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mlanoue

Training
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About mlanoue

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    Male
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    Joliet, Illinois
  1. I've never seen these in person. If there are two seats per side, how does one get to their personal pod if they have the window seat? Do they have direct access or do they have to walk through the aisle seat pod. Or do I just completely misunderstand this? I do like the idea though. it would be nice for those trips that are just too long for a regular coach but not long enough to justify the cost of a roomette.
  2. mlanoue

    EB 27/28 Meal Service

    The boxed breakfast wasn't bad--especially when looking out the window at the Columbia River. Our cafe attendant actually microwaved the sandwiches for us, so it made it pretty nice.
  3. Would anybody from Amtrak really know if OP got off the train? I mean, just describing a nine hour delay should get some sort of voucher at least. I got one a few weeks ago for an equally late CZ.
  4. mlanoue

    Writers' Residencies

    There really won't be a future for Amtrak if Millennials don't get aboard., so this is probably a good idea. Plus--promoting scenic routes at least suggest somebody there still see value in the National Network
  5. Yeah, it's all true. I live about six miles west of Elwood and you can't go anywhere without driving past a warehouse and semi-trucks going in and out. They just built four new massive ones in the past six months along my way to work. It's really turning into a nightmare. I guess it's better than being in total economic decay--but, there really should be a balance here. And they need to kick in for more infrastructure improvements. Supposedly they will be building a new bridge across the DesPlaines river, but that's not going to help I-80 at all. Might help alleviate I-55 and Rt. 53 a bit, i guess.
  6. A Sleeping Car Attendant on one of my trips gave me the advice to always ask for a bottle of water in the diner before departing after a meal. He provided two at first, but said we may as well stock up from the diner so that we can always have some. It's not always necessary for me to do that, since some SCAs have water bottles out by the coffee, but other times that tip has come in handy.
  7. Every time I've been on the eastbound Zephyr in the final stretch they're in a hurry with lunch. Sometimes the diner is only open for a little over an hour, and they tend to be out of a lot of choices. But, last week, there were very few people on the train, so I would think coach passengers would be able to drop in to eat.
  8. mlanoue

    Fire Richard Anderson Campaign?

    I'm no expert on any of this, but it seems to me that most of the people who ride intercity trains (or we hope will ride them in the future) don't know or care if it's considered Long Distance or Corridor. The cars say "Amtrak" on the outside--in some form or the other--and if it's going where they want to go in a reasonable amount of time, then they buy a ticket and get on. I used to ride the Illinois Zephyr/Sandburg between Macomb and Plano, and had no clue how it was funded--nor did I realize that that made any difference from how any other trains were funded. It looked close enough to the other Amtrak's I had ridden in the past. (I suppose Midwest corridor trains might be a little more generic in appearance when compared to those in California and maybe the NEC.) Of course, now I do believe that it actually IS important to understand the funding streams, though. It's great to have frequent departures and on-time arrivals between a bigger cities, but it's also great to be able to get on in some smaller town nowhere near an airport and get off at another smaller town nowhere near an airport, even if you only have that opportunity once a day And, having a bus available to get you closer to a train makes it even better. I'd hate to lose any of the service we have, but I definitely can understand why most, if not all, of the expansion we see would be of the corridor variety.
  9. mlanoue

    Minor Issue (re points for shopping)

    For some reason lately I've been having a lot of trouble even getting pending points to show up. I know how to use the AGR shopping portal, and have used it for several years, but lately nothing is working right. I've had to request missing points over and over again. It seems to be unique to my computer, but am not sure why. It's too bad, because those points can really add up!
  10. mlanoue

    Southwest Chief News & Future Operations

    I don’t think they plan to have sleepers on either of the train sections of the fresh and contemporary SWC. Just coaches and a lounge.
  11. mlanoue

    Southwest Chief News & Future Operations

    Here is the most recent PowerPoint show from Amtrak about the SWC. It contains all the alternatives they have considered--most of which I think we would consider decent ideas as additional routes, but ultimately they love that bus bridge. Sounds like they are willing to work with Congress (or at least they acknowledge that they kind of have to), but really, really, really hope they don't get the funding to install PTC on the Raton section. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fdvs5Ne8SQobfH5LX3Xz1Tf_lx-MUGXr/view?usp=sharing
  12. mlanoue

    how do find out the ridership on a train?

    It's funny you say that, because I remember the one big train trip we took as a family growing up was on the San Francisco Zephyr back in 1981, and I had a blast as a kid running all over the train with my sister while my parents were in the lounge. I swear we were even running around the baggage car, but that may just be my imagination. Didn't get in any trouble, or really cause any trouble. I can still recall running past a conductor, a nice old guy who just smiled at us. Then we took the Southwest Limited back from LA and a lady working on that train right away sent us back to our seats and told my mom we were too young to be roaming around by ourselves. Knowing more about trains now, I'm guessing some of that was due to the different company cultures that had been passed down from the private railroads. Maybe it was a coach/baggage Superliner car. Yeah, I'm thinking that could be it. Back when i was 9 years old I would not have known any difference between a separate baggage car and a coach baggage.
  13. mlanoue

    how do find out the ridership on a train?

    Yes that is the Amtrak I remember. Those were good times. When I was kid, my parents drank for numerous hours in the lounge and we got to slip away and go all over the train. We weren't too mischievous!! As a college student I then got to hang out in the lounge. I stopped taking the train because of my job and scheduling and had to start flying. Now I would like to return to those days but it's all different now. It's funny you say that, because I remember the one big train trip we took as a family growing up was on the San Francisco Zephyr back in 1981, and I had a blast as a kid running all over the train with my sister while my parents were in the lounge. I swear we were even running around the baggage car, but that may just be my imagination. Didn't get in any trouble, or really cause any trouble. I can still recall running past a conductor, a nice old guy who just smiled at us. Then we took the Southwest Limited back from LA and a lady working on that train right away sent us back to our seats and told my mom we were too young to be roaming around by ourselves. Knowing more about trains now, I'm guessing some of that was due to the different company cultures that had been passed down from the private railroads.
  14. mlanoue

    Southwest Chief News & Future Operations

    With Anderson showing interest in a Front Range corridor, would it be entirely unreasonable to consider extending that corridor from at least Denver south to Albuquerque? That could possibly provide multiple trains using the New Mexico segment and might make generate more revenue to help pay for upkeep. I'm sure there are multiple challenges with that, but it seems like those two cities should be connected if he is serious about creating corridors--especially if he considers LA to Albuquerque a corridor.
  15. We took the CZ from Chicago to Emeryville--departing on Christmas Day in 2015. It seemed a pretty full train to me. Nothing special was going on from what I could tell; people seemed to be in a relatively good mood. The reason we traveled on that day was because I was using AGR 1.0 points, and Christmas Day was one of the only non-blackout dates that entire holiday period. It was a great trip!
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