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A Rookie once more!!!


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#1 Rail Freak

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 05:56 PM

After enjoying Amtrak Long Distance travel for 8 years, things (AGR) changed!!! I swore I had traveled enough on Amtrak, but after a year & a half, I'm "Jonesin" for another adventure!!!

I sure would like to hear your suggestions for the most economical (AGR) trips (biggest bang for the buck), as planning has changed from what I was used to!!! I live in the Tampa Bay area, but not opposed to flying to another departure point.

Thanx

RF


Edited by Rail Freak, 13 April 2017 - 06:06 PM.

A Rookie No More! But Still A Lot Of Track To Travel !!!
Silver Meteor #97(6) & #98 (4), Silver Star #91 (2), Capitol Limited #29 & #30(6), 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, #59 (2), South West Chief #3 (4), Lake Shore Limited #49, Maple Leaf #63, San Joaquin #714, Pacific Surfliner #774, Texas Eagle #422 (2), Cardinal #50, Crescent #19, Sunset Limited #1. Approx. 60,169 miles & 41 states!

 


#2 Bob Dylan

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 08:03 PM

Glad to see you back, lots of us felt the same as you when the AGR2.0 Rollout was mishandled and the nickel and dime cuts, along with the ever increasing fares kept on coming!

I wouldn't waste points or $$ on the Silver trains since you've been there,done that.

Of course using amsnag and being flexible in your travel dates will allow you a better bang for your points or bucks.

FWIW,I'm not sure what trains you haven't ridden yet, but taking the Adirondack,Vermonter and Downeaster are excellent trips in the NE.

Theres still some deals on the CONO (although the Food Service has been downgraded) and the Texas Eagle and Sunset also.(New Orleans is cheap in the Summer!)

The California trains are also good, as are the Carolina trains and the Cascades in the NE once the Mudslides are over.

As always, riding the Cap Ltd. is a nice trip to WAS,as is catching the Pennsy in PGH to PHL or NYP ( early connection at the Pit in Pit) if you haven't seen the Horseshoe Curve.

The Missouri River Runner between STL and KCY is also a nice trip with KCY being a nice place to explore!

I'd avoid the Zephyr,Empire Builder and SWC due to their High Bucket Fares.

Edited by Bob Dylan, 13 April 2017 - 08:06 PM.

"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..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

#3 the_traveler

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 08:17 PM

With the only trains (right now) to/from FL being the Silvers connection in WAS, it is not advantageous as far as AGR redemptions to start in FL. I would fly somewhere to begin.
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#4 oregon pioneer

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 11:25 PM

I've been looking at my next trip back east to visit family. I'm thinking of next February/early March, to get longer days than my usual Thanksgiving trip. There is only one day each direction in February that the LSL is not low bucket, and the Builder is still low bucket for the entire month!! I notice the one-night LSL trip is more expensive than the two-night Builder trip, too. So don't rule out the Empire Builder.

 

BTW, I have been pricing out the trip from WIH (Wishram WA, where I will most likely board) to BOS, and low bucket.roomette is 27,497 points -- way cheaper than the old three zones for 35,000. Of course, if both of us wanted to go, and we wanted to take the "scenic route" from Bend through SAC or LAX, it would have been cheaper under the old system. I think the long way around is out of my price range these days. Sigh.


Jennifer

 

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.


#5 tomfuller

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 09:23 AM

Oregon Pioneer - Next month My wife and I are driving to Winnemucca to board the CZ to Chicago on points. From Chicago we take the LSL in Business Class seats to Erie PA.

Renting from Enterprise earning points. Driving all the way to the coast of Maine and back through PA returning the car late night and taking the LSL (1:48AM) back to Chicago.

I still had enough points left to get a roomette as far as Glenwood Springs. I have a friend in Winnemucca for free parking in a fenced lot.

Rail Freak - Fly to New Orleans and take the CONO  to Chicago (Memphis if you want a 24 hour break).

From Chicago take your pick of EB, CZ or SWC. Use the CS to connect to whichever you didn't ride. Fly back home from Chicago.



#6 oregon pioneer

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 11:14 AM

Nice trip, Tom!

Now that points are almost directly proportional to dollars, it makes sense to choose low (or at least lower) bucket trains and days using Amsnag, and just go for the best (to you) value.


Jennifer

 

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.


#7 tomfuller

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 12:04 PM

Places I have started long distance train trips from : Washington DC (2001), Toronto Ontario (cousin took me to TWO), Spokane WA, Albany OR Chemult OR, Klamath Falls OR and Burbank CA.
Return trips from Kissimmee FL, Tucson AZ, Galesburg IL, Churchill Manitoba and Newhall CA.
My trip next month is timed to get me to two events that I can't miss. A geocaching Mega event in Western New York 5/20 and my 50th HS reunion on 5/27.
In between I/we go to find geocaches in the 6 NE states VT, NH, ME, MA, RI and CT. That will make 49 states for me. Too bad we can't ride Amtrak to Hawaii

#8 Sauve850

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 07:07 PM

I will ride the SWC in a bedroom this summer for 29,808 points.



#9 City of Miami

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 07:31 PM

When I have traveled between two cities that are in different zones in the old system it is now often cheaper, even much cheaper, than 19K points for a roomette it would have been in AGR1. For example, WAS to CHI or WAS to NOL. It seems to me when you make a connection and change trains that's when the price really goes up. For example, WAS to DAL = $YIKES!

Edited by City of Miami, 15 April 2017 - 08:09 PM.


#10 oregon pioneer

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 08:14 PM

I've also noticed that the connection costs lots of point$ -- but what seems to cost all the points, is having a sleeper on a short part of the another train (in my example, I was looking at Chemult to BOS via PDX, and the CMO to PDX part seemed to cost disproportionately). If I change the reservation to have coach on a short-haul daytime connecting train, the price (in points or dollars) gets reasonable again.

 

I noticed you can choose coach, even under the sleeper column, by hitting the "change" arrow. This allows you to change to coach in a portion of your redemption. I don't remember being able to do that before.


Jennifer

 

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.


#11 the_traveler

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 08:44 PM

That was always there.
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!




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