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ehbowen

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About ehbowen

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    http://www.streamlinerschedules.com

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    Houston, Texas

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  1. Exactly. Unless the train is running early (it won't leave early), do not leave the station. When it's time to leave, they will not wait for you. Buy your food and preferred libations before you board in Fort Lauderdale.
  2. Seats are assigned (IF they are assigned; if the train's not too full they may let you have "open seating") on-the-fly by the train crew. It's not anywhere in Amtrak's system (with the exception of Acela First Class in the Northeast). Once you are seated and your ticket is scanned/lifted, you will be given a paper "seat check" by the conductor to mark your seat as occupied.
  3. ehbowen

    SWC Route vs. Santa Fe CHI-LAX

    In the classic streamliner days, the Union Pacific City trains were operated out of Chicago Union Station to Council Bluffs/Omaha by the Milwaukee Road from 1955 on. Before 1955, they were operated by the Chicago and North Western out of North Western Station (now Ogilvie). The Hill Road trains (Northern Pacific and Great Northern) were operated from Chicago Union Station to the Twin Cities by the Burlington Route for essentially all of the 20th century.
  4. I DO NOT LIKE GREEN EGGS AND HAM. I DO NOT LIKE THEM, SAM-I-AM. A TRAIN! A TRAIN! A TRAIN! A TRAIN! COULD YOU, WOULD YOU ON A TRAIN? NOT ON TRAIN! NOT IN A TREE! NOT IN A CAR! SAM! LET ME BE! I WOULD NOT, COULD NOT, IN A BOX. I WOULD NOT, COULD NOT, WITH A FOX. I WILL NOT EAT THEM IN A HOUSE. I WILL NOT EAT THEM HERE OR THERE. I WILL NOT EAT THEM ANYWHERE. I DO NOT EAT GREEM EGGS AND HAM. I DO NOT LIKE THEM, SAM-I-AM.
  5. ehbowen

    How early should I purchase an Amtrak Bedroom?

    If you have the agent MODIFY your existing reservation, all you should lose is 25% of the difference between the original fare and the new...in other words, 25% of the refund which you are due. Now if a ham-handed (or inexperienced) agent CANCELS your existing reservation, and then books a new one, then the system would charge 25% of the refund due on the cancellation...which would be 25% of your original fare. So check and make sure that the agent is doing it correctly; if you're not sure, cancel the transaction, hang up, and try again with a different agent.
  6. ehbowen

    How early should I purchase an Amtrak Bedroom?

    Learn how to check price buckets (I believe niemi has a current chart up somewhere). If the price Amtrak's asking now is low bucket, grab it now...it can't go down. If they're at mid or high bucket you might want to wait, but that risks losing the room altogether if they sell out. Safest option is to buy now and then, if the price drops, ask to have your original reservation modified to the lower price. You might lose 25% of the difference, but some of our members have reported that being waived. If you're sure you're traveling then, and you're sure you want a bedroom, that's what I'd do.
  7. ehbowen

    A comparison breakfast

    Now that I think about it I believe my half tomato in 1990 was roasted as well. I still left it uneaten; as with CAQuail I have no interest in tomatoes unless they have been rendered into paste or sauce.
  8. Sounds as though you were given an exception at supervisor's discretion. A nice thing for them to do, but i wouldn't count on it in future.
  9. ehbowen

    A comparison breakfast

    I had occasion to take a British Rail train from Falmouth (Truro, actually) to London in May of 1990. My shipping company would only pay for basic coach, which included no food service. There was a flyer touting the full English breakfast provided to those who upgraded to premium service, which I thought at first was out of my reach. Then I read further, and realized that I was traveling on a bank holiday, and that the holiday upgrade charge was only (IIRC) £5! Well, at that price it was a no-brainer. And it was an excellent breakfast, excepting only the tomato (I despise raw tomatos!).
  10. Not to mention some of the Cardinals route is a target for downgrading, so CSX has added the joyous demand that any renegotiation will also entail Amtrak paying for the required class 5 maintenance (Raton Pass style). I think there's a much better chance of a daily SL than a daily Cardinal. Class 5 or class 4? Class 5 would be 90 mph (with signaling upgrades), and I don't believe that's in the offing under anyone's proposal. Class 4 with standard wayside signals is good for 79.
  11. I'm not saying it isn't that way now...after all, my experience was 39 years ago...but it wasn't that way back then, which means it doesn't HAVE to be that way. That's all I'm saying.
  12. ehbowen

    Canadian rail adventure ideas

    Please. It's a joke. OK? Look, I've paid $12 a night for a room in downtown San Diego (in 1986). Bathroom down the hall, 'characters' in the lobby, and a telephone switchboard straight out of 1927. But the sheets were clean, the staff was competent, and the characters were friendly and made for interesting conversation once you took the time to get to know them. I came back and stayed there again (although I moved upscale...room with bath for $16!), and was very disappointed when the place was torn down a year or so later. And I regretted that the characters now had nowhere to go except the homeless shelter. On the other hand, especially when I'm traveling with family members such as my parents, I eschew adventure in favor of known quantities and, whenever possible, luxury. Hence the Rosedale on Robson in Vancouver and the Marriott Courtyard Pioneer Square in Seattle. These places are both expensive, given my income and resources. Yet I consider it money well spent. So I tried to give a heads-up a few posts back that the Rosedale is an excellent hotel, albeit "kind of pricy." Qbar responded that she thought their prices were quite reasonable for downtown Vancouver...and they are. So I tried to make a gentle joke in agreement with that point which points out that it's a matter of perspective...and two of you posted saying you found that offensive. It's not possible to win. So I'm not even going to try. If you have a problem with that...then you have a problem.
  13. TrainJam has franchised Florida? (Ducks and covers!)
  14. Yeah, nearby metro area of 6.3M + popular political figure + once in a lifetime event + wall to wall media coverage + 2 lane roads is not a recipe for happy campers. I just watched the runby from FM2978 in Hufsmith. After I'd gotten back to my car and gotten onto the highway, it took me over an hour to drive south to FM1960!
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