Hello all and thanks for the useful information that has been posted on this forum. Very appreciative of that.
After enjoying a very pleasant day trip from STL to Springfield to visit the Lincoln sights last month, we decided it would be fun to do a short overnight trip out of STL.
We booked the Texas Eagle from STL to DAL leaving this past Saturday night (21) and returning Monday morning (22) with a short 3+ hour turnaround in Dallas. Outward bound we had a family room for the two of us and homeward bound we had a bedroom. I think that the scheduled departure time from STL was around 7:30 PM but it was running quite late due to a freight train issue on the tracks. I think we ended up leaving at about 9:30 PM. This gave us time to experience the first class lounge in STL. It is small but very comfortable and we were the only occupants. There are no snacks. Lesson learned about not packing snacks and provisions in case you board too late for dinner but we got some very good italian food delivered right to the train station thanks to the learned advice of the station concierge. Other than him, the station crew in STL were not polite but not overly friendly. I don't know if they are Amtrak personnel or work for the city.
Turning the tide, as we boarded, we were greeted with great enthusiasm by our Sleeping Car Attendant, Rita. She was incredibly helpful, professional and friendly during our adventure. We really enjoyed the family bedroom and used only the "double" bed for our two adult party. It was very comfortable. We stopped in Little Rock in the early morning and enjoyed getting off the train and grabbing juice and coffee and meeting fellow travellors. We then proceeded to breakfast and enjoyed a delicious meal with a fellow train travel mate. The egg quesadillas were particularly delicious. The dining car attendant on 21 was, like Rita, extremely courteous and friendly. We retired to our room for the early afternoon and enjoyed the scenery and napping. Before disembarking in Dallas, because the train was running late, we enjoyed a lunch in the dining car. A burger and chilquelies were delicious. Arriving in Dallas, we went to the Kennedy Assassination museum which is only a few blocks away and found it to be very interesting.
As noted, a very short turn around time in Dallas and I think we arrived back to Dallas Union Station with about 45 minutes cushion until departure. Note: as of yesterday, there are no working restrooms in the Dallas Union Station. One must walk through the underground passageway from the station to the Hyatt hotel to use a restroom. It is not a short walk. This seemed rather strange and marked the point at which our adventure took an ever so slightly lower mark.
We boarded the train and were assigned Bedroom B. Bedroom B was still in a state of disarray from the prior occupant(s). We waited in the observation car as Reggie, our train 22 SCA, fixed up the room. He was accommodating. In general, we found the train team on 22 much less customer service oriented than 21. Perhaps they were just having a bad day. Our bedroom was nice but there was constant dripping from the shower in the private restroom which required one to use shoes to use the lavatory and also resulted in us deciding to minimize the usage of the facilities.
We arrived quite early back to STL this morning which was very nice.
All in all, we had a great and relaxing train adventure. It is just interesting how much different the vibe can be from one crew to the next.
Enjoy your rail travels all!