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Twin Star Rocket

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About Twin Star Rocket

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    Lead Service Attendant

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    Rail travel, ship travel, history, science, languages, old TV shows and commercials (pre-1970), American folk songs, and classic movies.
  1. Twin Star Rocket

    VIA at 40

    The November 2018 issue of TRAINS has an article, "VIA at 40."
  2. I have a winter-spring 2016 timetable (effective 1-11-16) as the last printed issue for the system. Any after that date? I also have a 2016-2017 Rail Vacations booklet which I suspect is the last printed one as well.
  3. I observed both #7 and #8 about a half dozen times during the week of 9/17/18 to 9/21/18 at three different locations near Glacier NP. It was on-time only once. The longest delay was about 5-6 hours. The trains I saw were 9 to 10 cars long with 2 or 3 locomotives. On one westbound, there seemed to be a low-level car at the end of the train that was not a PV. I happened to meet the agent at the East Glacier station on one occasion. He drives over from Shelby MT to man the depot. East Glacier is closing within a week for the season. West Glacier station is occupied by the gift shop of a Glacier Park preservation group. Essex station (where Izaak Walton Inn is located) is an open platform station with lighting. A van will pick you up at Essex if you are staying at the Izaak Walton. Ditto if you are staying at the Belton Chalet in West Glacier.
  4. Twin Star Rocket

    Hotel near Chicago Union Station

    It's a good thread to refresh since so many Amtrak travelers pass through Chicago. Keep it updated!
  5. Twin Star Rocket

    Whitefish MT

    At the tail end of our Glacier NP vacation last week, we drove into Whitefish on our way back to Spokane. The former Great Northern depot there is a gem. It has three tenants: Amtrak, a town historical museum, and various car rental agencies (one of which is oldest Hertz agency in the U.S.). It's very clean and spacious inside. Outside the architecture reminds you of the chalet-like GN lodges in Glacier Park. The depot is within easy walking distance of many shops and eateries in the heart of the town. Whitefish is a very trendy winter and summer destination. Also by the depot are two railroad curiosities: a rare NW3 switcher painted in a traditional GN scheme and the "Bruck." The latter is a custom-built bus the GN used to shuttle passengers between Whitefish and nearby Kalispell in place of a "doodlebug." Kalispell was bypassed circa 1904 when GN built a new mainline to the north of Kalispell.
  6. Twin Star Rocket

    Belton Chalet

    We stayed at Belton Chalet three nights last week. It's located across Hwy 2 from the West Glacier Amtrak station (which is in use as a gift shop for a Glacier NP preservation group). Rooms are small, simple, clean, and have a private bathroom. Some (with balcony) face trackside and the highway; others face the forest in back. The lounge area is small but has a fireplace and shares room with an open gift shop area. Free coffee is served in the mornings only. Supper is provided by an adjacent restaurant. No other meals. For breakfast and lunch (and supper) there is the Glacier Highland restaurant within easy walking distance. Recommended! Staff at Belton Chalet is very helpful. P.S. We also stayed two nights at the Izaak Walton Inn about 25 miles to the east off Hwy 2.
  7. In living memory there have only been two passenger depots in Ft. Worth: the T&P depot (built 1931) and the Union Station (built 1899). The latter one is better known as the Santa Fe depot. Any other depots were freight depots.
  8. I have a 1973 edition that includes the INTER-AMERICAN. Two of the ten Western trains listed are long gone: NORTH COAST HIAWATHA and TEXAS CHIEF.
  9. 8th Annual Fred Harvey History Weekend in Las Vegas, NM on Nov, 2-4, 2018. http://media.newmexicoculture.org/event/3850/fred-harvey-history-
  10. Twin Star Rocket

    When did VIA Rail take over?

    Took my first non-Amtrak trip in Canada in the fall of 1977. VIA schedules and literature had been printed up. I got some of my tickets from CN through a travel agent in Houston before I left the States. I had to mail off to get my CP tickets. They did not show up in my mail box until the day before I flew to Toronto. Close call on that one!
  11. Twin Star Rocket

    Guess who's coming to dinner?

    Well, who have you met in an Amtrak dining car for any meal, not just dinner? Off the top of my head I can think of these people with whom I've shared a table: Dutch student, Air Canada executive, Irish businessman, retired Amtrak engine supervisor, Oklahoma rancher, and a few retired teachers.
  12. Twin Star Rocket

    When did VIA Rail take over?

    When did it transition from a marketing organization for CN passenger services to a rail passenger operator? When did CP service officially come under VIA Rail operations? Dates please--month & year! [i know it was generally in the 1976-78 timeframe.]
  13. When did the Amtrak route structure reach its greatest number of route miles? In the 70s (pre-Carter cuts)? In the 80s? In the 90s? Time to pull out your timetables and check! Without looking at actual numbers, I'd guess in the 70s just before the Carter cuts or in the 90s just after the SUNSET LIMITED was extended to Florida (and the PIONEER and DESERT WIND were still running).
  14. Twin Star Rocket

    TE using UP FTW-DAL (9/3/18)

    Santa Fe used the T&P. Thanks for reminding me about that one!
  15. Twin Star Rocket

    TE using UP FTW-DAL (9/3/18)

    Historically there have been 3 railroad routes between Dallas and Ft. Worth (not including an electric interurban): Texas & Pacific, Rock Island, and Cotton Belt. The Cotton Belt is the most indirect of the three. It will soon host commuter trains to DFW airport from Ft. Worth. Amtrak used to operate over the T&P line--and still does occasionally. TRE commuter trains and Amtrak 21/22 regularly use the former Rock Island route. In years past, that RI line hosted trains of the Rock Island (of course), Fort Worth & Denver, Frisco, and even the Southern Pacific (back in the 1920s). The Cotton Belt ceased passenger service to Ft. Worth in the early 90s except for a mixed train to Hodge which lasted a decade or so longer.