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Alan Burden (AlanB)


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#81 diesteldorf

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 04:34 PM

I also wanted to offer my condolences to Grace, Crystal, and the rest of Alan's family.  I first met Alan back in 2007 when we had the original Gathering back in Chicago.  I definitely had some trepidation about going to Chicago to meet a bunch of people that I knew only from online postings, but I had a great time and have continued to come ever since.

 

As someone with mobility issues, Alan went out of his way to always allow plenty of time between connections when planning the itineraries.  He always made a point to let me know not to feel like I was slowing the group down and he made me feel genuinely appreciated.

 

When I met him at the Chicago Gathering, I commented that I had always wanted to ride the Acela in First.  He looked at me casually and said, next time you're in New York, let me know and we'll plan a trip.  Granted, I didn't feel like I had to twist his arm too hard, when I told him I was planning a trip a few months later.

 

He helped me make all the necessary arrangements and we boarded Train 2252 December 9, 2007 en route from New York to Boston.  When we boarded the train he ordered his usual glass of white wine and chatted with Wilson, the First Class attendant whom Alan knew from previous trips.

 

Apart from chatting with me and pointing out all the interesting scenery, he was also listening to his scanner to check for any upcoming delays.  About an hour later, the train stopped for a few minutes and Alan told me we were going to be delayed, while we waited for another train to pass, but that we should be moving shortly.

 

A few minutes later, Wilson came came strolling by to ask if we would like any additional drinks or refreshments, turned to Alan, smiled, and said, "How are we doing for time boss?"  Alan told him the delay would be minimal and we would be rolling shortly. 

 

You have to know that Alan was truly knowledgeable about riding the rails when even veteran Amtrak employees would look to him as their primary source of information.

 

We had a nice dinner in Boston that night and I took a train back to Wisconsin the next day, while Alan headed back to New York.  

 

A few year later, when I was in New York again, he planned a mini Gathering and we spent the afternoon just riding in and around Penn Station.  He was always willing to give of himself and share his unending knowledge and enthusiasm for trains.

 

I sent him a quick text on June 23 and we chatted about family, life and the upcoming OTOL fest.  I had also mentioned that I wanted to get together before or after the upcoming AU Gathering.  Sadly, I won't have that chance.

 

Grace,

 

Your son was a wonderful human being that had a personal impact on my life, and he will be truly missed.


Edited by diesteldorf, 15 July 2018 - 06:52 PM.

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#82 railiner

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 06:12 PM

 

Nice to put (at least a couple) of faces with the names I know from AU...thanks for posting the photo...

Agreed. There's something nice about knowing who you're actually talking to, rather than just some random name.

 

That's why I decided to put my photo as my avatar, when I finally learned how.... :)


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metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#83 railiner

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 06:15 PM

I also wanted to offer my condolences to Grace, Crystal, and the rest of Alan's family.  I first met Alan back in 2007 when we had the original Gathering back in Chicago.  I definitely had some trepidation about going to Chicago to meet a bunch of people that I knew only from online postings, but I had a great time and have continued to come ever since.

 

As someone with mobility issues, Alan went out of his way to always allow of time between connections when planning the itineraries.  He always made a point to let me know not to feel like I was slowing the group down and he made me feel genuinely appreciated.

 

When I met him at the Chicago Gathering, I commented that I had always wanted to ride the Acela in First.  He looked at me casually and said, next time you're in New York, let me know and we'll plan a trip.  Granted, I didn't feel like I had to twist his arm too hard, when I told him I was planning a trip a few months later.

 

He helped me make all the necessary arrangements and we boarded Train 2252 December 9, 2007 en route from New York to Boston.  When we boarded the train he ordered his usual glass of white wine and chatted with Wilson, the First Class attendant whom Alan knew from previous trips.

 

Apart from chatting with me and pointing out all the interesting scenery, he was also listening to his scanner to check for any upcoming delays.  About an hour later, the train stopped for a few minutes and Alan told me we were going to be delayed, while we waited for another train to pass, but that we should be moving shortly.

 

A few minutes later, Wilson came came strolling by to ask if we would like any additional drinks or refreshments, turned to Alan, smiled, and said, "How are we doing for time boss?"  Alan told him the delay would be minimal and we would be rolling shortly. 

 

You have to know that Alan was truly knowledgeable about riding the rails when even veteran Amtrak employees would look to him as their primary source of information.

 

We had a nice dinner in Boston that night and I took a train back to Wisconsin the next day, while Alan headed back to New York.  

 

A few year later, when I was in New York again, he planned a mini Gathering and we spent the afternoon just riding in and around Penn Station.  He was always willing to give of himself and share his unending knowledge and enthusiasm for trains.

 

I sent him a quick text on June 23 and we chatted about family, life and the upcoming OTOL fest.  I had also mentioned that I wanted to get together before or after the upcoming AU Gathering.  Sadly, I won't have that chance.

 

Grace,

 

Your son was a wonderful human being that had a personal impact on my life, and he will be truly missed.

A very nice tribute, and insight into some of the traits that has made Alan so revered here...

I especially liked hearing how he made sure the gathering's were 'inclusive' to all.

 

I also smiled hearing of the train crew's looking to Alan for info.... :)


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metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#84 jis

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Posted 16 July 2018 - 09:52 AM

Memories ....

Attached File  IMG_0001.jpg   178.57KB   22 downloads
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#85 Bob Dylan

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Posted 16 July 2018 - 09:53 AM

Priceless!😎
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"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#86 pennyk

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Posted 16 July 2018 - 12:41 PM

Priceless!

wine tasting in PPC. 2 years ago?


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Amtrak miles: 248,633; 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


#87 Dovecote

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Posted 17 July 2018 - 04:53 PM

So sorry to hear the news.  My condolences to the Burden Family. It goes without saying that he was loved by many and will be surely missed.


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Amtrak Trains Traveled - Acela Express, Auto Train, Capitol Limited, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Kansas City Mule, Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf, Northeast Regional, Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited, and Vermonter.

#88 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 28 July 2018 - 10:30 PM

I just saw this today. Such sad news. years ago I private messaged him about which NJ transit trips would be good day trips. He was so helpful. On multiple trips to nyc I would reference his message like a guide book and pick which of his suggestions I wanted to ride. That was my only "personal" encounter with him, but just that memory is a very special one to me.
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Amtrak: - Coast Starlight*, Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin*, Cascades*, Empire Builder*, California Zephyr*, Southwest Chief*, City of New Orleans*, River Cities, Illinois Zephyr*, Wolverine, Cardinal, Capitol Limited*, Lake Shore Limited, Downeaster, Acela Express*, Crescent*, Carolinian*, Silver Star*, Silver Meteor*, Maple Leaf* Texas Eagle.

 

VIA: - Canadian*

 

Iowa Pacific - Hoosier State*, and City of New Orleans Pullman*.   


#89 Ispolkom

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 08:23 AM

I'm so sorry to learn of AlanB's death.  He was always the most knowledgeable, patient, and helpful poster on this board.  While I never met him personally, I have many fond train-riding memories thanks to his help in learning the ins and outs of AGR.  

 

He did so much good on this forum and others, and his kindness spread far beyond his wide circle of friends.  I'll miss him.


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#90 MARC Rider

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 05:43 PM

I just found out, as I don't usually follow this topic. This is terrible news. I remember Alan from the Chicago Gathering and was impressed by how well it was organized.

My belated condolences to his family.

#91 jis

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 04:49 PM

Found another photo...

 

Attached File  DSCN2976.JPG   144.68KB   15 downloads


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#92 pennyk

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 06:52 PM

Here is a photo of the 7 of us (taken in 2015 on another fest) that were on the Crescent that day.

Attached File  OTOL MWRF July 2015.jpg   162.08KB   15 downloads

 


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Amtrak miles: 248,633; 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


#93 Bob Dylan

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 09:22 PM

Thanks for sharing the Great pics! How most of us first met Alan, on a Train or @ a Gathering!
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#94 Angie

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 11:06 AM

Great looking group of friends in these photos.   I never met him, but he must have been good people to have such friends.


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