Jump to content




Photo

Christmas on the Coast Starlight


27 replies to this topic

#1 CHamilton

CHamilton

    Engineer

  • Committee Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,648 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle

Posted 25 December 2011 - 05:15 PM

It's been a quiet journey so far. I got on in Seattle this morning, and we're in Portland as I write this, on time. As I mentioned in another thread, the train isn't crowded and the crew seems to be in a good mood. Someone hooked up the Sirius XM Frank Sinatra channel into the intercom, so we've been hearing holiday songs throughout the trip. There are colored lights in the my sleeping and in the diner. Our SCA Cindy has been very solicitous, even though she's been running around a lot; she got volunteered into taking lunch reservations.

Apparently lots more people are getting on in Portland, although the three sleepers plus transdorm don't seem to be full. My lunch companions were able to do an onboard upgrade to a bedroom.

Lunch was pretty good. I had a seafood stew special that tasted better than it looked. Tried a new dessert I hadn't seen before: key lime cake, which was quite nice.

The wifi isn't working. Otherwise, the train is in good shape. I'm in a refurbished Superliner I.

Edited by CHamilton, 26 December 2011 - 08:25 PM.

Amtrak can be better! Tell your local, state and national elected officials to support a more robust rail system. Join NARP and your local rail advocacy organization.
Where you'll find my posts: // All Aboard Washington (websiteFacebook) // Amtrak Unlimited Forum Group (Facebook) // Grow Trains (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Restore the Pioneer Train (website, Facebook, Twitter) // Save the Seattle Waterfront Streetcar (Again) (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Transit Riders of Puget Sound (Facebook) // Trains on FB (Facebook) // My Random Twitter Musings @HamiltonChas


#2 CHamilton

CHamilton

    Engineer

  • Committee Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,648 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle

Posted 25 December 2011 - 05:20 PM

Sorry about the typos, I am trying to use the mobile version of the site, which apparently doesn't allow editing. I might drag out the laptop later, but am enjoying relaxing now, and the laptop is too much like work. Merry Christmas!

Amtrak can be better! Tell your local, state and national elected officials to support a more robust rail system. Join NARP and your local rail advocacy organization.
Where you'll find my posts: // All Aboard Washington (websiteFacebook) // Amtrak Unlimited Forum Group (Facebook) // Grow Trains (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Restore the Pioneer Train (website, Facebook, Twitter) // Save the Seattle Waterfront Streetcar (Again) (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Transit Riders of Puget Sound (Facebook) // Trains on FB (Facebook) // My Random Twitter Musings @HamiltonChas


#3 CHamilton

CHamilton

    Engineer

  • Committee Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,648 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle

Posted 25 December 2011 - 06:04 PM

The SCA tells me that the sleepers are in fact full, and many will turn over again tomorrow. She says that it's reasonably calm today, but they'll be slammed tomorrow.

Amtrak can be better! Tell your local, state and national elected officials to support a more robust rail system. Join NARP and your local rail advocacy organization.
Where you'll find my posts: // All Aboard Washington (websiteFacebook) // Amtrak Unlimited Forum Group (Facebook) // Grow Trains (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Restore the Pioneer Train (website, Facebook, Twitter) // Save the Seattle Waterfront Streetcar (Again) (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Transit Riders of Puget Sound (Facebook) // Trains on FB (Facebook) // My Random Twitter Musings @HamiltonChas


#4 Rail Freak

Rail Freak

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,023 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tampa Bay, Florida
  • Interests:Experiencing the country by RAIL!!!
    U.S. & Native American History

Posted 25 December 2011 - 07:19 PM

If you're It's been a quiet journey so far. I got on in Seattle this morning, and we', re in Portland as I write this, on time. As I mentioned in another thread, the train isn't crowded and the crew seems to be in a good mood. Someone hooked up the Sirius XM Frank Sinatra channel into the intercom, so we've been hearing holiday songs throughout the trip. There are colored lights in the my sleeping and in the diner. Our SCA Cindy has been very solicitous, even though she's been running around a lot ; she got volunteered into taking lunch reservations.

Apparently lots more people are getting on in Portland, although the three sleepers plus transdorm don't seem to be full. My lunch companions were able to do an onboard upgrade to a bedroom.

Lunch was pretty good. I had a seafood stew special that tasted better than it looked. Tried a new dessert I hadn't seen before : key lime cake, which was quite nice.

The wifi isn't working. Otherwise, the train is in good shape. I'm in a refurbished Superliner I.


Last month, while on #11, the Wi-Fi worked in the Theatre Downstairs of the PPC! BTW, the intercom music is a nice touch in the PPC!!!
RF

Edited by Rail Freak, 25 December 2011 - 07:21 PM.

A Rookie No More! But Still A Lot Of Track To Travel !!!
Silver Meteor #97(5) & #98 (4), Silver Star #91 (2), Capitol Limited #29 & #30(4), Empire Builder #7,#8,#27(2) &#28(4) Coast Starlight #11 (6) & #14(5), California Zephyr #5 (2) & #6 (5), Cascades #506, City of New Orleans #58 (1) #59 (2), South West Chief #3 (3), Lake Shore Limited #49, Maple Leaf #63 San Joaquin #714, Pacific Surfliner #774, Texas Eagle #422, Cardinal #50, Crescent #19, Sunset Limited #1. Approx. 55,730 miles & 41 states!

HAVE FUN


#5 gswager

gswager

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,635 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portales, NM
  • Interests:mountain recreations, scuba diving, Christian,

Posted 25 December 2011 - 08:19 PM

Wi-Fi reception has the strongest signal in TV room of PPC car when I checked it out last October.
Entire length in segments- Southwest Chief (LSV-LAX & CHI-LSV), Pacific Surfliner (SLO-LAX & LAX-SAN) & San Joaquin (Oakland stub)
Entire length, end to end- Lake Shore Limited (Boston stub) (11/09), Downeaster (11/09) & Coast Starlight (10/11)
Partial- California Zephyr (SLC-EMY), Hiawatha, Cascades (SEA-PDX) & Acela (BOS-PVD)

#6 CHamilton

CHamilton

    Engineer

  • Committee Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,648 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle

Posted 26 December 2011 - 09:07 AM

Apparently the PPC we have was a last minute substitution, and wifi hasn't been installed in it yet. But otherwise we're doing fine. We arrived in Sacramento over an hour early, and we're waiting in the station now. Bet the people on the 5:40 Capitol Corridor train were surprised to see us!

I had the turkey for dinner last night and it was yummy. Ate with a grandma and her granddaughter on the way to Disneyland. The little one is having a great time on her first train trip. Also joining us at Eugene was a grandmother who had trained up from LA only a few hours previously, only to turn around and catch 11. She said she was escaping dysfunctional family holidays, but maybe she's just a foamer!

Amtrak can be better! Tell your local, state and national elected officials to support a more robust rail system. Join NARP and your local rail advocacy organization.
Where you'll find my posts: // All Aboard Washington (websiteFacebook) // Amtrak Unlimited Forum Group (Facebook) // Grow Trains (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Restore the Pioneer Train (website, Facebook, Twitter) // Save the Seattle Waterfront Streetcar (Again) (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Transit Riders of Puget Sound (Facebook) // Trains on FB (Facebook) // My Random Twitter Musings @HamiltonChas


#7 CHamilton

CHamilton

    Engineer

  • Committee Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,648 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle

Posted 26 December 2011 - 08:30 PM

I've posted a trip photo album that's a work in progress. Also some more photos of riding San Francisco's F-Market trolley today. Well, what did you expect me to be doing if I'm not on Amtrak??

Amtrak can be better! Tell your local, state and national elected officials to support a more robust rail system. Join NARP and your local rail advocacy organization.
Where you'll find my posts: // All Aboard Washington (websiteFacebook) // Amtrak Unlimited Forum Group (Facebook) // Grow Trains (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Restore the Pioneer Train (website, Facebook, Twitter) // Save the Seattle Waterfront Streetcar (Again) (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Transit Riders of Puget Sound (Facebook) // Trains on FB (Facebook) // My Random Twitter Musings @HamiltonChas


#8 CHamilton

CHamilton

    Engineer

  • Committee Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,648 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle

Posted 28 December 2011 - 01:09 PM

Back on the Starlight southbound this morning after a couple of very pleasant days in San Francisco, seeing friends and riding trolleys and ferries. Weather is bright and clear, if a bit cold.

This train is also decked out in Christmas lights, and the crew seems to be still enjoying the holidays. I decided to upgrade to a roomette for the PPC, the wine tasting, and the three meals, but I didn't wait to do an onboard upgrade, figuring that by the time the paperwork was done. I might miss breakfast. So I paid more than I would have liked for a transdorm roomette, but I don't plan to spend much time there.

We're on time leaving San Jose.

Amtrak can be better! Tell your local, state and national elected officials to support a more robust rail system. Join NARP and your local rail advocacy organization.
Where you'll find my posts: // All Aboard Washington (websiteFacebook) // Amtrak Unlimited Forum Group (Facebook) // Grow Trains (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Restore the Pioneer Train (website, Facebook, Twitter) // Save the Seattle Waterfront Streetcar (Again) (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Transit Riders of Puget Sound (Facebook) // Trains on FB (Facebook) // My Random Twitter Musings @HamiltonChas


#9 CHamilton

CHamilton

    Engineer

  • Committee Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,648 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle

Posted 29 December 2011 - 12:22 PM

Remainder of yesterday's CS trip was very pleasant. Glad I sprung for the roomette upgrade, as I got three meals and a wine and cheese tasting. Spent almost all of the time in the PPC. Beautiful sunset over the ocean, photos to come. Checked in at a nice little inn in Santa Barbara, but got up early today to take a day trip to San Diego on the Surfliner. Great sunrise this morning, and more spectacular beach views between SBA and Ventura.

Saw a Cascades engine go by at Chatsworth, zoomed past too quickly to see which one.

Amtrak can be better! Tell your local, state and national elected officials to support a more robust rail system. Join NARP and your local rail advocacy organization.
Where you'll find my posts: // All Aboard Washington (websiteFacebook) // Amtrak Unlimited Forum Group (Facebook) // Grow Trains (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Restore the Pioneer Train (website, Facebook, Twitter) // Save the Seattle Waterfront Streetcar (Again) (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Transit Riders of Puget Sound (Facebook) // Trains on FB (Facebook) // My Random Twitter Musings @HamiltonChas


#10 Rail Freak

Rail Freak

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,023 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tampa Bay, Florida
  • Interests:Experiencing the country by RAIL!!!
    U.S. & Native American History

Posted 29 December 2011 - 07:00 PM

Remainder of yesterday's CS trip was very pleasant. Glad I sprung for the roomette upgrade, as I got three meals and a wine and cheese tasting. Spent almost all of the time in the PPC. Beautiful sunset over the ocean, photos to come. Checked in at a nice little inn in Santa Barbara, but got up early today to take a day trip to San Diego on the Surfliner. Great sunrise this morning, and more spectacular beach views between SBA and Ventura.

Saw a Cascades engine go by at Chatsworth, zoomed past too quickly to see which one.



How much $$$ was that Inn? I'm thinking of stopping in SBA, Thanx!
RF

A Rookie No More! But Still A Lot Of Track To Travel !!!
Silver Meteor #97(5) & #98 (4), Silver Star #91 (2), Capitol Limited #29 & #30(4), Empire Builder #7,#8,#27(2) &#28(4) Coast Starlight #11 (6) & #14(5), California Zephyr #5 (2) & #6 (5), Cascades #506, City of New Orleans #58 (1) #59 (2), South West Chief #3 (3), Lake Shore Limited #49, Maple Leaf #63 San Joaquin #714, Pacific Surfliner #774, Texas Eagle #422, Cardinal #50, Crescent #19, Sunset Limited #1. Approx. 55,730 miles & 41 states!

HAVE FUN


#11 CHamilton

CHamilton

    Engineer

  • Committee Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,648 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle

Posted 29 December 2011 - 07:07 PM

I think it was $149 on weekdays and like $200 this weekend. I wanted something within walking distance of SBA, but nothing is cheap in Santa Barbara that I could find.

Amtrak can be better! Tell your local, state and national elected officials to support a more robust rail system. Join NARP and your local rail advocacy organization.
Where you'll find my posts: // All Aboard Washington (websiteFacebook) // Amtrak Unlimited Forum Group (Facebook) // Grow Trains (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Restore the Pioneer Train (website, Facebook, Twitter) // Save the Seattle Waterfront Streetcar (Again) (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Transit Riders of Puget Sound (Facebook) // Trains on FB (Facebook) // My Random Twitter Musings @HamiltonChas


#12 Rail Freak

Rail Freak

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,023 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tampa Bay, Florida
  • Interests:Experiencing the country by RAIL!!!
    U.S. & Native American History

Posted 29 December 2011 - 07:10 PM

I think it was $149 on weekdays and like $200 this weekend. I wanted something within walking distance of SBA, but nothing is cheap in Santa Barbara that I could find.



Thanx! I believe it was you that suggested the Warwick in SEA, correct? I'll follow your suggestions from here on out!
Have Fun

A Rookie No More! But Still A Lot Of Track To Travel !!!
Silver Meteor #97(5) & #98 (4), Silver Star #91 (2), Capitol Limited #29 & #30(4), Empire Builder #7,#8,#27(2) &#28(4) Coast Starlight #11 (6) & #14(5), California Zephyr #5 (2) & #6 (5), Cascades #506, City of New Orleans #58 (1) #59 (2), South West Chief #3 (3), Lake Shore Limited #49, Maple Leaf #63 San Joaquin #714, Pacific Surfliner #774, Texas Eagle #422, Cardinal #50, Crescent #19, Sunset Limited #1. Approx. 55,730 miles & 41 states!

HAVE FUN


#13 CHamilton

CHamilton

    Engineer

  • Committee Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,648 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle

Posted 29 December 2011 - 07:59 PM

Yes, I suggested the Warwick. If you decide to stop in Santa Barbara and the prices don't scare you, I am at the Eagle Inn.

Amtrak can be better! Tell your local, state and national elected officials to support a more robust rail system. Join NARP and your local rail advocacy organization.
Where you'll find my posts: // All Aboard Washington (websiteFacebook) // Amtrak Unlimited Forum Group (Facebook) // Grow Trains (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Restore the Pioneer Train (website, Facebook, Twitter) // Save the Seattle Waterfront Streetcar (Again) (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Transit Riders of Puget Sound (Facebook) // Trains on FB (Facebook) // My Random Twitter Musings @HamiltonChas


#14 CHamilton

CHamilton

    Engineer

  • Committee Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,648 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle

Posted 30 December 2011 - 12:29 PM

Well, it is possible to take a return trip in a day from SBA to SAN, but it's a long day. Nevertheless, I had fun. Saw some spectacular ocean views from the train, but boy, SoCal uses every inch of the beach -- I've never seen beach houses so closely packed. And there seemed to be miles of RVs parked in every conceivable location. The weather was very nice -- sunny and 70 -- which was a pleasant change from winter Seattle weather.

The morning southbound train was pretty much on time. In the afternoon, it was announced that our train, which normally would be a through train, would terminate in LAUS, and we'd have to make a cross-platform transfer to continue north. We did, although we kept getting stuck behind Metrolink trains, and ran 20-25 minutes late for most of the run.

Business class on the Surfliner was nice. In the morning, we got coffee, juice, muffins and pastries; in the afternoon, it was wine, sodas, water and a snack pack with what I can only describe as "new age" snacks -- gluten-free potato chips, a nut/dried fruit mix, and so on. Because of being a holiday week, the passengers didn't seem to be the usual business types, but it was a jovial bunch nonetheless -- especially a couple of ladies who had a bit too much wine (and I think beer from the cafe car as well).

Of course, I had to spend my time in SD riding the San Diego Trolley to the border and back, which was a fun excursion. Lots of people of all ages -- kids, families, teens, retired people. Many folks seemed to be using the trolley for shopping; the stops with malls were very popular.

The trolley parallels I-5 for some of its route (one exit: "Miles of Cars Way" -- no joke!) and I'm just puzzled why an area with pretty decent transit is still up to its eyeballs in cars. But as the saying goes, it's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

Amtrak can be better! Tell your local, state and national elected officials to support a more robust rail system. Join NARP and your local rail advocacy organization.
Where you'll find my posts: // All Aboard Washington (websiteFacebook) // Amtrak Unlimited Forum Group (Facebook) // Grow Trains (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Restore the Pioneer Train (website, Facebook, Twitter) // Save the Seattle Waterfront Streetcar (Again) (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Transit Riders of Puget Sound (Facebook) // Trains on FB (Facebook) // My Random Twitter Musings @HamiltonChas


#15 CHamilton

CHamilton

    Engineer

  • Committee Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,648 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle

Posted 03 January 2012 - 04:37 PM

I spent a couple of chilly and somewhat foggy days in Santa Barbara -- visiting with family, taking a city tour [even though I dislike rubber-tired "trolleys" on principle], and checking out the mission, and the Maritime and Natural History museums (all great). Then on New Year's Day, I boarded CS 14 in bright sun and 84 degrees. Oh well.

The Starlight was on time, and the coastal views were spectacular, as always. The operating and on-board services crews were both excellent and jovial, perhaps because the train wasn't very crowded. The food in the dining car and the PPC was good, and the wine tastings were fun, as usual.

I'm already thinking about the next trip....

Amtrak can be better! Tell your local, state and national elected officials to support a more robust rail system. Join NARP and your local rail advocacy organization.
Where you'll find my posts: // All Aboard Washington (websiteFacebook) // Amtrak Unlimited Forum Group (Facebook) // Grow Trains (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Restore the Pioneer Train (website, Facebook, Twitter) // Save the Seattle Waterfront Streetcar (Again) (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Transit Riders of Puget Sound (Facebook) // Trains on FB (Facebook) // My Random Twitter Musings @HamiltonChas


#16 GG-1

GG-1

    Engineer

  • Forum Manager
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,430 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Las Vegas, NV
  • Interests:PRR GG1 and riding the rails to "see the USA in your Chev".....Train

Posted 03 January 2012 - 08:06 PM

I'm already thinking about the next trip....

Aloha

Hope you are including a trip to the east for Gathering VI, Actual date and city to be decided relativity soon. :rolleyes:

Eric aka GG-1, Aloha, Mahalo = Thanks

Picture Galleries Posted Image

#17 CHamilton

CHamilton

    Engineer

  • Committee Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,648 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle

Posted 03 January 2012 - 09:02 PM


I'm already thinking about the next trip....

Aloha

Hope you are including a trip to the east for Gathering VI, Actual date and city to be decided relativity soon. :rolleyes:

Awaiting the decision with bated breath! I have many relatives and friends on the east coast, so I hope it will work out.

Amtrak can be better! Tell your local, state and national elected officials to support a more robust rail system. Join NARP and your local rail advocacy organization.
Where you'll find my posts: // All Aboard Washington (websiteFacebook) // Amtrak Unlimited Forum Group (Facebook) // Grow Trains (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Restore the Pioneer Train (website, Facebook, Twitter) // Save the Seattle Waterfront Streetcar (Again) (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Transit Riders of Puget Sound (Facebook) // Trains on FB (Facebook) // My Random Twitter Musings @HamiltonChas


#18 GG-1

GG-1

    Engineer

  • Forum Manager
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,430 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Las Vegas, NV
  • Interests:PRR GG1 and riding the rails to "see the USA in your Chev".....Train

Posted 03 January 2012 - 09:19 PM



I'm already thinking about the next trip....

Aloha

Hope you are including a trip to the east for Gathering VI, Actual date and city to be decided relativity soon. :rolleyes:

Awaiting the decision with bated breath! I have many relatives and friends on the east coast, so I hope it will work out.

I will Tease everyone, All of the cities under consideration are South of Boston, or North of Miami.

Aloha

Eric aka GG-1, Aloha, Mahalo = Thanks

Picture Galleries Posted Image

#19 CHamilton

CHamilton

    Engineer

  • Committee Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,648 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle

Posted 03 January 2012 - 09:46 PM

Darn! I was working on connections from Essex Junction to the Downeaster!

Amtrak can be better! Tell your local, state and national elected officials to support a more robust rail system. Join NARP and your local rail advocacy organization.
Where you'll find my posts: // All Aboard Washington (websiteFacebook) // Amtrak Unlimited Forum Group (Facebook) // Grow Trains (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Restore the Pioneer Train (website, Facebook, Twitter) // Save the Seattle Waterfront Streetcar (Again) (websiteFacebook, Twitter) // Transit Riders of Puget Sound (Facebook) // Trains on FB (Facebook) // My Random Twitter Musings @HamiltonChas


#20 jimhudson

jimhudson

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,644 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Austin Texas
  • Interests:Passenger Trains/Travel/Sports(except Soccer)/Government-Politics/Reading/Old Buildings
    Movies/Music/Unicorns and Ancient Aliens!

Posted 03 January 2012 - 11:03 PM




I'm already thinking about the next trip....

Aloha

Hope you are including a trip to the east for Gathering VI, Actual date and city to be decided relativity soon. :rolleyes:

Awaiting the decision with bated breath! I have many relatives and friends on the east coast, so I hope it will work out.

I will Tease everyone, All of the cities under consideration are South of Boston, or North of Miami.

Aloha

Sounds like Philadelphia fits the bill with Baltimore and Washington,DC close runners-up!
(PHL has cheaoper hotels and you can get there from the North, South and West!!!
 
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
"What a Long,Strange Trip it's Been!"-  "Truckin'"-Grateful Dead
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay



Reply to this topic



  


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users