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Take the A Train

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Alibi Ike

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Has anyone ever traveled by train across the country? Recently? Experiences?
 

gillumhouse

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I did not go across country, but took the train from Pittsburgh to NYC and back in 2006. It was pleasant and enjoyable - and we were coach. It was nice to be able to just sit and chat with my dear friend (lost her in 2008) about what we had seen and done, discuss the play we saw - The Color Purple - and doze off if we felt like it. In 1974 I went from Chicago to Pittsburgh with an infant. It was also Ok - the porter got me a pillow to put across my lap for Buzzard to lay on so he slept most of the way. I think that was about a 12 or 13 hour trip.
 

Alibi Ike

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I did not go across country, but took the train from Pittsburgh to NYC and back in 2006. It was pleasant and enjoyable - and we were coach. It was nice to be able to just sit and chat with my dear friend (lost her in 2008) about what we had seen and done, discuss the play we saw - The Color Purple - and doze off if we felt like it. In 1974 I went from Chicago to Pittsburgh with an infant. It was also Ok - the porter got me a pillow to put across my lap for Buzzard to lay on so he slept most of the way. I think that was about a 12 or 13 hour trip..
This will be an 8 day trip, going and coming back. With a few days extra days for visiting thrown in so the train part has to be interesting as it will be the largest part of the vacation. And it will be part of the vacation, not just the 'getting there' bit. I'm not sure when and where the train stops, if we have time to get off and wander around, if it's all big cities or what. I have to call to find these things out. We might try different routes going and coming. We'll get a sleeper car for the longest stretch, which is 3 days.
Not even sure if we will go this way. I am just not thrilled with all the airport stuff I've been hearing about. And I don't want to drive that far.
 

gillumhouse

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I did not go across country, but took the train from Pittsburgh to NYC and back in 2006. It was pleasant and enjoyable - and we were coach. It was nice to be able to just sit and chat with my dear friend (lost her in 2008) about what we had seen and done, discuss the play we saw - The Color Purple - and doze off if we felt like it. In 1974 I went from Chicago to Pittsburgh with an infant. It was also Ok - the porter got me a pillow to put across my lap for Buzzard to lay on so he slept most of the way. I think that was about a 12 or 13 hour trip..
This will be an 8 day trip, going and coming back. With a few days extra days for visiting thrown in so the train part has to be interesting as it will be the largest part of the vacation. And it will be part of the vacation, not just the 'getting there' bit. I'm not sure when and where the train stops, if we have time to get off and wander around, if it's all big cities or what. I have to call to find these things out. We might try different routes going and coming. We'll get a sleeper car for the longest stretch, which is 3 days.
Not even sure if we will go this way. I am just not thrilled with all the airport stuff I've been hearing about. And I don't want to drive that far.
.
The neat thing about the train is you can go from car to car - to the diner, the club car. observation car... There is also an opportunity to chat with others - IF you want to ... Friends of ours did this about 20 years ago and enjoyed it. I think I would do it.
Edited to add: you also do not have to be concerned with coming down - the right way OR wrong as there is not that great a distance to ground. No pressurization either.
 

Alibi Ike

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I did not go across country, but took the train from Pittsburgh to NYC and back in 2006. It was pleasant and enjoyable - and we were coach. It was nice to be able to just sit and chat with my dear friend (lost her in 2008) about what we had seen and done, discuss the play we saw - The Color Purple - and doze off if we felt like it. In 1974 I went from Chicago to Pittsburgh with an infant. It was also Ok - the porter got me a pillow to put across my lap for Buzzard to lay on so he slept most of the way. I think that was about a 12 or 13 hour trip..
This will be an 8 day trip, going and coming back. With a few days extra days for visiting thrown in so the train part has to be interesting as it will be the largest part of the vacation. And it will be part of the vacation, not just the 'getting there' bit. I'm not sure when and where the train stops, if we have time to get off and wander around, if it's all big cities or what. I have to call to find these things out. We might try different routes going and coming. We'll get a sleeper car for the longest stretch, which is 3 days.
Not even sure if we will go this way. I am just not thrilled with all the airport stuff I've been hearing about. And I don't want to drive that far.
.
The neat thing about the train is you can go from car to car - to the diner, the club car. observation car... There is also an opportunity to chat with others - IF you want to ... Friends of ours did this about 20 years ago and enjoyed it. I think I would do it.
Edited to add: you also do not have to be concerned with coming down - the right way OR wrong as there is not that great a distance to ground. No pressurization either.
.
Other than the bathroom being down the hall, it seems like it would be fun. Not exactly sure how showering on a moving train will be, but all part of the adventure I guess. Having our own compartment with reclining chairs & 2 beds, a table & a huge window. It's a matter of lining up all the connecting trains. It includes 3 meals/day and other 'amenities'.
 

muirford

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I did not go across country, but took the train from Pittsburgh to NYC and back in 2006. It was pleasant and enjoyable - and we were coach. It was nice to be able to just sit and chat with my dear friend (lost her in 2008) about what we had seen and done, discuss the play we saw - The Color Purple - and doze off if we felt like it. In 1974 I went from Chicago to Pittsburgh with an infant. It was also Ok - the porter got me a pillow to put across my lap for Buzzard to lay on so he slept most of the way. I think that was about a 12 or 13 hour trip..
This will be an 8 day trip, going and coming back. With a few days extra days for visiting thrown in so the train part has to be interesting as it will be the largest part of the vacation. And it will be part of the vacation, not just the 'getting there' bit. I'm not sure when and where the train stops, if we have time to get off and wander around, if it's all big cities or what. I have to call to find these things out. We might try different routes going and coming. We'll get a sleeper car for the longest stretch, which is 3 days.
Not even sure if we will go this way. I am just not thrilled with all the airport stuff I've been hearing about. And I don't want to drive that far.
.
The neat thing about the train is you can go from car to car - to the diner, the club car. observation car... There is also an opportunity to chat with others - IF you want to ... Friends of ours did this about 20 years ago and enjoyed it. I think I would do it.
Edited to add: you also do not have to be concerned with coming down - the right way OR wrong as there is not that great a distance to ground. No pressurization either.
.
Other than the bathroom being down the hall, it seems like it would be fun. Not exactly sure how showering on a moving train will be, but all part of the adventure I guess. Having our own compartment with reclining chairs & 2 beds, a table & a huge window. It's a matter of lining up all the connecting trains. It includes 3 meals/day and other 'amenities'.
.
I would do it. I took the train from central PA to Florida when I was in college to visit my mother who had moved there. I didn't even have the cool sleeper unit and it was fun. The only thing I would say about today's train travel - allow yourself plenty of extra time on either end of the scheduled arrival and departure for delays. Seriously, 12 hours at least, and maybe a whole day. When I did ride the Amtrak train to NYC about 10 years ago regularly, it always had serious delays, and that was on a commuter track. Some of the other trains coming in and out of Penn Station were 8 to 10 hours late on occasion.
 

Alibi Ike

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I did not go across country, but took the train from Pittsburgh to NYC and back in 2006. It was pleasant and enjoyable - and we were coach. It was nice to be able to just sit and chat with my dear friend (lost her in 2008) about what we had seen and done, discuss the play we saw - The Color Purple - and doze off if we felt like it. In 1974 I went from Chicago to Pittsburgh with an infant. It was also Ok - the porter got me a pillow to put across my lap for Buzzard to lay on so he slept most of the way. I think that was about a 12 or 13 hour trip..
This will be an 8 day trip, going and coming back. With a few days extra days for visiting thrown in so the train part has to be interesting as it will be the largest part of the vacation. And it will be part of the vacation, not just the 'getting there' bit. I'm not sure when and where the train stops, if we have time to get off and wander around, if it's all big cities or what. I have to call to find these things out. We might try different routes going and coming. We'll get a sleeper car for the longest stretch, which is 3 days.
Not even sure if we will go this way. I am just not thrilled with all the airport stuff I've been hearing about. And I don't want to drive that far.
.
The neat thing about the train is you can go from car to car - to the diner, the club car. observation car... There is also an opportunity to chat with others - IF you want to ... Friends of ours did this about 20 years ago and enjoyed it. I think I would do it.
Edited to add: you also do not have to be concerned with coming down - the right way OR wrong as there is not that great a distance to ground. No pressurization either.
.
Other than the bathroom being down the hall, it seems like it would be fun. Not exactly sure how showering on a moving train will be, but all part of the adventure I guess. Having our own compartment with reclining chairs & 2 beds, a table & a huge window. It's a matter of lining up all the connecting trains. It includes 3 meals/day and other 'amenities'.
.
I would do it. I took the train from central PA to Florida when I was in college to visit my mother who had moved there. I didn't even have the cool sleeper unit and it was fun. The only thing I would say about today's train travel - allow yourself plenty of extra time on either end of the scheduled arrival and departure for delays. Seriously, 12 hours at least, and maybe a whole day. When I did ride the Amtrak train to NYC about 10 years ago regularly, it always had serious delays, and that was on a commuter track. Some of the other trains coming in and out of Penn Station were 8 to 10 hours late on occasion.
.
I think most of the connections were 6 hours apart. Maybe not enough? That's cringe-worthy as the train time alone is 4 days each way. I really don't want to have to leave the station, find accommodations, then run back at midnight in the hopes the train is there. I'll check the stats online.
 

One Day

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One the fondest memories I have of a train ride, was in Italy a few decades ago, I was in 9th grade......Did a 7 country tour of Europe with my parents, relatives and church friends.
It was some 6 or 7 hours long......we purchased Salami, bread and wine for the ride.........we literaly crawled off the train. Of the entire tour group, our group was hammered......Oh man, that was a fun day.
My brother doesn't fly.....he seems to enjoy the train......often mentions interesting people he chats with.
 
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