Who in the world are you???
Posted 04 October 2012 - 08:16 AM
Posted 04 October 2012 - 09:16 AM
Married 42 years to the same woman I met in college. She too is an educator and we love to travel. One son who is an attorney (I call him a scum sucking pig) whom I love dearly and two wonderful grandchildren. Also have two cats who keep us entertained.
My love of trains goes WAY back. My father loved trains and we did some train travel as a family. My first recollection of train travel is a trip from Phoenix to LA and back. I was very young, maybe three or so, so I don't know what line we rode but I know it was a streamliner. I do remember going through the desert and the loco having a flat wheel. It was disconnected and we sat in the desert for several hours while a new loco was brought from wherever they bring locos from. My dad also took me on some short trips around the Phoenix area. I know some of those trips were on Santa Fe.
One of my uncles was a train man. He worked for the NYC and among other jobs, ended up trainmaster in Jackson, MI. Before that he was trainmaster in Bay City, MI (we moved there when I was seven). He used to take me to the yards there and hand me off to the crew on switch engines (steam) where I learned to blow the whistle, "drive" the engine, and was "allowed" to shovel coal. In those days, there was an overnight train from Bay City to Chicago. He would take me to the passenger depot where he would hand me off to the sleeping car porter and I would "help" him make up rooms. Great memories.
My wife and I have taken a few trips on Amtrak although not nearly as many as I would like to. Living where I do is not conducive to train travel. We have taken a few trips to Chicago on Wolverine service and Bluewater service. We have also made two trips to the Pacific northwest. The first trip was on the Pioneer to Seattle and the EB on the return to Chicago. Our last trip was to Vancouver, BC. for an Alaska cruise. We loved the Talgo between Seattle and Vancouver. Round trip on the EB for that trip. We have also ridden the City of New Orleans round trip from Chicago.
I have ridden Amtrak, obviously. I have also ridden Santa Fe, L&N (lived in Louisville a couple of years between Phoenix and Bay City), NYC, Canadian National, Canadian Pacific (rode the Canadian between Sudbury and Toronto while I was living in Sault Ste. Marie), Grand Trunk, VIA, and Algoma Central. There may be more but I can't think of them right now. There have also been a few commuter trips but other than New Jersey Transit and GO (Toronto), I can't remember which ones. I have also ridden subways in New York, Chicago (El too), and Toronto and street cars in Toronto and Detroit (People Mover too). There may be others I cannot recall.
My worst train trip was back in about 1964 or 65. I was on CN between London, Ontario, and Detroit on a Sunday morning when a car hit the train at a crossing. I was one of three people on the train to witness the accident. The car hit the back wheels of the car I was riding in and I was sitting just in front of the back wheels. I remember it like it was yesterday. Three killed in the car. CN police came to my house to interview me a few days after the accident. Cars do not win against trains. The family in the car was on their way to church.
My wife and I love to travel and we spend the winters in Destin, FL. Sure wish the Sunset was still operating east of NO. We are taking a Caribbean cruise in January and going to Disney World in February. Our next big trip we have planned is next fall. We hope to drive to DC and then down the Blue Ridge Parkway. In all my travels, we have ever done that even though we have been all around it.
Life is good.
Posted 04 October 2012 - 12:18 PM
My mottto is "" Engineer by day ,,,, costumer by night ""
Single and happy with it . My Joys in life tend to blend with my various jobs I do .
I am a avid Ham radio op
A Very good photographer and a member of the NPPA ( I tend to focus on news /events ect)
With that I do ( no as much as I used to ) Video too.. Final Cut Pro .
I am a advanced NAUI diver.
I have Lived in Fairfax VA in the 90s . LA cali from 00 to 09 . Iowa from 09 to 12 and now in Oregon Near Portland ..
past Jobs in no real order .
Radio DJ at 94.5 KULT FM for a year
worked at RVAC in LA for 2 Years .
I am a volunteer with the Civil Air Patrol .
worked for a rec studio as a sound Eng and studio builder .
worked at my college as a Costume master for 2 years .
and tons of smaller jobs .\
I got in to pax rail as I have done a few small trips of the surfliner and founs out the college I went to in IA had no airport ,, just the salty dog and rail ...
( that choice was a easy one!)
after a few years of railing I have done the CS the cascades the SWC and the SJ and CC and CZ and card and wolverine .
I have a love/hate with Amtrak as the more I learn the more I am critical about them and there choices as I want to see them grow and prosper .
Posted 04 October 2012 - 09:27 PM
Posted 04 October 2012 - 09:49 PM
1. Palatka or Lake City to the Mississippi Gulf Coast on either the SL or whatever else Amtrak comes up with.
2. Palatka to Lewiston, ME 100% by rail.
Not holding my breath for either!
Posted 04 October 2012 - 11:07 PM
I spent the bulk of my career as a writer/editor, but then the economy tanked, and I got laid off. I worked for a classical instrument retailer in Ann Arbor for a few years and loved it, but then I moved to Kalamazoo to take a job as an auto claim processor with the Good Neighbor. (My ex-boyfriend lived here, and I came here to be with him in 2008, only to break up a month later.)
I'm thinking about going back to school for something medical-related, as I've served enough time in customer service. I'd love to study radiology. I'd also love to work as a writer again. My boyfriend and I have been talking about moving to Chicago since we'd both have more career opportunities there (he's a software programmer).
I love European history, particularly English history (especially the Tudors), and Victorian literature. I also love mysteries and tales of the supernatural (not "Twilight", gag). Trains bring me closer to those historical mysteries and my love of Europe. I wish I could travel with Miss Marple. I loved trains even as a kid, though. I used to beg to ride the train at the zoo and amusement parks.
I've been riding Amtrak since 2000, when I started taking it between Ann Arbor and Chicago. When I boarded a real train for the very first time and it started to roll out of the station, I cried with happiness. It was just so beautiful, to see the scenery like that and finally ride a real train.
When I started dating Brent in January 2010, I looked into the SWC since he's terrified of flying. I'd never taken a LD train, so I decided to take it to ABQ to visit him to "test it out". I loved it so much! He took the SWC to visit me twice while I continued to fly (I'm very impatient, and when you're dating long-distance you want to be there as soon as possible). Now we take the SWC to visit his family for the holidays, and we're planning other LD trips. We've been together almost three years. It's hard to believe.
We adopted two cats from the shelter a couple weeks ago: a two-year old grey tabby named Sherlock and a one-year old black, long-haired kitty named Winter. Previously, I had two kitties named Gomez and Morticia, but they both passed away. I miss them terribly. I wasn't sure about adopting two new cats, but it had been a couple of years, and it just felt so empty in my home and my heart. I'm so glad we adopted them. Everything feels happy and "normal" again. It truly feels like home again, now that we have two furry heartbeats sharing our lives.
I've lost 42 pounds toward my goal of losing 200 pounds total; I keep a weight loss blog (link below). It isn't all about weight loss, though. I tend to update nearly every day, so it's more of a journal. I'm glad I'll be able to read it years from now, since my memory isn't what it used to be.
Edited by Sorcha, 04 October 2012 - 11:09 PM.
Amtrak Miles: 43,318
Amtrak Routes: Blue Water, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Carl Sandburg, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Hiawatha, Illinois Zephyr, Lincoln Service, Southwest Chief, Texas Eagle, Wolverine
Metropolitan Rail: Chicago Metra, Chicago L, Dallas TRE, Detroit People Mover, New Orleans RTA, San Francisco MUNI, Seattle Monorail, South Shore Line (NICTD), Toronto Subway & RT, Washington DC Metro
Posted 05 October 2012 - 08:46 AM
Married and divorced, no kids first marriage, five second time around. Met my wife on the EnterTrainment line, she was the train manager. (she hates trains now)
Born and raised in Ann Arbor, MI. Schooled at Western Michigan University. Worked for Amtrak as a waiter and LSA from 1978 to 1981, based out of Chicago Crewbase. Always had "thing" for trains, even though no family history of employment or growing up in a "Train Town". (Ann Arbor certainly is not)
Lived in Austin, TX for several years in the 80's, while there was president of TexARP for a year. Didn't travel much via Amtrak for several years, (but more than "John Q. Public") Moved back to Michigan in the late 80's, bought an ex-C&O broken down branch line running from Paw Paw, MI to Hartford, MI. Ran a tourist train, dinner train, and modicum of freight there for a few years. (Kalamazoo, Lake Shore, & Chicago Railway)
Professionally been involved in computer/POS business for most of adult life, except the two stints with shortline/dinner trains. Currently work for s/w developer that writes s/w for restaurants, the touchscreens you see servers and cashiers using to ring up your order. (and on the iPod too)
Really glad to have found this forum a few years ago, as advice from Alan, The_Traveler, and many others, have helped me maximize not only AGR points, but rail travel in general.
Hate apologist-attitudes, always want to hold Amtrak (or any other carrier for that matter) to task to deliver what they say they are going to deliver.
Fed up politically with both major parties, so ID myself as "Independent". Subscribe to "Shoot First, Ask Questions Later:, and Lee Iacocca's statement, "Lead, Follow, Or Get-Out-Of-The-Way". Also find it better to "Ask for forgiveness, than ask for permission".
See ya all in Philly Saturday AM.
Posted 05 October 2012 - 08:48 AM
My username comes from the fact that I use it as my alias on my blogspot blog, and it's also part of my alias on Ravelry, which is a sort of social-networking site for fiber crafters/artists.
In my real life, I'm an ecologist who also teaches soil science and statistics for biologists. I'm an avid knitter (hence the fact I hang out on Ravelry) and I make quilts. I'm also learning to play the piano after inheriting my grandfather's Steinway.
Single, no kids, honestly probably a pretty boring personal life....but there you are.
Posted 05 October 2012 - 03:07 PM
My very first train trip was from my home in Vermont to college in 1968 (now I've admitted I am over 60, and I also will say I am female). My dad drove me up from Vermont to Montreal, and I took the train to Chicago where I transferred to the California Zephyr. I loved going through Colorado, and the canyons of eastern Utah to the University of Utah in SLC. I have photos I took from the dome car with my little Instamatic camera (hmm, somewhere...).
My husband and I usually travel with a goal of visiting family, though as the older ones are gone now, we are branching out a little to some travel for the pleasure of seeing new places and visiting other friends and hobby destinations. I was enticed into this discussion board by meeting with an AU'er on the CS a couple years back. One of these years, Hubby and I hope to meet some more of you at a Gathering.
BTW, I don't live as far as some from the nearest station -- I'm something like equidistant from Winnemucca NV, Chemult OR, and Pasco WA. When you factor in the available bus connections, Chemult or even Portland wins out (no bus at all to the other two from anywhere near here).
One more thing: Hubby and I didn't get married till we were both 40. Having (separately but equally) observed in our 20s that there was already an adequate supply of human beings, we did not add to it by having children.
Edited by oregon pioneer, 05 October 2012 - 03:48 PM.
I'm a "little Old Lady in Tennis Shoes" (LOLITS) from Eastern Oregon. I love to travel by train, though I live way out in the toolies, far from the nearest Amtrak station (Chemult). My station would have been Baker City, but they cancelled the Oregon Pioneer just before I took my first long-distance train trip as an adult. I've taken most trains in the West, but I'm still exploring new routes in the east.
Posted 05 October 2012 - 03:40 PM
Working as an LPN for 30 years but may be unemployed at the end of the year. Nurses are being replaced by Medical Assistants.
Lived in West Michigan my entire life, and LOVE the U.P! We joke that we want to be buried in the cute little cemetery in Seney MI next to the National Wildlife Refuge. Our get-away spot is St Ignace usually at the Budget Host. We love animals and are "rescue" people. Currently care taker for a feral cat colony in our back woods. All have been TNR'ed. Conservation roots but more liberal as we age. Grew up West Michigan tribal dutch protestant & married a ministers son. Now we attend a liberal west MI mega Bible church with a whole lot less guilt and a whole lot more joy! We have taken Amtrak to Chicago on day trips probably close to 15 times, this past March was our first big Amtrak trip and we loved it.
Posted 05 October 2012 - 06:38 PM
I also love this thread.
Posted 05 October 2012 - 09:04 PM
Come on Allen. You are the boss here. Tell us about you.
Posted 06 October 2012 - 12:48 AM
Posted 06 October 2012 - 05:35 AM
Posted 07 October 2012 - 12:15 PM
Note to Moderator: Can you sticky this?
Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!
The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!
Posted 07 October 2012 - 04:41 PM
I am a retired elementary school teacher and he was a retired civil and structural engineer. Sadly, he passed away about a month ago after a long and courageous struggle.
We had planned to take the California Zephyr after my retirement, but his failing health prevented that from happening. Next year, the Good Lord willing, I plan to take the trip and hopefully enjoy it enough for the both of us. I'll be asking for advice here soon. Enjoying the forum posts very much, thanks for all the helpful info!
Edited by crescent2, 07 October 2012 - 04:50 PM.
Posted 07 October 2012 - 10:09 PM
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.
Posted 08 October 2012 - 03:06 AM
I'm currently residing in TUS, however I grew up about 20 miles west of GRR. I moved to TUS in Jan 2012, to be closer to my girlfriend who I met thanks to Amtrak, and for better job/school prospects.
First train ride (aside from local excursion rides on the local tracks) was shortly after 9/11, took the International Limited from East Lansing, MI to Toronto, ON. Took a train to Chicago as well before my college years, and in the last couple of years I've been on the Pere Marquette and Southwest Chief 6 times (3 trips out west to FLG, and 3 trips coming back), as well as the Blue Water, and the Texas Eagle.
I've always had a fascination with trains however, even have a miniature version of the Walt Disney World monorail. Might have something to do with my Aspergers.
Also, I've recently found the most interesting music. Electro-Swing.
Edited by jdcnosse, 09 October 2012 - 11:11 AM.
Round-trip: International Limited (LNS to TWO), Pere Marquette (GRR to CHI), Southwest Chief (CHI to FLG), Blue Water (CHI to KAL)
One-way: Texas Eagle/Sunset Limited (CHI to LVW, FTW to TUS), Ambus (LVW to FTW)
Miles traveled on Amtrak: 15,044 mi
Posted 08 October 2012 - 06:18 AM
I am retired but was a bean counter during all my working years. Some people think accounting is complex, but every day was the same: zero to nine all day long. Now I rarely get out the door before 9 a.m. and enjoy the many activities this town offers, the favorite of which is playing pinochle. Of course, riding trains is my passion and I don't get to do that often enough.
My Godfather was with the Northwestern Railroad, I worked several years with the holding company of Katy Railroad, and now my granddaughter works for Norfolk Southern. I love this forum for all the friendly people, interesting conversations, and wealth of information it provides. The number of forum members keeps growing by leaps and bounds and the variety of posts must keep the moderators hopping! Early on I remember times when I was the only person on this discussion forum; that never happens now. Thank you, Anthony, for starting all of this.
Routes Traveled: Desert Wind, Southwest Chief, Missouri Mule, Empire Builder, Capitol Ltd., Lincoln Service, Lake Shore Ltd., Missouri River Runner, City of New Orleans, Cardinal, Silver Meteor, Texas Eagle, Cascades, Broadway Ltd., Acela, Downeaster, Sunset Ltd., Coast Starlight, California Zephyr, Hiawatha, Capitol Corridor, Maple Leaf, Ethan Allen Express 76,745 Amtrak miles. Via Rail Vancouver to Toronto 2775 Miles.
Posted 08 October 2012 - 10:39 AM
Among all my many train adventures my top three were going from Detroit to NYC in 1960 in order to catch the Queen Elizabeth and then spend the entire summer in England at my Grandparents ( we returned on the Caronia); the trip I took about 4 years ago from Anaheim to Portland on the CS in a roomette; and a day ride from Denver to Salt Lake City on the D&RG in 1976 ( it was a group trip and to give you an idea of what kind of group it was,the train left around 7am and the bar car was out of beer by about Noon).
This is one of my favorite lists and I want to thank the moderators and all the great posters. Keep it up!
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