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About Rush2112

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    Train Attendant

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    Trains, traveling, the band Rush, human rights, politics, reading, indie movies, relaxing

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  1. Thanks for posting and reactivating this thread. Welcome.
  2. It sounds like a great trip, other than the issue in the Dining Car. Thank you for sharing it with us. Vermont is very special. I think that was my 48th State that I visited, two years before I turned 50. (I ended up making it to Hawaii at 49 and Alaska at 49, my 50th State, just a day before my 50th birthday. Of course those were not on the train! Flew to HI and took a cruse to AK.) Every time I have been to NYP and used a Red Cap they have been amazing! The first time I did I was impressed how they stopped the escalator, and reserved the direction so I could get down to my train. I always book Room H now, with my trick knees. I tell my Sleeping Car Attendant that I will be having all my meals in my room and that I will take care of them for their service. After doing this on three trips on the Coast Starlight and a trip on the Zephyr then the Capitol Limited all the way across country, I have never had an issue except for the first time when I was not clear that I would take all meals in my room. I tip $5 for each meal, and again at the end of the trip, with the amount being dependent on the level of service provided. If you are upfront so your SCA knows what to expect, things seem to go smoother. It is so nice to be able to take the train, in spite of mobility issues.
  3. Thank you TN Traveler and BuffaloBoy for the responses. I finally got through to Amtrak. Number 14 is now cancelled for my trip. Dixieland does not show that. I will check out the website recommend by BuffaloBoy. Wish Amtrak had better tracking information for travelers. I would have been doing last minute packing getting ready to head to my train if I had not looked into train status on my own. No text or call from Amtrak to tell me not to bother showing up at the Amtrak station in Sacramento near midnight for a train the will not be showing up at all. Sad, very sad, believe me, so sad. I love Amtrak and every time I talk to people on the phone they are the best. Their online information and lack of text or automated phone calls for updates sucks.
  4. I am booked on train 14 from Sacramento tonight at 11:59 PM for a trip to Portland. When checking the status on the Amtrak website it said to call for the status. Never a good sign. Amtrak told me the train is being held in San Luis Obispo due to a mudslide. When I called it was two hours late at that point. My cousin and I had a limited time for our visit to Portland as it was. Since the Amtrak website does not give details on delays I was checking the Dixieland Software website someone here told me about but that website does not seem to be updated either. Anyone know where I can get up-to-date on train location and status? I looks like I will need to cancel at this point but was hoping to be able get updated information before calling Amtrak again. They are getting slammed calls right now. I had a ADA (Room H) bedroom and hope I can reschedule with the same booking if I have to cancel but I wanted updated train status information before looking into it. ​The good news? Looks like our drought in California is coming to an end, for this year at least.
  5. Rush2112

    Capitol Limited - current consist?

    I'm in 3001 tomorrow to DC. Good thing I brought ear plugs!
  6. Rush2112

    Tipping when brought meals

    Lol. Maybe I'll use $3 bills. As I see it, money is money.
  7. Rush2112

    Tipping when brought meals

    If you are stopping by the bank anyway, here is a suggestion: get your tip money in $2 bills. There are four reasons to do this: 1) A lot of people appreciate getting a 2, because they consider them lucky or whatever, so it is just a nice thing to do; 2) It helps them remember you, so if you tip with a stack of twos at the first meal, they will remember you at the remaining meals (if you are eating in the Diner); 3) It helps make you a slightly bigger tipper, because you round up to an even number of dollars, instead of the next dollar, and being a big tipper is good for the tipper (karma-wise if in no other way) and tippee; 4) Off of Amtrak, it encourages you to tip in cash instead of with a card, which is all the same for you but generally advantageous for the person serving you. Just a thought. I always have a stack of twos in my wallet just for tipping, on or off of Amtrak. Happy travels, Ainamkartma I love that idea of using $2 bills. Didn't know you can still get them.
  8. I boarded the CZ #6 in SAC and yes the sleepers are in the front. It was only a few minutes late from the Bay Area. I should be seeing lots of snow soon!
  9. Rush2112

    Tipping when brought meals

    On my CS trip from SEA to LA in August I had all my meals brought to my room because my knees did not handle the stairs. I was in room H. I tipped $5 each meal. It's a lot of extra work for the SCA. Take the order, put it in, check when it's ready, bring it to my room. I am not sure if the dining staff gets any of that for whoever packages everything up and makes sure the utensils and condiments and everything is in there. I also tipped at the end for the service of bringing me plenty of water, coffee, setting up and breaking down the bed, keeping the hall shower clean and stocked with towels and soap, etc. I'll be going through a lot of $5 bills between SAC and WAS starting on Saturday but I would be tipping at restaurants and hotels if not traveling by rain. I have "stop at bank" on my to-do list Friday to stock up with change just for this purpose.
  10. The 6 was shown leaving EMY 4 hours late yesterday but at least it made it to Reno where I think it was then 6 hours late. Hope the schedule gets back on track by Saturday when I head to CHI. What a week! That's enough rain and snow for now, thank you very much.
  11. Rush2112

    Thruway Bus layover timing?

    Even if your train is an hour late there will be a bus waiting for it.
  12. Rush2112

    Zephyr Jan 13th

    I'm on the Zephyr this Saturday going from Sacramento to Chicago. Hopefully the track washout will be fixed by then and the snow blower trains will keep Donner summit open. Fingers crossed!
  13. Thank you for the great information. I will check out the sites you mentioned. It is raining hard again in Sacramento so the Sierras are going to get slammed with snow today. It is much colder since this storm is from Alaska and not a Pineapple Express like the last storm. Even I-80 has had closures due to flooding, snow and avalanche control. It is supposed to clear up by the weekend so hopefully my cross country train trip will not be hosed.
  14. Rush2112

    California zephy departing Emy 1/5/17

    With the next storm wave coming in tonight and up to 7 FEET of snow predicted in the high Sierras it might be a mess around Donner for a while. Maybe I will be able to get video of the rotary snow blower trains when I head up the hill on the CZ on Saturday. That would be a trip. Just a few days ago I happened to catch a documentary on my local PBS station in Sacramento (KVIE) about the rotary snow blower trains. I did not realize how rarely they are used. Sometimes not years at a time. I am resigned to perhaps being bused from Sac to Reno on Saturday but if i-80 is closed again due to mud slides, flooding or avalanches or who knows what, I just hope I don't end up having to fly to Philly for my conference next week. But since these storm systems are helping the drought in California, so be it. I just hope that people stay safe in this extreme weather. I look forward to hearing more about your trip with your dad. My dad loved trains and when we took the Twilight Shoreliner from BOS to WAS years ago, with my mom too, it was a wonderful experience.
  15. We are expecting another big storm in Northern California starting Tuesday early. Several more inches of rain in the Valley and this time it is a colder system and there could be up to 7 FEET of snow in the high Sierra. It sounds like they might need to break out the rotary plows from Roseville and send them up the hill. Just a couple of weeks ago I happened to catch a short documentary on the local PBS station about the rotary plows. I did not realize that sometimes many years go by where they are not needed. The first time I took the CZ from Sac to Reno it was after a week of back to back winter storms. It was amazing how much snow was up there around Donner. The most recent time I took the train to Reno with a friend for the weekend (a couple of years ago) I could not believe how little snow there was. It all gets cleared up by the time of my departure on Saturday it should be fascinating up there. I am concerned about a high risk of avalanches (not just for the CZ but for everyone) with the large snow that is expected and it falling on another large snow load that had lots of rain dumped on it the past few days. It could be mess up there. Even I-80 was closed for a time. Exciting times ahead. I will be sure to bring extra snacks so that we don't have to resort to cannibalism if we get stuck. If we do get bused to Reno that would not be awful since I have taken the Sac/Reno segment before, but it would be disappointing. We will both need to keep our fingers crossed the next couple of weeks. Are you getting your statuses on the CZ from the Amtrak website or other sources? Thanks for the heads up about the closure between Truckee and Colfax right now. I suppose fright traffic is being rerouted to points north or south.