The friendly agents,are now giving out Free Parking Passes for the Lighted,Resurfaced Parking Lot ( UP owned)and the Restrooms are only available to Ticketed Amtrak Passengers since the Large Homeless Colony in downtown Austin used to hang out @ the Nicely Remodeled, Air Conditioned old MoPac Station and make a Mess in the Restrooms.
Also the Quik-Trak Machine is gone, all those wanting tickets,have to see the Agents. ( 2 on Duty for #22/1 for #21 in the evening)
The Train #22/#422, with its usual 7 Car Consist, (Sleepers in Front) chugged in 30 minutes Late due to a Late Departing Sunset Ltd. #2 out of San Antonio and UP Freight congestion.
A large crowd of about 50 people, including 10 for the Sleepers,lined up under the Station Canopy in 2 Lines so the Conductor could scan tickets. Sleeper pax,Seniors,tge Handicaped and those with Small Children get boarding priority.
I rode in the Sightseer Lounge for the 35 minute trip up the so called MoPac Expressway, ( packed with Cars in both Directions) through Round Rock and into the Freight Yards @ Taylor where we arrived anout 15 minutes down at the old Mopac Station,now UP District Headquarters.( the,Taylor Amtrak "Station" is a Shed with 2 Picnic Tables)
After a great Brisket and Beef Rib Lunch @ Bobby Mueller's Best in Texas Q Joint,😍I spent the Layover on the 100+ Degree Dog Day @ Taylor's Great Public Library while waiting 4 Hours for #21 to arrive for the Trip back to Austin.😎
#21 ran on time from Ft Worth through Cleburne,McGregor and Temple and rolled around the bend into the Taylor stop right on time @536pm 😎with the usual 7 Car consist,( Sleepers in Front)but only 1 P-42 which is NOT good on this route,especially on 100+ degree Day😥!!)
I boarded after several people detrained,had my sticker scanned, and headed for the Sightseer Lounge. Once the High Ball sounded, we rolled out and had clear sailing all the way to Austin arriving right on time about 630pm!😎
The Diner was serving dinner, but since there isn't time to eat on this short trip, I Visited my OBS friends in the CCC,one of the several Good Crews on this Route!.
The food being served to the almost full Diner by the friendly and efficient crew looked very appealing! I look forward to trying it when I ride the Eagle/Sunset in Sept on the way to the Gathering!
The Female Conductor on #22 told me that several Conductors are transferring in from California to the San Antonio Crew Base for the SAS-FTW Leg of this Route.
Due to it being a High Seniority Route, even though she has 18+ Years of Service, she will have to shift to the San Antonio-Beaumont/San Antonio-Del Rio Route on the Sunset Ltd.and lose about 20 Hours of Pay since the Eagle runs Daily and the Sunset is a tri-weekly Train.😣
The Coach Bathrooms on the Train were Very Clean and the OBS was friendly and professional, but the Eagle seems to once again be getting the Tired,Worn Equipment that it and the CONO used to get when they shared Superliner equipment.
All in all a Nice Day Trip and the Senior Coach Fare was only $14 Round Trip. ( Senior Saver Fare)
Edited by Bob Dylan, 18 August 2017 - 02:03 PM.