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Anyone travelled Amtrak on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?

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Richie, is that the Cardinal westbound?

No Ashland is on the line via Richmond so the Auto-Pain, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Regionals.

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I have traveled Christmas on the CS a couple of times, and Christmas Eve on the EB (ESM-PDX) once. Christmas day: light load, no freight trains (UP and BNSF try to terminate all trains on Dec 24 and not restart until Dec 26 out of respect for their employees families). Christmas Eve (and the 26th): Full Trains! Any decorations are what a passenger brings or what generic holiday stuff an individual Amtrak employee cares to put out.

 

Because Amtrak if federally funded, and the US has a pretty strict separation of religion from government, Amtrak is very limited as to what it can do. Holiday season decor is kinda OK, explicit official celebration of Christ is verboten (passengers can in their personal area, freedom of speech). The UK (and Canada by extension) have the Church of England as the Official Church so they are only limited to what the Church frowns on. Which is really the most civilized is a discussion that should be reserved for good friends who will still be good friends after a spirited discussion lubricated with lots of good beer.

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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.

 

Keep believing Ed

 

 

 

I've traveled with Amtrak on several holidays including Thanksgiving, Xmas, and New Years. Other than the discontinued holiday meal that wasn't specific to any given day it's generally been roughly the same experience as any other trip. Which is pretty much the same thing as you find when flying on a holiday. Occasionally there's an elf hat or a light string or some garland taped to the wall/ceiling but that's about it. I think most people are just trying to get where they're going. I've seen this and similar questions asked many times but I'm not sure where the idea of a "holiday party train" comes from. It must have been before my time or in another part of the country/world.

 

Watched 'Planes, trains and automobiles' too many times, thought Thanksgiving and Christmas were a big thing in the US

 

 

I think a lot depends on the mood of the crew. The crew I had on VIA 15 was in an incredibly good mood. Most were passing thru the railroad life on the way to other fields and they all seamed to enjoy their job. That train was special because they were warm, hospitable, and inviting. It wasn't any of the "what do you want" service that I've frequently had on Amtrak.

 

So I think a lot of it has to do with the crew. The part on the passengers revolves around the crew as well because an inviting crew puts people at ease. And once in a relaxed and more jovial mood I think the passengers are more welcoming and talkative themselves.

 

Have been surprised just how much a crew in particular in the diner can influence the atmosphere, that's a good point

 

 

 

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?

 

I find it that very interesting that the British rail system basically shuts down on Christmas Day (and Boxing Day also, I believe). I find it hard to believe that everybody wants to stay home on those two days. What about buses and the underground? Airplanes?

 

 

It's more or less as cpotisch says. In part due to almost everybody in the country should have the same day off once a year, and tradition. Maybe that holidays around Christmas in the UK are quite long for many. From a day or two before Christmas Eve until the 2 January, so all transport including cars on the roads are quiet. Almost all transport is heavily reduced but not stopped completely, trains are the exception. Maybe still having a strong union is part of the reason?

 

 

Occasionally you will get a locomotive engineer who will do Jingle Bells on the horn in the Christmas season.

 

Will they do requests?

 

 

Mentioning viewing the Christmas lights brought back memories of how some people decorated their homes so the RR crews and passenger trains could see decorations as they came by. Remember those nights on the CL and the LSL.

 

That sounds like a good reason to travel Amtrak at Christmas, there must be certain places that look fabulous at night

 

 

 

Richie, is that the Cardinal westbound?

No Ashland is on the line via Richmond so the Auto-Pain, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Regionals.

 

 

I found an Ashland in KY/Kenova, WV, no idea why it should be that Ashland just guessed. Thanks Seaboard

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I've traveled with Amtrak on several holidays including Thanksgiving, Xmas, and New Years. Other than the discontinued holiday meal that wasn't specific to any given day it's generally been roughly the same experience as any other trip. Which is pretty much the same thing as you find when flying on a holiday. Occasionally there's an elf hat or a light string or some garland taped to the wall/ceiling but that's about it. I think most people are just trying to get where they're going. I've seen this and similar questions asked many times but I'm not sure where the idea of a "holiday party train" comes from. It must have been before my time or in another part of the country/world.

Watched 'Planes, trains and automobiles' too many times, thought Thanksgiving and Christmas were a big thing in the US

Yeah they're a big thing, but mainly in stores and at home with the family or at school/office parties rather than trains/planes/automobiles. People who travel ON the holiday itself are probably trying to get somewhere ASAP and might be a little stressed out. Or maybe they're just trying to forget they have nowhere else to be. That being said if you really want to party it up on the train maybe you should consider joining RichieRich on one of his AutoTrain journeys. :lol:

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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Richie, is that the Cardinal westbound?

The AutoTrain. Leaves Lorton,VA 4-4:30ish. Funny that you can see things in the Summer, but when the time changes...dark all the way!

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I have not traveled on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, but I have traveled on Boxing Day (December 26) back in 2016, on Hoosier State between Chicago and Indy, and returned the very next morning. Had a rather interesting experience during my layover at the Indy Train and Bus Dungeon.

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Had a rather interesting experience during my layover at the Indy Train and Bus Dungeon.

 

Go on... We're listening...

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