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Old 05-18-2014, 06:37 AM
 
38,230 posts, read 14,933,179 times
Reputation: 24637

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunGrins View Post
I like the train and wish there were more routes and more trains. Yes -- I'd like prices to come down. The cost of a roomette fluctuates based on the departure day so be flexible. I found Sunday departures to be the cheapest on routes I travel but I guess prices are highest in vacation season -- with higher demand. It is a good idea to have ear plugs because sleepers are close to the locomotives. If you are in a roomette by yourself, remember you are paying for two persons' meals so "chow down". Also don't be shy...you will be seated with strangers but you will be friends by dessert...and you will see them again in the lounge car. I've met the most interesting people that way. A long distance train trip is like a community on wheels if you open up to the experience. I've brought a tent, sleeping bags and camping gear along with several suitcases on a train trip (try that on a plane). The roomettes are cozy but adequate, the scenery is nice and the attendant keeps the coffee pot going.

I just flew 1000 miles in what seemed to be an Otis elevator compartment that was crammed with people. It was delayed and I had to go to a city I didn't want to be in. For reasons never explained I had to change planes when it was supposed to be a continuation flight. I got to stand in three lines and jump through hoops in three different cities for the privilege of flying. They provided me with peanuts, pretzels and a coke. I got to sit with my feet crammed around a carry-on. No one was fit company by the time we were airborn. The baby in front of me pooped in her diaper and I was hoping the oxygen mask would drop. The other passengers plugged in to their mobile devices and avoided eye contact. And...get this...the company charged me a hefty fee for this experience. This is not a rational way to travel. Train travel would have cost more and taken more time but it would have been enjoyable.
I only fly when I absolutely have to. I imagine it won't be long until the Flight Attendants are shoving us in like passengers on a Tokyo subway.

I too wish there were more train routes and that the prices would come down. Every few years there's a ain't-it-awful flap about subsidizing Amtrak. Though we seem perfectly fine with taxpayers subsidizing airports and Air Traffic Controllers and highways, bridges, snowplows, State Patrol... somehow subsidizing train travel is just dreadful. Might be because corporations aren't making any money off of Amtrak. Who knows?

As a matter of national security, I would think taxpayers would want to ensure that we have a useable web of RR tracks and plenty of cars and engines at the ready.

Think of what happened after 9/11 when all the planes (well, all, except for the ones carrying Saudi princes back home) were grounded.

Plus, on a per passenger per mile basis, train travel is more efficient than either car or plane travel. Amtrak - Defining Energy Efficiency

Less money spent on oil. Less money folks like Putin, etc. have to carry out their nefarious schemes.

Whole slew of reasons to support train travel. I do it because it is just such a pleasant way to travel.

So what if I can save $100 by renting a car and driving for hours on end? I don't find dodging death and dismemberment for hours on end all that enjoyable. I could hitch hike and save even more, but I don't do that either.

I'm at that stage in life where I pay more for decent shoes. I no longer buy tickets in the nosebleed section. I chose restaurants based on how great the food is, not how cheap the prices.

Life is too short to drink cheap wine or base my travel decision on saving a hundred bucks.
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Old 05-18-2014, 09:19 AM
 
47,573 posts, read 60,658,925 times
Reputation: 22283
Quote:
Originally Posted by GotHereQuickAsICould View Post
For cheap, check out the buses or rent a car.

For fast, check the airlines.

For civilized travel, check out the train.

There's a reason I don't stay at Motel 6 or Red Roof Inns any more. Same reason I don't take the bus and avoid driving more than two or so hours a day. Life is short enough as it is. No sense in it making it ridiculous.

Flying works if I have to go a long distance in a short time. But it is so unpleasant and I'm irritated ad exhausted when I get there.

If I have the time, I take the train.
Yes, buses are pretty affordable -- and you can jump on one in the evening and be somewhere pretty far by dawn.
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Old 05-18-2014, 01:00 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,613,838 times
Reputation: 13019
Quote:
Originally Posted by armory View Post
As I read through here I am reminded this is the 21st century and time is of the up-most importance, even when relaxing. People want to speed up their relaxation so they break their necks flying. It use to be traveling was as much of an adventure as getting to the destination. People don't see traveling in the same light since they commute everyday and fly too often. It is no longer something they might look forward to and are usually the sour tales read on here.
Again, some of us have already seen the US--driven cross country multiple times. We have no desire to do so again.
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Old 05-18-2014, 01:01 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,613,838 times
Reputation: 13019
Quote:
Originally Posted by GotHereQuickAsICould View Post
I only fly when I absolutely have to. I imagine it won't be long until the Flight Attendants are shoving us in like passengers on a Tokyo subway.

I too wish there were more train routes and that the prices would come down. Every few years there's a ain't-it-awful flap about subsidizing Amtrak. Though we seem perfectly fine with taxpayers subsidizing airports and Air Traffic Controllers and highways, bridges, snowplows, State Patrol... somehow subsidizing train travel is just dreadful. Might be because corporations aren't making any money off of Amtrak. Who knows?

As a matter of national security, I would think taxpayers would want to ensure that we have a useable web of RR tracks and plenty of cars and engines at the ready.

Think of what happened after 9/11 when all the planes (well, all, except for the ones carrying Saudi princes back home) were grounded.

Plus, on a per passenger per mile basis, train travel is more efficient than either car or plane travel. Amtrak - Defining Energy Efficiency

Less money spent on oil. Less money folks like Putin, etc. have to carry out their nefarious schemes.

Whole slew of reasons to support train travel. I do it because it is just such a pleasant way to travel.

So what if I can save $100 by renting a car and driving for hours on end? I don't find dodging death and dismemberment for hours on end all that enjoyable. I could hitch hike and save even more, but I don't do that either.

I'm at that stage in life where I pay more for decent shoes. I no longer buy tickets in the nosebleed section. I chose restaurants based on how great the food is, not how cheap the prices.

Life is too short to drink cheap wine or base my travel decision on saving a hundred bucks.
I hate to break it to you, but the trains were grounded for a couple of days as well--at least in the northeast.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Colorado
2,483 posts, read 3,538,304 times
Reputation: 2674
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnricoV View Post
I appreciate that you do admit that the train route is most often "more beautiful" than the driving route is.
Thanks but I actually didn't agree with that at all. Trains don't take routes that are any more beautiful than where roads are and on a train you can't turn down a side street, take a backroad, or even stop at will.

Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
Again, some of us have already seen the US--driven cross country multiple times. We have no desire to do so again.
I tend to agree with this. At least not across the WHOLE thing just to get someplace I could fly to in a few hours. I do plenty of road trips in my little RV but they're mostly in CO or surrounding states and they're nowhere near the Amtrak route. There are some splendidly scenic train rides available for tourists, but I don't think that's what the OP or anyone else was talking about here.

One other interesting thing was:
Quote:
Originally Posted by GotHereQuickAsICould View Post
For cheap, check out the buses or rent a car.
For fast, check the airlines.
For civilized travel, check out the train.
This was the only response that even comes close to explaining why anyone who's not deathly afraid of flying would prefer the train. I can't be sure, but it sounds like he/she meant that it keeps the riffraff out. That is, if it costs considerably more than the bus or a car (esp. with a group) and takes a lot more time than the plane, then it will only be open to a certain demographic. Right?
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Old 05-19-2014, 04:37 PM
 
38,230 posts, read 14,933,179 times
Reputation: 24637
Quote:
Originally Posted by otterprods View Post

This was the only response that even comes close to explaining why anyone who's not deathly afraid of flying would prefer the train. I can't be sure, but it sounds like he/she meant that it keeps the riffraff out. That is, if it costs considerably more than the bus or a car (esp. with a group) and takes a lot more time than the plane, then it will only be open to a certain demographic. Right?
I was referring the whole experience.

Taking the train involves getting up from a bench, going out on the platform, and being helped up into the train by a nice guy who later comes down the aisle and checks my ticket and then puts a small note overhead about my destination so that he can remind me so I don't miss my stop.

There's no one snooping through my luggage. Nor do I have to stand with my arms in the air while someone takes a good view of what's underneath my undies. No standing in long lines.

Once I get on a train, there are comfortable reclining seats, bathrooms of reasonable size, and the opportunity to stand up, walk around, and stretch if I so desire.

There are riffraff that take the train. Don't seem to be as many os those who take a bus or a plane, but I've seen them.
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Old 05-19-2014, 06:24 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,613,838 times
Reputation: 13019
The last time I took a (non-commuter) train, the woman next to me was eating her hair and picking at her zits the entire trip. It was gag inducing. I probably would have had a better seat mate on Greyhound.
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Old 05-19-2014, 07:35 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
6,586 posts, read 3,674,133 times
Reputation: 12396
Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
The last time I took a (non-commuter) train, the woman next to me was eating her hair and picking at her zits the entire trip. It was gag inducing. I probably would have had a better seat mate on Greyhound.
I'd be considering a divorce after a few hours.
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:08 PM
 
556 posts, read 762,074 times
Reputation: 687
Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
The last time I took a (non-commuter) train, the woman next to me was eating her hair and picking at her zits the entire trip. It was gag inducing. I probably would have had a better seat mate on Greyhound.
Part of the appeal of Amtrak is that you can get up and find a new seat. Even if the train is full, you can go to the cafe car and have a drink until the next stop, then snag a newly empty seat.
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Old 05-19-2014, 10:54 PM
 
Location: Holly Neighborhood, AUSTINtx
3,582 posts, read 5,312,258 times
Reputation: 2205
When I went to Phoenix last November the train was cheaper than flying by about $80. I do get points for air travel but I also get AAA discounts on Amtrak. Actually the people I met on the train were much more interesting than the ones I met in Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Tempe so in a way the journey was the highlight of my trip (<-----important travel tip here).

And no way I was driving there. The gas would be about the same as the train and I'm not used, and do not enjoy, driving long distances by myself.

I would do the train again but I'm thinking it is best for 5-20 hour one way trips instead of my 28 hour one.
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