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CrazyTrain

City of New Orleans

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I will be leaving on Thursday, October 18th for my first overnight train trip to Chicago. I'm very excited about the trip and have taken into my preparations some of the suggestions that I encountered when I first joined this forum.

 

In recent days when I have spoken to people about my pending trip, I have found more and more people interested in going somewhere on the train and/or have someone they know who frequently travels by train. I think that's kinda cool because I didn't personally know anyone who'd done it before.

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I just rode the CONO last Tuesday, October 9th as the first leg of a trip to California. My goal going into this trip was to post a trip report right away, but I havent gotten around to it yet. (But, I say that every time and somehow I never get around to it! 🤔🙄)

 

Anyway, this last trip on the CONO was one of the best ever. My SCA, Kevin, and the diner-lite attendant, Vincent, were both great! Hopefully, Ill get that trip report written to explain in more detail. But no time right now.

 

Just wanted to say that I hope you enjoy yourself! 😎

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Anyway, this last trip on the CONO was one of the best ever. My SCA, Kevin, and the diner-lite attendant, Vincent, were both great! Hopefully, Ill get that trip report written to explain in more detail. But no time right now.

 

Thanks Camissy. :) Which way were you traveling on the CoNO? I'll be sure to look out for Kevin and Vincent. :)

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I was heading north, BRH-CHI. It was my first experience with Kevin. He said that the CONO is his regular route, so Im surprised that I hadnt had the good fortune of having has him as my SCA before this. I have traveled with Vincent a few times before, on the CONO and other trains. I have always found his service above average. And his larger-than-life personality always adds to the experience! Good luck on your first trip!

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Well I returned home last Wednesday afternoon, but haven't had the opportunity to sit down and share my experiences with this lovely group until now.

 

NOL to CHI - When I arrived at the train station here in New Orleans, I thought I was late for boarding, but turned out to be the first person in line. The agent at the desk told me where to go stand and then all of a sudden everyone else appeared behind me. Not 5 minutes later, I was sent out to board the train, so I excitedly trekked to the front of the train and jump on board. Unfortunately I do not remember the SCA's name for that leg of the trip, but I know it wasn't Kevin as CAMISSY55 reported before my trip. The lounge car attendant was a woman, so I didn't get Vincent either. Unless I'm misunderstanding Vincent's role. I was thinking he's the person selling food at the snack bar...?

 

There was a single announcement for lunch once everyone in Coach was on board, but I didn't partake at that point. When dinner time rolled around, I wasn't really in the mood for something substantial so I bought a small pizza from the snack bar.

 

We arrived in Chicago on time and everything went smoothly for the rest of my vacation.

 

CHI to NOL - I had only one thing planned the day of my departure, so I spent the afternoon, from about 2 PM to boarding time (for an 8 PM departure), wandering around Union Station. The two lovely ladies in the Metropolitan Lounge were just the best. A dynamic duo if I ever saw one. Lol

 

I remember the SCA was Daniel and once again I was the first person on the car, so I dropped my stuff and got back off to chat. Daniel was surprised that I'd want to stand there and talk to him and the conductor. I didn't see anything wrong with it, so we chatted til it was time to leave. I wish I had gotten the name of the conductor, because he was hilarious. All I know is that he was due to get off in Southern Illinois for his shift. When he asked how far I was going and I replied, "all the way to the end," he said his A.D.D. wouldn't allow him to go that far. There was a single dinner announcement despite the late hour, but I just went to the snack bar and got a cup of Ramen noodles. I'd had a late, filling lunch so I wasn't terribly hungry at that point.

 

Final thoughts -

 

I didn't want this post to be too detailed because I know all of you are familiar with how things go and I know that not every trip is going to be like this, but I'd say my overall impression of my first overnight train trip was awesome. I couldn't have asked for anything better. Next time I travel, though, I will definitely take a small travel size Static Guard because the blankets I used were FULL of static and I loathe static. Also, I would take a pair of ear plugs. Coming back, we stopped at a station around 11:30 PM and the women who got on were obnoxiously loud. I would've thought that people had more courtesy than to make all that noise so late at night when sound carries in that tight space.

 

I also had the fortune of having an upper roomette going up and a lower one coming back. I'm not sure which I prefer since there's noise no matter what. Maybe if I'd had an upper roomette nearer the center of the car rather than right at the door to the diner car, things might've been different. As far as movement of the train, I felt it equally up or down.

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Thanks for the trip report. I wouldn't worry about going into as much detail as you please in the future. Although there are lots of long timers here on the forum there are easily 10x more new and infrequent lurkers reading the same content. They may not post about it but they're out there.

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Just a day ahead of you!

My wife and I were on #58 on Oct 17-18 in the middle of a LA>NOL #2(12) - NOL>CHI #58(17) CHI>LA #3(24) trip. Good experience although breakfast left something to be desired (Marketplace Hot Breakfast Sandwich) and dinner (Vegetarian Rigatoni Pasta) was satisfactory. Very limited menu compared to other LD trains.

 

We were in the 5800-E bedroom and Daniel, our SCA provided good service.

 

Uneventful ride except for the air hose uncoupling between our car and the transdorm ahead somewhere around McComb, MS.. A whoosh of air and a rapid deceleration from 70 mph. The air hose was reconnected, air pressure restored and after a standing air test we were back on our way after 20 minutes or so. We arrived in Chicago 24 minutes early.

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The lounge car attendant was a woman, so I didn't get Vincent either. Unless I'm misunderstanding Vincent's role. I was thinking he's the person selling food at the snack bar...?

You are correct. The lounge attendant is the person who runs the snack bar.

 

Coming back, we stopped at a station around 11:30 PM and the women who got on were obnoxiously loud. I would've thought that people had more courtesy than to make all that noise so late at night when sound carries in that tight space.

Next time you have an issue like that, let your car attendant know and they will deal with it. I'm sure they'll be happy to help.

Edited by cpotisch

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The only detail that I left out, really, was the fact that I got motion sick. :P First time on Amtrak from NOL to ATL, I got motion sick. Second trip, same route, didn't get sick. However, I did think ahead and bought some Dramamine before my trip even started, just in case. Only problem? I forgot I had it so after eating pizza on Thursday night, I got to feeling ill and had the SCA make up my bed. I got some ginger ale from the lounge car and laid down for a while. I got up and got some fresh air when we hit Memphis (the last announced stop of the night), hoping that would help. It did somewhat, but so did going to sleep. Still unsure about how food consumption would be when I woke up the next day, I avoided breakfast. Got to the hotel and checked in, then later bought some Dramamine. Only much later did I find the Dramamine I'd already bought.

 

On the way home, I over did it and was heavily drugged by the time I got home. Lol Took 2 Dramamine as we left Chicago and took two more "non-drowsy" Dramamine after breakfast the next day. There's no such thing as "non-drowsy" Dramamine, for the record.

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I am thrilled to share that I have inspired my co-worker to take this same trip with his family. He's never been to Chicago and he said the train ride sounded like fun. :D

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On 10/16/2018 at 10:27 AM, NativeSon5859 said:

Kevin is a friend of mine and one of the best SCA’s in the system. I hope he’s on your run.

Kevin was the SCA on my 2nd trip on CONO. Great guy. I'm traveling in March of next year, and hope to have him again.

He and Rion (who's no longer on CONO) are the best!

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