On Feb 2nd I departed San Antonio on #1 for Los Angeles. It was a nice ride, on time, and I met The Davy Crockett
on board. He identified me at lunch when we were seated together! We arrived early and I spend the day knocking around downtown LA and went to Disney Hall Friday night to hear Dudamel and the Philharmonic. Saturday morning I was on #14 over the Tehatchapi pass into Oakland. That was a very interesting ride: I had no idea Metrolink went so far as Lancaster and also I didn't know the Mojave desert with the Joshua trees was up there! We arrived OKJ at about the usual time. I spend a week in San Francisco and departed Emeryville on Feb 11th on #6, on time. Actually all trains were on time the whole trip.
I was in Superliner 32037 which was the most worn sleeper I have experienced. Everything worked but it was very worn. It had older deeper sinks than I have seen and the toilets were larger and oriented differently. I was in roomette 9 which is right over the truck which was noisy; the roomette itself wasn't noisy (no duct tape needed)- the truck below was. Gwendolyn was the attendant who said she'd worked for Amtrak 34 yrs; I liked her. A good looking young fellow named Brian Rushing was the dining car steward (everyone on both trains referred to this position as 'steward'). He had the annoying habit of telling everyone at every seating that alcohol and tips are not included. Very little snow in the Sierras and even the Rockies until after Moffat tunnel - then, plenty of snow and ice! Winter Park looked utterly deserted but a couple who got on there told me at a meal they had been there a week and had a great time skiing. It was snowing in Galesburg when I made the change and also in Springfield. There was free WiFi in the SPI station! #21 was on time and I was in roomette 9 again, this time in the only sleeper (32104, Oklahoma) which was at the rear of the train behind 3 coaches and was in good condition. The attendant was Steve who seemed new on the job. He informed us over the PA system that tips to the sleeping car attendant (him!) are discretionary. It was still snowing in St. Louis. I did not sleep as well as usual, presumably because of being in the roomette over the truck. All food was satisfactory and some of it really good. I met many interesting people and had a great time. I'd do it again tomorrow.
P.S. No one said a single word about the Moffat tunnel. When I have gone through before the conductor and attendant went on and on about it etc.
P.P.S. The dining car steward on #21 was Lucius. He had cool jazz playing for dinner the second night. My sleeper (car 2120) was on the end of the train so I walked through my car and 3 coaches and the lounge car to get to the diner. Beyond that was just the trans and the loco. We entered San Antonio on the eastern route, i.e. not by the airport, that #22 usually uses and then backed into the station. I wonder if that means the next morning's #22 had to use the western route.
Edited by City of Miami, 16 February 2012 - 05:20 PM.