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Twin Star Rocket

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About Twin Star Rocket

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

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  1. “Trains tap into some deep American collective memory.”---Dana Frank

  2. Twin Star Rocket

    -Southern Railway - Amtrak - Same train

    Southern Railway schedules (except Asheville train) January 1972: #1 & #2 -- daily Washington to/from Birmingham ; triweekly to/from New Orleans (with transcon sleeper) # 5 & #6-- daily Washington to/from Atlanta #7 & #8--daily Washington to/from Lynchburg June 1972: same frequency as January 1972 May 1974: same frequency as January 1972 #1 & #2 -- daily Washington to/from BIrmingham ; triweekly to/from New Orleans (with transcon sleeper) # 5 & #6-- daily Washington to/from Atlanta #7 & #8--daily Washington to/from Lynchburg June 1976: #1 & #2 -- daily Washington to/from Atlanta ; triweekly to/from New Orleans (with transcon sleeper) # 5 & #6-- daily Washington to/from Charlotte NC October 1978: #1 & #2 -- daily Washington to/from Atlanta ; triweekly to/from New Orleans (with transcon sleeper) April 1979: Now Amtrak #19 & #20 daily Washington-New Orleans (with transcon sleeper)
  3. Twin Star Rocket

    Amtrak at its pinnacle

    Well I finally sat down with 8 Amtrak timetables I thought reflected key times and then made an Excel spreadsheet of route miles that included all routes but the Northeast Corridor. Here are my rankings for Amtrak route miles: #1-- April 1979 30,883 miles--within the year of the Carter administration cuts #2--June 1976 28,266 #3--May 1993 26,354 #4--May 1974 25,906 #5--October 1991 25,374 #6--August 1980 25,078 #7--October 1982 24,815 #8--June 1972 23,397
  4. This long-running name passenger train between Melbourne and Adelaide faces discontinuance: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-29/overland-train-service-set-to-be-cancelled/10565422
  5. Twin Star Rocket

    Cruising (Ocean and River)

    Other than overnight ferries with varying amenities, the only "cruise" I've taken was a trip on the Delta Lines passenger-freighter Santa Mariana in the early 1980s. It was a two-night trip from Tacoma to San Francisco. Accommodations and meals were first rate! I wish I could have traveled onward to Los Angeles---better yet to South America!
  6. Twin Star Rocket

    Consist of last Tr. 521

    I found a note card where I jotted down the consist of the last Houston-section of the Texas Eagle on 9-09-95: Locomotive 294 Coach-baggage 31021 Coach 34047 Lounge café 33011 I was aboard the first press run and northbound 522 back in 1988.
  7. Twin Star Rocket

    Alpine, TX

    The December 2018 issue of Texas Highways magazine has an article on 5 "railroad" hotels where one can overnight. One of these is the Holland Hotel in Alpine TX. It's the only one of the five that is located at an Amtrak stop. One of them, the Olle Hotel in Flatonia, is on the Sunset Route where there is no current stop.
  8. Twin Star Rocket

    VIA at 40

    The November 2018 issue of TRAINS has an article, "VIA at 40."
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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!
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.