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Amtrak luxury train

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Dec 10th, 2007, 12:00 PM
  #1
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Amtrak luxury train

I wondered if anyone had been on Amtrak's new luxury trains. We were thinking of Chicago/LA trip this next summer.
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Dec 10th, 2007, 12:53 PM
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I pretty much keep up with Amtrak and I'm not aware of any "new" luxury trains. Their Superliners and Viewliners have been running for years. Could you provide more details?
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Dec 10th, 2007, 01:11 PM
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Maybe you meant the most expensive accomodations? Like a shower not shared, but in your compartment for your use only?
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Dec 10th, 2007, 01:21 PM
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I think it is called "GrandLuxe" and they use their own rail cars attached to the Amtrak train. There is no connection en route from the extra cars to the Amtrak cars or vice versa. Last I saw there was uncertanity about the continuation of the service.
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Dec 10th, 2007, 01:23 PM
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I'm sorry, but I'm pretty sure that "Amtrak luxury" is listed as THE definition of oxymoron.
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Dec 10th, 2007, 01:26 PM
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This is former Orient Express, I found it, thank you BoomBoom.

www.GrandLuxeRail.com

I hope they don't just attach a couple of cars to Amtrak, as I'd hate to be slow and late paying as much as they ask!
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Dec 10th, 2007, 01:33 PM
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The OP wants Chicago-LA. It doe not seem like a possibility with the Lux train. Kansas City-Santa Barbara is the closest thing.

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Dec 10th, 2007, 02:10 PM
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Patrick, compared to air travel these days, travel by rail isn't bad at all. No hour-long check-ins, no body cavity checks, you can eat an actual dinner, served at an actual dinner table with actual metal utensils, and you arrive at your destination relaxed instead of completely stressed out (and possibly even sick from recirculated cabin air).
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Dec 10th, 2007, 02:31 PM
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Hmmm...that last description sounds a lot more like "The Canadian" than anything AMTRAK is offering these days.
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Dec 10th, 2007, 02:35 PM
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We take the Coast Starlight all the time here in Calif. It's never been a bad experience.
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Dec 10th, 2007, 04:32 PM
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fdecarlo I'm with you - although my experience is limited to the Amtrak Acela from Boston to New York, Ill take it over air travel to there anytime - the first class car, with meals, drinks, as you said - actual utensils - great service, clean huge restrooms compared to the turn around size ones in an airplane - reclining comfortable seats with footrests - I actually look forward to having to travel between the two cities!

My son is in the midst of planning a college graduation trip with friends via Amtrak along the northern route of the US and then returning from British Columbia to the east coast thru Canada -
and it's looking like a great trip -

I'm thrilled to see the kids looking at train travel again!
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Dec 10th, 2007, 04:56 PM
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"you can eat an actual dinner, served at an actual dinner table with actual metal utensils, and you arrive at your destination relaxed instead of completely stressed out"

sorry DeCarlo, you must've never taken Zephyr (Chicago-Emeryville).

Dinner: yes, good food till you run out of it! The choice was getting more limited from day 2.

Metal utensils, yes, and hold your glass on that shaky road in Sierra Nevada! Oh, and we were so lucky the rail broken under our train did not send us rolling down! I am serious!

Arrive at your destination? Yes, at 1 am instead of 6 pm, Amtrak is usually behind the schedule, try to find a taxi in some strange place, they don't wait for you at the closed for the night station in San Francisco.
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Dec 10th, 2007, 05:03 PM
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I've taken a trip on the Capitol Limited (Cleveland to Washington DC) back in 1998, and unless they've changed, we got on the train at 2 A.M. went to our 'room' (bunk beds and a sink). My Dad had a 'roomette' only a chair that folded into a bed and was the size of a large closet. No showers, had to take one the next afternoon when we checked into the hotel. The food was good. I just remember being tired the next day as for lack of sleep not being used to trains. And my Dad payed big bucks at that time.
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Dec 10th, 2007, 05:04 PM
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Wow Fainaagain what an experience !
Sounds like they need to work on their consistency -
the Bos-NYC trips I make frequently and have never been delayed more than ten minutes in over four years - hopefully they will improve across the board in those places that are lacking.


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Dec 10th, 2007, 05:14 PM
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Amtrak on the NE corridor between Boston and DC is nothing like the rest of the country. There is frequent serivce - usually not ore than 15 or so minutes late - with prepackaged food aboard.

Not luxury but a reasonable choice given all of the time/hassle of airport security.

But - in the rest of the country the tracks are owned by freight companies and freight trains take priority - meaning Amtrak often runs many hours late. Also - food is edible at best (nothing like in european trains).

For use only by those who cannot get on a plane.

And it frequently costs more than flying to boot.
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Dec 10th, 2007, 05:49 PM
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Well I agree with Faina. I was on the train from Portland to CA and they annnounced the dining room was going to open but there wouldn't be enough food to feed everyone. The person I was with was a diabetic. I pleaded and begged and we did get in for the first sitting. A family member took the train from N CA to S CA and it was something like 12 hours late. The train we took from our local station to Reno one winter was alright but the train from Reno (coming from Chicago I believe) was something like 3 hours late and I discovered the restrooms were absolute pigpens. I mean totally disgusting. Shudder! The Amtrak employees sat around the entire trip talking and relaxing. I don't know who was suppose to clean up the restrooms but evidently that wasn't part of their job description? I will never again use Amtrak. And I love trains. You in the NE are fortunate.
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Dec 10th, 2007, 06:06 PM
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I will agree the regular food on Amtrak even on the Northeast corridor is horrid - I would pack my own -
but when you are in the first class car, the food is great, nice wine and drink choices, nice meal choices with real silverware, glasses, great service, truffles, desserts, etc.

it is comparable to flying price wise, but there is no hassle - and since i do it frequently enough, i earn enough points for plenty of good upgrade booklets -

I am sorrry to hear it is not as nice elsewhere
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Dec 10th, 2007, 06:33 PM
  #18
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Yes, that's it - the Grande Lux. Any experience with it - if it's running? We took the auto train from FL to DC and back a couple years ago and thoroughly enjoyed the trip. We had connecting roomettes with tiny but functional bathrooms, good food, and no delays. Also, we didn't have any problems with getting from RI to New York to pick up our older kids at the airport. However, I have had bad experiences with non-auto train travel between SC and FL.
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Dec 10th, 2007, 07:49 PM
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I've never been on GrandLuxe but I get their mailings frequently. I do not believe they hook on to AMTRAK trains. Since they run longer journeys with longer stops, they have their own dedicated locomotives that are rented from and operated by AMTRAK personnel but not on AMTRAK scheduled trains.

There are some private rail car owners that run excursions on the back of scheduled AMTRAK trains. I have ridden some of them between LA and Emeryville and between Emeryville and Reno. They are usually dome cars from the 50's cross-country trains or executive cars that can handle only a limited number of passengers. These, however, are usually day trips, not the week or longer excursions that GrandLuxe runs.
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Dec 10th, 2007, 08:25 PM
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FainaAgain, I'm not claiming Amtrak doesn't have problems, or is the epitome of luxury travel. I'm simply relaying my own experience. My family had gone about 15 years traveling exclusively by car and airplane up and down the state, and our first time back on a train was nothing short of a revelation, and fantastic -- compared to what air travel has become in this country. That's all.
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