Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

1 Follower

About daybeers

  • Rank
    OBS Chief

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
  • Interests
    Music, Singing, Computers, Stained Glass, Photography, Traveling, Running, Wikipedia

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. daybeers

    Fire Richard Anderson Campaign?

    I never claimed that Amtrak's long distance network is essential local or regional transportation. In my opinion, it's terrible for that, primarily due to frequency and reliability. However, it is sometimes essential for transportation to far-away parts of the country. And no, we already covered that the interstate highway system doesn't go everywhere, so how do those buses get between stops? Slow, windy roads that are dangerous in the harsh winters for a small sedan, not to mention a large commercial coach bus. "the proposed bus bridge on the SW Chief route was feasible." What?!?!?! Ridership on the SWC would have tanked and I think everyone here knows that.
  2. That's nuts! 2,200 miles with no wine!
  3. Not quite sure what you mean here, do you mind explaining?
  4. daybeers

    Schedule Changes Still NOT Posted

    Timetables still aren't up, even though schedules changed yesterday.
  5. Thank you all for your fantastic advice! I have edited my spreadsheet and have updated the original post accordingly. I guess the only options for getting from San Antonio to New Orleans besides the Sunset Limited are flying to Dallas and then NOLA which is about 3.5 hours on American or another one of the big ones, really cramming it on Frontier for a lower price nonstop but having to pay for a carry-on bag, or taking an 2 bus rides, stopping in Houston, totaling 11 hours. Oof. So, we will try to work the schedule so we can take the SL, but that will be tough. I've done some changing around and if we moved the trip up two days or so, we could make it work. Otherwise, would it be worth it to take the Texas Eagle up to Austin or Dallas for a day? The other option would be to not stop and go straight LAX-NOL, but I think it would be nice to stop somewhere along the way. The frustration of planning this will have me writing to Amtrak about making the SL (and Cardinal) daily! Does anyone have any experience bringing food along for multiple days in coach? I lived in D.C. for about two years, so we're mostly set on sightseeing activities there, but if anyone has some ideas for off the beaten path sort of places, please let me know! So far, it's looking like we might have to use city buses to get in and out of San Francisco because after updating the spreadsheet, the number of segments stands at 14, and we are getting the 30 day/12 segment pass. Any advice on that? Also, hope you don't mind if I rant a bit about the Rail Pass "segments". I think it's ridiculous that a two- or nine-mile bus ride or a 26- or 36-mile Springfield Shuttle ride counts the same against you as a 2,000+ mile continuous train trip! That will always be beyond me, especially considering that sometimes Regionals go all the way to Springfield and you don't need a Shuttle connection. It's also not really my fault that there aren't any tracks that go to San Francisco! Ugh. /rant
  6. daybeers

    Fire Richard Anderson Campaign?

    There are many communities Amtrak serves that don't get regular long-distance bus service by Greyhound or something of the sort, and we already established that many people in such rural areas don't own cars or aren't able to due to financial or physical limitations. Many stops are quite far from large cities and/or interstate highways, a system which usually works well, but doesn't go everywhere. Also, in regards to airports: do you know how expensive it is to fly from small, regional airports? Usually in the several hundred to thousands of dollars. Meaning I could fly from the East Coast to Europe and back for less money (and probably less time) than someone from Havre, Montana could fly to Chicago and back. In my opinion, American culture around transportation is changing: fewer people, especially the younger generations, are choosing to own cars and are taking public transportation instead. The population growth in the U.S. is spurring the desperate need for more of it, and it's clear there is a lot of demand. It just takes the advocacy of citizens and the determination by governors and representatives to expand and increase service, not necessarily just on Amtrak, but on all modes of public transportation. I think this just takes us back to probably (hopefully) the #1 stance on Amtrak by its supporters: the cure for what ails Amtrak is more Amtrak!
  7. daybeers

    Business Class in the west?

    I wouldn't be so harsh. It's just the limitations of Amtrak's equipment. Some of us like the horn, and/or would much rather have horn noise than noise of the phone conversations of others, for example. Are the seats in BC on the Starlight leather? I'm planning a big trip which includes a ride on the CS from Oakland to LA, a little over twelve hour ride. Is BC worth it? I will be using a USA Rail Pass with a friend. Saver is $53, Value is $66, and Business is $84. So would we pay $31 or $18?
  8. daybeers

    Menu Capitol Limited?

    Please call Amtrak at 1-800-USA-RAIL and ask for Customer Relations (not Customer Service) and tell them about your experience, both good and bad!
  9. daybeers

    Business Class in the west?

    How is the Metropolitan Lounge in LAX?
  10. Thanks Shanghai! Yes, that's why we're planning on staying one night in Chicago and three in Denver. Yeah, I was afraid of that, so that's probably axed. Right, I forgot to mention BC on the LSL. It's $59 for 19 hours 27 minutes, so we need to weigh if that's worth it. I've taken it ALB-SPG before when they were doing track work in Albany and the Boston section was entirely separate, and really the only upside was the seats. Yes, it's a bit quieter, but I really don't care about the drinks. I don't remember if there were unlimited or if they just gave you a $6 coupon for the cafe. Will do!
  11. Hi all! My friend and I have started planning for trip exploring the USA in July 2019 (we'll come up with a fun name at some point)! I have been making an Excel spreadsheet for planning purposes, so I thought it would just be easiest to post it below instead of typing it all out again. Anyway, I was hoping if you more experienced long-distance travelers can give some advice. Unfortunately we are going to slum it in coach the whole way because we're in our 20s and would rather spend the money in the respective cities and other accommodations. So, a few questions: 1). Obviously the 30 day/12 segment Rail Pass is the best value for our itinerary. I know you can take city buses instead of the Thruway Buses getting to and from San Francisco, so if we could do another stop or two if we want. Are there any other stops other than the ones we have where we should get off? My friend and I really don't know much about the cities in between the route we made, especially the majority of the southern part of the country. Are there any National Parks close to any of the routes worth going to? My friend is really into American history, including military history. He wanted to stop in Toccoa, GA to see Camp Toccoaa, but I'm not sure if that's feasible. Obviously I'm into trains and I always seek out cool public transportation in cities, and I'm not sure if this is relevant, but I'm also into computers (I'm studying Computer Science). Are there any museums or particular sights we should go to? Places to eat? One thing I wanted to do was hopefully see Eric Siegel's gigantic O scale layout in Atlanta. 2). Any specific recommendations for what to do in each city? Are there any places we should spend more time in, and maybe less in others? 3). Is there an easier way to get from San Antonio to New Orleans? It's really too bad the Sunset Limited only runs thrice weekly. We would rather not fly, but would also rather spend a little less time in San Antonio and get to stay three nights in NOLA. Is it worth it to go up to Austin or Dallas if we're already going to be flying that direction? San Antonio->Dallas->New Orleans is about $125 on American Airlines. 4). Any tips for slumming it in coach for 7,440 miles over four weeks? I'm guessing a travel pillow, eyemask, and earplugs would be good to start with? I'm a heavy sleeper, but this will be a long time. Foodwise, we'd like to bring our own food somehow, maybe stock up at each city or something? Bring a cooler of some sort maybe? The dining car is great but expensive. Superliner upper vs lower level: I know sway can be more pronounced on the upper level, but I'm willing to deal with that if it means getting a better view. 5). I haven't yet taken the time to see how many points this trip would cost. I have about 50,000 points currently, most from the AGR World Card bonus last year. You can't buy a Rail Pass with points, correct? I know my grandfather has quite a few points also and he is always offering them, but I'm not sure how many he has. 6). The leg from Denver to Emeryville is the longest section, followed closely by Los Angeles to San Antonio. Amtrak is doing its weekly Sunday website maintenance now meaning I can't check sleeper prices, but is there any section where a sleeper would be really necessary? As far as I know, Business Class is only available on the Coast Starlight, the Carolinian, and the Northeast Regional. I know the Carolinian usually uses Amfleet Is, so like the Regionals, it's usually not worth the extra cost. On the Starlight, are the seats leather like the 2x1 Amfleet split cafe cars, and is the only BC section on the lower level of one of the Superliner car? I feel the leather seats would be nice but I'd like to be on the upper level. 7). Any tips for finding cheap housing? I've never used airbnb before, but have heard mostly good things. We'll have someone to stay with in (at least) Chicago and Los Angeles. Thank you all in advance!
  12. Right, I forgot that it would likely be a separate train! It's been so long and there has been so much speculation that I got confused.
  13. daybeers

    Fire Richard Anderson Campaign?

    Does that make it any better?
  14. So, translation: there is a chance that the full Sunset Limited to Jacksonville/Orlando may return, pending Anderson vetoing it?