RE: O/T: A Trip On The Train

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A trip on the train has always been an item on my Bucket List.
Have heard my share of "war stories" about train travel: however, recently had a need to travel to Albuquerque, NM and since retirement, the need to get some place as quickly as possible is no longer quite so important.
I've learned to go with the flow as my life's journey plays out.
Kind of like traveling by sail boat, when you get there you get there.
Air travel was out of the question and my days of driving 300-500 miles/day for two or more days are history.
What to do? Almost by accident, found out that Amtrak provided train service between Los Angeles and Albuquerque, NM.
Elected to take an Amtrak package that covered meals, sleeping accommodations, and community showers.
Sounds like some of my sailing cruises, only on land.
Decided to depart from Fullerton, CA rather than Union station located in down town LA.
Since I have a handicap parking tag, I was able to park for a week within 30 ft of the front door for FREE.
Bought tickets on line.
Arrived at Fullerton about 3:00 PM.
Exchanged for hard copy tickets and checked bags in less than 20 minutes and retired to a sidewalk cafe to wait for our train.
The well documented L/A traffic was not a problem.
Boarded the train about 5:00 PM and departed about 5:15 PM.
Had dinner reservations at 7:00 PM.
Food was quite good.
Seating was catch as catch can. You were assigned a seat. The result was some pleasant conversation during dinner with some folks who had been complete strangers an hour earlier. (Another one of life's opportunities)
After dinner, the observation car until dark, then back to the sleeper car where our bunks were waiting.
Could have checked the on board cafe but didn't bother.
The head facilities were adequate and frankly better than some $250K yachts I've seen.
Breakfast was served starting around 6:00 AM the following morning.
After breakfast with some more strangers, it was time to get ready for arrival.
Arrival in Albuquerque, NM was less than an hour late, baggage was reclaimed after close inspection of claim checks.
The return trip was basically the mirror image of the outbound leg.
The news today has been almost continuous about the fires in the Cajon Pass (I-15 between L/A and Vegas).
I was on the train in the Cajon Pass about 2 hours before the fires started which is about a 2,000 foot change in elevation.
Have crossed ac train trip off my bucket list. It was a experience.
Will I take another train trip? If I can find one that I think I would like. then absolutely.
Doubt I will go back to Albuquerque.
Didn't know there could be so many rocks in one place along with a few scrub trees.
Would I suggest a train trip to someone else?
If you are a type "A", probably not.
If not a type "A", you might enjoy it.
Have fun.
Lew
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On 7/18/2015 2:48 AM, Lew Hodgett wrote:

If you by any chance are up to it, getting to Durango, Co., there is a train ride to and from Silverton, Co.. This is a steam locomotive ride that follows the rail along a river and the sights are unbelievable. It is a bucket list thing to do and one that you probably never forget.
Great to do in Sep-Oct when it cools down a bit and kids are back in school.
http://www.durangotrain.com/
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+1 on the Durango-Silverton trip. That's a particularly beautiful part of the country, and you can make a very nice vacation out of the train ride, a day in Mesa Verde National Park, and a day or two just driving around the area.
Word of warning, tho - Silverton is 3000 feet higher than Durango, and in the spring and fall it can easily be 30 degrees colder. Don't forget to take your jacket with you, even if the weather's nice in Durango.
John
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"John McCoy"

Another neat railroad in Colorado is the Silver Plume steam train. Not very long like the Durango but good...
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email.me:

The Georgetown Loop. Yes, that's a good one if you just have time for a day trip out of Denver. About a 90 min drive from Denver to Georgetown/Silver Plume.
If you're really into trains, the Cumbres and Toltec, from Chama NM (a part of the state with more trees and less rocks) to Antonito CO is another good ride, but it's an all-day affair, and kind of in the middle of nowhere.
John
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"Leon" wrote:

-------------------------------------------- BTDT. Great way to spend a day.
Lew
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On 07/18/2015 2:48 AM, Lew Hodgett wrote: ...

Did you pick up the Nuclear Science & History Museum out east (north of Kirtland AFB) by any chance't?
A spot I made that hadn't ever done last spring on way back thru was the Petroglyph National Monument just on the west edge of the city and north a few miles...
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

"dpb" wrote:

Missed that one.
Somebody else set the agenda.
Lew
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Glad you enjoyed the train trip, it's always been one of my favorite things, riding on a train.
I'm pondering the fairness of this statement, tho. At what point does parking move from a courtesy to the handicapped, to an imposition on taxpayers? At what point does one person using a handicapped spot become a "hog" depriving other handicapped of the opportunity?
Those are serious questions. Obviously the answer depends to some extent on how much other parking exists, and how many handicapped people are trying to use the spaces.
FWIW, Fort Lauderdale airport no longer provides free parking for handicapped - they made that change after discovering that Canadians who were seasonal residents were parking in April and retreiving their cars in October (I think we all agree that 6 months free is a bit excessive). In general in Florida the limit is 4 hours free parking with a handicapped tag.
John
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On Sat, 18 Jul 2015 14:45:21 +0000 (UTC), John McCoy

At what point does Amtrak, itself, become an imposition on taxpayers?

...or Amtrak itself.

Completely reasonable.
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4ax.com:

Well, yeah, that's a different question. I could argue that one either way.
John
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On Sat, 18 Jul 2015 20:33:30 +0000 (UTC), John McCoy

People have tried to justify such subsidies but I've never found one that comes close to passing the sniff test.
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On 7/18/2015 5:24 PM, krw wrote:

took. It is not long, but puts you in a whole different world. In Metamora Indiana, you can ride a canal boat. The boat is pulled by houses, and goes trough an aqueduct that crosses a stream. Like I said it is not long but the experience is well worth the trip.
In the 1820, taking a canal boat must have seem like heaven after riding a horse, a wagon, or stage coach. Sitting in the boat and watching the world go by silently at about 4 to 5 mph.
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On 7/18/2015 6:27 PM, Keith Nuttle wrote:

That one is a special edition and only runs occasionally. However the one pulled by horses is always available.
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Where's Metamora, IN?
Houses, huh? Well 10/10 for style, but -1,000,000 for practical thinking!
Puckdropper
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Make it to fit, don't make it fit.

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On 7/18/2015 10:04 PM, Puckdropper wrote:

between Cincinnati and Indianapolis several miles north of I-74.
It was a port on the Whitewater canal that ran between Lawrenceburg Indiana on the Ohio river north to east central Indiana near Richmond. I believe it was active from the 1830 into the 1860's
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I should have looked it up instead of asking... Looks like it might be worth the detour if you're traveling on either I74 or I70.
Speaking of water rides along I74, there's the Spirit of Peoria paddle boat in Peoria, IL. Their normal trip takes you just a few miles up Peoria Lake. (The Illinois River flows through a couple lakes.)
On the other side of the river, there's a Bass Pro Shop.
Puckdropper
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The subsidies provided by Illinois to Amtrack do allow Chicago college kids to get to most of our Universities.
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wrote:

If Illinois wants to subsidize rail, let them pay the whole Magilla. OTOH, Illinois is bankrupt, so...
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On 7/18/2015 5:36 PM, Markem wrote:

[snip]

What Illinois subsidies are you speaking of Markem? Hadn't heard of them or are you speaking of a student discount ticket? Is it paid by the UofI system towards student's tickets or a general infusion of cash from our "always in the red" general fund. If it has the word Illinois in it, there is nothing that will ever pass the smell test.<g>
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