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Amtrak : Best Kept Secrets


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#81 p&sr

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 10:22 AM

In other words, is there anything that I'd have to pay extra for?


Besides the 3-meals-per-day in the Dining Car, they have a snack bar in the Lounge Car with service most of the day (closed overnight). Lots of tasty items, but financially you're on your own here.

If I'm in a different area of the train, would anyone come in and go through our stuff?


One advantage of the Sleeping Cars is that (ideally and in principle) only first-class passengers have access. Anybody else trying to get in or walk through would normally be turned back by Train Staff.
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#82 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 11:00 AM

To be honest with you, you can pretty much leave your stuff in the overhead rack in coach, too. I mean, don't leave obviously valuable items in plain sight! But most people who ride coach are not exactly wealthy, so it would be silly to assume that there is anything valuable in their stuff. There may or may not be- and leave your Louis Vuitton luggage at home- but the chance is low enough that people aren't going to risk searching a bag for it.

If they go for your bag it is because they know there is something of value that they can casually enough grab that it doesn't interest other passengers. A man walking up and down the car rummaging in the luggage racks invites questions. Especially if you talk to a few people in your coach such that they know the bag being rummaged through is yours.

Again, don't carry the Hope Diamond in your bag, and don't leave anything of salable value in plain sight, but thefts on trains are not all that common- in sleeper class, thieves don't ride and can't easily get in. In coach class, too many people might be watching and ask awkward questions.
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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#83 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 11:24 AM

Years ago (late 1980s) on an Amtrak trip to Massachusetts, I recall the stop in New York and how policemen came onto the train while it waited as a precaution. We were told to take more care of our belongings while the train was in the station.

#84 ourlouisiana

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 11:29 AM

Last year on the Crescent, from NOL to PHL, we left our laptop and camera bag in the coach overhead rack. Our camera was always with us, except going to the restroom, never had a problem.

On our trip from NOL to Greenwood MS on the CNO, we went in Superliner sleeper, leaving laptop in room. Don't think theft is a problem, but the same as anywhere else, don't advertise what you have, and nothing will happen.

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#85 p&sr

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 01:27 PM

We were told to take more care of our belongings while the train was in the station.


This makes sense. Only in a Station would non-passengers have any chance to get at things, and only in a Station is anything likely to actually leave the train.

Once on a long-distance train I was on, there was a passenger couple doubling as thieves, quickly and quietly emptying one lady's purse while she was in the restroom. Later on the same trip, I invited my seat-mate (a young lady from overseas) to come to the lounge with me and watch the mountains. She preferred not to. While I was away, she left her own purse on her seat unattended, and lost all of her travel funds. We pretty much knew who was responsible, but none of us were eye-witnesses.

At the end of the trip, I saw the suspect couple in the Station complaining to Amtrak that THEY had been "robbed" on board, and demanding special treatment (like a free night in a hotel) as compensation. In this, at least, they did not succeed.
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#86 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 04:47 PM

A good way to prove theft is to make a quick notation of a random five bill serial numbers and ask the person of they would mind you, in there and the conductors presence, checking their bills against your list. If they object, ask why.
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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#87 Rail Freak

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 05:06 PM

A good way to prove theft is to make a quick notation of a random five bill serial numbers and ask the person of they would mind you, in there and the conductors presence, checking their bills against your list. If they object, ask why.



You wouldn't find it, because you probably tipped a $20!!!
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#88 iowa train fan

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 06:02 AM

I tried to find the response but was unable, some one mentioned about a diagram that shows sleeping car room layouts, could you please give me a link where I could find this information. Reason being, I am taking the CZ next month and have a roomette reserved, number two, and would like to know where it is located? Is it an upper or lower room? Sorry for the dumb question, I know the Amtrak site has the virtual tour but it does not give room numbers in the diagrams. Also can anyone offer advice for getting from Glenwood Springs station to hotel on July 4'th. I really want to rent a car from Enterprise but they are not open on the fourth of July. Thanks for any advice or information you can offer.

#89 Rail Freak

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 06:28 AM

I tried to find the response but was unable, some one mentioned about a diagram that shows sleeping car room layouts, could you please give me a link where I could find this information. Reason being, I am taking the CZ next month and have a roomette reserved, number two, and would like to know where it is located? Is it an upper or lower room? Sorry for the dumb question, I know the Amtrak site has the virtual tour but it does not give room numbers in the diagrams. Also can anyone offer advice for getting from Glenwood Springs station to hotel on July 4'th. I really want to rent a car from Enterprise but they are not open on the fourth of July. Thanks for any advice or information you can offer.

Amtrak.com (Traveling With Amtrak)(virtual tour)

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


#90 AlanB

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 11:18 AM

I tried to find the response but was unable, some one mentioned about a diagram that shows sleeping car room layouts, could you please give me a link where I could find this information. Reason being, I am taking the CZ next month and have a roomette reserved, number two, and would like to know where it is located? Is it an upper or lower room? Sorry for the dumb question, I know the Amtrak site has the virtual tour but it does not give room numbers in the diagrams. Also can anyone offer advice for getting from Glenwood Springs station to hotel on July 4'th. I really want to rent a car from Enterprise but they are not open on the fourth of July. Thanks for any advice or information you can offer.


Your room will be on the upper level. Click here for car layouts. You'll be riding in a Superliner sleeper.
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#91 iowa train fan

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 12:37 PM

I tried to find the response but was unable, some one mentioned about a diagram that shows sleeping car room layouts, could you please give me a link where I could find this information. Reason being, I am taking the CZ next month and have a roomette reserved, number two, and would like to know where it is located? Is it an upper or lower room? Sorry for the dumb question, I know the Amtrak site has the virtual tour but it does not give room numbers in the diagrams. Also can anyone offer advice for getting from Glenwood Springs station to hotel on July 4'th. I really want to rent a car from Enterprise but they are not open on the fourth of July. Thanks for any advice or information you can offer.


Your room will be on the upper level. Click here for car layouts. You'll be riding in a Superliner sleeper.



Thank you very much for the layout!!

#92 had8ley

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 09:06 AM

You will be directly opposite the car attendants room. This can be a good or bad omen depending on how busy he/she gets. Some you won't even know that they are there. The #2 is one of the better riding rooms as it is in the center of the car and is close to the public toilet and right next to the coffee/juice/ice stand and stairs. Enjoy your trip~ you have a good room.

#93 AlanB

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 09:18 PM

To Guest Jen,

If you return to this topic looking for your post please head over to the Amtrak Rail Discussions forum or click here to go to your post.

Thanks. :)
Alan,

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#94 ScottC4746

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 09:58 AM

I tried to find the response but was unable, some one mentioned about a diagram that shows sleeping car room layouts, could you please give me a link where I could find this information. Reason being, I am taking the CZ next month and have a roomette reserved, number two, and would like to know where it is located? Is it an upper or lower room? Sorry for the dumb question, I know the Amtrak site has the virtual tour but it does not give room numbers in the diagrams. Also can anyone offer advice for getting from Glenwood Springs station to hotel on July 4'th. I really want to rent a car from Enterprise but they are not open on the fourth of July. Thanks for any advice or information you can offer.


Your room will be on the upper level. Click here for car layouts. You'll be riding in a Superliner sleeper.



Thank you very much for the layout!!


Just remember, as I have seen in other postings...just because the diagram is laid out this way does not mean that the car will be traveling in the same way...that is to say you don't know which side will really be the left or right side until they hook the cars up.

Another thing that affects that is for example the Pacific Surfliner is a push-pull system...you pull into San Diego but push going north.

Routes I've been on end to end:
California Zepher 5 Roomette 3 (6/6/2013) 6 Romette (Tent 8/31/13)
Great Western Railway (UK)(July 1995) London Waterloo-Penzance Round Trip
Pacific Surfliner 564 Business (1/3/2009); 587 Business (1/3/2009)
Southern (UK) (9/7/2012)London Victoria-Brighton Round Trip
Southwest Chief 3 Roomette 20 (5/28/2011) 4 Roomette 6 (6/3/2013)
Sunset Limited 1 Roomette 6 (6/5/2009) 2 Bedroom F (01/29/2010)

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Current Year Rail Balance 2490


#95 DET63

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 02:53 AM

Another thing that affects that is for example the Pacific Surfliner is a push-pull system...you pull into San Diego but push going north.

Doesn't the Surfliner reverse at LAUS (formerly LAUPT)? IOW, if you are going from, say Santa Barbara to San Diego, the train would be pushed (the engine at the "rear") to L.A., but pulled from L.A. to S.D.

I have read that there are plans to make LAUS a run-through station so that trains don't have to switch direction there. Have they come to fruition?

#96 jackal

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 05:10 AM

Another thing that affects that is for example the Pacific Surfliner is a push-pull system...you pull into San Diego but push going north.

Doesn't the Surfliner reverse at LAUS (formerly LAUPT)? IOW, if you are going from, say Santa Barbara to San Diego, the train would be pushed (the engine at the "rear") to L.A., but pulled from L.A. to S.D.

I have read that there are plans to make LAUS a run-through station so that trains don't have to switch direction there. Have they come to fruition?


Have the plans or the actual construction come to fruition? Plans: I don't know (perhaps Whooz or another local resident can detail that, or I'm sure the info can be found out there on the Intertubes), but the construction absolutely hasn't. It's still (unless MAJOR progress has been made since I was there last summer) a dead-end station. (Well, not in that way... :D)

The Gold Line tracks do now extend south of the station and cross the 101 (curving and heading east) as part of the new Gold Line extension that should be up and running in the near future. Running the mainline rail tracks through, though, is going to require quite a bit more construction.
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!]
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#97 gswager

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 11:50 PM

They do have the plans, but money isn't available to construct the tracks. Maybe it went down quietly or perhaps the plan for HSR is in the way.

There was a website that is dedicated to run through track project, but it was closed few years ago.
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#98 PRR 60

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 08:32 PM

Here's a tip for using the shower located in the Superliner's bedroom toilet room (I assume it would also apply to the Viewliner). Don't assume the cover over the toilet paper roll will keep the roll dry while you shower. It doesn't. If you want to use the shower, remove the toilet paper from the room. Then, when all is finished, towel off the toilet room and the paper dispensing area, and reinstall the roll. This could save you spending ten minutes peeling off layers of saturated toilet paper in order to get down to some dry stuff that can be pulled off without disintegrating in your hands.

I learned this one first hand.

#99 had8ley

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 10:21 AM

Here's a tip for using the shower located in the Superliner's bedroom toilet room (I assume it would also apply to the Viewliner). Don't assume the cover over the toilet paper roll will keep the roll dry while you shower. It doesn't. If you want to use the shower, remove the toilet paper from the room. Then, when all is finished, towel off the toilet room and the paper dispensing area, and reinstall the roll. This could save you spending ten minutes peeling off layers of saturated toilet paper in order to get down to some dry stuff that can be pulled off without disintegrating in your hands.

I learned this one first hand.

To be honest with you I travel Viewliners fairly often. All that is provided is a plastic wrapped mini-roll which is on the sink counter with the towels and soap. I'm not even sure if there is a TP holder in some of the rooms. We've lost the video screens, the folding chairs (replaced on some Viewliners by a stationary swivel chair) and the trash receptacles in the bedrooms won't stay closed. My grand-daughter could figure out if you put a strong enough magnet inside the door of the trash receptacle it would stay closed. Amtrak's solution? Tie a super sized plastic bag to the inside of the bathroom door.

#100 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 12:21 AM

Here's a tip for using the shower located in the Superliner's bedroom toilet room (I assume it would also apply to the Viewliner). Don't assume the cover over the toilet paper roll will keep the roll dry while you shower. It doesn't. If you want to use the shower, remove the toilet paper from the room. Then, when all is finished, towel off the toilet room and the paper dispensing area, and reinstall the roll. This could save you spending ten minutes peeling off layers of saturated toilet paper in order to get down to some dry stuff that can be pulled off without disintegrating in your hands.

I learned this one first hand.

To be honest with you I travel Viewliners fairly often. All that is provided is a plastic wrapped mini-roll which is on the sink counter with the towels and soap. I'm not even sure if there is a TP holder in some of the rooms. We've lost the video screens, the folding chairs (replaced on some Viewliners by a stationary swivel chair) and the trash receptacles in the bedrooms won't stay closed. My grand-daughter could figure out if you put a strong enough magnet inside the door of the trash receptacle it would stay closed. Amtrak's solution? Tie a super sized plastic bag to the inside of the bathroom door.


I could justify the reason a magnet is not desirable:

They damage mechanical watches. I for one would complain about magnets located in inappropriate places.
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
Most important: Keep it Simple, Stupid!
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