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About PaulM

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  • Location
    Quincy, IL
  • Interests
    Bicycling, computer programming, website development, concert band, train travel
  1. PaulM

    Multi-city vs one-way booking

    I think it has gotten smarter. I tried Tampa to NYP departing Jan10 and NYP to CHI departing Jan 11. If I select the bus - Silver Meteor option for segment 1 and LSL for segment 2, all is well. But if I select the Silver Star for segment 1, I get because the Start doesn't arrive in time the next day to connect with the LSL
  2. Until recently that link would have gotten you an "Under construction" page because the part that sends email alerts had been generating spam. I lost interest in Amtrak so I never tried to track down the cause. I merely took it down. I now find I want to track a couple of itineraries so I came up with a way to generate email alerts using Windows' task scheduler, rather than cron jobs on the web hosting service. For that reason the fare watch program is back online, but doesn't itself send emails. If you are interested in further details, please PM me..
  3. The long lines you saw must have been coach passenger, especially those heading for a NER train. Boarding 97 from Club Acela will just be a small group leisurely doing the kindergarten walk. Besides, if you have a sleeper, what's the hurry? Of course a redcap would be useful if you want a ride or help with baggage.
  4. PaulM

    Bike stuff

    You can add Mt. Pleasant, IA to the list. I do have a question about MTP. It is one of those stations that lost its agent in the latest downsizing. Recently at train time someone was performing agent duties, filling out baggage claim checks, including bikes; letting people know when the train is approaching, which side of the double track to stand on, and where the coaches and sleepers were located;wheeling checked baggage out to the baggage car; and in general making like an agent. After checking my bike ticket, he took it from me and did the rest. Is it possible that Amtrak is hiring someone just to help out at train time? Agents may not be selling as many ticket anymore; but there services are sure needed at train time at places like MTP.
  5. PaulM

    Business Class in the west?

    Add 38X to that. In Illinois there is a farm road every mile. At 79 mph that's about every 45 seconds. It seems that by the time the engineer is finished the 4 blasts, he's starting over again. This is just another way Amtrak disses its premium passengers.
  6. I'm slow getting back; but you can marked this one as answered.. I did the unmentionable and booked a flight from Quincy, IL to Orlando changing in Chicago, only my second domestic flight in 25 years. $125 plus baggage.
  7. Looks fine now. I guess I was being sarcastic. No diner on one of the choices to Florida, a cheesy consist, contemporary food, baggage service dumped at two of my Florida stops - Sebring and Hollywood - and at stations I frequently use - FMD, MTP, LMY, threat to cancel a train I frequently use - SW Chief. I used to enjoy planning trips; now it's just depressing.
  8. PaulM

    Unsold sleepers

    Low bucket is not exactly "next to nothing" The real issue is why they don't at least advertise the empty sleeper and sell it for a price is not next to nothing. After all, they have no problem hawking hot dogs.
  9. Whoever changed the title missed the point. I wrongly took for granted everyone knew what I meant by rump consist in January. In 2016 it was single engine, two sleepers, diner, lounge, coach, coach-bag. In 2017 it was single engine, coach-bag, coach, diner, lounge, two sleepers. In the past it didn't go into effect until a week or so into January and lasted at least a month. So the normal consist in October or July was not what I was looking for.
  10. I'm planning to go from the Midwest to Florida in mid January. Does anyone have advanced notice where the sleepers will be locating on the Capitol Limited's rump consist? Three years ago (2016) the only thing separating me from the horn was another bedroom; and it made me think I was a fool for not flying. Two years ago (2017) I inquired of Amtrak and was told the sleepers would be in the rear. So I booked, no problem. A search found an AU thread that seemed to say they were back in the front for 2018. So, any predictions for 2019?
  11. I don't see any grey area here. There is no suggestion that a folding bike can't be in a bag. In fact some commuter lines require a bag. They avoid the chain grease problem. Now if you had two other pieces of carry-on baggage, you would exceed the limit by one; but still not be in a grey area.
  12. PaulM

    Bicycling the Hoosier State

    I'm glad you are not in charge; or I wouldn't have been able to bring my bike on board Illinois and Missouri trains for the past 25 years. There are plenty of places to store a bike. However, one of the best - the vestibule at the front or rear of the train - has become off limits due to nervous nellyism. Putting it in a deadheading sleeper in a new one. I once placed my bike in the space at the front of a car and sat down next to it upon boarding in Chicago. Soon a wheel chair rider occupied the same area with no problem. A few minutes later a second wheel chair came aboard. I offered to move; but both said "No problem". Now there may be a good reason to put two wheel chairs in the same space; but at the time it seemed strange. I'm glad to hear Union Station was able to accommodate the OP's bicycle. You never know when you will encounter bicycle derangement syndrome.
  13. PaulM

    Thanksgiving 2018 timetables

    Also, Amtrak.com calls the extra QCY to CHI train on 11/21 and 25 the Illinois Zephyr, not Carl Sandberg
  14. The bike discussion reminds me of the same arguments being made for many years before the Capitol Limited began carry-on bike service. Once it finally started, it was a no-brainer, not the cross between rocket science and brain surgery that the cons made it seem like. An the conductors couldn't have been more cordial about it. It's been 3 years since I used it. I hope the service hasn't been eliminated.