Private train travel/Amtrak up again

Discussion in 'Railways, Highways, Waterways' started by Sunny Goth, May 12, 2012.

  1. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    Interesting article about private train travel. Noted in passing is that Amtrak is on pace for another record year.

    Also noted --

    Which, says Bertini, speaks to yet another benefit of traveling by private train car — the benefit of what it isn’t.

    “It’s not having to take your shoes off; it’s not having people be rude to you, and it’s not having to be crammed in a seat for hours,” he said. “Imagine the opposite of your typical travel experiences — that’s what the private rail-car experience is like.”

    All aboard for private train travel
  2. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    Interesting, thanks for posting it Ms Goth. Looks like a cool way to travel. Amtrak continues to set records? Passengers will go where they're wanted and welcomed, and leave venues where they are told in every which way how undesired they are (touch me, feel me) at the airports.
  3. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    I definitely felt wanted and welcomed on my train ride out East and back. Airline and airport staff treat you like you're fare-cattle at best and just another OBL waiting to happen at worst. Amtrak employees were friendly, funny, helpful, and very easygoing, and they all had a real sense of what customer service was all about.

    Having had been on a train trip to Little Rock when I was 10 and recalling severe delays, I was skeptical when I heard Amtrak ridership was at an all-time high last year. "Certainly anything without TSA is better than anything with it" I thought, "but what about all those business travelers to whom time == money?" Now, seeing what Amtrak is like for business and recreational travel alike (not to mention recalling how many videoconferences I've been asked to set up) it comes as no surprise to me that they're raking in dough. I'm sure it helps that HR departments have been reported as getting nervous about subjecting employees to TSA proper passenger screening procedures (which are always wrong and abusive without exception) and so are setting up alternatives to flight for salespeople and other road-warrior workers.
  4. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    HR is afraid, and rightfully so, that some enterprising landshark will start suing companies that subject their employees to the tender mercies (NOT!) of the TSA anal probes.
  5. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    I hope so. Because so far, the companies who give a (expletive deleted) about this are rare. And their employees aren't banding together to raise a stink.
  6. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    And I'll add that I just got off the overnight Amtrak train from my normal "Point A to Point B" trip, and had a fine, fine time. On time too.

    I had dinner last night with three people (they sit you four to a table in the dining car) - all of them were taking the train because they didn't want to deal with the TSA, and each had had a bad experience. I kept my mouth closed until they were done with their stories because I didn't want to color the conversation by anything I might say.
    Doober, Lisa Simeone and barbell like this.
  7. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    We have a trip planned for later in June. I booked our Amtrak tickets and roomette online. The room they assigned us for the return was the lower level and Mrs. Barbell will have none of that.

    So I called their reservations today to see if they could change us to an upstairs roomette. The woman I spoke to was so pleasant, kind, and efficient. She apologized that, for some reason, it increased the cost by $25. To take the train and get an upstairs sleeper? Totally worth it.

    She thanked me for my business and hoped we would enjoy our trip. I told her that even though, as airline employees, we fly for free, we pay to take Amtrak to avoid "airport nonsense". There was a bit of a pause, and then, "I'm so glad to hear you enjoy taking the train!" It was clear she wanted to say something, but was muzzled. That's cool. The more they know we know, the more attention this is going to get.
  8. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    I hope you invited them to join TUG. And I hope they will and will tell their stories so I can add them to the Master List.
    barbell likes this.
  9. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    What? No $300 change fee? Per person?
  10. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    Nope. She even apologized because it should have been the same.

    We get a AAA discount on rail travel, but I think it's only good online. If you have to talk to a person it goes away. If I can get through a trip with nobody sticking their hands in my pants for $25, I'm cool. :cool:
  11. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    I did, actually. :) I hope they show up.
  12. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    I'm a fan of the roomettes, I have to tell you.

    What's the issue with the downstairs roomettes? Just curious..... I've done both, and I like them equally as well.
  13. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    The bar is located in the upper level.
  14. FliesWay2Much

    FliesWay2Much Original Member

    Long story, but, I once rode the Capitol Limited from Chicago to Washington when I was stranded at ORD during a snowstorm. The government travel office booked me a seat in 2nd class. Since it was a 13-hour trip (actually took about 20 hours), I decided to upgrade to a sleeper, thinking I could convince the travel office that the sleeper car was my "hotel room." (I was successful!)

    What a great experience! The sleeper berth passengers bonded as a community because we ate meals together. The car even had a shower, which was greatly-appreciated in the morning.

    I commented to Mrs. Flies that the experience was just like the life of our cats: eat, sleep, walk down the hall to use the litter box.

    Best of all -- no TSA.
  15. Kara Harkins

    Kara Harkins Member

    I just LOVE taking amtrak when it is an option! I can take the acela up to Boston (nice and handy since it has a stop a few blocks from a friend's place). Another option is the vermonter with several stops in New England near to where I would be going. I always go for the business class upgrade if available, it is only $50 or so. Even without it there is PLENTY of legroom (and I have long legs) but with it I have plenty of space to have our full size suitcases there too. I have yet to use a sleeper room but it strikes me as the perfect way to travel when on vacation.
  16. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    I did business class from DC to Charleston -- it was very nice. And you're right -- room for everything.
  17. Kara Harkins

    Kara Harkins Member

    Sure you do not want someone there doing security theatre to make the neurotic types feel a little bit better? :)
  18. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    It's such a pleasure to walk up 20 min before boarding, hand someone my ticket and then go sit down. No fuss, no muss.
    saulblum likes this.
  19. DeafBlonde

    DeafBlonde Original Member

    <*gasp*> What? No frisking, no Nekid-O-Scope, no swabbing for microscopic particles that might (not likely) be explosives??? OH MY WORD! And you mean to tell me that no trains have fallen out of mean...fallen off of the tracks??:confused:
    Sunny Goth and Lisa Simeone like this.

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