.
 

Steve4031

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Lunch was a process today. I went to the lounge about 1 pm. The guy was on break. I waited until 2:05. Then I realized I had not heard any announcements from the lounge car. So I went to see if the diner was doing double duty. There were several crew in there on break. This one asked if I wanted lunch in the diner. I explained I was trying to order a cheeseburger. I was directed back to the lounge car and told to wait for an announcement. After 20 minutes and no announcement I went down there and the guy was just sitting there. He didn’t speak nor did I. I got my food and left.
 

Steve4031

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The coaches are still organized by destination. There were announcements advising people to wear masks. The train was 60-70 percent full to Minot. Then emptied out as we went further west.

there was a group of Amish(I think) who hung out in observation car. They didn’t always wear masks while I was in there waiting for snack car to open. No crew were there to enforce the rules.
 

Steve4031

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The equipment is no cleaner than usual. I do not see any evidence of extra cleaning on the 2730 sleeper.
 

20th Century Rider

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Lunch was a process today. I went to the lounge about 1 pm. The guy was on break. I waited until 2:05. Then I realized I had not heard any announcements from the lounge car. So I went to see if the diner was doing double duty. There were several crew in there on break. This one asked if I wanted lunch in the diner. I explained I was trying to order a cheeseburger. I was directed back to the lounge car and told to wait for an announcement. After 20 minutes and no announcement I went down there and the guy was just sitting there. He didn’t speak nor did I. I got my food and left.
What apathy! Pandemic or not... you are a human being and an Amtrak customer. You deserve much better than that! Personally I would have really been miffed... although there's not much one can do about bad service. If I can ask a somewhat 'sacred' question... how much do you plan on tipping a guy who prioritizes his break time???

You may want to call customer service after your trip ends.:confused:😒:oops:
 

Steve4031

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I didn’t tip. I agree the food should be better. But if ridership remains low that allows Amtrak to justify continuing this food mess. I’m not agreeing with this mess, just explaining how I deal with it.

When I went to dinner the waiter went out of his way to be decent. And the lounge car guy was heard making announcements.
 

caravanman

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"They didn’t always wear masks while I was in there waiting for snack car to open. No crew were there to enforce the rules."

"The equipment is no cleaner than usual. I do not see any evidence of extra cleaning on the 2730 sleeper."

That is all strangely reassuring, Amtrak's regular "don't really care, just doing my job" approach still survives under difficult conditions... :D
 

Steve4031

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Though food has not been as good enjoyable as normal, I AM enjoying my train ride. If you all look through posts I’ve made in other threads I was in the hell no I won’t go until I can eat pancakes, cheeseburger, and steak in the diner camp.

I always have an urge to move and ride trains. I’m not a sit at home person. i am wearing my mask and washing my hands.
 

Siegmund

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I observed two older looking Amtrak cars that were heritage fleet vintage attached the the rear of a freight train near Nassau, Montana. This did not look like a work train. Longer than that with a variety to f freight cars and no maintenance equipment.
Sharp eye! Apparently that freight train is moving slowly - these cars were spotted in Minnesota on the 16th.

They (diner 8509, formerly NP 460, and baggage 1206, formerly NP 218) were bought by the Northern Pacific Railway Museum in Toppenish, WA last year, and have finally, after several months delays, started moving west from Beech Grove.
 
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