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Dan O

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    So Calif

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  1. Thanks. The first two and last two are flat cars, or were at one time. the middle two pics are a box car that has been cut up quite a bit. This is O scale. I also inherited some toy soldiers, some in orginal condition and some altered quite a bit. Any alteration decreased the value on ebay by about 70-80% vs those in original condition. That was 3 years ago and I really didn't want to toss them if someone would take them at very little cost. Someone did. The trains don't have the same attachment factor so if they are worth say $1 or $2, I'd just toss them. Dan
  2. Greetings, I inherited a nice Lionel train (nice at one point anyway) but it has been altered quite a bit. The engine appears to be original but the tender has a RR painted on the side that was used in a diorama. The rest of the cars, 3 that were flat cars, have been altered considerably. Flat cars have had sides added to them, made of thin wood so as to appear as troop trains. There are a few holes in the sides for the soldiers to look out and shoot out of. The fourth car was a box car but it has been cut away quite a bit to look like the other troop cars. So do you think anyone would want to pay anything for these altered/painted cars? Or are they completely worthless? Thanks.
  3. Dan O

    Denver to LAX

    Thanks to all. I am thinking I may still go with that 1 AM arrival and stay with someone I know in Pasadena, catching the Metro Goldline to their place as long as the bus is somewhat on time. The goal is to take the CZ westbound from Denver through the Sierras without taking much time off of work. If I take the SWC Wednesday PM (from Riverside or San Bernardino) I can transfer at Raton to a bus (lovely) and get to Denver late on Thursday night. Catch the CZ the next morning west and be to LA by 1 AM Sunday. I get Fridays off every other week so would only have to take one day off of work to do this. IF I can stay in Pasadena, I could go downtown Sunday AM and take the Metrolink to San Bernardino. It would be about 70 hours on the train with a short night in Denver. I'd prefer being in Denver a couple of days and taking the CS home but I am going on some other longer trips next year (car) so would like to save my vacation time. Thanks again.
  4. Dan O

    Denver to LAX

    I'd like to take the California Zephyr to someplace in northern California before transferring to a train that would take me to LA. If I didn't care to see the best of the Rockies, I could just take a bus to the SWC and arrive at 8 or so in the morning. But if I want to go through the Rockies I have to either spend the night someplace or get into LA in the middle of the night, 1 AM. I see there is another bus/train/bus combo that arrives around 3 AM. It would be nice if they had something that arrived at a more reasonable hour, even as early as 5 AM. Oops, see one that gets in at 935 AM but it involves a bus ride from Oakland to Santa Barbara. In that case it might just be better to take a bus from SAC or so to LA. Just seems odd to me that there are a number of trains heading south each day but the only ones that can be taken by CZ passengers arrive in the dead of night.
  5. Dan O

    B of A card changes for me

    Expiration date is 2023. I don't think their service is that bad. Just frustrating that they keep changing cards. Well, and question charges that aren't questionable at all if they look at my previous statement. Charges that I would have understood as questionable were a $600 restaurant bill or buying a membership for Dallas zoo when I live in CA. Rarely eat out and rare for bill to be over $100. As I said before, if this was just a cash back card, I wouldn't bother using it at all.
  6. Other then the observatory, there are a few national monuments near Flagstaff, Walnut Canyon, Wupatki (which has some gorgeous views) and Sunset Crater. But you can't go wrong spending all your time at the Grand Canyon either. I have only been there visiting several times but May and June were very nice weather wise, not too hot but not cold. And if you avoid the summer crowds you can also avoid the summer monsoons. It wouldn't be in the cards for your vacation but if you ever get a chance to visit the North Rim sometime it is worth it--large trees, shade, small crowds and some awesome views out at Cape Royal and Imperial Point.
  7. I just got an email that my B of A Amtrak card is going to issue me a new card. Apparently it's due to my card possibly being compromised at an unnamed merchant. It would be nice if I knew which one so I could avoid them but that's another story. This is the second time this year (last time in March) that I have had new cards issued. It wouldn't be that big of a deal but there are quite a few bills that are paid automatically on that card. Some places can seem to master getting the new card to pay using the old card info w/o me telling them that the numbers have changed but some can't. If it was any other card other than my Amtrak card I'd just not use it much. When Chase had the Amtrak card I think I did have the above happen once in about 5+ years. Another pet peeve is that B of A sends me a text about every 3 months saying my card is suspended due to questionable activity and then lists the questionable charges. Usually it is gas and groceries from our local markets that have charges probably at least once a week and sometimes 4-5 for the grocery store. Also got a questionable charge on a charge that recurs every month and it was the same exact amount. It's not a big deal at home (although I had to get my son another card because he was denied gas due to one of these episodes) but could be a bigger deal when traveling. They send an email or text or maybe both. I don't always check either all day long. Check at least once a day. Anyway, they are trying to fight fraud which is good but I am not sure their system, at least in my experience, has been very good. Dano
  8. I'd say the war on smoking has made progress. Back in the 1960s a much larger percentage of adults smoked than now. Poorer people may not smoke much less than 50 years ago (I don't know about that at all) but middle class and up smoke much less. Failure isn't always bad. Sometimes the better choice is to do something even if the odds are it may fail.
  9. Dan O

    Guess who's coming to dinner?

    My daughter met her husband on the Lake Shore Limited back in 2008.
  10. Dan O


    I took my wife and daughter to see my son, daughter in law and granddaughter in Dallas. We took the 421 from Los Angeles to Dallas, via San Antonio. My 13 year old daughter was a bit surprised to see just how small the roomettes really are. She wasn't crazy about them when we started the trip but took a liking to them as time wore on. I have only been on 3 prior long distance trips where I had a roomette and thought they were all the same. This trip was the norm as far as a worthless closet but at least a good sized (for Amtrak) bathroom next to roomette number 1. We had good meals going and coming back. It was nice to be able to sit in the Metropolitan Lounge in LA for a few hours before and after the trip. While there, other than visiting family we went to the 6th floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. I can't say I enjoyed it but it was very interesting. The mood there and at Dealey Plaza was pretty somber. We walked by the grassy knoll. We also stopped briefly at the Dallas Art museum downtown. Best part was it was free. We had a very limited amount of time there, 30 minutes, so only saw a bit of the art they have. We saw Frontiers of Flight museum which is out next to Love Field. It's not very big but we still had a good time there. We very much enjoyed the Perot Science Museum in downtown Dallas. There was quite a bit of cool stuff there to see and some interactive things as well. My kids liked racing the cheetah in the lower level. On our return we were introduced to a slightly different roomette. The bathroom next to room 1 was tiny, like most of the bathrooms in coach. But, instead of the worthless closet, we had a room with a hook to hang clothes on and the space below it was empty to the floor. So instead of wasting 6-8 inches on a closet we never use, we had a space where we could actually place a few things. I will try to attach a picture of the hook/area. I didn't take a picture of the corresponding area in the roomettes with a closet as I thought that was just the norm. Overall, had a nice time in Dallas and a good trip. Dano
  11. Dan O

    What will 20,000 Guest Reward Points get us?

    For the freebie credit card I have, it's 1 point per dollar charged. It takes a while but now I charge the bulk of what I spend on the card and can get about a free trip every couple of years. Dan
  12. Thanks. It's nice to learn a bit about the other things in Alan's life that he enjoyed doing other than trains.
  13. I ask the attendant when the train will be leaving if it is late. I would usually stay by the train if late unless it's a long stop. I may wander a bit then but not more than the station and for less than half the time the train may be expected to be there. If we were early into a long stop, I'd wander quite a bit then but be back 20 minutes or so before departure. I like to leave room in case someone sprains an ankle or something unusual happens that would delay return to the train--in other words not cut it super close. If you use common sense and pay attention to what has been said and the time, you don't need to worry about being left behind.
  14. I went to park and drop off my daughter at the new downtown San Bernardino Metrolink station but couldn't find a place to park. The website says there are over 100 parking places. North of the train tracks seemed to be for buses only. I didn't see anywhere south to park either. So we went to the SB Amtrak/Metrolink station to drop her off. Is anyone familiar with this place and where one would park? It probably didn't help it was dark when we got there but I didn't think it was going to be an issue just finding a place to park. Thanks, Dano
  15. Dan O

    Two questions

    Thanks to all that replied. I think I may just leave two days earlier and get there on Friday afternoon. I'd opt for ONE day earlier but the train doesn't run that day. It means I will have to take off two more days of work but also means no pressure to get there on time on Sunday. Dan