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About Rasputin

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    Service Attendant

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  1. So the 4812 car was still on your train 48 but it was out of service. I guess I had thought that it had been bad--ordered in Chicago and left there. Sorry if I misunderstood this. Thanks.
  2. Was there only one New York sleeper on your return trip? Maybe that was why the Boston sleeper was sold out - to accommodate some passengers who would ordinarily have been in a New York sleeper. Thanks.
  3. Thanks for your report and glad to hear that you had a good trip. Was there a Boston sleeper on both trains? Did you notice what the patronage was on the New York sleepers? Did your train only have one New York sleeper coming back?
  4. Hope you have a great trip. Please give us a report of how things go.
  5. I believe Andy is planning to travel in a roomette whether he goes to New Orleans or DC. If he goes to New Orleans he will need a hotel which shouldn't be necessary for a trip to DC. So I think his proposed trip to New Orleans will be more expensive than a trip to DC.
  6. Note that breakfast on the train starts service after 9am, and you're expected to be at the NOL station around 6:30am. For me, that's a long time between waking up and eating anything. IIRC, there's no food available at the station. I did not realize that breakfast is now served so pathetically late. The two times I took No. 20 (about 5 years ago), breakfast was served on the train about 7:30 a.m. each trip. From my experience in New Orleans, the French Quarter and the Central Business District are not exactly what I would call "morning hot spots." I found that a number of places which serve breakfast don't open until 7 or 8 a.m. - too late to have breakfast before train time. Krystal on Bourbon Street is open 24 hours a day and I think the Café du Monde may be open the same and perhaps the McDonalds on Canal Street. Of course others may have additional information.
  7. If you go to New Orleans, I don't think there is a need to get breakfast before boarding No. 20 since breakfast is served on the train soon after leaving New Orleans. If the train to New Orleans is significantly late, that would likely cut into your daytime viewing time but the section that you missed you would be able to see on your return trip in the morning.
  8. Since the destination is not that important to you, the trip to New Orleans and back would offer more daylight running and it sounds like that is what you are looking for, so in that case you should go to New Orleans. I recommend that you not stay out too late on Bourbon Street and miss your 7 a.m. train.
  9. I agree with Tricia and would go to Washington. Ontime performance to New Orleans has been pretty poor and unless you want to stay up late, you will primarily get to see only your hotel. With the trip to DC, you won't even need a hotel. Save New Orleans until you can spend 2 , 3, 4 , 5, etc. days there.
  10. I think it is nice to be able to take a shower on the train but I sometimes don't like to miss the scenery so I will wait until we get to Chicago and take a shower at the Metropolitan Lounge. Those showers are great! I recall a trip on the Sunset/Texas Eagle eastbound where I understood a woman was taking a shower when the Texas Eagle sleeper ran out of water because water had not been filled in Los Angeles. We filled up with water at El Paso.
  11. Rasputin

    An unusual passenger encounter

    Has anyone ever encountered "Dusty", an older gentleman decked out in country and western clothing with a huge belt buckle who claims to play steel guitar and claims he is in the Country Music Hall of Fame? He claims to have played in bands with numerous country and western stars. I met him on the Builder a few years ago and he had most of the train convinced that he really had been inducted into the Hall of Fame. He detrained at Shelby, Montana as I recall. Maybe there is a photo of him in some band hanging in the Hall of Fame so he can claim that he is "in" the Country Music Hall of Fame.
  12. Rasputin

    EB/CL Connection in Chicago

    Perhaps I have missed it but I can't recall an instance in recent years where Amtrak has added equipment, especially a sleeper, on the next day's train to accommodate passengers who missed a connection and had to be re-booked.
  13. Rasputin

    Amtrak travel insurance

    Thanks for all the responses to my question. As I recall, Amtrak used to have a very liberal cancellation policy but that changed a year or two ago.
  14. Thanks very much for your comments. This confirms what I have been reading and hearing from other sources that except for the peak Christmas travel season, ridership on the Boston sleeper had been dismal. It appears that in the last ten days, for reasons yet unexplained, the Boston sleeper did not even operate on two trips. It is just pathetic what Amtrak management has done to this service.
  15. I keep hearing people say that Amtrak travel insurance is no good or is not a good buy and that other travel insurance is better but I have never seen an explanation of this. Since I know nothing about travel insurance can someone please explain why Amtrak travel insurance is not a good buy and if so, what travel insurance would be better. Thanks in advance.