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drdumont

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Messages
278
Location
The Great (and may I add) SOVEREIGN State of TEXAS
What do you mean about "incurring the wrath of my employers, who didn't get a rakeoff from rail travel" ?
Don't know if I answered this, so here goes (maybe again) -
The manager who inherited me on purchase of my previous employer never particularly liked independent thinkers. I steadfastly refuse to ride in a center seat, on Continental Airlines, on any Airbus, nor would I drive Asian branded rental cars. Still don't.
(I have over 8 Million miles on American Airlines alone, and of course, seldom rode in Steerage).
Many times I could find a better airfare and less hours in travel, but the Corporate Travel Agent tried to book me on unsuitable flights, and steadfastly refused to book AMTRAK ("Our computers won't book AMTRAK"). My manager always had First Class upgrade coupons and was driving a leased car courtesy of the Travel Agency.
When I was assigned somewhere, and wished to ride AMTRAK or my airline/airport choice, I would make up any difference in airfare, and of course did not claim the hours for travel other than what their airline would incur.
It came to a head one day, and in the course of a heated conversation, he hung up on me, after speaking uncivilly about the marital status of my parents, and horrifyingly insulted my sainted mother. I called the competition and within an hour was hired over the phone at a better rate and no problems with travel arrangements ("You're a professional - you know how to do your job, we're not nannies or travel agents").
I wanted to invite the other guy to micturate along a given length of woven sisal, but my better breeding prevailed, so I FEDEXed my keys, credentials and other paraphernalia including a recording of his remarks vis a vis my mother, and resigned instanter. The CEO of the company was not amused, nor their attorney.
I AMTRAKED to my first assignment the next day, found the keys to the mobile unit (which I had never seen) in the standard hiding place, and engineered a 12 camera two network three language soccer match series over the next 3 days. Worked for them until they got bought.

Oh yeah - The other company sent me a letter of apology, and asked if I would care to reconsider. Nice of them. The other guy was gone for good.

Final note - I will retire (After 57 years) on 3 January 2021. I have three AMTRAK routes to go, and my Tesla wants to stretch its legs. First trip planned - DFW-LaPlata via Tesla, then the Chief to LAX, LAX-EMY, EMY-GBB, GBB-LAP, then LAP-DFW via Tesla. Took my daughter and granddaughter DFW-CHI-LAX-DFW, now there are two more Foamers in the house, and my wife wants to go, too.

Yeah, I take travel seriously. And am an unrepentant Foamer.
 

drdumont

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Messages
278
Location
The Great (and may I add) SOVEREIGN State of TEXAS
As a fellow newbie, and former Broadcast Engineer and Manager, let me extend the same warm welcome I've received here. If we ever meet up we'd certainly have a lot to talk about!
I guess the stents worked, I'm still here. Pulling the plug on 3 January after 57 years in the bidness. It's just too hard to have fun in broadcasting anymore.
Created monsters - daughter, granddaughter and wife now Foamers. And bought a couple of Teslas, so we have trips planned including both means of travel.
 

danasgoodstuff

Train Attendant
Joined
Jun 23, 2021
Messages
92
Location
PDX
My user name is a play on words on my name. I also use it on a couple of music related places on the web. Sax player and big music fan. Recently retired library worker. former resident of Saskatchewan. My dad was a big rail fan and it's a recently reawakened interest of mine. Old enuff to remember riding the train pre-Amtrak, CNR pre-VIA, and both Amtrak and VIA Rail a little. Some rail in Europe including the TGV. Hoping to take a long journey by rail some time soon.
 

jiml

Engineer
AU Supporter
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
3,695
Location
Somewhere in Southern Ontario
I guess the stents worked, I'm still here. Pulling the plug on 3 January after 57 years in the bidness. It's just too hard to have fun in broadcasting anymore.
Created monsters - daughter, granddaughter and wife now Foamers. And bought a couple of Teslas, so we have trips planned including both means of travel.
Congratulations on your retirement. I saw a picture of an Ampex VR-2000 the other day, which brought back a lot of memories of the "fun" part.
 

drdumont

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Messages
278
Location
The Great (and may I add) SOVEREIGN State of TEXAS
Congratulations on your retirement. I saw a picture of an Ampex VR-2000 the other day, which brought back a lot of memories of the "fun" part.
Intersyncs, Head equalizing probes, the whine of the headwheel, rassling those monsters in and out of mobile units... Yeah, those were fun days. But, like firing a steam engine or rebuilding a Diesel power unit, the end product was a thing of beauty and a joy to behold, and for some strange reason, I miss them.

And now back to rebooting computers to fix problems. For another 188 days, but who's counting?
 

jiml

Engineer
AU Supporter
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
3,695
Location
Somewhere in Southern Ontario
Intersyncs, Head equalizing probes, the whine of the headwheel, rassling those monsters in and out of mobile units... Yeah, those were fun days. But, like firing a steam engine or rebuilding a Diesel power unit, the end product was a thing of beauty and a joy to behold, and for some strange reason, I miss them.

And now back to rebooting computers to fix problems. For another 188 days, but who's counting?
We used 1200C's in mobiles until they were replaced by Sony 1-inch.
 

drdumont

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Messages
278
Location
The Great (and may I add) SOVEREIGN State of TEXAS
I had 2000s in the semis, and 1200s in the smaller units. One had a Velocity Comp and the editor. When I ralized how dumb that was, I moved the VelComp to the other machine. Reminded me of Hercules and the Augean Stables. Also modified the Intersyncs so you could set the whole unit up with the meter. Took ages to find a 20 position rotary switch. Even Al Sturm, the Ampex Service guy loved that part.
Mobile Color, Inc, ABC News/Sports, NMT. When I wasn't driving a unit, I took AMTRAK whenever possible.
1624898131025.png
My pal Lurch - 42 states, over 300K miles. Requiescat In Pace, old friend.
2 VR-1200s, 6 PC-70s, HS-100, Homemade switcher and audio console.
And a Vidifont, yet. CAT 350 with Jake, 5 speed and Georgia Overdrive.
Many, many ball games, live events, even a Pepsi (yuk) Challenge.
WHITHER DOC? - And yes, there IS a railroad connection!
 

Keith1951

Train Attendant
Joined
Jun 29, 2021
Messages
16
Location
44132
Hello, I just signed up with Amtrak Unlimited Discussion yesterday, June 29,2021. The reason was I wanted to find out what happened to the route guides and schedules I used to see on the website. I know now, I have been told its Amtraks stupidity...not my words. I am a 69 year old retired man from Ohio. I along with my wife (65) started riding Amtrak back in 2015 and have kept riding every year. We always take a trip every year, we ride the rails to our destination then fly back home at the end of the vacation. We road coach ONE time and that was enough, now we only get a bedroom because its convenient having a private bathroom / shower. So far we have ridden the Lakeshore Limited a few times, Silver Star & Meteor twice each, Coast Starlight once and Texas Eagle once. We skipped last year for the obvious reason. We are booked on the California Zephyr for 2022. Riding Amtrak to us is a vacation in itself. Two things I wish Amtrak would do is put bathrooms in the superliner roomettes and put some type of lock on the sleeper rooms. We had an issue once when we went to dinner and came back and someone had our door open. They said they thought it was their room, but I didnt believe that. Overall, I like riding Amtrak and will continue to do so.
 

PaTrainFan

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
412
Location
Pittsburgh, Pa.
Hello, I just signed up with Amtrak Unlimited Discussion yesterday, June 29,2021. The reason was I wanted to find out what happened to the route guides and schedules I used to see on the website. I know now, I have been told its Amtraks stupidity...not my words. I am a 69 year old retired man from Ohio. I along with my wife (65) started riding Amtrak back in 2015 and have kept riding every year. We always take a trip every year, we ride the rails to our destination then fly back home at the end of the vacation. We road coach ONE time and that was enough, now we only get a bedroom because its convenient having a private bathroom / shower. So far we have ridden the Lakeshore Limited a few times, Silver Star & Meteor twice each, Coast Starlight once and Texas Eagle once. We skipped last year for the obvious reason. We are booked on the California Zephyr for 2022. Riding Amtrak to us is a vacation in itself. Two things I wish Amtrak would do is put bathrooms in the superliner roomettes and put some type of lock on the sleeper rooms. We had an issue once when we went to dinner and came back and someone had our door open. They said they thought it was their room, but I didnt believe that. Overall, I like riding Amtrak and will continue to do so.
Welcome to the forum. You'll gain a lot of knowledge and (for the most part) enjoy the interaction with (mostly) like minds. Amtrak isn't going to do any major overhauls of Superliners, and is just now doing superficial upgrades. In the current configuration, as I'm sure you noticed, it would be impossible to add bathrooms to the roomettes as they are tight enough for two people. Not to mention, the toilets in the original Viewliners were panned by many and not included in the new Viewliners IIs.

Locks would be nice, but interestingly in all my years (30+) of riding Amtrak I have never heard of any widespread security issues in the sleepers. Which is not to say there haven't been occasional problems, yours nothwithstanding, but I am amazed how "safe" it is. Bit it always makes sense to take valuables with you when you go to the loungs or diner. But obviously you are very secure when you're in the room as that locking mechanism seems to work well. You'll love the Zephyr, arguably the best Amtrak ride of them all!
 

Keith1951

Train Attendant
Joined
Jun 29, 2021
Messages
16
Location
44132
Welcome to the forum. You'll gain a lot of knowledge and (for the most part) enjoy the interaction with (mostly) like minds. Amtrak isn't going to do any major overhauls of Superliners, and is just now doing superficial upgrades. In the current configuration, as I'm sure you noticed, it would be impossible to add bathrooms to the roomettes as they are tight enough for two people. Not to mention, the toilets in the original Viewliners were panned by many and not included in the new Viewliners IIs.

Locks would be nice, but interestingly in all my years (30+) of riding Amtrak I have never heard of any widespread security issues in the sleepers. Which is not to say there haven't been occasional problems, yours nothwithstanding, but I am amazed how "safe" it is. Bit it always makes sense to take valuables with you when you go to the loungs or diner. But obviously you are very secure when you're in the room as that locking mechanism seems to work well. You'll love the Zephyr, arguably the best Amtrak ride of them all!
Thank you
 

barskin

AU Supporter
Joined
Jul 15, 2021
Messages
3
Location
Boston
Hi. I'm barskin - this is the first syllable of my first name and the last syllable of my last name. I am going to be taking, alone, my first big train trip in a long, long time, Boston to San Antonio on the LSL (in a roomette) and the TE (in a bedroom). I hope you won't mind if I pester you with questions.
 

pennyk

50 year Amtrak Rider
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
11,171
Location
Orlando, FL
Hi. I'm barskin - this is the first syllable of my first name and the last syllable of my last name. I am going to be taking, alone, my first big train trip in a long, long time, Boston to San Antonio on the LSL (in a roomette) and the TE (in a bedroom). I hope you won't mind if I pester you with questions.
Welcome to AU.
 

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
23,160
Location
Austin Texas
Hi. I'm barskin - this is the first syllable of my first name and the last syllable of my last name. I am going to be taking, alone, my first big train trip in a long, long time, Boston to San Antonio on the LSL (in a roomette) and the TE (in a bedroom). I hope you won't mind if I pester you with questions.
Welcome to AU.

Well be glad to help you with your questions, but please read the Trip
Reports and Multiple threads on AU, especially the Forum with tips for First time Riders!
 

oregon pioneer

Engineer
Joined
Feb 15, 2011
Messages
2,402
Location
near Seneca, Oregon
Hi. I'm barskin - this is the first syllable of my first name and the last syllable of my last name. I am going to be taking, alone, my first big train trip in a long, long time, Boston to San Antonio on the LSL (in a roomette) and the TE (in a bedroom). I hope you won't mind if I pester you with questions.
Welcome, and don't worry about asking too many questions. There are no stupid questions right now, as everything changes frequently in the Time of Covid. I've ridden Amtrak quite a bit, but I am sure for my next trip (hopefully next winter) I will have questions about what has changed since the Before Times. I'm originally from New England, so the terminus of my trip is usually in the Boston area (BBY, BOS, or RTE) where family meets me.
westbound18a.jpg
 

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
23,160
Location
Austin Texas
Hi, I'm a travel blogger from Himachal (a state in northern India).
Welcome, we have folks from all over the World on AU including several members from India, and those who love to visitvIndia and ride the Trains!

Hopefully India will soon become Safer to visit and the Indian people can get Vaccinated and return to daily Life!
 

JontyMort

Service Attendant
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
122
Location
United Kingdom
I‘ve been posting for a few months, so I probably should rectify the omission of who I am. In the infancy of the internet, I remember reading some wise advice: never post anything on the web that you wouldn’t be happy to see on your boss’s desk, your mother’s coffee table, or the front page of your local newspaper. To back up the advice, I usually post in a very thinly veiled version of my real name - which is Jonathan Morton. I’m a real estate lawyer from Worcester in England (working - when not working from home - in Birmingham), and trying to keep out of mischief before retirement. The interest in things Amtrak stems from planning a long sabbatical trip in the US and Canada, supposed to be happening later this year. But I’m reasonably sound on railway stuff in Britain, and normally do as much train travel as I can.
 

PVD

Engineer
AU Supporter
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
5,664
Location
NYC/Queens
Welcome, we have a few wonderful members from England, and they have many interesting perspectives and visits under their belts...
 
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