National Train Day


May 10th, 2014, 06:57 AM
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National Train Day

This morning I am going to be getting on the Coast Starlight and going to Eugene.
Today (May 10) is National Train Day. This is the 7th annual NTD. I expect to take some pictures of the snow that fell last night in the Cascades.
My adventure starts when I get on the train instead of when I get to my destination.
I'll be meeting at least one of my geocaching friends in Eugene for about 4.5 hours before I get back on the southbound Coast Starlight headed for home.
To my Amtrak loving friends, have a great National Train Day.
I'm marking this for Oregon since that is where I'm traveling but be aware that Amtrak in some fashion serves every state except Wyoming, Alaska and Hawaii.
I'll let you know about my adventure tomorow.
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May 10th, 2014, 07:03 AM
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Have a good trip Tom! I am on Amtrak today too headed south from DC.
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May 11th, 2014, 10:40 AM
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I am so glad that I took the train from Chemult to Eugene yesterday. I could have driven over highway 58 and up I-5 and arrived an hour earlier. I would not have enjoyed the scenery as much if I had driven. I did take some pictures of the late snow in the Cascades miles from the nearest paved road.
To the naysayers that say "Amtrak is always late", the northbound Coast Starlight arrived within 30 seconds of the scheduled time in Chemult even though it had left Sacramento 40 minutes late. We did arrive in Eugene 7 minutes late because of freight traffic ahead of us.
There were 2 model train setups in the station for National Train Day. They did hand out some cardboard Conductor hats to kids and a few other trinkets.
Larry my geocaching friend was waiting outside the station for me so I didn't spend much time looking in the station.
Larry and I spent some time finding and sometimes not finding geocaches around Skinner's Butte. The butte is named for Eugene Skinner who sent a letter requesting a United States Post Office for the area. Somehow I don't think the University of Oregon would be there if it was named Skinnersville.
Larry dropped me off about 4:30PM to catch my 5:10 southbound train. We left Eugene 2 minutes late. Before we got far out of Eugene we had to slow and then stop on a siding for about 4 minutes to let a freight train get into Eugene. After that we passed 2 freights that pulled onto the siding to let us pass.
We were at least 20 miles out of Oakridge before we saw any snow on the ground. The snow that had been on the trees in the morning had all melted or fell off.
We got back into Chemlut 7 minutes late which didn't matter much since my car had been parked there all day. I was back home by 8:45 which was exactly 12 hours after I left home.
I would encourage any regular Amtrak riders to join Amtrak Guest Rewards to earn points toward free Amtrak travel.
You can earn points for online shopping if you don't have the time to go often on Amtrak trips.
The other Amtrak bargain is the USA Rail Pass which comes in 15, 30 and 45 day versions. My general travel style is to ride Amtrak and rent a car and make a loop then go onward on Amtrak to the next destination. It works for me even if the train is late.
I did earlier today comment on the "Transportation" thread.
Please don't trash Amtrak if you have never ridden a train any farther west than Washington DC.
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May 11th, 2014, 12:34 PM
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The last time I took the "Starlight" it arrived in Oakland almost nine hours late. Unfortunate but that kind of problem tends to prejudice people.
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May 11th, 2014, 01:37 PM
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What year and season was that Dukey1? There are things that even Amtrak, BNSF and Union Pacific can't control, like the weather and dispatchers that could care less about Amtrak's schedule.
Northbound from Los Angeles or southbound from Portland?
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May 13th, 2014, 06:33 AM
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Your train/geocaching trip sounds great! You are right, sometimes the journey is the destination.
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May 13th, 2014, 10:54 AM
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I will cross train at the gym.
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May 13th, 2014, 12:00 PM
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So there really is Amtrak service on West Coast as well as East Coast? See this about my enthusiasm going Boston to Baltimore.
Some have pointed out that rail service in the hinterland isn't so great.
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May 13th, 2014, 12:02 PM
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Let me correct my error:
Hope this works...and anyway glad to hear about National Train Day.
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May 13th, 2014, 08:14 PM
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Glad to hear that your Amtrak experience went well! Mine have been really mixed. Sometimes it's amazing, other times much less than. But I agree, when it works out, there's nothing like some scenery. Albeit, yours on the west coast definitely beats ours back east!!
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May 27th, 2014, 04:17 AM
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eagerly waiting for your report buddy
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May 27th, 2014, 07:09 AM
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Yes Ozarksbill there is Amtrak train service all the way across this great country of ours. Last December my DW and I took the Coast Starlight south to Sacramento and waited 4 hours to get on the California Zephyr. We rode the CZ east all the way to Burlington Iowa. The Burlington station is on the bank of the Mississippi River. From Burlington we rented a car for 10 days to go to our DD's graduation from nursing school in Baltimore.
I was glad not to have to drive the highways over the Rockies and across Nebraska in December.
We could have flown to BWI but how much fun would that have been?
My primary report on National Train Day was the second post.
I am glad to answer questions about any of my many train trips.
Still waiting for Dukey to get back to me about his 9 hour late train. The latest train I was ever on was the ViaRail Canadian which got into Winnipeg 16 hours late going westbound. We got into Jasper about 16 hours late and I saw the best Northern Lights of my life on the taxi ride out to the HI Hostel.
Welcome to the forums helpmovingtocal
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