• Fifty Years of Amtrak: Your best memories

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by jonnhrr
The mention of timetables reminded me of A-day May 1 1971. A bunch of us railfans at school in "the Leaky Valley"
Bethlehem PA coincidentally were planning a trip that day which was Saturday down to Philly. The only question was, would the Reading RDC to Philly still be running or would it be another casualty of the Amtrak takeover? No internet in those days, no checking of RR.net. We showed up at the station and waited. The scheduled departure time came and went. No train. We were just about to give up when we heard the crossing gates on 3rd St. go down and the RDC slowly rumbled in about 20 minutes late. We gratefully scrambled aboard.

Oh the timetables. When we got to "cennercity" we immediately made a beeline for 30th Street and the information desk and got our copies of the first Amtrak System Timetable. I still have mine somewhere in my little collection. I remember time spent in the dorm poring over it imagining all the cool places you could go. Some of those I plan to be finally getting to 50 years later this September.
  by Gilbert B Norman

https://www.businessinsider.com/why-i-w ... ins-2021-7

Fair Use:
I went aboard Amtrak's new long-distance trains aiming to transform America's languishing rail network and now I want to take a cross-country train trip

Amtrak is spending $28 million to upgrade long-distance trains and make journeys more enjoyable.

Each class of service will see upgrades from coach to sleeper cars, as well as the dining car.

Train travel is still slower than air travel but the new upgrades make it more enticing.
Otherwise, posted without comment.
  by jbvb
A couple of good memories from 1976: My first views of northern New Mexico and Arizona, the California coast up to San Luis Obispo, and over Stampede pass. A great burger riding the Cardinal out of Chicago on the old C&O. Splurging on my first sleeper Philadelphia - Montreal.

Later, Glenwood Canyon and the Front Range from the Zephyr.

But the most singular thing I've seen was the rolling hills of northern New Mexico covered with flowers in June of 2014. They appeared on and off for miles in the area of Las Vegas.
  by n2cbo
My best memory was back when I was in college. During one of our winter breaks, my girlfriend (at the time) and I went to Montreal from New York to see a concert (Both of us were classical music students). When we were about to leave Montreal, we had a GREAT idea. Amtrak had a thru sleeper from Montreal all the way to Florida at that time. We had an extra two weeks to kill so we booked a bedroom on the thru sleeper and ended up coming back from winter break with fresh suntans.
  by Bobby S
I just have to say I was very lucky to have 1st taken Amtrak in the 80s. I got to check out the Heritage cars, the Slumber coaches and early lounge/dinettes/diners while they were still run. That first train to Florida still had a Diner/buffet car on it!!! I got to try the domes on the LSL and the Capitol Limited in the 90s. AWESOME TIMES!!! The trains were mixed so the old school Heritage diners and lounges were still used. Sconce low level lighting. Chair seating at tables was awesome! Made for a much more intimate experience and fun when meeting other passengers! Movies in the lounge as well! Cross country just ruled going this way! Non descript brands of food/drinks as well as some more known in the snack/cafe car were offered at way more reasonable prices than today by far! and quality/service was superior!!! The old school vibe of the vintage interiors were still well utilized. I miss these times! I know things change and they have for sure but this is my story for post!!!
  by F40CFan
1) Getting off at Grand Junction Colorada during the winter to make a snowball and bring it up to a couple in the Sightseer Lounge that had never touched snow before.

2) Riding west on the California Zephyr in Utah watching huge lightning bolts hit mountain tops in the distance.

3) Riding in a Slumbercoach on the Broadway Limited around Horseshoe Curve.

4) Remembering not to flush the old-style toilets when passing through Gary Indiana because it smelled worse outside.
  by Philly Amtrak Fan
Glad to hear several Broadway Limited mentions in this thread!

My first Amtrak ride was actually either the Illini or City of New Orleans between Champaign, IL and Chicago as I was a student on the University of Illinois at the time. My first long distance was the Broadway between Chicago and then Harrisburg. I found a schedule that you could connect at Harrisburg to Scranton and then found out the same bus went to my hometown of Wilkes Barre. That unfortunately was the only time I rode the BL. The next time I took the Three Rivers (the first time it attached to the Capitol Limited in Pittsburgh, then for a few times it was a separate train). Since then it's been connect in Washington or New York (I won't connect in Pittsburgh because of the lousy times and station). My first cross country trip was when I went to Los Angeles on the Southwest Chief. I had (and still do) have family in the Chicago area so I have never had to spend three whole days on the train from coast to coast, I can always stop in Chicago to get a break. One time I visited family in Utah as well and used that as my break point on my way to San Fran. I've also visited Florida several times and Texas once. The last time I've been on a plane was 1995 but I've made three trips between Pennsylvania and California since then.
  by MEC407
My first experience riding an Amtrak train — and my first experience riding an intercity passenger train of any kind — was on December 14, 2001 when I had the honor of traveling aboard the Downeaster inaugural train from Boston to Portland.

I was working for a local newspaper at the time, which is why I was able to get a ticket for this highly exclusive train. As we traveled northward, we were greeted at each station by marching bands, local dignitaries, and TV camera crews. It was a very special day: the first passenger train to Maine in decades.

Aboard the train were mayors, town managers, state representatives and state senators, governors, members of Congress, railroad presidents, and many of the ordinary people who worked so hard to bring Amtrak to Maine.

Without question, it was my most special and most memorable Amtrak experience. I doubt I'll ever be able to top it. :)