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About CrazyTrain

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    Train Attendant

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    New Orleans

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  1. I apologize if this isn't in the right place. My friend was on this train when this happened yesterday. Crescent from New Orleans. http://www.wdam.com/2018/12/05/teen-hit-killed-by-train-hub-city/?fbclid=IwAR3J5-m4XhLTCwZyJzQwetOAmzjyWu_efDkTBHvOWN4FSDvueLZQBr6OfTw
  2. CrazyTrain

    Uber vs. a regular taxicab

    I haven't read through every single argument on here, so I'm just going to respond to the OP since my recent experiences were quite the opposite. I took the train to Chicago and therefore had to rely on public transportation and Uber/Lyft to get around. I used Uber to get from the train station to the hotel. Not long to wait at all. The driver was silent the whole time. I went to Wrigley Field that same day and my friend and I got an Uber and he dropped us off at two separate locations. Again, nothing was said except between my friend and I. When I wanted to go to the Museum of Science and industry, I did a lot of price comparisons. I asked the doormen on two different occasions how much a taxi fare would be. First guy told me $10-12; second guy said $12-15. When I looked at both Uber and Lyft, the price was around $14, so I figured that was comparable to a taxi, so I took a taxi. Taxi was $18.75. I took a Lyft back to the hotel and saved $5 on the fare because the MSI offered a code for such. I'm sure there are plenty of instances where a taxi would make more sense than Uber or Lyft and vice versa. At no time were any of the Uber or Lyft drivers overly talkative, but then again I'm not the kind of person who minded. The taxi driver, on the other hand, chattered practically the whole way there. I don't see anything wrong with Uber and Lyft bringing the competition. I feel all three options, as well as regular city bus transportation, have something to offer different people. Variety is what we need. Not a singular mode of transportation.
  3. CrazyTrain


    All kinds of random stuff pops up on my video suggestions on YouTube and today I watched a video made by a couple in California. Apparently, there's a newly launched bus company that is a hotel on wheels. In the video it looks a bit like a tour bus, but in reality I think it's probably a bit taller. On the bottom is a lounge and upstairs are beds in enclosed areas that resemble bunk beds. You can't quite sit up fully in the pod area, but the couple beds sound comfortable enough. They are stacked two high, running down both sides of the bus. I'm not quite sure how many are on each side, but at a guess I'd say 10 per side. Right now, they travel only between LA and SF. Would you try something like this? Could you see something like this replacing traditional long distance bus travel?
  4. CrazyTrain

    City of New Orleans

    I am thrilled to share that I have inspired my co-worker to take this same trip with his family. He's never been to Chicago and he said the train ride sounded like fun.
  5. CrazyTrain

    City of New Orleans

    The only detail that I left out, really, was the fact that I got motion sick. First time on Amtrak from NOL to ATL, I got motion sick. Second trip, same route, didn't get sick. However, I did think ahead and bought some Dramamine before my trip even started, just in case. Only problem? I forgot I had it so after eating pizza on Thursday night, I got to feeling ill and had the SCA make up my bed. I got some ginger ale from the lounge car and laid down for a while. I got up and got some fresh air when we hit Memphis (the last announced stop of the night), hoping that would help. It did somewhat, but so did going to sleep. Still unsure about how food consumption would be when I woke up the next day, I avoided breakfast. Got to the hotel and checked in, then later bought some Dramamine. Only much later did I find the Dramamine I'd already bought. On the way home, I over did it and was heavily drugged by the time I got home. Lol Took 2 Dramamine as we left Chicago and took two more "non-drowsy" Dramamine after breakfast the next day. There's no such thing as "non-drowsy" Dramamine, for the record.
  6. CrazyTrain

    City of New Orleans

    Well I returned home last Wednesday afternoon, but haven't had the opportunity to sit down and share my experiences with this lovely group until now. NOL to CHI - When I arrived at the train station here in New Orleans, I thought I was late for boarding, but turned out to be the first person in line. The agent at the desk told me where to go stand and then all of a sudden everyone else appeared behind me. Not 5 minutes later, I was sent out to board the train, so I excitedly trekked to the front of the train and jump on board. Unfortunately I do not remember the SCA's name for that leg of the trip, but I know it wasn't Kevin as CAMISSY55 reported before my trip. The lounge car attendant was a woman, so I didn't get Vincent either. Unless I'm misunderstanding Vincent's role. I was thinking he's the person selling food at the snack bar...? There was a single announcement for lunch once everyone in Coach was on board, but I didn't partake at that point. When dinner time rolled around, I wasn't really in the mood for something substantial so I bought a small pizza from the snack bar. We arrived in Chicago on time and everything went smoothly for the rest of my vacation. CHI to NOL - I had only one thing planned the day of my departure, so I spent the afternoon, from about 2 PM to boarding time (for an 8 PM departure), wandering around Union Station. The two lovely ladies in the Metropolitan Lounge were just the best. A dynamic duo if I ever saw one. Lol I remember the SCA was Daniel and once again I was the first person on the car, so I dropped my stuff and got back off to chat. Daniel was surprised that I'd want to stand there and talk to him and the conductor. I didn't see anything wrong with it, so we chatted til it was time to leave. I wish I had gotten the name of the conductor, because he was hilarious. All I know is that he was due to get off in Southern Illinois for his shift. When he asked how far I was going and I replied, "all the way to the end," he said his A.D.D. wouldn't allow him to go that far. There was a single dinner announcement despite the late hour, but I just went to the snack bar and got a cup of Ramen noodles. I'd had a late, filling lunch so I wasn't terribly hungry at that point. Final thoughts - I didn't want this post to be too detailed because I know all of you are familiar with how things go and I know that not every trip is going to be like this, but I'd say my overall impression of my first overnight train trip was awesome. I couldn't have asked for anything better. Next time I travel, though, I will definitely take a small travel size Static Guard because the blankets I used were FULL of static and I loathe static. Also, I would take a pair of ear plugs. Coming back, we stopped at a station around 11:30 PM and the women who got on were obnoxiously loud. I would've thought that people had more courtesy than to make all that noise so late at night when sound carries in that tight space. I also had the fortune of having an upper roomette going up and a lower one coming back. I'm not sure which I prefer since there's noise no matter what. Maybe if I'd had an upper roomette nearer the center of the car rather than right at the door to the diner car, things might've been different. As far as movement of the train, I felt it equally up or down.
  7. CrazyTrain

    City of New Orleans

    Thanks Camissy. Which way were you traveling on the CoNO? I'll be sure to look out for Kevin and Vincent.
  8. CrazyTrain

    City of New Orleans

    I will be leaving on Thursday, October 18th for my first overnight train trip to Chicago. I'm very excited about the trip and have taken into my preparations some of the suggestions that I encountered when I first joined this forum. In recent days when I have spoken to people about my pending trip, I have found more and more people interested in going somewhere on the train and/or have someone they know who frequently travels by train. I think that's kinda cool because I didn't personally know anyone who'd done it before.
  9. CrazyTrain

    Minor Issue (re points for shopping)

    Thanks. That makes complete sense.
  10. I have the Mastercard from AGR, but I don't want to overuse it. I decided to take a look at the Points for Shopping and found a few retailers that I could use. Just after placing my first order with one of them, I received an email from Amtrak regarding pending points. I have yet to receive those points, even though I received my order. My question is, how long does it take Amtrak to respond to a query about my missing points if I submitted the request through their website?
  11. CrazyTrain

    Hostile Dining Car Attendants

    If you cannot call to complain or email to complain, how do you complain after the fact? I noticed someone else stated that they spoke with the conductor, but if you don't say anything immediately, and the first two options are out, according to your claim, does one have to write a formal letter of complaint? Also, as someone who works with the public on a customer service basis, last names aren't always on the name tag. My first name and last initial are on mine for my job. If a first name is all you can get, yet you're specific about the rest of the complaint - trip dates, etc. - why wouldn't that be sufficient?
  12. CrazyTrain

    Food Service Question

    Another stupid question... are the dining car and the Cross Country Cafe separate dining areas?
  13. CrazyTrain

    Food Service Question

    Thanks for the clarification. I'm in a sleeper car for my upcoming trip next month.
  14. CrazyTrain

    Food Service Question

    Forgive me if this is in the wrong place, but I have a question regarding dining on the City of New Orleans, for anyone who has recently traveled on that line. I commented on someone's video on YouTube about a month ago, long before I knew of this forum or knew anything really. The channel owner responded that they don't really offer much in way of food for each meal. Should I bring my own food beyond snacks? Both times I've traveled on the Crescent, there were full meals offered, but it's been at least 2 years. Do they no longer serve full meals on any train?
  15. CrazyTrain

    Thank you AU

    I'm a bit late and still rather new here, but congrats on your anniversary and I hope to fit in with all you experienced people in a month.