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Guest Maggie's Mom

Newbie travelling on Silver line from FL to DC

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Thanks for the great info on the Club at Union Station. I will definitely have some time to kill before my return trip 'cause I'll get there super early so I don't miss my train. Nice to know that there's a place to relax and get a snack.

 

Do the coach attendants let you know when you are getting close to your departure station. With a 7am arrival time, I don't want to wake up super early for fear of oversleeping?

Amtrak doesn't want passengers missing their stops any less than you do. They will make sure you are out and about in time for your arrival. :)

I have been on trains and have had early morning stops. The Conductor or SCA will wake you 30 minutes (in coach) or 45 minutes (in sleeper) prior to arrival.

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I just find bedding down (next to) a toilet kinda ickie. But then that's not even an option on the AT.

The in room toilet is sealed, and besides your head is not near it (your feet are). In fact, in an AT bedroom, your head is closer to the toilet (in distance).

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Stretch out in a bedroom with your own bathroom/shower, chair, sofa (hide-a-bed).

Bedrooms with a private, enclosed toilet and shower are available on the Silvers. And since the OP is planning on a round-trip, I highly doubt she'll be in D.C. long enough for it to be worth it to bring a car.

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As for coffee, I believe it is supposed to be on by 6:00, but of course may vary. When you board, the SCA will stop by your roomette and explain how everything works. Sometimes they add when coffee will be ready in that introductory talk, but if they don't, I ask them.

 

I get a caffeine headache if I don't have a cup the minute I wake up, so I always bring some dark chocolate as a caffeine backup if it is not ready.

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As for coffee, I believe it is supposed to be on by 6:00, but of course may vary. When you board, the SCA will stop by your roomette and explain how everything works. Sometimes they add when coffee will be ready in that introductory talk, but if they don't, I ask them.

 

I get a caffeine headache if I don't have a cup the minute I wake up, so I always bring some dark chocolate as a caffeine backup if it is not ready.

 

Thanks for this suggestion as to what to ask the SCA when I board in Fort Lauderdale. No caffeine issues for me if I don't have it, but, with such an early morning arrival with possibly no breakfast and some challenges to get to my destination in Greenbelt, Maryland, a cup or two of coffee would be appreciated.

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I have been wondering if there would be time for breakfast on the train if 98 is close to being on time at Washington. Assuming an on time arrival and the dining car opening at 6:30, can one really be served and eat in that time interval? Or, is one simply gulping food as quickly as one can? I am thinking that with so few staff members preparing and serving the food, and with several people needing to be served, having breakfast prior to an on-time arrival is unrealistic.

 

Usually, what time does the SCA have coffee available?

I do not drink coffee, so I am unsure when the SCA has it ready, but I think it is well before 6:30. I think the dining car crew does a good job getting breakfast to the passengers in 30 minutes or so. If you are de-training in WAS and the train is "on time," I would be ready to go, then be one of the first in the dining car. Some crews will let passengers in around 6:25, others will send you away or make you stand and wait to be seated until 6:30.

 

 

 

Thanks for your response! Whether 98 is on time or not, I will be prepared for such and hit the dining car ASAP when I can. Frankly, I hope we will be seriously late so that I can enjoy a nice breakfast and enjoy watching us enter the WAS area.

 

(And, I function better when I see some sunlight rather than the darkness of a January morning at that time of day.)

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I just find bedding down (next to) a toilet kinda ickie. But then that's not even an option on the AT.

The in room toilet is sealed, and besides your head is not near it (your feet are). In fact, in an AT bedroom, your head is closer to the toilet (in distance).

 

??? The toilet /shower is a separate room with a door that closes. While I do change positions, I usually put the pillows by the bedroom door, not the window, but have the option to switch back & forth. If you look at the pic above, my niece has the pillow by the window. Can you even SEE the bathroom door (very lower right of the pic) opposite the chair.

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But if you put the pillows at the door side, you head (with the wall) is like 2-3 feet from the toilet. In a roomette even without a wall in between, your head is 4-5 feet from the SEALED toilet.

Edited by the_traveler

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Do the coach attendants let you know when you are getting close to your departure station. With a 7am arrival time, I don't want to wake up super early for fear of oversleeping?

If you are in coach, you will not have to worry about oversleeping. If you are in a sleeper, the SCA (sleeping car attendant) will make sure you are awake. You can ask him/her to wake you up at a certain time. The dining car opens at 6:30. Most of the time, the passengers detraining in WAS have enough time to eat breakfast before arriving in WAS. A handfull of times, I have been on the Silver Meteor when it arrived early and I was unable to eat breakfast on the train.

 

 

I have been wondering if there would be time for breakfast on the train if 98 is close to being on time at Washington. Assuming an on time arrival and the dining car opening at 6:30, can one really be served and eat in that time interval? Or, is one simply gulping food as quickly as one can? I am thinking that with so few staff members preparing and serving the food, and with several people needing to be served, having breakfast prior to an on-time arrival is unrealistic.

 

Usually, what time does the SCA have coffee available?

 

 

I, too, was wondering about getting breakfast with that timeframe but will definitely be ready to go at 6:30 and just hope the train is not early.

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As for coffee, I believe it is supposed to be on by 6:00, but of course may vary. When you board, the SCA will stop by your roomette and explain how everything works. Sometimes they add when coffee will be ready in that introductory talk, but if they don't, I ask them.

 

I get a caffeine headache if I don't have a cup the minute I wake up, so I always bring some dark chocolate as a caffeine backup if it is not ready.

 

That's great news that the SCA will stop by and explain things - as you have guessed, I have alot of questions (drives my hubby crazy).

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I, too, was wondering about getting breakfast with that timeframe but will definitely be ready to go at 6:30 and just hope the train is not early.

A few years ago I was on the Meteor when it was expected to arrive in WAS early and the dining car did not open early, so I resolved myself to the fact that I would not get breakfast on the train. However, due to train traffic or something else, we were delayed right outside of WAS and the dining car opened. I did not realize that it was open until my excellent sleeping car attendant told me. He figured that I would not have enough time to eat, so he asked me what I would like to order. He ordered a breakfast to go for me, and I carried it off the train. I ended up eating my train breakfast in the food court in Union Station sitting with Ryan (who happended to be passing through WAS on his way to work). This was a win-win-win for me.

 

I rarely (if never) wish for train 98 to be early into WAS - especially when that is my destination.

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P.S.--Maggie's Mom, I see you have joined us on AU--welcome! :)

 

Thank you. It appears I'll be doing several trips a year on the train so after my initial maiden voyage, I hope to help others. You guys are such a friendly bunch; full of great tips.

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P.S.--Maggie's Mom, I see you have joined us on AU--welcome! :)

 

Thank you. It appears I'll be doing several trips a year on the train so after my initial maiden voyage, I hope to help others. You guys are such a friendly bunch; full of great tips.

 

Be sure to join Amtrak Guest Rewards, so that you can get some benefits from your train travel! It's their "frequent flyer" program.

Edited by Maglev

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P.S.--Maggie's Mom, I see you have joined us on AU--welcome! :)

 

Thank you. It appears I'll be doing several trips a year on the train so after my initial maiden voyage, I hope to help others. You guys are such a friendly bunch; full of great tips.

Be sure to join Amtrak Guest Rewards, so that you can get some benefits from your train travel! It's their "frequent flyer" program.

I would also recommend getting the Bank of America Guest Rewards World MasterCard. You'll get a companion coupon and upgrade coupon upon signing up, and 20,000 Guest Rewards points once you spend $1000 with the card (worth roughly $700). And you'll get a point for every dollar spent on regular stuff, two points for every dollar spent on travel, and three points for every dollar spent on Amtrak. That really adds up. :)

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Be sure to join Amtrak Guest Rewards, so that you can get some benefits from your train travel! It's their "frequent flyer" program.

I'll 2nd THAT ! I get a lot of free trips using points. I use the AGR MasterCard exclusively...all others are just for emergency. I generally charge over $5k/month on it and accrue points, and QTPs which establishes your "Status" that gives you even more benefits. Yes...you have to read the rules closely as the $5k/month thing is limited, etc., etc. For the ol' timers...don't'ya miss the old system where "points" weren't "dollar-related"!?!? Man, did I work that! "Oh, use my points for the trip back (more expensive in $$$) and I'll pay cash for the trip down (less$$$)". LOL

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Be sure to join Amtrak Guest Rewards, so that you can get some benefits from your train travel! It's their "frequent flyer" program.

I'll 2nd THAT ! I get a lot of free trips using points. I use the AGR MasterCard exclusively...all others are just for emergency. I generally charge over $5k/month on it and accrue points, and QTPs which establishes your "Status" that gives you even more benefits. Yes...you have to read the rules closely as the $5k/month thing is limited, etc., etc. For the ol' timers...don't'ya miss the old system where "points" weren't "dollar-related"!?!? Man, did I work that! "Oh, use my points for the trip back (more expensive in $$$) and I'll pay cash for the trip down (less$$$)". LOL

 

Yeah &, when redeeming, I really miss the old Zone System!!! (for longer distance trips)

Edited by Rail Freak

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Be sure to join Amtrak Guest Rewards, so that you can get some benefits from your train travel! It's their "frequent flyer" program.

I'll 2nd THAT ! I get a lot of free trips using points. I use the AGR MasterCard exclusively...all others are just for emergency. I generally charge over $5k/month on it and accrue points, and QTPs which establishes your "Status" that gives you even more benefits. Yes...you have to read the rules closely as the $5k/month thing is limited, etc., etc. For the ol' timers...don't'ya miss the old system where "points" weren't "dollar-related"!?!? Man, did I work that! "Oh, use my points for the trip back (more expensive in $$$) and I'll pay cash for the trip down (less$$$)". LOL

 

Yeah &, when redeeming, I really miss the old Zone System!!! (for longer distance trips)

 

 

I wonder if Amtrak is still scratching their heads over what happened to all the traffic between Wolf Point and El Paso... :P

 

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GUESS WHAT - I did it or rather I'm doing it NOW. On the #98 just approaching Jacksonville now. This is awesome and I'm so glad I got a sleeper car. Thank you guys for all your tips they certainly resolved alot of my fears. Sleeper Car Attendants are awesome, mine even took me on a tour so I would know where everything was. It was alittle bumpy walking around and I think I'll have a few bruises after this trip. LOL. According to the schedule, we will be arriving 45 minutes ahead of schedule in Washington so guess I won't be getting breakfast on the train. McDonalds, here I come. Was really hoping for a late arrival so I could let some of the mad commuter rush subside for the Metro Red Line. Oh well . . . it's still a great trip!!!

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Well, I can now say I've dined in the Dining Car and it was fabulous. Had the steak and seafood cake meal with some delicious sauce. I can't recall when the last time was that I ate that much for dinner. Had another lady join me at my table and we had great conversation the entire time. My "virgin" train ride has been a great success so far. Now here's hoping for some sleep in acouple hours. I'm a lite sleeper so not sure how this is going to go but hey, I can sleep when I get to my hotel, no worries.

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Glad the trip is going well. When you get to the station and exit McDonalds is to the left and Dunkin is to the right. Plenty of places for a slightly better breakfast if not in a hurry.

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Glad the trip is going well. When you get to the station and exit McDonalds is to the left and Dunkin is to the right. Plenty of places for a slightly better breakfast if not in a hurry.

 

Thanks, McD's was going to be my backup plan but I was able to get breakfast before we arrived. Planning on eating lunch at that McD's on my return trip 'cause I'll have acouple hours to kill at Union Station. Unfortunately I have to take the Silver Star for my return trip so meals will not be as good as the trip up. Hoping to also get a Subway Sub at Union Station for my dinner later that day. I brought a small insulated case to put it in so hopefully it will be okay for dinner.

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Forget McDonalds at WAS. Go downstairs to the fantastic food court!

This!

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