[Sca-cooks] OT OOP Amtrak Travel (was RE: OOP Bananas)
lilinah at earthlink.net
Thu Jun 19 10:08:13 PDT 2008
>Those times you quoted are not 'fixed', either. The Amtrak has to share
>rails with freights that often do not cooperate with the time frames for
>I contend that if the time schedules could be firmed up and travel times
>reduced, then the trains would take on a chunk of the energy-expensive
>travel market. It is just too relatively convenient, and takes FAR less
>time to drive myself or fly.
Keeping passenger trains running has been a money loser since people
switched to flying a few decades ago - flying was still expensive
through most of the 60s. I gather it became affordable in 70s. But it
would be quite something to eliminate trains altogether, which is why
some are still limping along.
Freight trains, on the other hand, are big money makers. So the loser
defers to the winner... that is, passenger trains often have to pull
over onto a siding to let freight trains pass. It was the opposite
when i was a kid half a century ago.
But with the price of the cheapest gasoline close to and over $5 here
in the SF Bay area, airlines raising their fares and decreasing their
services and reducing the number of flights, etc., passenger trains
may get a bump in ridership.
It took me 2-1/2 days to drive by myself from SF to Pennsic. IIRC,
that was close to 3,000 miles. The train takes as long (well, longer,
since one has to get from Pittsburgh to Pennsic), but one can do
handwork, computer stuff, read, etc.
The drawback is sitting up all the way (i can't afford a bedroom). I
can travel fairly rough - motorcycle around Europe for a month /
weird modes of transport around Indonesia / busses in Morocco - and
sleeping in the cheap places the locals use. But i can't sleep
sitting in a "chair", even if it reclines - i sleep on my stomach. I
remember some groggy 21-hour plane trips to Indonesia. I can nap a
little, but not really sleep.
I'll definitely consider the train to Pennsic next year. But how does
one get from the Pittsburgh train station to Pennsic with 100 lbs of
baggage? A taxi would cost a bit much...
Question: When i went from (essentially) Berkeley to San Diego in
1994 (a more than 12 hour trip), there was only greasy major corp.
fast food on the train, but i gather that longer trips have dining
cars. What sort of food to they have? I didn't see a menu on the
AmTrak website last night, but i may have missed it.
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita
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