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Greyhound Trip Report : Fort Worth - Dallas - Memphis - Baton Rouge -


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#1 NativeSon5859

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 09:19 PM

Fort Worth to Dallas
Schedule 7311
Dep: 8:20p (actual 9:15p)
Arr: 9:00p (actual 9:57p)

I arrived at the Fort Worth Intermodal Station at about 7:30pm, after catching a commuter rail train from the DFW CentrePort rail station. The FTW station serves both Amtrak and Greyhound, and it's a relatively new/modern building, very clean with plenty of seats. There's a Subway restaurant in the station but it was closed when I got there. So after changing into some comfortable clothes, I took a seat in the Greyhound area, waiting on my bus which was running about one hour late. Not a big deal since if it was on-time, I would have had a 2h50m layover in the much more crowded Dallas station. So I took advantage of the peace and calm in this one. Sure enough at 9 on the button, the bus pulled in. It had started its journey about 17 hours prior in Denver, CO, and Fort Worth was the last stop before its final destination, Dallas. It looked like a pretty full bus coming in, but about 8 passengers ended their trip here, so I was feeling good about at least getting a seat close to the front. Frankly I didn't really care where I sat since it was only a 40min ride over to Dallas. Well I lucked out and got a pair of seats to myself close to the front. We departed at 9:15, and arrived in Dallas just about 40 min later after a smooth ride along the interstate.

Layover in Dallas

This was only my second time in the Dallas terminal, and I have to say it's not that bad. Very busy, sure, but well laid out, with plenty of seating and a lot of amenities, including two restaurants – the usual Greyhound food service, serving things like burgers and other sandwiches off the grill along with pre-made salads and deli sandwiches to buy, and a Pizza Hut. The Pizza Hut was closed when I got there so I settled on a chicken sandwich and fries since I figured I wouldn't be eating again until Memphis. As usual the food was good enough and the prices fair. After I ate, I walked up the counter to see which gate my bus would be departing from, at that point a little over a hour from that time, if on schedule. I was told it would leave from Gate D, so I made my way over there, and since no one was in line at gate D, I put my backpack down in the front, ensuring I was first in line. At the lane next to me – a huge, huge line of bags and people, waiting on a massively delayed bus to El Paso and Los Angeles. No driver, apparently. Glad I wasn't on that one. It eventually left at 2:45am. But my bus – the 11:50pm schedule to Richmond, VA – was on time. Boarding started at 11:30, along with the 11:45 bus to Denver.

Dallas to Memphis
Schedule 1510
Dep: 11:50p (actual 11:57p)
Arr: 8:15a (actual 8:10a)

I was number three to board after two elderly ladies. Picked a window seat three rows back from the driver and settled in. Quickly it became apparent that it would be a full bus, so I did have a seat mate, all the way to Memphis in fact. It wasn't a big deal since he was a small-ish older man who didn't say really anything the entire time. The rest of the bus was the typical usual mix of passengers – elderly, college kids, families with small children mostly, with a few solo passengers my age I would guess thrown in. The driver gave a nice detailed announcement and we were off just a few minutes behind schedule. There would be only two stops on this eight hour+ trip to Memphis – Texarkana and Little Rock. Once we got on the interstate, I think I quickly fell asleep, and though I didn't sleep straight through, I woke up for good about five minutes before we reached Texarkana. We had like 25min there. Came to a stop in Texarkana at 2:52am. I went inside the nice little station and bought a diet drink. About twenty or so passengers were in the station, many waiting to join our bus, and some others waiting to board the 3:25am Jefferson Lines departure to Fayetteville and Kansas City. I got back on the bus after about 15min. Some folks left and others got on, so again we departed completely full. I was out like a light shortly thereafter, slept soundly for two more hours, and woke up about ten minutes outside of Little Rock. We arrived Little Rock at 5:25am. We'd only be there for fifteen minutes, so I didn''t get off the bus, but my seatmate did for a few. After watching a bus arrive next to us, we departed on time at 5:50am. Next stop, and the last stop for me, would be Memphis, but the bus would still have many hours to go until it reached its terminus of Richmond, VA. I slept peacefully and then awoke to watch a beautiful sunrise over the low lands of far eastern Arkansas. We hit some traffic as we crossed the Mississippi River leading into downtown Memphis, but it wasn''t too bad. And as it turned out, we arrived at the new and spacious Memphis terminal – just next to the airport – a few minutes ahead of schedule. Upon arriving, there were Memphis police officers on hand, waiting to randomly inspect passenger's bags. No Elvis impersonator's, though.

Layover in Memphis

I had about an hour to kill here. I wasn't too hungry so I bought a muffin and some juice from the restaurant. I passed on a full meal since I figured I'd get one at some point on the next 8.5 hour leg to Baton Rouge...and well, that turned out to be a mistake! Anyway, Memphis, love the bus station, one of the best in the country that I've been to. More like a modern airport terminal than a bus station. At 9:00am I waited in lane E for my 9:30am Delta Bus Lines schedule to Baton Rouge, while several other buses were loading and un-loading.

Memphis to Baton Rouge
Schedule 0003 (operated by Delta Bus Lines)
Dep: 9:30a (actual 9:40a)
Arr: 6:00p (actual 5:54p)

If you want to go from Memphis to New Orleans by bus, you have two choices, both of which involve a connection in Baton Rouge : 1) take a Greyhound to Baton Rouge via I-55 with only a handful of stops, or 2) take a Delta Bus Lines (they have a ticketing agreement with Greyhound) via Highway 61 and a bunch of stops in rural Mississippi/Louisiana. I chose the latter, since I had never done it before. Boarding started at 9:15am and it was myself and five other passengers to start the journey. The bus was clean and comfortable. No complaints there. The driver was old school and to the point. Pleasant enough, though. My only complaint about the trip, which I aluded to earlier, was the fact that no stop had anything more than vending machines. So if you didn't bring honest to goodness food with you, I hope you don't mind cookies and chips for lunch. But, we make do, right? The “major” stops on this route included Tunica (stop for the many casinos nearby), Greenville, MS (out longest stop and the headquarters of this small regional bus line), and Vicksburg (where we met an arriving Greyhound from Atlanta, and a few folks transferred between buses). It was never really all that full at any point on the route, but just about every city except one had at least one person get on or get off. It's a true "local service" route, which is not very common in 2017 in many places around the country, since Greyhound has made it a point to lessen the number of the stops and stick to the interstates as much as possible. Overall it was a peaceful ride through the Mississippi Delta region, though I probably wouldn't ride it again just due to the fact that it's such a food-baren route. At least if you're on Greyhound on an 8-hour+ journey, you are guaranteed, at some point on the way, to have a stop where you can get food.
But I'm glad I gave this route a try, and it's certainly a unique way to see the part of the country where the Blues was born.

Baton Rouge to New Orleans
Schedule 1596
Dep: 6:45p (actual 6:55p)
Arr: 8:30p (actual 8:25p)

After a short layover in BTR, I boarded this bus to New Orleans, which had originated earlier in Houston, and was ultimately destined for Atlanta. I found the last empty row, one row from the back, and took the window seat. I had a seat mate moments later. Every seat was full. Not much to say, the driver quickly turned off the lights so people could rest, and most of them did, at least in my area in the back. I crashed hard, and woke up as we were nearing the New Orleans airport. About twenty minutes later we pulled in to the terminal, where everyone had to get off the bus, but I don't think some people understood that, since I walked past at least four or five who appeared to be quite content staying on.

To sum up...

No problems to speak of. Basically on time. Buses were clean, everything was in working order. All the employees I talked with were pleasant.

Up next...

New Orleans to Kansas City on Greyhound and Jefferson Lines, returning home on Amtrak. In about two weeks.
U.S: Acela Express, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Cardinal, Cascades, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Hiawatha, Lake Shore Limited, Northeast Regional, Pacific Surfliner, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited, Texas Eagle, Three Rivers, Twilight Shoreliner, Vermonter

Europe: Cisalpino, EuroCity, Eurostar Italia, ICE, TGV, TGV Duplex, Thalys

#2 railiner

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 06:23 AM

Excellent report...I enjoy your writing style. You might want to add the coach number, and equipment type for those interested.
Looking forward to your next leg....
metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#3 NativeSon5859

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 07:16 AM

FTW-DAL-MEM was on a 102DL.
MEM-BTR was a D4505.
BTR-NOL was a blue "G".

Forgot to jot down the numbers, will do next time.

Thanks for reading!


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Edited by NativeSon5859, 25 October 2017 - 07:17 AM.

U.S: Acela Express, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Cardinal, Cascades, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Hiawatha, Lake Shore Limited, Northeast Regional, Pacific Surfliner, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited, Texas Eagle, Three Rivers, Twilight Shoreliner, Vermonter

Europe: Cisalpino, EuroCity, Eurostar Italia, ICE, TGV, TGV Duplex, Thalys

#4 willem

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 08:26 AM

Thanks for the report. I haven't ridden a long-distance bus in decades, and your report is interesting.

 

Dallas to Memphis to Baton Rouge to New Orleans seems like the long way around. (Amtrak's routings have their own problems, of course.)
 

[...] with a few solo passengers my age I would guess [...]

 
And that age is? You mentioned "elderly, college kids, families with small children mostly" so it sounds like there was a wide range.



#5 NativeSon5859

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 01:56 PM

At the time I needed to leave the DFW area, I could have gone via Houston, which would have saved a few hours...but this way just seemed more interesting.

I'm 38.


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U.S: Acela Express, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Cardinal, Cascades, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Hiawatha, Lake Shore Limited, Northeast Regional, Pacific Surfliner, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited, Texas Eagle, Three Rivers, Twilight Shoreliner, Vermonter

Europe: Cisalpino, EuroCity, Eurostar Italia, ICE, TGV, TGV Duplex, Thalys

#6 Bob Dylan

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 02:20 PM

You also could have taken the Texas Eagle from FTW to Longview,the Amtrak Thruway to Houston and ridden the Bus to La.
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
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Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay




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