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Things to take with you


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#21 Eris

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 08:42 PM

I'm not a huge person, so this may differ for others, but I found that with the relatively low levels of activity on the train, and the high levels of too much food at mealtimes (especially actually eating breakfast, something I don't do often at home), I spend pretty much the entire trip feeling stuff and not touching much of the snacks we've brought. My kids eat more of the snacks, since they're more sensible eaters when faced with a plate of too much food in the dining car (they only eat what they're hungry for...), and so need to graze more than I seem to on the train.

Power strip in the sleeper is great- in the family bedroom I bring one with a really long power cable since the single outlet in that room is not convenient to anywhere in the room- I don't know where it is in the regular bedrooms or the HA bedroom (the outlet is, of course, extremely convenient in roomettes, since there's nowhere it could be that would be further than 3' from anywhere else in the room :-P ).

I've never had a problem with the pillows in the sleepers.

#22 Ham Radio

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 09:45 PM

It's all personal preference, but I carry a lightweight portable radio that covers AM/FM/shortwave bands, a small active receiving loop antenna with a suction cup for the roomette window and a set of headphones. It's nice to tune around local stations and at night pick up the world bands. Bungee cords are nice for securement of all types of gear.
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#23 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 10:37 PM

Oh, an essential device is a radio scanner. It really adds to the trip.
Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
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#24 George Harris

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 10:42 PM

A roll of toilet paper. That way you never have to worry about the place running out. (on some foreign trains it is a must. They do not provide any but expect the passenger to bring their own.

#25 D.P. Roberts

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 10:48 PM

I've compiled this list from various threads on this board:

1. A small flashlight for use at night or to see stuff dropped under seats
2. 3 or 4 large pins like the diaper pins or safety pins (this is to keep the curtains closed at night)
3. Some small snack packs for nibbling
4. A roll of transparent tape
5. A very small sewing kit and
6. A few Band-Aids
7. A few rubber bands
8. Moist towelettes.
9. Take along 12" or so of duct tape, wrapped around a ballpoint pen. Use the tape to silence any squeaky panels or fixtures inside your roomette. Bring even more, and some heavy folder-type paper, to cover excessive vents.
10. Wire - 16 or 18 gauge, to hold door shut
11. 3-prong extension cord
12. Instead of pjs, take lightweight knit pants and a t shirt to sleep in. Then if you get up during the night to use the bathroom you are for all purposes dressed.
13. A small bottle of water as there have been times in the past when they run out.
14. A route guide - that makes the trip more interesting.

This sounds like a lot of stuff, but it could easily fit into a quart or gallon-size bag.

Amtrak miles: 23,182
Routes traveled: Capitol Limited, California Zephyr, Lake Shore Limited, Southwest Chief, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Pacific Surfliner, and Silver Meteor.
 


#26 gmcguire

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 11:27 PM

Personally, I think a lot of this is overkill. However, there's a few things I like to have on a long distance trip.
1) Travel coffee mug (personal preference for minimizing waste coupled with copious beverage intake)
2) Bottle of wine or six pack of good beer (I'm not a fan of Amtrak's selection or prices)
3) Computer for work and DVD watching (+ DVDs, of course)
4) Two good books
5) Route guide
6) Pre-packaged window cleaning wipes (for windows and unfortunate uncleanliness)

On the last point, I like to take pictures from the doors on the first floor of the Superliner sleeper I'm in. 90% of the time I'm the only one there, it has nice windows on both sides that are easily cleaned inside and out, and no glare from sun in other windows (my one Sightseer Lounge complaint).

#27 amtrakwolverine

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 01:51 AM

Personally, I think a lot of this is overkill. However, there's a few things I like to have on a long distance trip.
1) Travel coffee mug (personal preference for minimizing waste coupled with copious beverage intake)
2) Bottle of wine or six pack of good beer (I'm not a fan of Amtrak's selection or prices)
3) Computer for work and DVD watching (+ DVDs, of course)
4) Two good books
5) Route guide
6) Pre-packaged window cleaning wipes (for windows and unfortunate uncleanliness)

On the last point, I like to take pictures from the doors on the first floor of the Superliner sleeper I'm in. 90% of the time I'm the only one there, it has nice windows on both sides that are easily cleaned inside and out, and no glare from sun in other windows (my one Sightseer Lounge complaint).


please note that unless you have a sleeper you CANNOT drink your own stash of booze

Private stock
You may bring aboard your own private stock of alcoholic beverages subject to the following limitations:

* You may consume private stock alcoholic beverages only in Sleeping Car accommodations for which you have a valid ticket.
* You may not consume private stock alcoholic beverages in any public areas.


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#28 Joel N. Weber II

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 04:02 AM

It's all personal preference, but I carry a lightweight portable radio that covers AM/FM/shortwave bands, a small active receiving loop antenna with a suction cup for the roomette window and a set of headphones. It's nice to tune around local stations and at night pick up the world bands. Bungee cords are nice for securement of all types of gear.


I know that if you're listening to a radio in a coach / business class / Acela Express first class seat or in a lounge or dining car you are required to use headphones if listening to a radio, DVD player, etc, but are you required to use headphones in a roomette?

#29 Chris J.

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 04:28 AM

I would add food to that list. and if you want cheap hot stuff get instant food (coffee, tea included) and a 1-cup hot water coil (get a good cup too).

peter

Why food if all my meals are included, is it that bad? :o


yes your meals are included but not your snacks.

peter


There's a coffee machine or pot in the sleeper car, or at least have been on the two i've been on. I didn't find any milk or sugar on the viewliner, tho maybe that was because I needed the coffee first to get my brain in gear :)

You'll need to go to the lounge or cafe car to get anything to munch tho, unless you bring it with you. I went down to get something to eat and got the coffee from my sleeper on the way back - this also avoids needing to carry a hot coffee through 3 or 4 cars on a moving train.
So far: Capitol Limited, Acela, Downeaster, Lake Shore Limited, Southwest Chief, San Joaquins, Coast Starlight (SAC-SEA)

#30 jackal

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 04:34 AM

I know that if you're listening to a radio in a coach / business class / Acela Express first class seat or in a lounge or dining car you are required to use headphones if listening to a radio, DVD player, etc, but are you required to use headphones in a roomette?

As long as the volume's not cranked up enough to disturb passengers at the opposite end of the next sleeping car, I think you'd be fine.

How soundproofed are the walls and doors of a bedroom or roomette, anyway?
Amtrak trains traveled: Acela Express, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Cardinal, Coast Starlight (and used to live next to its tracks!), Crescent, Empire Builder, Keystone, Northeast Regional, Pacific Surfliner, Pennsylvanian, San Joaquins...total mileage: 8,354 [massively out-of-date; to be updated soon!]
Other major trains traveled: Alaska Railroad (former TY&E employee), SNCF TGV (Paris-Poitiers, Paris-Dijon-Paris @300kph/187mph!) and TER (Beaune-Dijon), VR Sibelius (Helsinki-St. Petersburg-Helsinki), DB ICE (Stuttgart-Frankfurt Airport), Vietnam Railways Reunification Express (Hanoi-Hue-Saigon), CountryLink North Coast Line XPT (Sydney-Casino), Queensland Rail Sunlander (Brisbane-Proserpine-Cairns), Machu Picchu Train (Ollantaytambo-MP) subways/light rail/commuter rail/any other rail every place I can!
Coast Starlight trip report with Pacific Parlour Car dining menu
How Amtrak fare buckets and on-board upgrades work (a work in progress)

#31 PRR 60

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 05:54 AM

...How soundproofed are the walls and doors of a bedroom or roomette, anyway?

Not very.

#32 kt1i

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 06:23 AM

:angry:

YEAH, I could wrap one end around someting on the train, unwinding it and wrapping the other end around my waist while in the short stop stations, getting a coke.


Speaking of coke, I hope that you like Pepsi, because Amtrak has an exclusive contract with Pepsi. You won't find any Coke products on board, unless you've brought them with you.

I know we about got left on EB last year in western N. Dakota when I went in to the station in search of a Diet Coke. There wasn't any there either!!
GregL :lol:



Ya know, we all need to start thinking "PEPSI"
Back Me Up, Alan :)


Diet Pepsi is NOT Diet Coke!!!

#33 Bill Haithcoat

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 07:30 AM

I don't take any of that gadgetry (I would not know what to do with it anyway, I am an apartment dweller). iI I want to repair a room--assuming I know how which I do not--- I would stay home and do that !! But on the train, I am on vacation. Actual need for some of that would surely be quite rare.

What I do take are timetables and possibly some sort of route guide Of course I take info I might need as a tourist at the places I am visiting, such as Gray Line tour folders, etc. ,esp. if I am not yet completely sure what I will be doing at my destination(s).

FURTHER--I have my own unique idea for reading materials. Isntead of a good book or two I take magazines, etc flimsy things by my easy chair which I will be throwing away one day anyway and read that. Then throw them away, leaving my bags with more room to buy brand new souvenirs and such to bring back(an important part of any vacation).

Sometimes I drive from Atlanta to my hometown,Chattanooga and stay overnight in a hotel . When I do that, I grab up the "read later" junk by my easy chair and read it in the hotel that night,throwing it away one item at a time. The reading junk I allow to pile up. I usually do not bother with the TV in a strange town except for the late night and early morning news. I take a break from my usual shows.

All of my life I have heard about it being colder on the train at night......guess it must be.......everybody says so. I personally cannot really testify to that.

#34 wisEBfan

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 11:07 AM

I've compiled this list from various threads on this board:

2. 3 or 4 large pins like the diaper pins or safety pins (this is to keep the curtains closed at night)

An excellent list. With regard to item #2: I have found that large binder clips (available at any office supply store) are easy to use for this purpose. They can quickly be attached and removed, which is handy if one wishes to try some night time photography/video.

#35 MStrain

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 11:51 AM

I don't take any of that gadgetry (I would not know what to do with it anyway, I am an apartment dweller). iI I want to repair a room--assuming I know how which I do not--- I would stay home and do that !! But on the train, I am on vacation. Actual need for some of that would surely be quite rare.

What I do take are timetables and possibly some sort of route guide Of course I take info I might need as a tourist at the places I am visiting, such as Gray Line tour folders, etc. ,esp. if I am not yet completely sure what I will be doing at my destination(s).

FURTHER--I have my own unique idea for reading materials. Isntead of a good book or two I take magazines, etc flimsy things by my easy chair which I will be throwing away one day anyway and read that. Then throw them away, leaving my bags with more room to buy brand new souvenirs and such to bring back(an important part of any vacation).

Sometimes I drive from Atlanta to my hometown,Chattanooga and stay overnight in a hotel . When I do that, I grab up the "read later" junk by my easy chair and read it in the hotel that night,throwing it away one item at a time. The reading junk I allow to pile up. I usually do not bother with the TV in a strange town except for the late night and early morning news. I take a break from my usual shows.

All of my life I have heard about it being colder on the train at night......guess it must be.......everybody says so. I personally cannot really testify to that.



haha Bill! you sound like my favorite college history prof. He always wore tweed, smoked a pipe and his house, office and study was cluttered by piles of unread mail and catalogs, books, halfsmoked pipes and old maps. He would ride the train also. You weren't a prof in a former life huh???? :P

Edited by MStrain, 16 April 2008 - 11:52 AM.


#36 RailFanLNK

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 01:33 PM

I was told on this forum two years ago that "if" I would have brought my own toilet paper, that it wouldn't be the correct kind of biodegradeable toilet paper and that it would screw up the works. Is that true? I remembered reading about how an Amtrak train had ran out of water and toilet paper somewhere so I thought I would pack my own tp, someone scolded me for saying that. Is that still true?

I have travelled on the California Zephyr, Lakeshore Limited, Carolinian, Acela, Capital Limited, Southwest Chief, Pacific Surfliner, Missouri River Runners, Texas Eagle, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Hiawatha Service and the Cardinal.


#37 edding

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 02:19 PM

As an addicted hot tea drinker, how difficult is it to get hot water( I'll bring my own tea bags)? Or am I captive to tea from the diner at meals or from the cafe? Tea is always on my list of essentials.

Ed

#38 AlanB

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 02:39 PM

Getting hot water isn't usually too much of a problem, however I've seen comments from a few of our British members who don't think that Amtrak's water is hot enough to brew a proper pot of tea.
Alan,

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#39 jackal

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 03:20 PM

Getting hot water isn't usually too much of a problem, however I've seen comments from a few of our British members who don't think that Amtrak's water is hot enough to brew a proper pot of tea.

Maybe that's why AmCoffee usually tastes so bad! They probably start with not-hot-enough water, probably use too little coffee grounds (resulting in overextraction and a bitter taste), and then probably leave it on the burner for hours (sizzling, charring, and otherwise burning the coffee).

I sat next to the coffee/pastry area on a Surfliner business class car once and the sickly smell of sizzled coffee still sticks in my sniffer (sorry) to this day...it was pretty undrinkable, too...

Edited by jackal, 16 April 2008 - 03:21 PM.

Amtrak trains traveled: Acela Express, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Cardinal, Coast Starlight (and used to live next to its tracks!), Crescent, Empire Builder, Keystone, Northeast Regional, Pacific Surfliner, Pennsylvanian, San Joaquins...total mileage: 8,354 [massively out-of-date; to be updated soon!]
Other major trains traveled: Alaska Railroad (former TY&E employee), SNCF TGV (Paris-Poitiers, Paris-Dijon-Paris @300kph/187mph!) and TER (Beaune-Dijon), VR Sibelius (Helsinki-St. Petersburg-Helsinki), DB ICE (Stuttgart-Frankfurt Airport), Vietnam Railways Reunification Express (Hanoi-Hue-Saigon), CountryLink North Coast Line XPT (Sydney-Casino), Queensland Rail Sunlander (Brisbane-Proserpine-Cairns), Machu Picchu Train (Ollantaytambo-MP) subways/light rail/commuter rail/any other rail every place I can!
Coast Starlight trip report with Pacific Parlour Car dining menu
How Amtrak fare buckets and on-board upgrades work (a work in progress)

#40 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 03:33 PM

" probably use too little coffee grounds (resulting in overextraction and a bitter taste), and .."

For pete's sake, Amtrak ain't Starbucks.




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