Amtrak Schedules


Justin Kahn
 

Dear Spen
Don't count on anything like prompt arrival in Chicago; I took the Lake Shore four or five times in the last couple of years and it was never less than nearly an hour late and often a good two hours behind.
The rail priorities have become very clear, as Amtrak routinely sits on a siding, waiting for the money-producing freights of the conglomerates (who own the rails) to pass.
Jace Kahn

I have a four hour layover in Chicago between trains on Sunday and was
wondering what, if anything I should do with that time. I arrive (Amtrak
and God willing) on the Lake Shore Limited at 9:10 am and depart on the
California Zephyr at 2:15 pm. Are there any hobby shops close enough
that are worth visiting? And would they be open? What about the Museum
of Science and Industry? Of course, if Amtrak runs true to form,, the
Lake Shore Limited will be so late they will have to hold the CZ and the
whole issue becomes moot.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Regards, Spen Kellogg
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Spen Kellogg <spenkell@...>
 

Justin Kahn wrote:
Dear Spen
Don't count on anything like prompt arrival in Chicago; I took the Lake Shore four or five times in the last couple of years and it was never less than nearly an hour late and often a good two hours behind.
The rail priorities have become very clear, as Amtrak routinely sits on a siding, waiting for the money-producing freights of the conglomerates (who own the rails) to pass.
Thanks Jac. I won't hold my breath. Regards, Spen


Jeff English
 

--- In STMFC@..., "Justin Kahn" <harumd@h...> wrote:
Dear Spen
Don't count on anything like prompt arrival in Chicago; I took the
Lake
Shore four or five times in the last couple of years and it was
never less
than nearly an hour late and often a good two hours behind.
While this can be true, it nonetheless is indicative of a "double
standard" in peoples view of on-time performance. If you were
driving from New York to Chicago and estimated it would take you 13
hours (or consulted AAA who would tell it takes such-and-such number
of hours) and when you actually finished the trip it took 14 hours,
you would not be bitching about how f***ed up everything is that you
couldn't make it in 13 hours. The whole point of traveling by long
distance train is to relax and get your nose off your watch. So the
train gets there at 10 instead of 9 -- so what.

Jeff English
Troy, New York


Terry Harrison <nkpman@...>
 

Point well taken Jeff.

Like the 4 hour layover example coming up for someone. My thoughts are I'd rather be 2 hours late getting in to Chicago and spend that time on the train, even if it is sitting in a yard looking at all the cars or engines or .........



Terry


Tim O'Connor
 

Jeff, I admire your courage at defending the indefensible. I
have given many thousands of dollars to Amtrak over the years,
but I'm not a customer anymore. I think most people can tolerate
an occasional late arrival -- but after a while not knowing if
you're going to arrive in time for OTHER THINGS you have
planned gets very wearisome. And the absurdity of a train
that travels at under 50 mph in the 21st Century and that
costs 2x-3x as much as flying, is just too ridiculous for
words.


While this can be true, it nonetheless is indicative of a "double
standard" in peoples view of on-time performance. If you were
driving from New York to Chicago and estimated it would take you 13
hours (or consulted AAA who would tell it takes such-and-such number
of hours) and when you actually finished the trip it took 14 hours,
you would not be bitching about how f***ed up everything is that you
couldn't make it in 13 hours. The whole point of traveling by long
distance train is to relax and get your nose off your watch. So the
train gets there at 10 instead of 9 -- so what.

Jeff English
Troy, New York

Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> -->> NOTE EMAIL CHANGE <<--
Sterling, Massachusetts


Jeff English
 

--- In STMFC@..., Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@c...> wrote:

Jeff, I admire your courage at defending the indefensible. I
have given many thousands of dollars to Amtrak over the years,
but I'm not a customer anymore. I think most people can tolerate
an occasional late arrival -- but after a while not knowing if
you're going to arrive in time for OTHER THINGS you have
planned gets very wearisome.
I agree that there is a danger that some people who don't have prior
experience will read the timetable and take it literally. An
experienced rider knows not to count on making a close call, such as
a meeting or wedding that starts soon after the published arrival
time. Once one learns how reality works though, one uses the
uncertainty to advantage; be flexible and use the extra time on
board to read a little more or whatever, and if the train surpises
you and arrives on time then enjoy the extra time at your
destination. It takes a looser attitude, which, as an obsessive-
compulsive person myself, is admittedly sometimes difficult but
worth it in the end.

And the absurdity of a train
that travels at under 50 mph in the 21st Century
I'm not sure if I'd call it absurd, but it is surely sad. Again,
the point of choosing the train for long distance travel is not
speed. High-speed short-haul corridors are a completely different
matter, and I get utility from that too, being as I often get to
take business trips from Albany to New York; 12 trains a day to
choose from for a trip just over 2 hours at up to 110 miles an
hour. And yes, that could be much better too, but it's a political
problem, not a fault of Amtrak management or the people who are out
there every day running the trains.

and that
costs 2x-3x as much as flying, is just too ridiculous for
words.
You're comparing apples to oranges. Flying gets you there and
that's about it, whereas the train is a travel experience. It's a
matter of perspective whether one gets value for the money. I do.
Also, Tim, since you admit to once having spent thousands to ride,
consider that Amtrak's Guest Rewards program (like frequent flier)
affords a significant cost saving. I qualified for a free sleeping
car room this October.

Jeff English
Troy, New York


Tim O'Connor
 

Also, Tim, since you admit to once having spent thousands to ride,
consider that Amtrak's Guest Rewards program (like frequent flier)
affords a significant cost saving. I qualified for a free sleeping
car room this October.

Jeff English
Troy, New York

Jeff,

I decided to fly, First Class, on American. Price $0.00. And I've
never bought an American Airlines ticket! (Credit cards have been
giving air mile rewards for years.)

Heck, Amtrak lost its shirt trying to move freight! (Obligatory
freight car content.) Maybe they should reinvent themselves as a
theme park on wheels! You got the Roller Coaster Coach, the Scary
Restroom Ride (who knows what you'll find?), The Heave-Ho Snackbar
Adventure...

Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> -->> NOTE EMAIL CHANGE <<--
Sterling, Massachusetts


Thomas Olsen <tmolsen@...>
 

Tim & Jeff,

Time keeping on the Three Rivers, Pennsylvanian and Lake Shore has
improved since we cut back on working freight on these trains at
intermediate terminals. Unfortunately, NS (which is responsible for two
thirds of the trip on the two Pittsburgh-side trains and the
Cleveland-Chicago portion of the Lake Shore) has not learned that
passenger trains have priority over freight trains and Amtrak has not
the guts to have the federal courts enforce the "preference" rule built
into the original Amtrak enabling law. This was a problem with Southern
Pacific (Sunset Limited) back in the early '70s, but after some
enlightenment from the federal courts, they shaped up.

Tom Olsen
Newark, Delaware

englishintroy wrote:


--- In STMFC@..., Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@c...> wrote:

Jeff, I admire your courage at defending the indefensible. I
have given many thousands of dollars to Amtrak over the years,
but I'm not a customer anymore. I think most people can tolerate
an occasional late arrival -- but after a while not knowing if
you're going to arrive in time for OTHER THINGS you have
planned gets very wearisome.
I agree that there is a danger that some people who don't have prior
experience will read the timetable and take it literally. An
experienced rider knows not to count on making a close call, such as
a meeting or wedding that starts soon after the published arrival
time. Once one learns how reality works though, one uses the
uncertainty to advantage; be flexible and use the extra time on
board to read a little more or whatever, and if the train surpises
you and arrives on time then enjoy the extra time at your
destination. It takes a looser attitude, which, as an obsessive-
compulsive person myself, is admittedly sometimes difficult but
worth it in the end.

And the absurdity of a train
that travels at under 50 mph in the 21st Century
I'm not sure if I'd call it absurd, but it is surely sad. Again,
the point of choosing the train for long distance travel is not
speed. High-speed short-haul corridors are a completely different
matter, and I get utility from that too, being as I often get to
take business trips from Albany to New York; 12 trains a day to
choose from for a trip just over 2 hours at up to 110 miles an
hour. And yes, that could be much better too, but it's a political
problem, not a fault of Amtrak management or the people who are out
there every day running the trains.

and that
costs 2x-3x as much as flying, is just too ridiculous for
words.
You're comparing apples to oranges. Flying gets you there and
that's about it, whereas the train is a travel experience. It's a
matter of perspective whether one gets value for the money. I do.
Also, Tim, since you admit to once having spent thousands to ride,
consider that Amtrak's Guest Rewards program (like frequent flier)
affords a significant cost saving. I qualified for a free sleeping
car room this October.

Jeff English
Troy, New York


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Terry Harrison <nkpman@...>
 

Many times on trips from Washington DC to Orlando I have sat in hole waiting for coal trains to pass us on CSX tracks. And did I mention the van trains too?

Terry