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Who in the world are you?

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Joined
Dec 15, 2018
Messages
6
53 year old, been in the Coast Guard for 33 years retiring early summer 2019. Hoping to go to work for AMTRAK, but I figure at my age its probably a pipe dream. I've ridden the Silver Service trains about 6 or 8 times from FL when I was stationed down there to Fayetteville, NC. Just rode it up to NYC to visit my son and his family who were in NYC for my daughter in law's business. Also, rode the CZ from Emeryville to Reno during a trip out to see the same son. if I don't get on with AMTRAK I have a bucket list trip around the Country. I live in Wilmington, NC so my home station is Fayetteville, NC.
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2019
Messages
12
Lot of railroad in my family. Grandfather was a blacksmith for EL. Late husband was C&O. Current husband was C&O/CSX lifer, as was his father. I did 5 years with CSX before I left to raise our kids. But we were all freight employees (except for a stint my FIL did on the "Sportsman").

Been reading this forum for about 6 years to learn about traveling via Amtrak before hubby and I started doing it. Made a one day "out & back" trip in BC to see what we thought and it was so nice that out next trip was CHI-NOL on the CONO and we loved traveling in the sleeper. Have taken my grandson on the SWC the last 3 years to visit his other set of grandparents and he loves it too.

This place is great and friendly and I finally joined because I have a coupon coming up on expiration that I can't use and I want to be able to give it away to someone and not just let it die.
 

pennyk

Conductor
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
10,386
Location
Orlando, FL
Lot of railroad in my family. Grandfather was a blacksmith for EL. Late husband was C&O. Current husband was C&O/CSX lifer, as was his father. I did 5 years with CSX before I left to raise our kids. But we were all freight employees (except for a stint my FIL did on the "Sportsman").

Been reading this forum for about 6 years to learn about traveling via Amtrak before hubby and I started doing it. Made a one day "out & back" trip in BC to see what we thought and it was so nice that out next trip was CHI-NOL on the CONO and we loved traveling in the sleeper. Have taken my grandson on the SWC the last 3 years to visit his other set of grandparents and he loves it too.

This place is great and friendly and I finally joined because I have a coupon coming up on expiration that I can't use and I want to be able to give it away to someone and not just let it die.
Welcome and thanks for being a member.
 

NSC1109

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
333
Location
MI
I'm not sure if I've posted in this thread before, but I'm going to assume that I haven't.

I am a 20 y/o college student in the Midwest who's been interested in trains all his life. However, my interest goes beyond your typical railfan "hurritge" stuff; my real passion is Amtrak, as I'm sure many of you have been able to deduce from my posts in the "What Would You Add?" thread along with the various five-year plans. I wholeheartedly believe that there will be a turning point for Amtrak in the next few years and I want to help modernize the network, expanding into underserved or new markets and updating equipment while still maintaining that "romantic" feel. Granted I won't exactly be able to do that right out of college but a transition like that isn't going to happen overnight, and I see it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to turn the organization around in many ways.

I also volunteer for one of the well-known steam railroading groups in the Midwest.
 
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Winecliff Station

Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 10, 2019
Messages
122
Location
Hudson Valley
Hi! I'm new here, just registered today in fact, and I'm 51 years old. I represent children in family court and also teach Zumba.

I commute 1-3 days each week on the Empire line to Penn Station and am tired of explaining to my colleagues why I take Amtrak instead of saving a few dollars with the local commuter rail service. Maybe that should be the subject of a new thread, so I won't unpack all of that right now...

I'm a first generation Greek with 5 senior Italian Greyhounds who are spoiled rotten, but only Prada and Versace have had the honor of riding on Amtrak.
 

Michigan Mom

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
656
Location
MI
Returned after suddenly receiving site updates, following an absence of a couple years. I'm here to stay in honor of three fine men who made this a great place to be: Alan, Patrick, and Eric. I knew Alan and Patrick had passed on, sadly, but didn't know about Eric. Last communication we had he had offered to meet me in Las Vegas on our next trip there which did not materialize, and I am so regretting we never had the chance to say hello in person. Similarly, conversation history with Alan was preserved here, very grateful for that. I really hope all 3 of these wonderful human beings know that they touched the lives of others and are still missed.
 

basketmaker

Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 19, 2018
Messages
109
Location
Brighton, CO (DEN but FMG-Preferred)
If this has already been done, I apologize, but thought it might be interesting. We have a "what does your username mean" thread, and that's good, but I sometimes wonder just who some of us are. I have been around the forum long enough to get an impression of the usual suspects, but, my impression may be way off....as an example, I envisioned one member as very young, but reading some posts over the last few months, suspect they are retired....some others, on another forum I envisioned as an older professional, was also off, turns out they were in college....so, how about a thread with a bit about who we are? Wish it was members only, but who knows, I may get no response anyway. If you want, post up. I would suggest the usual online precautions, and not post info that is too personal!

I am a 39 YO male, married with a kid living in OKC. Spent 8 years n the Air Force as a C-130 air crew member in Alaska and Germany, flew regularly all over the world before going to work as a conductor and engineer for a Class 1 Railroad. Left the class 1 lifestyle for the Shortline/regional railroad world, where I have works in various capacities as an engineer and management. We enjoy kayaking, mountain biking, and camping (RV style....I like my air conditioning..) our family enjoys shooting sports such as skeet/trap/sporting clays, competitive pistol shooting, and collecting military firearms. I don't travel by train often, but work in a business trip when I can in lieu of my normal seat on Delta. I am socially moderate, fiscally conservative, and have a bit of a Libertarian slant politically. We are non denominational Christians, I don't floss as much as my dentist would like, and I need to drop 30 lbs or so. I travel extensively around the country, but try and keep a good work-home balance.

So, that's a bit about me. Im very interested to see just who we have on board here
I know this is an old post. But I think it is interesting. Particularly the usernames. Mine "basketmaker" came from a CB handle back in the early 70's. I was a CB'er and a friend said I should be in a home making basket since I was a crazy driver. So I took basketmaker as my CB handle and have continued it thru the years and progression of the electronics world. It is my main e-mail address and screen name/username on most sites.
 
Joined
May 13, 2019
Messages
3
Hello, I recently joined, and am a daily Pacific Surfliner commuter (sitting on the train now!). I've been riding the rails for almost seven years, enough to have about 50,000 Guest Rewards points saved up. We're thinking about taking a trip from Chicago to LA on the Southwest Chief next year for fun - looks like a long trip though.

I have an unofficial train status website, done while on the train to pass the time, and mostly for mobile use. So far I've only shared it with a few of my fellow Pacific Surfliner commuters, but thought I'd post it here and would be glad for any feedback:

https://railrat.net/

Thanks!
 

pennyk

Conductor
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
10,386
Location
Orlando, FL
Hello, I recently joined, and am a daily Pacific Surfliner commuter (sitting on the train now!). I've been riding the rails for almost seven years, enough to have about 50,000 Guest Rewards points saved up. We're thinking about taking a trip from Chicago to LA on the Southwest Chief next year for fun - looks like a long trip though.

I have an unofficial train status website, done while on the train to pass the time, and mostly for mobile use. So far I've only shared it with a few of my fellow Pacific Surfliner commuters, but thought I'd post it here and would be glad for any feedback:

https://railrat.net/

Thanks!
Welcome and thanks for sharing your train status website.
 

Matthew H Fish

Train Attendant
Joined
May 28, 2019
Messages
77
Hello, my name is Matthew (I guess that part is obvious)

I am from the United States, currently live in Chile, am moving back to the United States, and then moving onwards somewhere else...I like to travel a lot.

I am, somewhat surprisingly to myself, 40 years old.

I am interested in transit in general. I have ridden Amtrak many times, mostly in the Pacific Northwest, but also took a 30 day railpass trip around the country. One of the things I want to post about is how Amtrak interfaces with local and intermediate transit options.
 

oregon pioneer

Conductor
Joined
Feb 15, 2011
Messages
2,262
Location
near Seneca, Oregon
Welcome Matthew! I'm older (retired) as are quite a few people in this group. But there are quite a wide variety of people here, all ages. Like you, I'm interested in public transit options when I get off Amtrak. I've found quite a bit of good advice here, and try to return the favor by sharing my personal learning experiences. I hope you keep us posted about your Amtrak travels, as well as your rail trips when you move abroad again. I just love armchair traveling!
 

Matthew H Fish

Train Attendant
Joined
May 28, 2019
Messages
77
Well, if anyone is interested, I could post all about the Santiago Metro, which is pretty incredible, but is also probably off-topic.

Chile has certainly given me some insights into transit, because while intercity train service here is not very good, the intercity coach service is incredible efficient and modern compared to the United States. To go to the ocean from Santiago, which is about 60 miles away, costs about 5 dollars, and the buses leave every 15 minutes, on time, and are always nice and clean.

I also lived in Oregon, and I know that transit anywhere outside of the Willamette Valley basically is not practical for most people. I took the bus between Portland and Brookings, and it is not something I have fond memories of.

Of course, all of that is a little off-topic for an Amtrak forum...
 

jiml

Conductor
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
1,508
Location
Toronto area
Good morning. I'm fairly new around here and had not seen this thread until someone posted yesterday. I'm Jim from near Toronto and am happily retired. Unfortunately retirement also means less income for train travel. I've been a train "geek" since childhood and as an adult set out to ride every route in North America. I have missed a few - some that will stay missed for practical reasons, but a few others are still on the bucket list.

Unique experiences on trains include the Sunset Limited behind P30CH's, the overnight sleeping car in Penn Station and being stranded in the Oregon woods for 6 hours due to engine failure - fortunately in good weather. My personal favorite train was the Desert Wind. We go to California at least once a year and flying is no substitute for it. Our favorite family trip, repeated several times, was taking the kids to Florida during the winter via The International to Hammond-Whiting, the Broadway Limited to Philly, then on to Orlando with several combinations of Silver service. The kids used to fight over the top bunks, which was just fine with my wife and I.

In the short time on AU I've learned a lot that I didn't know - mostly about recent developments, and have enjoyed the interaction with various members in the forums and in personal conversation. Thanks for making this possible.
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
20,263
Location
Austin Texas
Good morning. I'm fairly new around here and had not seen this thread until someone posted yesterday. I'm Jim from near Toronto and am happily retired. Unfortunately retirement also means less income for train travel. I've been a train "geek" since childhood and as an adult set out to ride every route in North America. I have missed a few - some that will stay missed for practical reasons, but a few others are still on the bucket list.

Unique experiences on trains include the Sunset Limited behind P30CH's, the overnight sleeping car in Penn Station and being stranded in the Oregon woods for 6 hours due to engine failure - fortunately in good weather. My personal favorite train was the Desert Wind. We go to California at least once a year and flying is no substitute for it. Our favorite family trip, repeated several times, was taking the kids to Florida during the winter via The International to Hammond-Whiting, the Broadway Limited to Philly, then on to Orlando with several combinations of Silver service. The kids used to fight over the top bunks, which was just fine with my wife and I.

In the short time on AU I've learned a lot that I didn't know - mostly about recent developments, and have enjoyed the interaction with various members in the forums and in personal conversation. Thanks for making this possible.
Welcome, it's a great to have another Member from the Great White North!

I know you have some great Memories and Stories to share!
 

drdumont

Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Messages
207
Location
The Great (and may I add) SOVEREIGN State of TEXAS
I'm 72, Broadcast Engineer since 1963. 45 years on the road overseas and domestic. Televised everything from open heart surgery to cockfights, news, sports, political conventions, Monday Night Football,
World Series, Super Bowls as Engineering Supervisor. Designed, built, operated, maintained, drove TV mobile units big and small. Beat The Widowmaker three times, just got my 4th stent three days ago Guess I might think about slowing down. NOT!
From a railroading family, "drove" my first Diesel switcher when I was 8. I'm indeed an unrepentant Foamer, but a well behaved, housebroken Foamer. When I was traveling, I took Amtrak whenever possible, sometimes incurring the wrath of my employers, who didn't get a rakeoff from rail travel. Indeed, it cost me one job, even though the railfare was cheaper.
Only missing the Empire Builder, California Zephyr from Oakland to Denver, and the City of New Orleans to complete my bag. Hoping to remedy that this Summer.
Commuted FTW-AUS weekly for two years.
Favorite stressbreaker - a trip to Nowhere, like FTW-Springfield-FTW. Arrive in the morning, do the tourist and bookstore thing, then back on the train that afternoon and back in FTW the next day in time for work.
I'm maintenance supervisor for a TV/Radio complex in Dallas - 2 TV transmitter sites, 5 Radio transmitter sites, and a Downtown studio system.
Goal: DAL-LAX-SEA-CHI-NYP-TPA-X-MIA-GRO-NOL-DAL
I'm not crazy, I'm colorful!
 

oregon pioneer

Conductor
Joined
Feb 15, 2011
Messages
2,262
Location
near Seneca, Oregon
Well, if anyone is interested, I could post all about the Santiago Metro, which is pretty incredible, but is also probably off-topic.

Chile has certainly given me some insights into transit, because while intercity train service here is not very good, the intercity coach service is incredible efficient and modern compared to the United States. To go to the ocean from Santiago, which is about 60 miles away, costs about 5 dollars, and the buses leave every 15 minutes, on time, and are always nice and clean.

I also lived in Oregon, and I know that transit anywhere outside of the Willamette Valley basically is not practical for most people. I took the bus between Portland and Brookings, and it is not something I have fond memories of.

Of course, all of that is a little off-topic for an Amtrak forum...
Here's the description for the Trip Report forum: "Post your rail-associated travelogues and trip reports in this forum. All reports with at least some rail involvement are welcome, whether that rail is Amtrak or not."

And I live way, way outside the freeway corridors, so I end up using the little rural buses of Oregon to get to Amtrak (@Chemult) or the Willamette Valley. You can find all those alternatives on the Tripcheck website under the "Transit & More" tab. I love our little Grant County People Mover that goes to Bend three times a week (and connects with the Amtrak shuttle to CMO).
 

drdumont

Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Messages
207
Location
The Great (and may I add) SOVEREIGN State of TEXAS
Howdy! If there is a Private Message function aboard here, send away. Otherwise, my email is the same name. The domain is dumont.tv.
I'm sitting at home recovering from installation of 3 stents on Monday. I've beat The Widowmaker three times. I need a nice long AMTRAK trip to relax. Can't do my DAL- SPI -DAL Trip to Nowhere 'till the rivers subside.
-- Doc
 

MisterUptempo

Service Attendant
Joined
Jul 1, 2014
Messages
185
Location
Chicago, IL
Howdy! If there is a Private Message function aboard here, send away. Otherwise, my email is the same name. The domain is dumont.tv.
I'm sitting at home recovering from installation of 3 stents on Monday. I've beat The Widowmaker three times. I need a nice long AMTRAK trip to relax. Can't do my DAL- SPI -DAL Trip to Nowhere 'till the rivers subside.
-- Doc
A quick question. Since you have been involved with television for so long, are you, as a DuMont, related in any way to Allen B. DuMont, the former television manufacturer and creator of the long since defunct DuMont Television Network?
 

drdumont

Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Messages
207
Location
The Great (and may I add) SOVEREIGN State of TEXAS
Back in the Pleistocene era, when Radio and TV used Thermionic FETs, those hot glowing bottles called vacuum tubes, I was a Senior in High School, working 40 hours a week as a fulltime engineer for the ABC affiliate in Houston.

It had begun as a DuMont affiliate and 'most all the gear was DuMont. When I went off to college, they gave me quite a lot of the DuMont gear as they were upgrading to those newfangled transistor thingies. As an undergraduate, I was building what became the PBS station for Texas A&M. As I knew how all of it worked and how to keep it working, the guys, when confronted with something which wasn't working, would say "Get Dr DuMont over here - he knows this old stuff!". I even kept a DuMont transmitter on the air for awhile during Hurricane Betsy, sitting atop the Hibernia Bank building in New Orleans.

The sobriquet stuck, and it became my CB handle when driving TV Mobile units, and even today it is proudly my nickname. And The DuMont Network is my dba for my Subchapter S corporation.

I did quite a lot of research on Dr. Allen Balcom DuMont and his accomplishments before and after the DuMont Network. I've visited his gravesite and the the sites of his manufactories, from the Passaic pickle works he bought for the glassmaking machinery (for picture tubes), to the transmitter division and several others in he area. The original WABD-TV studios (CH 5 in New York) are now the New York home of FOX, descended from DuMont to Metropolitan Broadcasting, to Metromedia, to FOX. Last I looked, the tower he built is still atop the Madison Avenue HQ.

Dr. DuMont was quite a special fellow, and I'm tickled to hear when people remember his name. There's a plethora of information on the Internet, just Google Allen B DuMont or The DuMont Network. And look up the DuMont Telecruiser. It has actually survived, was the first TV mobile unit in Dallas in 1948. I actually worked in it during coverage of the Kennedy assassination aftermath.

To get to your question, am I related to ABD? Alas, no. But I sure wish I were.

-- Doc
drdumont.webs.com
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
8
Location
Pacific Northwest
I'm 63, and a community mental health case manager. I live in a small rural community along the Columbia River in WA state. Love all modes of transport; driving, flying... but trains are the best. As a youth I first boarded the IC from Chicago to Springfield IL, and later at the beginning of Amtrak rode on the old Santa Fe bi-level to Flagstaff on part of two different Grand Canyon hiking adventures. Rode the old Shawnee (now the Saluki and Illini) and City of New Orleans back and forth to college in Carbondale more times than I can remember. Made the trip on the Chief from Albuquerque to Chicago in 2006... that was my last trip on coach. Did my first sleeper trip in 2016 from Tuscon to Chicago on Texas Eagle and then back to Seattle on the Empire Builder, that really sold me on the creature comfort of the roomette, even if I was in the upper berth. Headed to Chicago next week on the Empire Builder. btw, my profile pic was taken out the back window of the Texas Eagle in southern Arizona.
 

Barb Stout

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
477
I'm 72, Broadcast Engineer since 1963. 45 years on the road overseas and domestic. Televised everything from open heart surgery to cockfights, news, sports, political conventions, Monday Night Football,
World Series, Super Bowls as Engineering Supervisor. Designed, built, operated, maintained, drove TV mobile units big and small. Beat The Widowmaker three times, just got my 4th stent three days ago Guess I might think about slowing down. NOT!
From a railroading family, "drove" my first Diesel switcher when I was 8. I'm indeed an unrepentant Foamer, but a well behaved, housebroken Foamer. When I was traveling, I took Amtrak whenever possible, sometimes incurring the wrath of my employers, who didn't get a rakeoff from rail travel. Indeed, it cost me one job, even though the railfare was cheaper.
Only missing the Empire Builder, California Zephyr from Oakland to Denver, and the City of New Orleans to complete my bag. Hoping to remedy that this Summer.
Commuted FTW-AUS weekly for two years.
Favorite stressbreaker - a trip to Nowhere, like FTW-Springfield-FTW. Arrive in the morning, do the tourist and bookstore thing, then back on the train that afternoon and back in FTW the next day in time for work.
I'm maintenance supervisor for a TV/Radio complex in Dallas - 2 TV transmitter sites, 5 Radio transmitter sites, and a Downtown studio system.
Goal: DAL-LAX-SEA-CHI-NYP-TPA-X-MIA-GRO-NOL-DAL
I'm not crazy, I'm colorful!
What do you mean about "incurring the wrath of my employers, who didn't get a rakeoff from rail travel" ?
 

Willbridge

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
461
Location
Denver
Here's the description for the Trip Report forum: "Post your rail-associated travelogues and trip reports in this forum. All reports with at least some rail involvement are welcome, whether that rail is Amtrak or not."

And I live way, way outside the freeway corridors, so I end up using the little rural buses of Oregon to get to Amtrak (@Chemult) or the Willamette Valley. You can find all those alternatives on the Tripcheck website under the "Transit & More" tab. I love our little Grant County People Mover that goes to Bend three times a week (and connects with the Amtrak shuttle to CMO).
Ran across your post and it gave me a smile. I worked on getting the rural bus service and what became the Chemult stop going while at ODOT in 1971-76. The 'vast' transit staff when I joined after three years in the Army was an administrator, administrative assistant and 50% of my time. And there were lobbyists and legislators who thought that was too much! Other good people, some of whom I've met, resumed work on these services after new governors threw up roadblocks over the years.

For non-Oregonians reading this, the Chemult stop was inserted into what had been one of the longest non-stop Amtrak segments (KFS-EUG). It began as a proposal to add a x-country ski and lake oriented stop at nearby Crescent Lake, primarily to build up mid-winter patronage on Trains 11/14. There still is occasional discussion of running a Talgo (?) on the former Shasta Daylight pattern, with a stop at Cresent Lake.
 
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