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Anyone travelled Amtrak on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?


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#21 caravanman

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 07:21 AM

I think all the Xmas day Amtrak trains are diverted via the North Pole, so that Santa can give out the presents. It is possible that I may be misinformed!

 

Ed.



#22 snvboy

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 08:38 AM

Of the few that have travelled on Christmas day was that deliberate choice or just it was the day that fitted into a schedule?

 

Anderson, can't make the trees of aluminium this year as it would cost too much, the tariffs are too high... sorry, couldn't resist that.

Was a deliberate choice. Since nobody wants to travel on Christmas day itself, there are some amazing deals to be had.



#23 stappend

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 08:47 AM

I took the Lake Shore Limited in 2000 at Christmas.  There was a blizzard and we got to Chicago very late, catching a very late City of New Orleans, and got to downstate Illinois at 4am on Christmas day.  We were just happy the train was running at all, as nothing else was moving.  Even in 2000 when service was much better than it is now, I don't recall anything special about the train at Christmas.  At New Years I've seen the dinning car staff do some modest decorating.  



#24 Seaboard92

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 09:21 AM

My trip was on purpose in order to ride the 1950s equipment.
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#25 cpotisch

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 09:22 AM

 

Maybe this year, Amtrak will have a contemporary tree in every dining car.

So, made of aluminum?

 

I think they'll probably just shape a tree out of any leftover yogurt from the CL and LSL that year. The greener the better!


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#26 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 10:08 AM

I've traveled with Amtrak on several holidays including Thanksgiving, Xmas, and New Years.  Other than the discontinued holiday meal that wasn't specific to any given day it's generally been roughly the same experience as any other trip. Which is pretty much the same thing as you find when flying on a holiday.  Occasionally there's an elf hat or a light string or some garland taped to the wall/ceiling but that's about it.  I think most people are just trying to get where they're going. I've seen this and similar questions asked many times but I'm not sure where the idea of a "holiday party train" comes from.  It must have been before my time or in another part of the country/world.


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#27 RichieRich

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 10:21 AM

Being a super-regular on the AT, yes...every Holiday including every Xmas Eve. We string colored lites in both rooms. Dinner the same. We bring a battery mini-Xmas tree table decoration at dinner. Coming back occasionally on New Years Eve, balloons and streamers (others did that too). Would add a few more bottles of champagne for any rooms nearby that stop in.

A fun thing is: I have a clip on my laptop (I bring to the Lounge car.).. from White Xmas where Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye sing the Snow song IN A TRAIN LOUNGE CAR!

Attached Files


Edited by RichieRich, 11 June 2018 - 10:47 AM.


#28 Lonestar648

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 10:22 AM

Besides traveling home on business on a late train on Christmas Eve, I did remember that the only Christmas day travel was departing Chicago Christmas afternoon after Santa came for our kids early morning.  Thinking about it, nothing special happened, except a few cheerful "Merry Christmas" greetings from those who had to work on their Christmas.  



#29 TiBike

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 11:59 AM

It was on purpose. Spent Christmas Day with family, and turned it into a mini train/bike tour.

 

Of the few that have travelled on Christmas day was that deliberate choice or just it was the day that fitted into a schedule?


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#30 Seaboard92

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 01:58 PM

I think a lot depends on the mood of the crew. The crew I had on VIA 15 was in an incredibly good mood. Most were passing thru the railroad life on the way to other fields and they all seamed to enjoy their job. That train was special because they were warm, hospitable, and inviting. It wasn't any of the "what do you want" service that I've frequently had on Amtrak.

So I think a lot of it has to do with the crew. The part on the passengers revolves around the crew as well because an inviting crew puts people at ease. And once in a relaxed and more jovial mood I think the passengers are more welcoming and talkative themselves.
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#31 Manny T

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 02:12 PM

On Dec. 24, 2013 I took the CL to Wash DC, arriving Dec. 25.

I did the same on Dec. 24, 2014, arriving Dec. 25th 40 mins ahead of schedule.

I did it again the next year (2015), arriving this time on Dec. 25th 45 mins ahead of schedule.

I skipped 2016 but took the CL on Dec. 24, 2017, arriving in DC on time on Dec. 25.

 

On each trip, I ate dinner in the dining car at the first seating. On no occasion was there any special menu, any departure from the ordinary menu, any decoration of the season, nor anything other than ordinary Amtrak service.

 

The trains were a little less crowded than normal, and as noted occasionally we arrived ahead of schedule. I am guessing this was because of lighter freight on Dec. 24-25.


Edited by Manny T, 12 June 2018 - 09:46 AM.


#32 JoeBas

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 03:16 PM

Maybe this year, Amtrak will have a contemporary tree in every dining car.

 

This... your breadless lunchmeat will come with a red and green ribbon on the box instead of string... :P



#33 oregon pioneer

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 03:17 PM

We did a Christmas day transfer a few years back, from the Sunset Ltd. to the Coast Starlight, at LAX. Even Philippe's was not open, so we trekked across the city to a deli that's open 365 days a year.

 

No special decorations or meals on either of the trains, except what the train staff might do themselves. As others have said, a light passenger load and no freight traffic at all.

 

Here's my report from that part of the trip, complete with what the train staff did to liven things up:

http://discuss.amtra...oast-starlight/


Edited by oregon pioneer, 11 June 2018 - 03:34 PM.

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.


#34 mlanoue

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 03:27 PM

We took the CZ from Chicago to Emeryville--departing on Christmas Day in 2015.  It seemed a pretty full train to me.  Nothing special was going on from what I could tell; people seemed to be in a relatively good mood.  

 

The reason we traveled on that day was because I was using AGR 1.0 points, and Christmas Day was one of the only non-blackout dates that entire holiday period.

 

It was a great trip!



#35 Lonestar648

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 04:22 PM

On Dec. 24, 2013 I took the CL to Wash DC, arriving Dec. 25.

On Dec. 24, 2014, I took the CL to Wash DC, arriving Dec. 25 (40 mins ahead of schedule).

On Dec. 24, 2015, I took the CL to Wash DC, arriving Dec. 25 (45 mins ahead of schedule).

In 2016, I didn't take the CL to Wash DC on Dec. 24

On Dec. 24, 2017, I took the CL to Wash DC, arriving Dec. 25.

 

On each trip, I ate dinner in the dining car at the first seating. On no occasion was there any special menu, any departure from the ordinary menu, any decoration of the season, nor anything other than ordinary Amtrak service. The trains were a little less crowded than normal, and as noted occasionally we arrived ahead of schedule.

 

I don't remember the special holiday meals after the early 2000's.



#36 Bob Dylan

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 04:34 PM

Before 2015, I traveled on several LD Trains on Holidays including Thanksgiving and Christmas Day,( using AGR Points to avoid the Blackout days)and enjoyed,special Dinners in the Diner and decorations by the Crews.

As others said, the passenger loads we're light, and freight traffic was really sparse resulting in Early arrivals into most Stations.😎

Perhaps the New Fresh "Choices" Menu will have some Cold Turkey and Dressing as a Holiday Brightner? NOT!
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#37 SarahZ

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 05:51 PM

Thanksgiving and Christmas are just another day to me, so traveling on those dates is no big deal. I like the cheap fares and low passenger loads.


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#38 MikefromCrete

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 05:56 PM

I was surprised that trains ran on Xmas day anyway, don't usually in the UK. Then I was curious if Amtrak created a 'Christmas' diner or observation car or was it just business as usual?

 

I find  it that very interesting that the British rail system basically shuts down on Christmas Day (and Boxing Day also, I believe). I find it hard to believe that everybody wants to stay home on those two days. What about buses and the underground? Airplanes? 


Edited by MikefromCrete, 11 June 2018 - 05:56 PM.


#39 WICT106

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 06:00 PM

Yes, I have -- Traveling out from Saint Cloud, MN, there were a couple of Christmases where the train was late ( by a couple hours ), so I could see the engineer appear in a Santa Claus outfit while driving the train.  The engineer would ring the engine bell a couple more times than usual.  He appeared to be having a good time.  Unfortunately, I cannot recall one single instance of the train being on time on Christmas day.  The trains at Chicago and DC were packed.  


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#40 cpotisch

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 06:49 PM

What about buses and the underground? Airplanes? 

 

The tube runs on Christmas, but on a reduced schedule. Some buses still run. And finally, a quick search on Skyscanner tells me that hundreds of flights will be flying throughout England.


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