• What are your favorite and least favorite passenger rail experiences?

  • General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by SouthernRailway
 
Mine:

Favorite:

Cruising along the Northeast Corridor in a sleeping car on the Crescent, enjoying a drink while reading or just watching the world zoom by.

(Secondarily, being at the controls of a Southern Railway E8 at the NC Transportation Museum was neat, although I'd prefer to be a passenger generally.)

Least Favorite:

The 4 train (Lexington Avenue line) in NYC at rush hour. I walk to work by choice.

Anyone else's?
  by CarterB
 
Favorite: Taking the Empire Builder early 70s Chi to Sea. Dome lounge sleeper single bedroom. Great scenery, food and accomodations.
Least: Any current Amtrak Regional.
  by bdawe
 
Favorite: A late Starlight circling Mount Shasta in the early morning light.

Least Favorite:

Tied: the London Underground in July, when it's 40 degrees, there's no AC and passengers are clustered around the open front window, desperately trying to get a bit of air-flow.

OR: One time, I climbed two mountains in three days (Skypilot in BC and Mount Baker in Washington) and then boarded a 30 hour amtrak trip the next day. My leg muscles were about as sore as they've ever been, and navigating those Superliner staircases to get to the bathroom was deeply unpleasant. I've always imagined that this is what it's like to be old.
  by Pensyfan19
 
Favorite: Sightseeing the Colorado Mountains on the California Zephyr.

Least Favorite: Earlier that same trip, my train was stopped near Omaha due to an intense lightning storm. The superliners were rocking back and forth as if they were going 135 on tight curves, but we were standing still while a life-threatening light show was occurring outside my window for a few hours.
  by Literalman
 
My favorite: A 1985 ride in a dome car on Amtrak's City of New Orleans southbound out of Chicago watching the lightning in a thunderstorm overhead.

My least favorite: A 2006 Virginia Railway Express morning trip out of Fredericksburg that returned to Fredericksburg because of a service disruption; passengers were told to "seek alternate transportation."
  by Jeff Smith
 
SouthernRailway wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 6:14 pm Mine:

Favorite:

Cruising along the Northeast Corridor in a sleeping car on the Crescent, enjoying a drink while reading or just watching the world zoom by.

(Secondarily, being at the controls of a Southern Railway E8 at the NC Transportation Museum was neat, although I'd prefer to be a passenger generally.)

Least Favorite:

The 4 train (Lexington Avenue line) in NYC at rush hour. I walk to work by choice.

Anyone else's?
Completely agree on the 4; I lived on East 87th 1994-1996, pre SAS, and I walked to work at 51st and 7th. Absolutely hated the Lexington Line, and still do. SAS would have been a Godsend back then.

Favorite: my first LD ride was on the Southern Crescent in 1979 to Basic Training from Newark to Anniston.
  by bdawe
 
I would actually like to substitute my positive experience for my trip on the Kaoham Shuttle

Image

album: https://imgur.com/a/JyLER
  by NS VIA FAN
 
Favourite:

The view from the darkened Roomette on Amtrak's Night Owl.....winding down from Hell Gate Bridge with all the lights of Manhattan spread out before you.

Sitting in the Dome on VIA's Ocean or Canadian

Least Favourite:

Dining on Amtrak's CZ when the worst crew I ever experienced had me almost ready to bail in Denver.
  by Pensyfan19
 
NS VIA FAN wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 10:23 am
Least Favourite:

Dining on Amtrak's CZ when the worst crew I ever experienced had me almost ready to bail in Denver.
Funny you should mention that. The stove on my CZ broke, resulting in a shortage of half of the food on the menu and food was only allowed to people with sleeper car tickets (luckily I was one of them). People in coach class had to get off at Grand Junction CO in order to find food at a nearby deli before the train left 10 minutes later.

Yet, I still had great views from the Zephyr and got a lot of great catches throughout the Chicago to Emmeryville trip.
  by TomNelligan
 
Favorite: any of my several trips in the late 1970s and 1980s between Vancouver and Calgary on the CPR and then VIA Canadian.

Least favorite: Probably a summertime Chicago to Seattle trip on the North Coast Hiawatha in the pre-HEP days circa 1978 when one by one the air conditioning failed in each car and things became extremely uncomfortable. The mountain-climbing around Butte was really impressive, though, even if sitting in the dome meant risking heatstroke.
  by ohioriverrailway
 
Best: Riding in a caboose which was the passenger 'coach' on a B&O mixed train, seconded by a Vancouver to Toronto Canadian ride in 2010.
Worst: Any recent Amtrak trip.
  by jonnhrr
 
Favorite: That is a tough one. Sitting in a roomette on the Broadway Limited sipping a drink as the Chicago suburbs flash by then dinner and afterwards a ride in the dome across Indiana (this was 1985 when the train was combined with the Capitol as far as Pittsburgh). Or the Canadian through the Rockies and spiral tunnels (from a seat in the dome) between Alberta and British Columbia. Or the Durango and Silverton with a steam loco working hard to drag us up the Animas Canyon. Oh and at the age of 11, riding the London Tilbury and Southend from Fenchurch St. to Benfleet in 1961 the year before steam was replaced by electric.

Least favorite: I can't think of any train trip that I didn't like. Maybe the closest was a Penn Central Clocker from PSNY to Philly with a dirty black GG-1 pulling a string of dirty P70 coaches.
  by Westernstar1
 
#2 favorite: Riding the Burlington Northern passenger train, Montana to Seattle, around 1970 just before Amtrak. Beautiful scenery and they still had excellent food aboard.

#1 favorite: My first trip on the Rocky Mountaineer, in the dome car, Vancouver to Jasper. Beautiful trip through the Rockies and seeing Mt. Robson for the first time.

Least favorite: A trip on train #28, Portland to Spokane to join the EB on its way to Whitefish. The train looked like it went through a dust storm. Filthy windows and not very clean inside. Incompetent train attendant and a cold box dinner that was nearly inedible. The scenery was nice, however.

WS
  by Tadman
 
Favorite: Westbound (Down) Tren Patagonico from Viedma to San Carlos Bariloche. I was about to visit the diner and risk my life when my cabin-mate adopted me. Turns out his whole extended family had occupied my sleeper car and he was the patriarch, so he decided to bunk with the Norteamericano. They gave me all kinds of home made food, including pastries, fried chicken, and something like milanesa sandwich. They didn't speak much English, so my Spanish sufficed. Then we got into the whiskey... I was really impressed with their hospitality and kindness.

Worst? mmmm....

Either the London tube in July like BDawe or #4 boarding at KC. My ex-wife was very sick, we had a lot of luggage, and the conductor was doing her worst to convince us they didn't want us on board. It's the only time I've ever been in a shouting match with an employee. The AC asked us to board at door X and take seat Y. We board, stow our big luggage downstairs, and find our seat with small bags. Five minutes after we start moving as we are about to head for the lounge, an officious and rude lady conductor bombs into our coach, and orders us up and out. We are directed to go a few cars down, and "why are you sitting here?". I politely tell her thats what we were directed to do. It escalates into a shouting match and we are both making threats.

This is one of the many reasons I hate Amtrak's boarding procedure, because let's be honest, half the time they literally have no idea what they're doing.

We went downstairs, retrieved our suitcases, and lugged them upstairs, past a few cars, then back downstairs. It was hard work and infuriating. I wrote customer service but heard nothing.

Remember the NAACP executive that got the same treatment and thought it was race-biased? I don't blame her for being very PO-ed, as I've been in the same situation a few times. But I don't think race makes a difference when the service is so bad we all get treated poorly.