diagrua, I thought I was a train traveler, You are really a train traveler much more than me.
Yes we are dedicated train travelers. We avoid flying at all costs and don't miss the stressful, congested, dirty, crowded atmosphere of the airport terminals. When I worked for Raytheon and in the electronic industry for years I was on a business trip just about every other week. I spent weeks in Silicon Valley, in the Midwest and South. Even in first class air that I took most of the time they still stuffed over 100 people in a small pressurized space all breathing the same air. That got old in a hurry.
When we start our train trips we arrive at 30th st station check our baggage (never any lines) then go to the lounge for refreshments to await our departure. A few minutes before the train arrives the station master takes us down to the platform in an elevator where its never crowded We board our train, go to our room and wait to be called for breakfast. When we arrive in Chicago the next morning, the process repeats itself. While we await boarding our next train West we usually have a four hour layover where we walk out of Union Station and over to Greektown for an excellent lunch. Its only a 5 block walk. Then after lunch we go back to the Metro lounge and wait to board the train West or to the Mid West.
We have been doing this for the past 15 years or so.
Living in the NE corridor I ride Amtrak quite often. Our nearest station in Newark Penn about 20 minutes away. My daughter lives in Williamsburg VA an NE corridor stop so I've often taken that train. Lately with COVID I take the Silver Star from Newark to Richmond in a roomette, son-in-law works near the station and picks me up. My brother lives in Lakeland FL a stop on the Silver Star and we're taken it many times, usually a bit late but not terrible compared to driving down. Food used to be great when they were still using the 1950's diners. Then they took them off and only had one cafe car for the entire train--what a disaster. We brought our own food for the trip. My wife found out about the handicapped bedrooms and that's the way we go now, need to book at least a month in advance. They've now got Viewliner diners and the food is terrible microwaved garbage. I understand they've improvede things on the west of Chicago trips, maybe there's hope for the Silver service. At 80 I'm not driving long trips here on the eastern seaboard. Even with the occasional late trains, bad food and etc we enjoy traveling by Amtrak.
From Philadelphia, my wife and I have taken many day trips to Boston to visit family. Also D.C. and NYC. We have taken 7 trips in roomettes to Ft.Lauderdale on the Silver Meteor and Silver Star, New Orleans on the Crescent, and the Sunset Limited to Phoenix. We flew home from these overnight trips. Some of these were free, since I have a Amtrak credit card. Usually we do not use the Acela unless it is heavily discounted. The best scenery of all? NYC to Boston.
I have taken train trips for ‘fun’ since the late 1960’s. (Since I was living in NY, my most frequent starting point was Penn Station. ) Since the 80’s, I have traveled to conferences using various airlines. A few years ago, I decided to use the train to travel to a conference in Savannah, GA. It brought back a lot of good memories. The Silver Star / Meteor had a good schedule from/to Baltimore – early morning / early evening departure/ arrival. On the way down, I boarded and used the dining car, then took my Roomette. I enjoy going to sleep to the rocking of the sleeper. (I don’t think we went above 80 mph – I used a phone app to measure.) Overall the experience was good; however, the dining service was not too bad – certainly different than what it was in the past. I particularly enjoy meeting and dining with others. I did the trip a second time with another good experience. When time permits, I’d like to do a Chicago to Pacific NW or the Southwest; second to that, from Baltimore to New Orleans. I’d like to hear more about your train trips. Alfred
I spoke to a friend today who told me about a 2- hour delay near Richmond, VA on the Silver Service he was riding on January 8. Evidently, the engineer became ill and was taken away by ambulance. There was another engineer on board; however, he was not certified to operate in VA. They had to wait for another engineer. They made it to Jacksonville, FL only an hour late. Alfred
When i was working and had to travel from NJ to DC, Baltimore or Boston, took amtrak all the time. Recently just for fun i took njtransit, amtrak and vre from my home to lorton va to visit my son. Will be taking amtrak to see him again in fayetteville before he leaves for ft levenworth. I wont be taking the train to kansas.
I used to ride Amtrak when my commuter railroad "VRE", would have a breakdown or something and all of us would be stranded, if not for Amtrak giving us a ride for $1 plus showing them our VRE ticket. Nice wide seats!
The last time I used Amtrak was about 3 years ago for a roundtrip. I took a roomette from Baltimore (6:11 PM dep) to Savannah (6:49 AM arr) on the Silver Meteor. It was a good trip, and the dining car food was not too bad. It was unlike other train trips I took in the 60s when the railroads could exceed the 79 mph speed limit. I also used to do a summertime commute between Baltimore and Greenbelt MD on the MARC commuter line, that was in the early 2000s. I did get to ride the Broadway Limited before the merger, and did get to go on short legs of the other big mid-western/ western trains - what was especially memorable was the dome car ride on the Empire Builder. Alfred
I love riding but my problem is time. As I get older I want to ride even more and again trying to find the time is a pain. Time is so precious. We are planning a trip for next year now. Of course the last time we planned a big train trip I got run over at a fire scene by an irate public "person" and now am handicapped. But hey at least I proved all the doctors wrong that kept telling me I should have been dead. I JUST WANT TO RIDE A TRAIN! I really do not care where I just love trains.