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Everything posted by ParanoidAndroid

  1. ParanoidAndroid

    #1 LAX Arrival

    How important are LD-LD connections anyway? They seem to influence a lot of LD schedules, sometimes to the detriment of other potential passengers (e.g. Sunset Limited, Cardinal).
  2. I encountered an old thread (didn't bother to find it) that mentioned an overnight LAX-LVS, then daytime to Idaho, then overnight to Portland train. LAX 11:10pm 7:15am LVS 6:10a/6:30a 10:30p/11:15p SLC 4:00p/4:20p 2:40p/3:00p Boise 12:10am 6:30am Pendleton 6:25am 10:30pm PDX 11:00am 6:15pm Based off of 1996 Pioneer & DW schedules. Something like this would return service to Vegas, allow passengers to ride the train to SW Utah (via Milford to the various nat'l parks there), and it basically eliminates the problem that the train takes too long to go from LA to Vegas (cause you'd be asleep). Idaho is also served at a better time of day. Connections east/west are broken at SLC, which is the main downside. If I can continue dreaming, then here's this connecting train east via Wyoming: SLC 8:00pm 6:30am DEN 9:00a/10:40a 3:45p/5:30p OMA 8:29p/8:44p 7:25a/7:35a CHI 6:20am 10:30pm I wonder how popular this would be. This opens up a bunch of new possible riders if it can be done. Another edit: If the tracks to Boise aren't open, then just serve Nampa (unfortunately).
  3. ParanoidAndroid

    #1 LAX Arrival

    Can't they at least allow people to stay until 5:35am? It'd be a bit mean to wake everyone up at 3:45am an early 4:30am arrival.
  4. ParanoidAndroid

    What happened with Train 7/27?

    #7 is 15 hours late in clear weather, and #27 is 16 hours late in some snow. It looks like they were delayed while detouring in ND, but what were the other causes of the delays? Most Builders make it through the usual cold weather on time, so that shouldn't be the issue. Also, I'd have thought that they'd turn the train in Spokane, but they didn't do that. Now, the return #8 and #28 will likely leave early in the morning of the 10th. Pretty bad.
  5. ParanoidAndroid

    What happened with Train 7/27?

    How did you figure out those departure times?
  6. https://www.ridecabin.com/ There's now on overnight bus from LA to San Franfrisco at a moderate price. It's time for Amtrak to step it up and bring back the Spirit of California. Preferably from San Diego to Sacramento along the coastal route.
  7. Just saying, but couldn't they maybe have attached 14's cars on the back of 508, and maybe put another engine on it? Maybe having the train 'separated' by an engine in the middle would create problems?
  8. ParanoidAndroid

    14 is all kinds of late today (1/17/19)

    There totally isn't a yard there with maybe a P42 or two. Sent from my SM-J320P using Amtrak Forum mobile app
  9. ParanoidAndroid

    14 is all kinds of late today (1/17/19)

    https://mobile.twitter.com/AmtrakAlerts/status/1086062874143977472 It was apparently due to engine issues. Oh well.
  10. ParanoidAndroid

    Los Angeles

    What are some good breakfast places in LA that's worth going out of my way for? I know of Philippe's, but I'm wondering if/where there's better or awesome places in the LA area (that I can preferably reach by public transport). Thanks for any suggestions!
  11. I rode the Coast Starlight 14 northbound with my family from Klamath Falls to Seattle on Independence Day (Wednesday July 4th), returning by 501 and 11 on Saturday the 7th. The previous day, we were at the Oregon Caves in southwestern Oregon, and stayed at the magnificent Chateau, opened in 1934, during the height of the Great Depression. The rustic architecture, cozy interior, and old Monterey furniture all make it a great place to visit in and of itself. Of course, the caves are quite an experience too, with plenty of stunning stalactites and stalagnites! That evening, we used Hwy 140 to get to Klamath Falls, with nice views of Upper Klamath Lake near the end. Along the way, I checked Transitdocs, and saw that our 14 had an estimated on-time arrival, but a departure of 10:30am (it's scheduled for 8:17am). Train 14 had been leaving Klamath Falls around 11am every day since that Sunday, but no alert had been posted on Amtrak's website. Classic lack of communication on Amtrak's part. We went to bed that night planning for an on-time departure, just in case it would leave on-time. The next morning, the train was estimated to be 40 minutes late arriving, so we had time for an admittedly high-calorie breakfast at the Black Bear Diner. I had their eggs benedict, which I usually love, but the hollandaise sauce wasn't done right, and in combination with the sides, it was heavy, fatty, and overall not great. I did get a hot cup of tea, though, so that made it a little bit better. Slightly disappointed but properly filled, we headed over to the station and got there around 8:45am. The station agent said that, indeed, the train wouldn't leave until 11am, because of trackwork. Hoping for minimal delays en route, we awaited the arrival of the Coast Starlight. It rolled in at 8:58am, 51 minutes late. Confusion ensued as one employee on the train claimed we'd be stuck for 3 hours, while another claimed only 1.5 hours. Some people were worried, but nobody really cared, and we all just lounged around. Luckily for me, I had some time for a leisurely walk up and down the platform, and I took plenty of photos of the train and the station. I liked Klamath Falls. It's a medium-sized rural town, and a nice change from busy and repetitive suburbia. Transitdocs still estimated a 10:30am departure, so I headed over to the end of the last coach car just before 10:30 to film the train leaving the station. As it turned out, the transitdocs estimate creeped back later and later, and I stood there awkwardly for half an hour, until the conductor announced the departure just before 11 o'clock. We finally jolted forward, starting our journey right at 11:00am, and I caught a great video of us leaving out of the back window. The LSA came through for lunch reservations, and as we were in coach, we only had the later options, so we chose a 1:45pm reservation. We enjoyed the ride along Upper Klamath Lake from the east side this time, and saw several heron-like birds poking around the reeds and grasses as we glided along. The weather was beautiful that day, with only some light clouds in the sky. The rest of the ride to Chemult was uneventful, with the exception of the narrow and deep Lower Williamson Gorge, which we saw for a couple short moments. After Chemult, we started going around some curves, as we headed for the Cascades. Odell Lake peeked through the trees for a little while on the right. A bit after that, we stopped at a siding for 40 minutes, but no train passed. Our hopes of a reasonable arrival time into Seattle started dwindling. Just about when we passed the Cruzatte siding, we were called for lunch. I got just the regular cheeseburger (with real cheddar cheese!) with potato chips, which was tasty and satisfying, as I remembered it from before. Everyone had their eyes glued to the window as we twisted and bumped and turned along the steep cliff section as we passed over the Oregon Cascades. It was a memorable moment, seeing the Amtrak servers doing their work as usual, and everyone eating lunch, as we traveled through a remote area half way up a steep valley. There was a sheer drop off to our right, and a steep incline up to our left. We continued descending down the hill, heading southeast for a time (instead of northwest for the rest of the descent) to lower our elevation to the bottom of the valley. After passing by a freight train, we rolled through Oakridge (no stop), and then we meandered along Lookout Point Lake for quite a while. I saw two covered bridges, which are a true rarity, and especially rare on the West Coast. We finally exited the mountains, approaching our next stop, Eugene. We stopped for one last time to let the northbound Cascades train 508 clear the station, then we pulled in at 4:37pm, just over four hours late. Although most of the day had gone by, we weren't even half way to Seattle yet! I had a good stretch on the platform, and admired the old Southern Pacific station building. Upon our departure, we were delayed yet again as we had to back out of the station and take the outer track to let the southbound Starlight 11 (on time, of course!) have the platform track. We waited for another freight train, then made a stop at Albany, nearly five hours late. We had gotten a dinner reservation for 7:30pm, so we waited around while we trundled through the fields of central Oregon. After Salem, we were called for dinner. I got the thyme roasted chicken, which came with a mushroom sauce. The chicken was surprisingly (luckily?) cooked almost perfectly! It was just moist enough, and the sauce paired pretty well with it. Complete with a baked potato and some veggies, dinner in the diner was especially enjoyable. We stopped at Portland for about a half an hour while we ate. I had fun remembering the first and previous time I was in Portland, two years ago. We would visit the station again a few days later when we headed south back to Klamath Falls. After we left, the train crossed the Willamette and Columbia Rivers as the sun set in the distance among the clouds. We continued north through Washington State, passing numerous towns celebrating the Fourth of July. As we sat in the lounge car, everyone oohed and wowed at all the fireworks being launched around us in the dark. We kept a steady speed through the dark forests of Washington, skipping Centralia (apparently, nobody was ticketed to there, and anyone getting on rode 508), and making a quick stop in Olympia. After that, we started on the coastal Puget Sound section: the supposed highlight of the trip, a magnificent sunset over the water as we ate dinner. But, of course, we were hours late, so everything was pitch black. The only thing I saw on this section were the dotted lights on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge as we passed under it. We curved around Point Defiance in a tunnel under the town of Ruston, then we sped southeast toward Tacoma. As we approached the old Amshack station, we got views of what was probably downtown Tacoma and its brightly lit streets and ferris wheel. We saw a few more fireworks here, too. After stopping at the lonely Tacoma platform, we went back to our seats and packed up all of our stuff. An uneventful 40 minutes passed, then we finally pulled into Seattle at 11:54pm, a hair under four hours late. We were so tired, longing for a hot shower and a long night's sleep, that we didn't even bother to take pictures of the train after getting off. We exited the station, and, instead of getting a taxi, we decided to take the streetcar to our hotel. As we waited on the thin platform in the middle of the road, we looked around at some poor homeless folks, on a run down sidewalk past midnight, complete with an old car and trash strewn about. It was quite an antithesis to the awesome and memorable time we had on the Starlight. After a few more minutes, an empty streetcar came and whisked us away to our hotel. Station arrival/departure times (may differ slightly from official records) Klamath Falls, OR 8:58am/11:00am Chemult 12:20pm/12:27pm Eugene 4:37pm/4:49pm Albany 6:11pm/6:13pm Salem 6:43pm/6:44pm Portland, OR 8:04pm/8:31pm Vancouver, WA 8:48pm/8:50pm Kelso 9:27pm/9:27pm Centralia passed by 10:09pm Lacey 10:29pm/10:30pm Tacoma 11:11pm/11:13pm Seattle, WA 11:54pm I've written a trip report on here before, for a trip from Los Angeles to Portland in summer 2016, but the writing wasn't that great. I hope my writing has improved for this one. Comments and suggestions are welcome. Thanks for reading! I might continue this story for the return trip a few days later on Trains 501 and 11 someday, with some highlights about our time in Seattle.
  12. ParanoidAndroid

    Klamath Falls to Seattle, Summer 2018

    We live in California, so we drove up in our car to the Caves and Klamath Falls, then left it at Klamath Falls until we returned from Seattle on the train, then drove back into California. The Caves don't have public transport to them, so driving was the only option. I'll upload pictures soon!
  13. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/07/06/gateway-tunnel-new-york-city-infrastructure-218839 An analysis of why it's still in gridlock.
  14. What if, for an early morning shift (say NE Regional 190 or Pacific Surfliner 759), one of the key employees like the engineer sleeps in and doesn't show up on time? I'd doubt there's just an idle engineer sitting around the station at 3 or 4am, and I don't know what else they'd do.
  15. Yeah... even daily is way below adequate, but we can't even do that. Even three-a-week is way below adequate, but we can't even do that for a lot of America's large cities. Oh well. It's hard to establish rail in rural areas because yes, indeed, a once a day dinky train isn't that useful. But a multiple departures a day, state-supported route is robust and useful. But one has to go through the dinky useless phase first, which few like to do. California and Illinois, for example, did this, and now have nice state-supported routes. A lot of other states haven't, and so they don't have trains. Some are just lucky (if you call it that) to have long distance trains.
  16. Well, technically we do... 6 times a week... [emoji6]
  17. ParanoidAndroid

    Business Class in the west?

    I think you're talking about the one Superliner car in between the other Surfliner cars. That car is now *sometimes* in business class now. In recent times, I've only had it be in business, though a few times it's in coach.
  18. ParanoidAndroid

    Bend, Oregon?

    I'm dreaming/thinking/considering a trip to Bend using the bus from Chemult. What are some fun things to do around town besides the Deschutes River and the nearby Pilot Butte? I won't have a car then, so I can't go far outside of town. By the way, does Chemult have anything to do in it?
  19. Wonder if there would be support if it ran daily or even better twice daily on mirror schedules? Everything would be more popular if there were more frequencies!
  20. Wow. I did not think a 1/2 inch of rain from a dying hurricane could flood a place or kill anyone!
  21. https://asm.transitdocs.com/train/2018/10/3/4 By analyzing the train tracker data I linked above, it stopped for 8 hours just past a crossing west of Kingman, and that's also where a siding is located, so I'm speculating that (1) it ran someone over there (and possibly a fatality, because it was delayed for so long), or (2) a freight train broke down there. It had the same issue in Seligman, where it got delayed 4 more hours. It then sat in Gallup, NM for an hour and a half, then got delayed another 2 hours (minus some padding) into Albuquerque. Go figure, probably a crossing incident or a broken down freight train, possibly multiple, and regular train traffic of course. Another member will probably have the real cause of the delay. I doubt it's inclement weather, it only rained a little bit that week in the area. Also, if you didn't know this already, note that this is just a forum for Amtrak riders and enthusiasts, and isn't affiliated or endorsed or supported or whatever by Amtrak itself.
  22. ParanoidAndroid

    New Canadian Schedule Effective 6/26

    Take a look! The westbound 1 has been many hours late the past week or so! The new schedule doesn't seem to be helping on some runs that much. https://reservia.viarail.ca/tsi/GetTrainStatus.aspx?l=en&TsiCCode=VIA&TsiTrainNumber=1-&TrainInstanceDate=2018-10-05 https://reservia.viarail.ca/tsi/GetTrainStatus.aspx?l=en&TsiCCode=VIA&TsiTrainNumber=1-&TrainInstanceDate=2018-10-02 https://reservia.viarail.ca/tsi/GetTrainStatus.aspx?l=en&TsiCCode=VIA&TsiTrainNumber=1-&TrainInstanceDate=2018-09-30 1. Originating Toronto on Oct 2 is currently 13.5 hours late in Alberta. As far I see, this is the latest of the trains in the past week. 2. Originating Toronto on Sept 29 arrived Vancouver 8:45 late, even with all the padding 3. Originating Toronto on Sept 27 arrived Vancouver 4.5 hours late. Delays mostly occurred in Alberta. This seems to be just starting recently, but I fear another cycle of "Oh, let's lengthen the schedule again" after having done that a few times already by significant amounts. Combined that with the horribler schedule coming up, this just might be the last straw for the Canadian. Or at least among the last few straws. As long distance trains are in the Americas.
  23. ParanoidAndroid

    Railway Age Article: "The Amtrak Era is Over"

    We'd need Amtrak to overthrow the government and seize all the railroads for a UK-style train system to happen.
  24. ParanoidAndroid

    SW Chief odd Train Number

    I think the Kingman stop before the change is 12:28am, but 11:28pm after, so that'd mean an Amtrak 3 would depart Kingman twice in a day, so the second is numbered 1003. Trains 1, 2, and 4 don't have this problem because they don't have a stop in Arizona between 12am and 1am before the time change.
  25. ParanoidAndroid

    Amtrak Ending Service to Carlsbad Village (CBV)?

    They still stop pretty frequently through Orange County at Irvine, Santa Ana, Anaheim, and Fullerton though. Carlsbad Poinsettia would be a nice middle point between Solana Beach and Oceanside, which are 20 mins apart by car (15 by train).