Hey there. I first noticed this site when I started looking around online for info about trains in general. I love Amtrak and have taken quite a few trips on it, so I was delighted to find this forum where I could actually learn so much about it. After lurking around for some time and reading various posts, I came to realize that sometimes it seems like nearly every other thread here results in an argument breaking out. So I figured, hey, I'll fit right in!
So I joined. And promptly resumed lurking.
But I guess I gotta start posting now because I do really want to take a trip later this year (Kentucky) and need a lot more info. I haven't taken a long distance trip since '08, unfortunately.
My train traveling history: I'm in the Southern California area, so I take short hops on the Surfliner from time to time. I work across the street from a Metrolink station and live nearby, so I use that frequently. I've been to New York City (once) and Washington, DC (multiple times) via Amtrak. I am lucky to be able to say that I took the Desert Wind once (may god rest its soul), and the Sunset Limited back when it went to Florida (sigh).
An interesting bit of history about me, I once missed catching an ill-fated SL. I was spending the summer with friends near DC and a hurricane in Florida forced the cancellation of the train (Silver Meteor? Can't remember now) that would have connected me to the SL, so I stayed put and waited for things to clear up. That SL I was supposed to catch ended up being the one that derailed in AZ. I do wish the SL still went to Florida!
I know I took a long distance train trip when I was a little kid, but can't remember the details now. It *may* have been to Oklahoma, but I could very well be wrong. Must've been Amtrak though, because I was born post-Amtrak. How I wish I had been able to travel on the SP and other passenger rails back in the day!
For whatever reason, around 7 years ago or so I became fascinated with local railroad history. It started when I began researching the history of the west San Fernando Valley for an article I was writing. I read about the Coast Line and Burbank Branch being built, and it just got to me. Now, when I see old rr tracks or even the slightest trace of a ROW, I'm like a bloodhound sniffing out its origins! That happened to me most recently in Highland Park (north-east LA area). It was funny how I just happened to find a remnant without even trying.
Anyway, other stuff: I love animals, assist in animal rescue, and have a good deal of experience working with & handling dogs and cats. I also have knowledge of horses (more on that in later posts). I have yet to find my dream job, so I have a lot of side gigs at the moment including a few projects involving writing and editing. I plan on returning to school to finish my degree (finally) as soon as I can afford to. I've had a lot of friends who were/are military service members, and I once considered joining myself, so now I do a lot of volunteer work for organizations which assist members of the military and veterans.
I don't fly, mainly due to fear. I realize that a catastrophic event is highly unlikely - it's the turbulence that bothers me. If it suddenly dropped out of the sky, even a little bit, well, I don't want to think what my reaction would be, but let's just say I'd probably be on the news. Plus, I just can't tolerate TSA and all that entails.
I absolutely adore planes, though. Especially military aircraft. I go to airshows every chance I get and used to LOVE living next to an airport.
Ok, sorry for the long post. Back to lurking around in the shadows, now.