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Things to take with you

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Personally, I think a lot of this is overkill. However, there's a few things I like to have on a long distance trip.

1) Travel coffee mug (personal preference for minimizing waste coupled with copious beverage intake)

2) Bottle of wine or six pack of good beer (I'm not a fan of Amtrak's selection or prices)

3) Computer for work and DVD watching (+ DVDs, of course)

4) Two good books

5) Route guide

6) Pre-packaged window cleaning wipes (for windows and unfortunate uncleanliness)

 

On the last point, I like to take pictures from the doors on the first floor of the Superliner sleeper I'm in. 90% of the time I'm the only one there, it has nice windows on both sides that are easily cleaned inside and out, and no glare from sun in other windows (my one Sightseer Lounge complaint).

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Personally, I think a lot of this is overkill. However, there's a few things I like to have on a long distance trip.

1) Travel coffee mug (personal preference for minimizing waste coupled with copious beverage intake)

2) Bottle of wine or six pack of good beer (I'm not a fan of Amtrak's selection or prices)

3) Computer for work and DVD watching (+ DVDs, of course)

4) Two good books

5) Route guide

6) Pre-packaged window cleaning wipes (for windows and unfortunate uncleanliness)

 

On the last point, I like to take pictures from the doors on the first floor of the Superliner sleeper I'm in. 90% of the time I'm the only one there, it has nice windows on both sides that are easily cleaned inside and out, and no glare from sun in other windows (my one Sightseer Lounge complaint).

 

please note that unless you have a sleeper you CANNOT drink your own stash of booze

Private stock

You may bring aboard your own private stock of alcoholic beverages subject to the following limitations:

 

* You may consume private stock alcoholic beverages only in Sleeping Car accommodations for which you have a valid ticket.

* You may not consume private stock alcoholic beverages in any public areas.

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It's all personal preference, but I carry a lightweight portable radio that covers AM/FM/shortwave bands, a small active receiving loop antenna with a suction cup for the roomette window and a set of headphones. It's nice to tune around local stations and at night pick up the world bands. Bungee cords are nice for securement of all types of gear.

 

I know that if you're listening to a radio in a coach / business class / Acela Express first class seat or in a lounge or dining car you are required to use headphones if listening to a radio, DVD player, etc, but are you required to use headphones in a roomette?

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I would add food to that list. and if you want cheap hot stuff get instant food (coffee, tea included) and a 1-cup hot water coil (get a good cup too).

 

peter

Why food if all my meals are included, is it that bad? :o

 

yes your meals are included but not your snacks.

 

peter

 

There's a coffee machine or pot in the sleeper car, or at least have been on the two i've been on. I didn't find any milk or sugar on the viewliner, tho maybe that was because I needed the coffee first to get my brain in gear :)

 

You'll need to go to the lounge or cafe car to get anything to munch tho, unless you bring it with you. I went down to get something to eat and got the coffee from my sleeper on the way back - this also avoids needing to carry a hot coffee through 3 or 4 cars on a moving train.

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I know that if you're listening to a radio in a coach / business class / Acela Express first class seat or in a lounge or dining car you are required to use headphones if listening to a radio, DVD player, etc, but are you required to use headphones in a roomette?
As long as the volume's not cranked up enough to disturb passengers at the opposite end of the next sleeping car, I think you'd be fine.

 

How soundproofed are the walls and doors of a bedroom or roomette, anyway?

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:angry:

YEAH, I could wrap one end around someting on the train, unwinding it and wrapping the other end around my waist while in the short stop stations, getting a coke.

 

Speaking of coke, I hope that you like Pepsi, because Amtrak has an exclusive contract with Pepsi. You won't find any Coke products on board, unless you've brought them with you.

I know we about got left on EB last year in western N. Dakota when I went in to the station in search of a Diet Coke. There wasn't any there either!!

GregL :lol:

 

 

Ya know, we all need to start thinking "PEPSI"

Back Me Up, Alan :)

 

Diet Pepsi is NOT Diet Coke!!!

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I don't take any of that gadgetry (I would not know what to do with it anyway, I am an apartment dweller). iI I want to repair a room--assuming I know how which I do not--- I would stay home and do that !! But on the train, I am on vacation. Actual need for some of that would surely be quite rare.

 

What I do take are timetables and possibly some sort of route guide Of course I take info I might need as a tourist at the places I am visiting, such as Gray Line tour folders, etc. ,esp. if I am not yet completely sure what I will be doing at my destination(s).

 

FURTHER--I have my own unique idea for reading materials. Isntead of a good book or two I take magazines, etc flimsy things by my easy chair which I will be throwing away one day anyway and read that. Then throw them away, leaving my bags with more room to buy brand new souvenirs and such to bring back(an important part of any vacation).

 

Sometimes I drive from Atlanta to my hometown,Chattanooga and stay overnight in a hotel . When I do that, I grab up the "read later" junk by my easy chair and read it in the hotel that night,throwing it away one item at a time. The reading junk I allow to pile up. I usually do not bother with the TV in a strange town except for the late night and early morning news. I take a break from my usual shows.

 

All of my life I have heard about it being colder on the train at night......guess it must be.......everybody says so. I personally cannot really testify to that.

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I've compiled this list from various threads on this board:

 

2. 3 or 4 large pins like the diaper pins or safety pins (this is to keep the curtains closed at night)

An excellent list. With regard to item #2: I have found that large binder clips (available at any office supply store) are easy to use for this purpose. They can quickly be attached and removed, which is handy if one wishes to try some night time photography/video.

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I don't take any of that gadgetry (I would not know what to do with it anyway, I am an apartment dweller). iI I want to repair a room--assuming I know how which I do not--- I would stay home and do that !! But on the train, I am on vacation. Actual need for some of that would surely be quite rare.

 

What I do take are timetables and possibly some sort of route guide Of course I take info I might need as a tourist at the places I am visiting, such as Gray Line tour folders, etc. ,esp. if I am not yet completely sure what I will be doing at my destination(s).

 

FURTHER--I have my own unique idea for reading materials. Isntead of a good book or two I take magazines, etc flimsy things by my easy chair which I will be throwing away one day anyway and read that. Then throw them away, leaving my bags with more room to buy brand new souvenirs and such to bring back(an important part of any vacation).

 

Sometimes I drive from Atlanta to my hometown,Chattanooga and stay overnight in a hotel . When I do that, I grab up the "read later" junk by my easy chair and read it in the hotel that night,throwing it away one item at a time. The reading junk I allow to pile up. I usually do not bother with the TV in a strange town except for the late night and early morning news. I take a break from my usual shows.

 

All of my life I have heard about it being colder on the train at night......guess it must be.......everybody says so. I personally cannot really testify to that.

 

 

haha Bill! you sound like my favorite college history prof. He always wore tweed, smoked a pipe and his house, office and study was cluttered by piles of unread mail and catalogs, books, halfsmoked pipes and old maps. He would ride the train also. You weren't a prof in a former life huh???? :P

Edited by MStrain

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I was told on this forum two years ago that "if" I would have brought my own toilet paper, that it wouldn't be the correct kind of biodegradeable toilet paper and that it would screw up the works. Is that true? I remembered reading about how an Amtrak train had ran out of water and toilet paper somewhere so I thought I would pack my own tp, someone scolded me for saying that. Is that still true?

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As an addicted hot tea drinker, how difficult is it to get hot water( I'll bring my own tea bags)? Or am I captive to tea from the diner at meals or from the cafe? Tea is always on my list of essentials.

 

Ed

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Getting hot water isn't usually too much of a problem, however I've seen comments from a few of our British members who don't think that Amtrak's water is hot enough to brew a proper pot of tea.

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Getting hot water isn't usually too much of a problem, however I've seen comments from a few of our British members who don't think that Amtrak's water is hot enough to brew a proper pot of tea.

Maybe that's why AmCoffee usually tastes so bad! They probably start with not-hot-enough water, probably use too little coffee grounds (resulting in overextraction and a bitter taste), and then probably leave it on the burner for hours (sizzling, charring, and otherwise burning the coffee).

 

I sat next to the coffee/pastry area on a Surfliner business class car once and the sickly smell of sizzled coffee still sticks in my sniffer (sorry) to this day...it was pretty undrinkable, too...

Edited by jackal

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" probably use too little coffee grounds (resulting in overextraction and a bitter taste), and .."

 

For pete's sake, Amtrak ain't Starbucks.

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Getting hot water isn't usually too much of a problem, however I've seen comments from a few of our British members who don't think that Amtrak's water is hot enough to brew a proper pot of tea.

Maybe that's why AmCoffee usually tastes so bad! They probably start with not-hot-enough water, probably use too little coffee grounds (resulting in overextraction and a bitter taste), and then probably leave it on the burner for hours (sizzling, charring, and otherwise burning the coffee).

 

Well IIRC, the issue was that to do a proper pot of tea, the water needs to be boiling just prior to one's inserting the tea bag. You won't get that on Amtrak most likely. On the other hand, boiling water for coffee prior to pouring it over the grounds, is not a good thing. IIRC, I believe that the ideal temp for coffee is around 180 or 190, which is below the boiling point.

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Getting hot water isn't usually too much of a problem, however I've seen comments from a few of our British members who don't think that Amtrak's water is hot enough to brew a proper pot of tea.

Maybe that's why AmCoffee usually tastes so bad! They probably start with not-hot-enough water, probably use too little coffee grounds (resulting in overextraction and a bitter taste), and then probably leave it on the burner for hours (sizzling, charring, and otherwise burning the coffee).

 

Well IIRC, the issue was that to do a proper pot of tea, the water needs to be boiling just prior to one's inserting the tea bag. You won't get that on Amtrak most likely. On the other hand, boiling water for coffee prior to pouring it over the grounds, is not a good thing. IIRC, I believe that the ideal temp for coffee is around 180 or 190, which is below the boiling point.

 

I'm afraid this southern Red Neck will stick to Coke :angry: I mean Pepsi!!!! :lol:

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Is there a microwave available for passengers to use? For popcorn?

Would it be possible to heat up water for coffee or tea in their microwave?

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Is there a microwave available for passengers to use? For popcorn?

Would it be possible to heat up water for coffee or tea in their microwave?

 

Nope, no microwave available for passenger use. And the crew is not allowed to take food/drink from you and put it into the microwaves for health/sanitary reasons.

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" probably use too little coffee grounds (resulting in overextraction and a bitter taste), and .."

 

For pete's sake, Amtrak ain't Starbucks.

 

For that matter, Starbucks isn't all that great, either--they overroast their beans for consistency but at the cost of flavor and bitterness. (Their new Pike's Place brew is a step in the right direction.)

 

I simply like good coffee. Usually, that means freshly roasted from a local roaster. (Kaladi Brothers up here is famous and pretty good, although I'm partial to Cafe del Mundo...but the best for freshness and price is the Seattle Mountain Coffee they roast right in my local Costco.) I'll never understand people who prefer to drink that dried cardboard crap known as Folgers, but most traditional American restaurants, as well as most transportation providers, seem to think that's what people still like. (Some places are beginning to realize that Americans are becoming more discriminating about their coffee tastes--even McDonald's now uses decent coffee instead of the freeze-dried stuff.)

Edited by jackal

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" probably use too little coffee grounds (resulting in overextraction and a bitter taste), and .."

 

For pete's sake, Amtrak ain't Starbucks.

 

For that matter, Starbucks isn't all that great, either--they overroast their beans for consistency but at the cost of flavor and bitterness. (Their new Pike's Place brew is a step in the right direction.)

 

I simply like good coffee. Usually, that means freshly roasted from a local roaster. (Kaladi Brothers up here is famous and pretty good, although I'm partial to Cafe del Mundo...but the best for freshness and price is the Seattle Mountain Coffee they roast right in my local Costco.) I'll never understand people who prefer to drink that dried cardboard crap known as Folgers, but most traditional American restaurants, as well as most transportation providers, seem to think that's what people still like. (Some places are beginning to realize that Americans are becoming more discriminating about their coffee tastes--even McDonald's now uses decent coffee instead of the freeze-dried stuff.)

 

This conversation reminds me of Costa Rica. Man, The coffee there would take paint off the wall!!!! :ph34r:

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Now you all have me concerned about getting a decent cup of coffee when we travel on the SWC in mid May. I've read somewhere on this forum that the coffee is "drinkable" from the dining car. As long as I can get a good couple of cups in the morning I'll be fine the rest of the day. Those of us who reside in NW Ohio, like Tim Horton's coffee. I've read that I should check out the Cold Stone Creamery in ABQ for ice cream but do any of these stops have a place to buy a decent cup of coffee with enough time to get there and back to the train before it leaves?

 

All the "coil" will do is heat water for a cup of instant. That is not good coffee to some of us. Or maybe I should bring my one cup brewer with me in my tote bag and make my own "brewed coffee" in my roomette in the morning. Another important factor in making coffee taste good is using filtered water or bottled water, not tap.

 

SS

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I've always thought that Amtrak's coffee is pretty decent. It's not Tim Hortons, but I don't think it's bad either.

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I've always thought that Amtrak's coffee is pretty decent. It's not Tim Hortons, but I don't think it's bad either.

 

Yeah, but you're from the east coast, where good coffee = Dunkin' Donuts! :P

 

(I'm from Alaska, which actually has a higher number of coffee stands per capita than Seattle, which is a close second. We treat coffee here like fine chocolate or fine wine. At least it's not California, where coffee = double half-calf skinny soy two-pump latte...)

 

They have Tim Hortons in the U.S.? Or do you drive across the Canadian border for it? I had some outside of Halifax...I was too tired to notice whether the coffee was actually decent, but I couldn't get enough of their frozen cappuccino thing! Had an interesting and addictive taste!

 

Seriously, I've heard that dining car coffee is actually pretty decent--it's the coffee in the sleepers or in the business class cars that's not as good. I wouldn't worry too much about it, Sue.

Edited by jackal

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