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First Trip Review (SAV-WAS-ESX-WAS-SAV)


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#1 Guest_J.M._*

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 12:42 PM

Completed my SAV -> WAS -> ESX -> WAS -> SAV trip and it went very well.  I had a roommette for the two overnight portions from and back to Savannah and I rode in coach up to Vermont and Biz Class on the way back.

 

The roommette was very room for one person.  I can see two people fitting in it, but not nearly as easily.  I slept on the upper bunk using one lower seat for one of my bags and the other as my seat.  I kept my other bag in the storage space that goes over the hallway.

 

Having the toilet in the room was very convenient for bladder relief during late night hours.

 

Ate a nice dinner (Land & Sea) in the dining car, seated with a pleasant couple from England who enjoyed chatting.  I drank a half bottle, made sure to request my salad and roll which I think the server forgot about, and enjoyed the pecan tart for dessert.  My steak was overcooked but I wasn't going to complain, as I know how it's cooked Sous vide first and finished on the grill.  

 

Slept about 3-4 hours and then woke up and decided to sit in the seat under my bunk and watch the stations go by.  Ate breakfast in the dining car (quesedilla with bacon which was delicious).

 

Silver Meteor was on time to WAS which was great since I only had 45 mins until the Vermonter departed.

 

Seats on the Vermonter coachclass cars were fantastic.  They seemed very new (very supple grey leather).  My friend and I hit the cafe car pretty hard for the 12 hour trip.  Service was fantastic all the way up to ESX.  Vermont train crew were all terrific.  Vermonter train was about 15 mins late at the final station, which is not bad at all for a 12 hour trip.

 

On the way back we sat in Biz Class and the seats weren't as nice as the newer ones in coach, although we did have more leg room and a center armrest.  And we had super easy access to the cafe.  I slept a fair amount on the way back, exhausted from my time in Vermont with friends.  Vermonter back to DC was on time.

 

Spent about 21 hours in DC (10:30pm until 7:30pm the next day) sleeping in a hotel near Union Station and touring the National Mall.

 

Tired from walking DC I retired to the Acela lounge where I enjoyed some soda, some snack crackers, and some TV without the noise of the main waiting areas.  A lounge attendant escorted me to the platform where Ed my SCA met me at the far end of the train.  Dinner was very similar to my original trip, except that I asked for the cheese plate for "desert" (to finish my wine) and then asked for a cheescake as my actual desert (which I said I'd pay for) to go with coffee.  The server only charged me for my wine and wouldn't even add the cheesecake when I reminded him that I got two "deserts."

 

This morning the Silver Meteor was scheduled to arrive in SAV at 6:34am which meant I wouldn't have time for the dining car, but thankfully the train was 20 mins behind schedule - just enough to get another "quick" breakfast quesadilla in.

 

Tipped my SCA's $5 for the overnight service both ways (my trip was 12 hours each time).  I tipped the cafe and dining car servers according to the prices of the food and drink.

 

Overall it was a fantastic trip and I can't wait to do another one, hopefully a train that has a true observation lounge.



#2 pennyk

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 01:40 PM

MODERATOR NOTE:  This trip report was initially posted in the Guest Forum by Guest J.M.  It was moved to the Trip Report forum since that it is appropriate forum for a trip report.  Staff encourages J.M. to become a member of AU so that he/she will have the opportunity to post in other forums.

 

 

J.M., Thank you for posting your trip report.  I always like to hear positive reports about my "home train" the Silver Meteor.  I will be traveling on the Vermonter from ESX to NYP later this month and I appreciate your feedback.


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Amtrak miles: 246,317; Routes: Silver Meteor, Champion, Silver Star, Auto Train, Capitol Limited, Empire Builder, Lakeshore Limited, Adirondack, Vermonter, Cardinal, California Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Texas Eagle, Missouri River Runner, Acela Express, Southwest Chief, Cascades, Crescent, City of New Orleans, Hiawatha Service, Maple Leaf, Keystone Service, NE Regional, Downeaster, Piedmont, Carolinian, Lincoln Service, Autumn Express 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, Empire Service, Sunset Limited, San Joaquin, Capitol Corridor, Pennsylvanian, Illinois Zephyr, Carl Sandburg, Ethan Allen Express, AEM-7 Excursion, Pacific Surfliner, Palmetto.  VIA miles: 4,584; Routes: The Canadian, Ocean; Alaska RR Denali Star: 356 miles


#3 caravanman

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 03:04 PM

Nice to read such a positive trip report, glad it went well for you!

 

Ed.



#4 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 03:27 PM

Very nice report, and glad you had such a good trip! Thanks for posting it!


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#5 Dakota 400

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 03:48 PM

I enjoyed reading your report.  Your comparison between the Vermonter's Business Class and Coach seating was something I have wondered about when I have considered taking this train.

 

You mentioned that on your return trip, you met your SCA "at the far end of the train".  Were the Sleeping Cars just behind the engines on the SB Silver Meteor?



#6 cpotisch

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 06:22 PM

You mentioned that on your return trip, you met your SCA "at the far end of the train".  Were the Sleeping Cars just behind the engines on the SB Silver Meteor?

 

The Silver Meteor always has the sleepers at the back, as I understand it. Sorry if I'm missing something but why does that suggest that the sleepers were in the front?


Edited by cpotisch, 05 June 2018 - 06:22 PM.

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Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service, Downeaster w/ Great Dome
 
Wish List: Auto Train, Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome


#7 AmtrakBlue

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 06:49 PM

I enjoyed reading your report.  Your comparison between the Vermonter's Business Class and Coach seating was something I have wondered about when I have considered taking this train.

 

You mentioned that on your return trip, you met your SCA "at the far end of the train".  Were the Sleeping Cars just behind the engines on the SB Silver Meteor?

Southbound, the sleepers, in the back, would be at the far end of the train.  I believe he's saying that the SCA met him at his car which was at the far end of the train.



#8 oregon pioneer

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 07:40 PM

J.M. thank you for the trip report! I enjoyed reading it.

 

I am hoping to take the Vermonter some day, but it is not as easy when traveling from the west.


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.


#9 pennyk

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 07:41 PM

 

You mentioned that on your return trip, you met your SCA "at the far end of the train".  Were the Sleeping Cars just behind the engines on the SB Silver Meteor?

 

The Silver Meteor always has the sleepers at the back, as I understand it. Sorry if I'm missing something but why does that suggest that the sleepers were in the front?

 

Silver Meteor sleepers have been on the rear for a few years.  Before that, they were in front in the warm months and in the back during the cool months.  I think it was in either 2016 or 2017 that the sleepers were not "flipped" to the front of the train in the spring.


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Amtrak miles: 246,317; Routes: Silver Meteor, Champion, Silver Star, Auto Train, Capitol Limited, Empire Builder, Lakeshore Limited, Adirondack, Vermonter, Cardinal, California Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Texas Eagle, Missouri River Runner, Acela Express, Southwest Chief, Cascades, Crescent, City of New Orleans, Hiawatha Service, Maple Leaf, Keystone Service, NE Regional, Downeaster, Piedmont, Carolinian, Lincoln Service, Autumn Express 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, Empire Service, Sunset Limited, San Joaquin, Capitol Corridor, Pennsylvanian, Illinois Zephyr, Carl Sandburg, Ethan Allen Express, AEM-7 Excursion, Pacific Surfliner, Palmetto.  VIA miles: 4,584; Routes: The Canadian, Ocean; Alaska RR Denali Star: 356 miles


#10 Dakota 400

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 03:25 PM

 

 

You mentioned that on your return trip, you met your SCA "at the far end of the train".  Were the Sleeping Cars just behind the engines on the SB Silver Meteor?

 

The Silver Meteor always has the sleepers at the back, as I understand it. Sorry if I'm missing something but why does that suggest that the sleepers were in the front?

 

Silver Meteor sleepers have been on the rear for a few years.  Before that, they were in front in the warm months and in the back during the cool months.  I think it was in either 2016 or 2017 that the sleepers were not "flipped" to the front of the train in the spring.

 

 

 

 

I enjoyed reading your report.  Your comparison between the Vermonter's Business Class and Coach seating was something I have wondered about when I have considered taking this train.

 

You mentioned that on your return trip, you met your SCA "at the far end of the train".  Were the Sleeping Cars just behind the engines on the SB Silver Meteor?

Southbound, the sleepers, in the back, would be at the far end of the train.  I believe he's saying that the SCA met him at his car which was at the far end of the train.

 

 

 

 

You mentioned that on your return trip, you met your SCA "at the far end of the train".  Were the Sleeping Cars just behind the engines on the SB Silver Meteor?

 

The Silver Meteor always has the sleepers at the back, as I understand it. Sorry if I'm missing something but why does that suggest that the sleepers were in the front?

 

 

Thanks to you folks who responded to my question.  The last time I was on a WAS-FLL train was 1975.  I feel like a "newbie" with regard to the Silver Meteor and am trying to learn what I can before my trip.



#11 cpotisch

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 03:32 PM

Thanks to you folks who responded to my question.  The last time I was on a WAS-FLL train was 1975.  I feel like a "newbie" with regard to the Silver Meteor and am trying to learn what I can before my trip.

Have you travelled on any single-level overnight trains before? If you have, the Meteor is pretty much the same. I'm sure you'll enjoy it, since, in my opinion, it's the nicest LD route on the east coast. I've found that staff on the SM are usually superb, and there is usually coffee and juice galore in each sleeper.


Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service, Downeaster w/ Great Dome
 
Wish List: Auto Train, Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome


#12 Dakota 400

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 07:21 PM

 

Thanks to you folks who responded to my question.  The last time I was on a WAS-FLL train was 1975.  I feel like a "newbie" with regard to the Silver Meteor and am trying to learn what I can before my trip.

Have you travelled on any single-level overnight trains before? If you have, the Meteor is pretty much the same. I'm sure you'll enjoy it, since, in my opinion, it's the nicest LD route on the east coast. I've found that staff on the SM are usually superb, and there is usually coffee and juice galore in each sleeper.

 

 

Yes. I traveled on the Crescent from New York to New Orleans in recent years.  A stellar SCA as well as the scenery made the trip enjoyable.  Learning how to use "the potty" when the bed was in place was another one of those Senior Learning Moments.



#13 Lonestar648

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 02:27 AM

Thank you for the trip report.  It was very interesting to read.  Hope you become a member  



#14 Seaboard92

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 10:28 AM

It should be noted that occasionally the sleepers location will change. When we had a school group on the Cardinal occupying one Amtrak coach and our two private cars. The sleepers were on the front so that the school group coach was directly connected to the private cars. But the next day reverted back to standard consist on the next trip with sleepers on the rear.
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View my pictures at http://trainboy1.rrpicturearchives.net
Amtrak Routes I've riden: Silver Star(NYP-ORL), Silver Meteor(KIS-NYP),Carolinian(CLT-NWK), Palmetto (FLO-NYP), Acela(WAS-NYP), NE Regional(WBG-RVR), Pacific Surfliner(SAN-OSD), Piedmont(CLT-SAL), Crescent(NYP-CLT), Cardinal (WAS-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Cascade (PDX-SEA)
Steam Engines I've worked behind: Norfolk & Western No. 611; Nickel Plate Road No. 765; Southern Pacific No. 4449
 

#15 cpotisch

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 12:00 PM

Thank you for the trip report.  It was very interesting to read.  Hope you become a member  

Agree with all three statements. Please join! The more the merrier!  :)


Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service, Downeaster w/ Great Dome
 
Wish List: Auto Train, Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome





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