Questions (Amtrak vs Greyhound, DEN to ORL)?

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by snljamie0518, Aug 29, 2019.

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  1. Sep 4, 2019 #51

    crescent2

    crescent2

    crescent2

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    My late husband, who wasn't in a power chair but had to use a wheelchair at times, and I traveled both on Amtrak and by air on vacations. We enjoyed traveling by Amtrak, but we never took a trip together that was nearly as long or as involved as the one you'd be taking. (I've since taken longer, involved Amtrak trips, so I'm considering those experiences.) If you do choose Amtrak, definitely get the H room on the eastern trains. It's very roomy and has its own bathroom. We never traveled together on the western trains. If you decide on Amtrak, as already suggested, use the amsnag site to help you find better fares if your dates are at all flexible. Sleepers are expensive, though, whether you use money or AGR points.

    I've never traveled on Greyhound, and honestly around here it is not even considered by most people. That might be an erroneous perception by people; I don't know. Traveling by car or van would be much better than bus, but even that would be a long trip and it may not even be an option for you.

    With the length and cost of such a long Amtrak (or road) trip, personally I would recommend seriously reconsidering flying. I'm not fond of flying at all, but sometimes the practicalities of any alternate form of transportation just don't make sense.

    To me, with my experience of traveling with hubby, this sounds like one of those times because of the distance and time involved. We never had any real problems flying, but you do have to notify the airline when making your reservations that your husband has a power chair and will require assistance. If you are a belt-and-suspenders type (like me!), a phone call to the airline to verify your special needs a couple of days before the flight won't hurt. They even helped us through the huge Atlanta airport and then onto the planes ahead of the other passengers. IIRC, we were usually given bulkhead seats. Yes, coach is cramped, but you'd only be on the plane a few hours, as opposed to days or at best what will seem like days via the other methods. And the cost will likely be much less. If there's time, you might want to get a co-branded credit card and use the bonus frequent flyer points to help with the cost, too.

    I know that wasn't your question, but it's just my honest opinion. In any case, best wishes for a good trip however you decide to travel.
     
    crescent-zephyr likes this.
  2. Sep 5, 2019 #52

    snljamie0518

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    Has anyone here seen chocolate milk in the cafe car?
     
  3. Sep 5, 2019 #53

    F900ElCapitan

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  4. Sep 6, 2019 #54

    snljamie0518

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  5. Sep 6, 2019 #55

    ehbowen

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    Off topic, but when I was in the Navy (true story), we asked one of the crew in the mess hall at Great Lakes, "What happened to the chocolate milk?" "Oh," he answered, "we used to have that, but people kept drinking it." Military logic in action.
     
  6. Sep 6, 2019 #56

    Qapla

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    My Dad was stationed at Great Lakes back at the end of the 1950's and we lived in Waukegan - he was an instructor teaching recruits how to shoot and swim.
     
  7. Sep 7, 2019 #57

    snljamie0518

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    That's funny! I would have said, isn't that the point?
     
  8. Sep 7, 2019 #58

    ehbowen

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    It seems to be the sort of thing which happens when the focus shifts from providing a service to running a fiefdom. Speaking of Amtrak....
     
  9. Sep 7, 2019 #59

    Willbridge

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    If you are ready with your camera it's going slow enough in daylight.
     
  10. Sep 8, 2019 #60

    snljamie0518

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    I am usually quick with the camera. What do you see from the train?
     
  11. Sep 8, 2019 #61

    F900ElCapitan

    F900ElCapitan

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    I can confirm, there is no chocolate milk on at least the Texas Eagle.
     
  12. Sep 8, 2019 #62

    Qapla

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    I have not seen chocolate milk on either Silver train
     
  13. Sep 10, 2019 #63

    Willbridge

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    It's kind of a blur, so I won't be surprised if someone knowledgeable leaps in (or on me), but I think I saw the Capitol building and a couple of the Congressional office buildings right after coming out of the tunnel. I saw L'Enfant Plaza where Amtrak headquarters used to be when I was dealing with them, and I enjoyed crossing the Potomac. It's wider than I had supposed. The panorama of office buildings is a reminder of how big our government is and how many organizations need space to cuddle up to it.

    On trains to the South, look out to the engineer's side.
     
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  14. Oct 17, 2019 #64

    snljamie0518

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    Hey everyone, remember me?
    We booked out train travel yesterday. We are moving to Orlando from Denver & we decided to take the train.

    We will be leaving Denver Union Station on the CZ on Dec 1st. We have to transfer in Chicago which will also have a two hour layover if the train is on time, then we get on the train in Chicago & have to transfer in Washington, DC which also has a two hour layover if the train is on time & then we get on the train to Orlando.

    We will be in coach on all three trains. My husband will be staying in his power chair & we will be sitting on the lower level. Will the trains be crowded around this time. I am hoping for a window seat since I will be using my vpap machine & need a power outlet to plug it in.

    Do you think I should get one of those $10 AMTRAK travel kits?

    Will anyone here also be on these trains? If so, please don't hesitate to talk to us. My husband loves to tell everyone the story of how we met & other stories too.
     
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  15. Oct 17, 2019 #65

    railiner

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    Typically, a week after a major holiday, travel slows down, and Christmas travel has not yet began.
    So I think you picked a good time to go.

    You might consider checking the Amsnag site, and compare fares over the surrounding dates. That might give an indication of demand...
     
  16. Oct 17, 2019 #66

    drdumont

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    I am sure everyone here wishes you a great trip and lots of good memories.
    A tip - don't hesitate to ask the onboard attendants for assistance and advice. Let them know your needs and if they can be of assistance I am sure they will help any way you can. The bad eggs are wayyy in the minority in my experience.
    Only one caveat - you are making two connections with only two hours between trains? I would certainly let the conductor know and advise you enroute. That is really tight for the airlines, let alone Amtrak.
    We wish you joy...
     
  17. Oct 17, 2019 #67

    Seaboard92

    Seaboard92

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    I assume you are taking 6-50-97? As I thought there was more than two hours. Fifty is a single level train and it’s a beautiful route.
     
  18. Oct 17, 2019 #68

    Qapla

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    Take a short extension cord so that you can still reach the power if you don't get a window seat.
     
  19. Oct 18, 2019 #69

    pennyk

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    I’m guessing 6-30-91
     
  20. Oct 18, 2019 #70

    bratkinson

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    I'll echo PennyK, 6-30-91. For what it's worth, I did 6-to-30 a couple weeks ago. We were about an hour late and I still had about an hour layover. In early December, the holiday crowds from Thanksgiving are gone and the end of year holiday crowds haven't started. Although there may be a number of 'snowbirds' on the train to Florida going to spend the winter there and stay warm. In other words, Dec 1 is probably a 'light' time of the year to be traveling.

    As for the 'travel kit', I'd say no. I think I read somewhere they've stopped selling it aboard trains, too, due to lack of demand. But don't quote me on it.

    <Warning - shameless 'plug' from a happy customer follows> For what it's worth, I found my 'ideal' travel gear <https://www.google.com/search?ei=Zw....0....1..gws-wiz.......0i71j0i131.mZNy8C_dogQ > I have 3 of the 'comfort sets' that comes with 4'x3' fuzzy blanket inside an inflatable pillow (or leave the blanket inside) plus a set of ear plugs and eye mask. The price is reasonable, too. They also have the thickest, most durable plastic pillow of the 4 or 5 brands I tried before finding these. After about 30 nights on Amtrak with them, one finally sprung a small leak that I intend to fix with an inner tube patch. I also have a couple of 'cheap' inflatable pillows for when I travel in coach and need to stuff them in the crack between the armrest and the side of the rail car. Winter jackets work well, too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
  21. Oct 18, 2019 #71

    Devil's Advocate

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    The "narc" is often someone on Amtrak's payroll. Numerous agencies are vying for the opportunity to confiscate cash, debit cards, and other negotiable possessions under a process known as civil asset forfeiture. Although there are formal methods for acquiring passenger lists these agencies often employ secret informers in order to keep more of the money for themselves and away from other agencies.

    Links...

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/dea-unnecessarily-paid-854460-for-amtrak-passenger-lists/
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...savings-without-ever-charging-him-of-a-crime/
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/05/how-the-dea-harasses-amtrak-passengers/393230/
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/08/10/dea-travel-record-airport-seizures/88474282/
    https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/jeff-sessions-and-the-resurgence-of-civil-asset-forfeiture
    https://theintercept.com/2019/08/31/dea-amtrak-passenger-search-albuquerque/

    Claiming you fit some sort of vague (and often contradictory) drug mule profile is often used as a tool to legally confiscate your possessions. See the links above.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
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  22. Oct 18, 2019 #72

    daybeers

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    Yeah civil asset forfeiture is absolutely total corrupt BS and I don't think many Americans know about it since it really only happens on long distance trains and buses. It makes me furious.
     
  23. Oct 18, 2019 #73

    Philly Amtrak Fan

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    50 to 97 is 6:19pm to 7:25pm, I'm pretty sure not a valid connection and even if you could why would you want to risk it on a same day connection?

    I know I do my best to insult Byrd Crap and discourage people from riding it but Seaboard 92 you far and away take every opportunity you can to encourage everyone to take it at the expense of the Lake Shore Limited and the Capitol Limited. You don't even live anywhere near the Cardinal route.
     
  24. Oct 18, 2019 #74

    OBS

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    Considering Dec. 1 is the Sunday after Thanksgiving,the second busiest travel day of the year, the trains may be quite crowded. At least Dec 1 and 2 will be.
     
  25. Oct 18, 2019 #75

    Seaboard92

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    No but the Cardinal route paid my bills for awhile. Back and forth from Huntington to the northeast.

    The cardinal is an absolutely beautiful route from a scenery stand point. And it has one of the best vibes of all trains in the system.

    Besides if you discourage someone has to defend it eh :)
     
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