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Anyone travelled Amtrak on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?

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... on an Amtrak LD train? If you have, is it any different to any other day?

 

Thanks

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I haven't personally, but if memory serves, they used to offer special entrees in the dining car. I will say that I have travelled on New Years Eve/Day and they didn't do anything special whatsoever. We actually handed out party favors and hats to some other passengers and our SCA, but Amtrak didn't even bother saying "Happy New Year!" or anything like it over the intercom.

Edited by cpotisch

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I have not either so would be interested if folks have decorations etc? I rode the Crescent from WAS to NO a few years back on Thanksgiving. They prepared a turkey dinner but it was a C- which is about how I rate dinners on normal days.

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I've traveled on VIA Rail Canada on Christmas Eve and I can say it was a very special experience that I won't soon forget. For starters it was an extra section of the Ocean which was using the 1950s Budd cars instead of the regularly assigned British Built cars.

 

For starters the train had tasteful decorations from the coaches all the way to the Park car. Second the crew was in a very jovial mood. Our crew spent times caroling in both French and English in each car of the train. They were incredibly welcoming and I have to say I was very impressed.

 

The crews especially if you get Emily as your attendant are incredibly sweet and nice. I remember sitting up with Emily and the rest of the all female crew (that might be a historical first) and discussing railroading. Afterwards I talked with the passengers in the bullet lounge and I was incredibly amazed with how welcoming all of the passengers were to new people.

 

Either it's the world renowned Canadian hospitality or it was just the Christmas train. Emily our attendant said the Christmas Train is always a special event and there is just something about it that can't be put into words.

 

We also built a snowman on the train with snow that blew into the vestibule. Such a great experience I would recommend it.

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Traveled on the Coast Starlight a couple years ago on Christmas Day. Nothing special, other than a pretty light passenger load.

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I was surprised that trains ran on Xmas day anyway, don't usually in the UK. Then I was curious if Amtrak created a 'Christmas' diner or observation car or was it just business as usual?

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They used to have a holiday entree option (turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, etc.). It was for a few weeks at Thanksgiving and Christmas, not just on the day itself.

 

Even after that vanished, there was a reading of The Night Before Christmas on the Zephyr when I was on 5/23 out of Chicago.

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It wasn't a long distance train, but on the Capitol Corridor out of San Jose last Christmas morning, the conductor wore a full on Santa suit, complete with an Amtrak-badged Santa cap. The assistant conductor was dressed as an elf, of course.

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I've traveled on VIA Rail Canada on Christmas Eve and I can say it was a very special experience that I won't soon forget. For starters it was an extra section of the Ocean which was using the 1950s Budd cars instead of the regularly assigned British Built cars.

 

For starters the train had tasteful decorations from the coaches all the way to the Park car. Second the crew was in a very jovial mood. Our crew spent times caroling in both French and English in each car of the train. They were incredibly welcoming and I have to say I was very impressed.

 

The crews especially if you get Emily as your attendant are incredibly sweet and nice. I remember sitting up with Emily and the rest of the all female crew (that might be a historical first) and discussing railroading. Afterwards I talked with the passengers in the bullet lounge and I was incredibly amazed with how welcoming all of the passengers were to new people.

 

Either it's the world renowned Canadian hospitality or it was just the Christmas train. Emily our attendant said the Christmas Train is always a special event and there is just something about it that can't be put into words.

 

We also built a snowman on the train with snow that blew into the vestibule. Such a great experience I would recommend it.

 

 

Almost daily, we see evidence that Canada is more civilized that the USA. Starting with the respective leaders-in-chief. The contrast between the Ocean and (pick any) Amtrak routes at Christmas is astounding.

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I've traveled on VIA Rail Canada on Christmas Eve and I can say it was a very special experience that I won't soon forget. For starters it was an extra section of the Ocean which was using the 1950s Budd cars instead of the regularly assigned British Built cars.

 

For starters the train had tasteful decorations from the coaches all the way to the Park car. Second the crew was in a very jovial mood. Our crew spent times caroling in both French and English in each car of the train. They were incredibly welcoming and I have to say I was very impressed.

 

The crews especially if you get Emily as your attendant are incredibly sweet and nice. I remember sitting up with Emily and the rest of the all female crew (that might be a historical first) and discussing railroading. Afterwards I talked with the passengers in the bullet lounge and I was incredibly amazed with how welcoming all of the passengers were to new people.

 

Either it's the world renowned Canadian hospitality or it was just the Christmas train. Emily our attendant said the Christmas Train is always a special event and there is just something about it that can't be put into words.

 

We also built a snowman on the train with snow that blew into the vestibule. Such a great experience I would recommend it.

 

Was there a title change? I'm asking since it asks if anyone traveled on Amtrak on Christmas Eve or Christmas day and you talked about VIA.

 

... on an Amtrak LD train? If you have, is it any different to any other day?

 

Thanks

 

It's different in terms of on time performance. Freight railroads barely operate on major holidays, so traffic is significantly lighter. It is amazing to see how some of the LD trains run without much interference. They are typically early at most stops.

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There wasn't a title change Third Rail. I was using that anecdote to get at what the Christmas train style is like.

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Years ago, not sure when, but well before digital photography, I remember arriving home on late on Christmas eve. Our SCA wore a Christmas elf hat, there were decorations up along some hallway windows, and the special meal was thickly sliced roast turkey, real mashed potatoes, excellent dressing, green beans, and turkey gravy, plus cranberry sauce. Oh, the Dining Car had some decorations along the top of the windows. It so helped with the Christmas Spirit when you are getting home to your family late. Around Thanksgiving, there was always the holiday meal which many people enjoyed.

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Some of the conductors on the Michigan Services trains wear Santa hats or elf hats. Some also wear Christmas-themed lapel pins, with little jingle bells and whatnot.

 

I've been on the SWC at Christmas a few times. Some people decorate their room windows with battery-operated Christmas lights and/or window clings. Some car attendants put up Christmas window clings and tape paper decorations to the walls of the car. One car attendant put up Christmas lights around the coffee station. And, again, I sometimes see Christmas-themed lapel pins and hats.

 

I had the Thanksgiving meal on the SWC a few years ago, but I'm not sure if they still offer it. I don't recall having a special meal at Christmas.

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Of the few that have travelled on Christmas day was that deliberate choice or just it was the day that fitted into a schedule?

 

Anderson, can't make the trees of aluminium this year as it would cost too much, the tariffs are too high... sorry, couldn't resist that.

Edited by v v

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I think all the Xmas day Amtrak trains are diverted via the North Pole, so that Santa can give out the presents. It is possible that I may be misinformed!

 

Ed.

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Of the few that have travelled on Christmas day was that deliberate choice or just it was the day that fitted into a schedule?

 

Anderson, can't make the trees of aluminium this year as it would cost too much, the tariffs are too high... sorry, couldn't resist that.

Was a deliberate choice. Since nobody wants to travel on Christmas day itself, there are some amazing deals to be had.

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I took the Lake Shore Limited in 2000 at Christmas. There was a blizzard and we got to Chicago very late, catching a very late City of New Orleans, and got to downstate Illinois at 4am on Christmas day. We were just happy the train was running at all, as nothing else was moving. Even in 2000 when service was much better than it is now, I don't recall anything special about the train at Christmas. At New Years I've seen the dinning car staff do some modest decorating.

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My trip was on purpose in order to ride the 1950s equipment.

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Maybe this year, Amtrak will have a contemporary tree in every dining car.

So, made of aluminum?

 

I think they'll probably just shape a tree out of any leftover yogurt from the CL and LSL that year. The greener the better!

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