Waffle House hop off?

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

glensfallsse

Train Attendant
Joined
Apr 22, 2017
Messages
29
This may be perfectly ridiculous, but I’m interested to know.

I’m on the Silver Star northbound from Miami on Sunday. I forgot when I made the reservation that this train doesn’t have full meal service. The train goes through Lakeland to Tampa, then back through Lakeland. Can I hop off the train in Lakeland, grab a taxi to the Waffle House, then get back on when it comes back through?

(I might go for something closer to the station to make sure I don’t miss it on the way back, but I do love Waffle House and that’s kind of driving the thought.)
 

pennyk

Conductor
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
10,221
I have heard that some people have done something similar. Last time I was on the train from Miami to Orlando, I was thinking about getting off at the first Lakeland stop, walk to a local restaurant, and reboard at the second Lakeland stop. I asked a couple of crew members what they thought and they recommended against it. I took their advice and had a cheese platter in the cafe car (and eliminated potential stress of missing the train).
 

John Bobinyec

Conductor
Joined
Sep 18, 2009
Messages
1,746
What if you booked your trip from Miami to Lakeland and then from Lakeland to wherever?
 

ehbowen

Conductor
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Messages
2,306
I'm going to be contrary and say, "Go for it!" But even I'd be hesitant about sitting in a booth and eating, especially if the restaurant is busy. Get your order to go. And when you get back on the train with your good hot Waffle House breakfast and other passengers (and crew!) look at you with envy, just smile mysteriously and look smug.

(I would make sure your coach/sleeper attendant knows of your plans beforehand. Tip him with a sweet roll or similar!)
 

dogbert617

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
826
I'm going to be contrary and say, "Go for it!" But even I'd be hesitant about sitting in a booth and eating, especially if the restaurant is busy. Get your order to go. And when you get back on the train with your good hot Waffle House breakfast and other passengers (and crew!) look at you with envy, just smile mysteriously and look smug.

(I would make sure your coach/sleeper attendant knows of your plans beforehand. Tip him with a sweet roll or similar!)
I have no idea how long the time is between when Silver Star first hits Lakeland to do the side trip over to Tampa and then back, but yeah I also wouldn't risk eating inside there either! And get your WH food to go, if you REALLY want to do that. And per google maps if I really want to sit inside somewhere to eat before the Star returned to Lakeland, I'd probably rather do that somewhere that was only within a few blocks walk of that station. I hope you do make it to WH and back before the Star returns to go the rest of the way, though if you decide to do that!

Since on a different note, I briefly did debate running to White Castle and getting food to go, during the Cardinal's layover in Indianapolis. I didn't in the end, but maybe I'll try doing that another time(moreso for the westbound #51 stop, which is longer in Indy vs. the #50's shorter layover in Indy).
 

Qapla

OBS Chief
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
928
It looks like you may have about 60-90 minutes while the train goes from Lakeland to Tampa and back ... but, that is not a guarantee

Maybe someone who has timed it can make a more accurate estimate of the time ... I was trying to calculate it from Amtrak's schedule
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,472
I have eaten at a small diner near the Indy station during the westbound dwell in Indy. I’ve also done so on the California Zephyr in Denver.

And On the Canadian I’ve explored Jasper, and Winnipeg on dwell time.
 

dogbert617

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
826
I have eaten at a small diner near the Indy station during the westbound dwell in Indy. I’ve also done so on the California Zephyr in Denver.

And On the Canadian I’ve explored Jasper, and Winnipeg on dwell time.
I remember not long ago looking at the Canadian's timetable on VIA's website, and looking at the layover times in some of those towns and cities. Like you said, I totally imagine you'd have enough time to explore for example, to explore Jasper and Winnipeg and more places for a little bit!
 

jiml

Conductor
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
1,134
I remember not long ago looking at the Canadian's timetable on VIA's website, and looking at the layover times in some of those towns and cities. Like you said, I totally imagine you'd have enough time to explore for example, to explore Jasper and Winnipeg and more places for a little bit!
Back in the day when they used to connect the two sections of the Canadian at Winnipeg before continuing westbound, FC passengers used to have access to day rooms at a nearby hotel to freshen up. Here is a timetable excerpt from the train we took that year:

Timetable-1.jpg


This was before the addition of onboard showers of course.
 

anumberone

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Aug 8, 2015
Messages
1,402
Big decision; maybe waiting at the station for the next connection on a full stomach. Or, waiting on the train dreaming of waffles. What was it?

"
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
7,873
I wouldn't do it. I would board the train with sufficient food to satisfy myself, if I wasn't happy with what was available on board the train.
And...I wouldn't want to miss the mileage even if I had ridden over it before,
 

drdumont

Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Messages
192
Although the Eagle has pretty good diner service now, when I go to AUS or San Antonio, I call ahead to the City Cafe in Taylor, make up an order for some of the best BBQ, and potato salad, beans, and the fixins. The guy comes across the street, meets the train and hands it over. Up I go to the lounge car and further clog my arteries. Did it for the years I was commuting from FTW to AUS.
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
19,760
Although the Eagle has pretty good diner service now, when I go to AUS or San Antonio, I call ahead to the City Cafe in Taylor, make up an order for some of the best BBQ, and potato salad, beans, and the fixins. The guy comes across the street, meets the train and hands it over. Up I go to the lounge car and further clog my arteries. Did it for the years I was commuting from FTW to AUS.
Some of the Train crews do this also, but there is a LOT BETTER Q Joint in Taylor,Louie Muellers, and Austin is Full of Good to Great Joints!
 

RebelRider

Train Attendant
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Messages
60
This may be perfectly ridiculous, but I’m interested to know.

I’m on the Silver Star northbound from Miami on Sunday. I forgot when I made the reservation that this train doesn’t have full meal service. The train goes through Lakeland to Tampa, then back through Lakeland. Can I hop off the train in Lakeland, grab a taxi to the Waffle House, then get back on when it comes back through?

(I might go for something closer to the station to make sure I don’t miss it on the way back, but I do love Waffle House and that’s kind of driving the thought.)
The run time between Lakeland and Tampa is 47 minutes over, 14 minute dwell and 34 minutes back. In reality, dwell is almost always longer due to a partial crew change and heavy passenger volume. Here's the TPA dwell data from ASMAD for 7/17/19 and 8/15/19:

Min Dwell: 14
Avg Dwell: 19.3
Max Dwell: 28

Sunday is a heavy travel day, so TPA dwell will be longer than average.

At a minimum you'll have 90 minutes off the train. There are lots of good, quick options near the Lakeland station. Within one block there is Jimmy John's and a good sandwich/salad/soup place called Crispers. Both are right next to the tracks. Another block or two towards downtown you'll find even more options. Just keep an eye on the train's departure from Tampa and start heading back. ASM is also a great thing to watch and see them coming back towards Lakeland.

This has been done by many passengers, many times.
 

John Bobinyec

Conductor
Joined
Sep 18, 2009
Messages
1,746
Before hopping off at Lakeland, make sure there isn't some sort of problem which forces the Star to skip going to Tampa.

jb
 

F900ElCapitan

Lead Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
374
Before hopping off at Lakeland, make sure there isn't some sort of problem which forces the Star to skip going to Tampa.

jb
Even that shouldn’t be too big of a deal, as the train wouldn’t be allowed to depart Lakeland until the later departure time at the earliest. Then Amtrak would have to get the new crew members sent to Lakeland, and with how well they’ve been doing that lately it might cause a bit of a delay o_O. The only way around the departure time is a special schedule would have to be issued of which those are normally communicated fairly well by train time.
 

dogbert617

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
826
Back in the day when they used to connect the two sections of the Canadian at Winnipeg before continuing westbound, FC passengers used to have access to day rooms at a nearby hotel to freshen up. Here is a timetable excerpt from the train we took that year:

View attachment 14814


This was before the addition of onboard showers of course.
Wait, there used to be a different section of the Canadian that was connected(disconnected going east, a la Spokane, San Antonio, etc) onto the main consist of the train going west at Winnipeg years ago, that didn't go through Hornepayne, Sioux Lookout, etc? If so, that's news to me. Where did that different section of the Canadian that was combined/removed from the Canadian at Winnipeg, ran to?
 

Devil's Advocate

Conductor
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
11,373
I say go for it. Even if things go South it might make for an interesting story. Maybe order to go if there’s a delay or the timing feels tight.
 

Qapla

OBS Chief
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
928
GrubHub delivers in Lakeland

Doesn't look like IHOP does - but Denny's looks to
 

glensfallsse

Train Attendant
Joined
Apr 22, 2017
Messages
29
I will probably stay on the train. The restaurants near the station don’t thrill me, and as Railiner pointed out, I’ll miss the chance to see the Lakeland-to-Tampa section. You pay all this money for a trip, might as well get everything you can out of it.
 
2

Latest posts

Top