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Travel & Vacations Family travel and vacation ideas, fun activities, movie night, game nights, plenty of ideas for fun and relaxation.

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 09-24-2002, 01:44 AM
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Train Lady

Hi again!

I hope you have fun. Email me when you get back and let me know how much fun you had. My address is
Love,

Leah
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2003, 10:29 AM
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Anyone taking a train trip this summer??!!

If so I would love to hear about it!!
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Old 01-11-2006, 07:59 PM
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Have you ever travelled by train?
Where did you go?



Where would you like to go?
I have ridden almost every route. I took one trip last year to Illinois with a stop in texas. I STILL want to go to New York!!

hugs, train
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Old 01-17-2006, 07:34 AM
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My one and only trip by amtrak , was last summer. Left n/e part of MT , ending up in Seattle, had a good trip going out, but was a bit dissapointed in the return, the car I was in was so warm, wanted to open a window !!!!
But the good part of the trip, met 2 gals , one from WA the other from Illinois. We ate together, chatted and had a fun time the first day out of Seattle.

Had checked on fares to go to SanDiego this Feb , but on the return trip I would have to take a bus for 11 hours , which I would not do.

Fares are cheap tho.

Joy
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Old 09-11-2006, 07:56 PM
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I am bumping this up for Ellenmelon!

Hugs, train
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 09-12-2006, 03:42 AM
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Thanks, Train!

When you said you don't travel light I am guessing that you get a berth/sleeping car and it is like a little hotel room for the trip?

I guess you don't have to switch rooms and pack and repack?

How many suitcases can you fit in a berth? What size are they?

Do you share with a stranger?

How secure are the locks on the doors?

Does Mark go with you?

Do you pack a 'steamer' trunk?

What is the lighting like? Can you read, knit, or do you need a focused light to bring with you?

Is there tv in the rooms, radio, what amenities?

How are the daily ablutions managed? Communal bathroom, you have your own sink and mirror, airplane style toilets?

Do you order your breakfast up each morning on the night before like in the hospital or is it a restaurant or a buffet?

Do they have doctors on the train?

Are any of the berths handicapped accessible?

I have soooo many questions!

Are the trains late because they have to give track preference to freight trains?

I just read that you travel by coach, does that mean you sleep sitting up?
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Old 09-12-2006, 03:14 PM
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Hi Ellen,
No, I travel by coach because, One, the sleeping cars are very pricey and two, I like being around other travellers.
I do bring lots of stuff with me though! Most goes up in the overhead so it is always accesible, the rest on the floor and on my table. I bring books, my bible, magazines, CD player, crossword, word search and Sudoko books, fleecy blanket, pillow, snacks, soda's and juices, camera, toiletries and comfy clothes,....... ie shorts and sweats for the train ride.


You are allowed two pieces of luggage, not to weigh over 50 pounds each. Backpacks, purses, cosmetic cases and the like do not count towards this weight. You can check in your additional big suitcases to your destination. Be sure to pack clothes for the train trip tho, and the toiletries/medications you will need while on board.
IF you get a sleeping car, the "roomettes" can fit two small tote bags. A "Family bedroom" can fit 2 to 3 small suitcases.
A "Superliner bedroom" can fit 2 suitcases.
Though sleeping cars are quite costly they do include your meals. I do not like dealing with the waiting lists for dinner, eating at a late time if the diner is full, etc, SO I prefer to carry on my own food and eat right there in my coach seat when I want to and whatever I want!! I DO enjoy one dinner on the train each way though!

No, you do not share rooms with a stranger, only yourself or family.

I can't speak on the safety of the locks on the doors since I sleep in coach. I've NEVER had a problem in Coach and I imagine the sleeping cars are VERY safe.

Mark has gone with me on several trips and he loves Amtrak..but not as much as me!! TEEHEEHEE!
The majority of my trips are to go visit girlfriends, OR were the many times we moved when Mark would fly to our new place and I would meet him there a few days later, via the train!!
I love traveling with my honey and, equally, I love solo travel. It's a time for quietness, enjoying the scenery, reflection, prayer (I've said some of my best prayers ever on my train!), sleep; reading and people watching!!

My "Steamer trunk" is my huge suitcase of clothes that I check in to arrive at my final destination.

The lighting is very good, whether in coach or a sleeper. You have an overhead light in coach that shines down only on your side so if your travel companion is sleeping the light will not bother them. I read a LOT on the train.

No TV or radio in the rooms. The rooms are VERY basic, basically a place to sleep. They are VERY small. I much prefer being out amongst the other travelers, with all my "stuff" right there in my coach seat!
Most people bring CD players to listen to music. Headphones are required though. There are 2 movies shown every night in the lounge car.

The bathrooms are shared. If you get a sleeping car there is a shower available.
As far as the communal bathrooms, I have found that ALL the women tend to want to clean up in the morning and the bathrooms are full with a line of women waiting to get in!
So, over the years, I have learned to go do my hair washing (which is quite an experience in itself but I have learned to manage pretty well with a dixie cup in one hand to rinse and my knees up against the wall for balance on a moving train!! ) around 3 in the afternoon!
Yes, it's quite a sight, LOL!!
But, at this time of day I have the bathroom to myself, the vanity and the bench to put out my fresh undies and socks and tee shirt for that day. Now, coach people do not have access to showers but let me just say, pampers wipes, the scented ones, are Wonderful on the train and they can be used Everywhere on the body!! I love the Lavender scented ones!! I go brush my teeth in the morning, but that's it, I let the other ladies have at it!!

The diner starts serving breakfast, on the long distance trains at 6 AM. The french toast is very good. There is a snack car on commuter trains and their food selections are quite good, breakfast sandwiches, muffins and the like. (A long distance train has BOTH a diner car and a snack car.) You go to breakfast in the morning and order right there, just like in a restaurant. Again, if you are a sleeping car passenger, your meals are free. You have selections from a small menu, nothing fancy, but it will fill your tummy. Again, I prefer the privacy of my coach seat and selection of my own favorite foods I bring with me, but that's just my prefernece

No, no Amtrak medical personnel on board.

Yes, in addition to the sleepers I mentioned above there is a superliner accessible bedroom as well. It accomodates two adults. A handicapped person who wants to travel coach would be on the bottom floor with a handicapped restroom available. (The bottom floor is reserved for handicapped and elderly who have difficulty with the stairs. All other coach seats are upstairs on the superliners.)
West coast trains are mostly superliners and east coast trains are mostly single level.

On the tardiness of the trains, yes, the freight trains own the tracks.
I always tell people If you are on a STRICT schedule and MUST be somewhere by a certain time then train travel is NOT for you. However, if you are on vacation and your friends are aware of your likelihood to be late, and you can just enjoy the scenery out your window, enjoy the company of other travelers and just enjoy BEING on the trian, then train travel IS for you!!
I have been riding the rails since, oh ,1981 I think was my first trip and I am just in love with the train. Most first time travelers are not aware of the fact Amtrak does not own the rails and we sit , many a time, in the middle of nowhere, waiting for a freight train to go by. Well, since, I love BEING on the train, I am not annoyed by this and I just laugh at the travelers who are getting all ruffled while I sit there in my seat enjoying my books, music, pepsi Ones!!

Well, I hope this helped!

Where are you thinking of traveling?
I can tell you the most scenic routes are the Coast Starlight and the Zephyr!

Hugs, train
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Old 09-13-2006, 06:33 AM
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I hadn't given a thought to where to go. DD2 took the train to NYC and loved it, even though they were held up by having to go slowly through some potentially flooded lowlands. She said it was very relaxing and roomier than a car so it was comfortable. It took about the same travel time but had more connections on and off.

The only trains I have been on are repeatedly the Paoli Local for the day into the city in Philadelphia to see the sights, and some old trains (historic) like the one that used to go over the Pa Kinzua Bridge, the cog railway up Colroado's Pike's Peak, and the narrow gauge coal fired open coach train at Orbisonia, the East Broad Top rail.

My dds and I talk about travelling together. We are thinking of a trip to Italy next summer but how to afford it with college looming that fall. Maybe dd1 will want to take a gap year and work and dd2 will take a semester and homeschool so we can go? Well, that would be a reach but it sure sounds nice.

I wonder if trains in Europe are so different from the ones in the states?

This fall they are running the train from central Pa to Renovo PA for the Fall Flaming Foliage Festival and I think it would be neat to go on that one.

Oh yes, we have a local train the Bellefonte Rail, that runs a Santa Train each Christmas and our family has been on that one too. It was very nice to see all the backyards lit up with twinkle lights and then we were served hot chocolate at the turn around.
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Old 09-14-2006, 02:13 PM
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You could do a circle trip of the western USA! (The western routes have spectacular scenery AND Superliners!!)

State College to Piitsburgh;
Pittsburgh to Chicago;
The Zephyr to San Francisco which is an AWESOME place to visit and the scenery on the Zephy remarkable!
Then the Coast Starlight up to Seattle which is another beautiful place to visit!
Then the Empire builder , thru the topmost northern states, back to Chicago!

That would be an awesome trip IF you were in the frame of mind that I mentioned in above post!!
Can't speak on the trains in Europe, but in MHO, a train ride is good for the soul ANYWHERE!!

hugs, train
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Old 09-14-2006, 07:26 PM
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wow, that sounds neat!

How many stops do the superliners make on such a round trip, or on one leg of the trip? How often do they stop?

Can you open the windows?

Can you stay a day or so over in one of the destination towns or is the ticket reserved ahead and must be adhered to?

How many days would such a trip be?
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