It gives me a measure of pleasure to inform everybody who reads this thread - both of you - that planning for the Patrick & Alice RailRiot 2009 is virtually complete. Now all I have to do is keep Alice's wheelchair pointed right. Kinda like a shopping cart with a bum wheel, she always wants to wander off in a different direction.
When the above was posted it was essentially true. Planning is different from locking in reservations, however, and I'm now pleased to report that all Amtrak travel for the Patrick & Alice RailRiot 2009 is accounted for and reserved.
We had originally planned to hold off reserving the ride from Altoona to Boston for the Gathering, and the ride from New York to Philadelphia for riding behind steam at Strasburg, PA before continuing south to Atlanta on the Crescent. Concern over rising fares caused us to make reservations now.
All RailRiot lodging is in place, though there was a brief scare when the hotel reservation at Boston for the Gathering didn't show up online. A quick call confirmed that all is well.
What remain to be arranged are car rentals at Altoona, Philly, and Atlanta.
On the RailRiot transit front, Alice needs to apply to the MBTA and NYC Transit (possibly SEPTA, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and Chicago as well) to be approved for reduced fare programs. She has questioned the cost/benefit ratio of jumping through application hoops, but it appears that very substantial savings could be in store for making the effort. It's up to her, but I hope she'll go through the various agency processes and tell us about it in order to inform other AU members with similar concerns.