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Discussion in 'Hobby/Travel Forum' started by ChristianCynic, Oct 13, 2002.
Have you ever taken a trip by train, what were your opinions?
Before we moved back to the West, we took a
trip by train from Minneapolis, MN to Portland,
OR, to Southern Illinois, and back to Minneapo-
lis. The trip was a very pleasant one for those
who have the time. The children were ages 9
and 6, so we took many things to do, because
the trip West was a three-day stretch, and the
one East was 3.5+ days.
This was in 1980 or so, so things may have
changed. But based upon that experience, I
suggest either bringing your own food or
eating in the dining car. I ate one hamburger
from the on-train snack shop at the beginnning
of the trip West, and that thing went down, re-
created itself in my stomach, and stayed there
in a big lump for the rest of the three-day trip.
Yuck! But the food in the dining car was nice.
On that trip from Chicago south to Southern
Ilinois, it was AWFUL! The train tracks were such
that the train continuously rolled side to side,
like a jerky cradle. Making matters worse, an
abusive father got on in Chicago with his wife
and two boys. He was loud and obnoxious as
he raged continuously at them all, striking the
boys on their heads. This impotent little pre-
tense of a man tried to control everything within
ten feet of his train space and the rest of us as
well with his anger and pouty little face.
Unfortunately, his boys decided to use the
restrooms at both ends of this locked-down car,
and they must have thought each restroom was
on fire, and they were the firehoses. I was glad
to see that trip end.
I have taken the trip a few times on the West
Coast in recent years and enjoyed it immensely.
I always choose a train with a dome car, and that
is where I stay. I like to go during daylight to
watch the scenes pass, but an occasional night
trip is a pleasant thing with a book.
Howdy! The first and only time I ever rode a train was around the late '40s! My mama & baby brother & I came from San Diego to Mississippi.
We were poor & didn't have any $$ for food, I guess, 'cause I remember someone kindly buying me breakfast...my first Shredded Wheat biscuit.
I remember a soldier boy helping my mama with the baby.
[ October 13, 2002, 09:06 AM: Message edited by: GrannyGumbo ]
We moved from Eureka, CA, to Jackson, MS,
just ten years later, but we went by car. 8o)
Hey (((Abiyah!))) "I think the older trains are simply gorgeous! I always wanted one of those toy silver streamliners(?) as a child but I love the old-time black ones the best.
"Maybe" oneday, I'll get to travel on one again. "All aboard!" ~~choo~choo~choo~choo~~
Abiyah's 3+ days in a train would drive me right up the wall. No, correction, it would not drive me anywhere, that's the problem At holiday time I like to jump in the car, drive when I feel like it, stop when want to eat, get photos, sleep, whatever. I can do 1000+km behind the wheel in a day without too many problems, so probably not too much difference between that and what a train could do for me.
The only reason I took a train trip was as follows:
In 1975 right before my family moved back to the US from England, my dad needed to ship our family car back to the states. So we drove to Felixstowe, on the "east coast" of England, where our car would be shipped to Bayonne, NJ. Then we took a taxi to Ipswich(about 15 miles inland) to catch a train back to London. So the bottom line was that was the only way we could get back to London. And with London's extensive bus and tube lines, getting around wasn't an issue.
When I was 12 and 13 years old; I use to hop a train to Chicago for lunch, and then get home for late dinner. No one ever knew. I loved to take the train. I think the cost was around 25 to $30.00 round trip. So we would just hop the train. I remember tho everything you did on the train was very high. A guy would come around with a box strapped around his neck, and try to sell sandwhiches and fruit. I always wanted to buy something but it was high. I would babysit from Friday to Sunday. Sometimes they would not come back until late Sunday night. They were big drinkers so they really paid me good. I would tell my foster parents I made so much and then really make more.
I would take the bus to the train station, and then off to Chicago. It was one of the best times. Then one day St. Louis Train Station was closed. (sigh) Memories.
[ October 15, 2002, 03:39 PM: Message edited by: Sherrie ]
I've only taken train *trips* in Europe. I often take the train from DC to Richmond, or DC to NY, but I don't really count those as trips - more like commutes to a holiday destination. The best was probably the trip from Nice to Paris. Really a lovely trip. Surprisingly comfortable berth, too.
As inner city kids, we'd hop freights from Minneapolis all the way to St Paul (10 miles)!
Took the old Great Northern "Empire Builder" from Minneapolis to Portland, through Glacier Nat'l Park. What a neat trip after 800 miles of nothing in North Dakota and eastern Montana!
And hopped lots of other trains. Favorite means of transportation in my high school/college days. Illinois Central, Milwaukee Road hubbed out of Chicago and went EVERYWHERE!
Neat short train trips at Railroad Museum in Freedom, Wisconsin (near Baraboo) and through the San Juan Mts of SW Colorado out of Cortez.
Some of the worst trains were in Italy and in Eastern Europe. On an overnight from Poland to Lithuania I was on a troop train with Russian soldiers, kegs of Bulgarian wine, and gypsy prostitutes. Slept sitting up with the back against a door of my small compartment for safety.
Actually "slept" may not be the correct word.
US Trains are GREAT compared to overseas, although my son just went thru the Chunnel from England to France on a 180 mph bullet train that he said was first class.
You know Dr. Bob....what we did as kids wouldn't even work today. Too dangerous. But I will confess it was one of the best times I ever had as a kid, hopping a train.
But years later I met this guy with part of his leg gone...who hopped a train to work and home everyday. I felt so bad for him, and realized how lucky I really was. I would be so upset if I knew one of my own kids ever did that. My friend and I were really lucky we did not get hurt.
I will say the thrill was great...didn't have 30.00 for the trip...so the hopp'n was cheap, and the scenery was great.
I want to say the trains we got on were Union Pacific. But I am not sure.
Here's another funny. My foster Uncle was a driver for Greyhound. One time we tried to get on the bus without paying. Dag-nab him, He was the driver. Whew, did he read us the riot act. But he was really cool too...he let us ride with him...and then that night when we got home, we was in some big trouble. Never took another Greyhound. Tee-hee. Ouch! I remember the sit down wasn't so good! Every year for Christmas he would give me one of those metal miniture Greyhound bus's with a little note that would say hahahaha. Like he thought he was funny.
My first train ride was from Baltimore to DC--not much luxerery--sort of like riding in a Volkswagan on rails. But not to be sounding cynical--it sure did beat driving into DC.
I once was going to take my family on a railroad vacation--maybe travel from New Orleans to Chicago and back by Amtrak--see what sites the railroad right of way offered--relax--not worry about driving and which one of the kids had to go to the bathroom--then I checked out the prices for that round trip excursion--"Mamma, Meia!"
A buddy of mine and his wife did just that--took Amtrac from McComb, MS to Chicago and then across to Salt Lake City, etc.--had the time of their lives. Of course, he is a retired "cab carpenter" for Union Pacific/Cotton Belt over in Pine Bluff, AR, worked on those locomotives--so he was sort of baskin' in the "railway glory" on the way there and back!
I was in third grade when our teacher took the whole class on a 17-mile train ride; passenger service was being phased out and she thought we should have a chance to ride before the trains were gone.
I did enjoy the Metro in Washington, D.C.
A person from work is going on an upcoming train trip:
My only "real" train ride was from Seattle to OKC as a six year old.
I have ridden the Marta, the Thing in DC, the monorail, the thing in Salt Lake City, and always love a good trolley ride.
My one and only train experience was when I was 8, between Chicago and Louisville, and then back again. I can't remember anything negative, except walking between the cars,and the outside door was open and really scared me, but I was only 8.
Does the public transportation count, when I lived in Chicago?