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Passenger Trains > Short round trip rides on Amtrak


Date: 06/06/08 19:42
Short round trip rides on Amtrak
Author: closetfoamer

A few years ago I had a friend who used to ride the Crescent #20 to Tuscaloosa and then board #19 for a
day trip back to NO. Looking at the latest Amtrak schedule, I noticed one could do the same thing but you would have only 20 minutes between trains. You could take the Sunset #1 from NO to Alpine TX and
then catch #2 less than a hour later to return to NO. This could be done only from NO on Wednesday and Fridays. The City of New Orleans #58 schedule indicates you could go to Fulton KY and catch the #59 in a
little under two hours for return to NO. Fulton is a flag stop and at after midnight it might not be a wise idea. Of course all this depends on Amtrak keeping to the schedule. Has anyone tried this?



Date: 06/06/08 20:18
Re: Short round trip rides on Amtrak
Author: dcautley

Most corridor services will provide this; e.g. PDX -> SEA (watch football game) SEA -> PDX. Less time in SEA if you leave out the sports.



Date: 06/06/08 20:31
Re: Short round trip rides on Amtrak
Author: Amtrak288

I remember a friend of mine back in 1999 who rode Empire Service #286 from Buffalo-Depew to Rochester to see a Rochester Red Wings Baseball Game, he went to the game as soon as the train arrived and I stayed at the station and railfanned until Maple Leaf #63 arrived and he got back to the station just in time to take that train back to Buffalo, I just happened to also be on that same train going back so it's possible up here in Western NY though we have 4 trains a day East and West between Buffalo and Rochester.



Date: 06/06/08 20:54
Re: Short round trip rides on Amtrak
Author: pennsy3750

You can do a circle trip around southern New England. Start from Boston, ride the Shore Line to New York, Empire Service to Albany, and then 448 back to Boston - all in the same day. Only works if you clockwise.



Date: 06/06/08 22:58
Re: Short round trip rides on Amtrak
Author: Lurch_in_ABQ

Boston: South Station, Back Bay, Route 128 will give you short turns and if the train is late you could walk back.



Date: 06/07/08 00:54
Re: Short round trip rides on Amtrak
Author: Amtk509

Although it is a two day trip, Flagstaff to La Junta is hard to beat. If you go during the summer months, you have good daylight through Trinidad and arrive into La Junta just after dark. A quick walk accross the street to the hotel, a good nights sleep, and a mid-morning departure gets you back into eastern AZ just before sunset. TucsonPete and I did it back in late 99 when the Chief was running between 20 to 30 cars and 4 P42's. They sure put on a nice show as they lugged our express heavy train over the pass.



Date: 06/07/08 05:53
Re: Short round trip rides on Amtrak
Author: cardo72

Another great day trip is Trinidad to Las Vegas, NM on #3. Layover is about 3 hours. Time enough for lunch or exploring the old roundhouse and checking out the Harvey House. Return on #4 arriving back into Trinidad around 6:30. Really a beautiful trip in the summer. We have used this trip to introduce our grandkids to Amtrak. They love it!!



Date: 06/07/08 06:11
Re: Short round trip rides on Amtrak
Author: sums007

Lurch_in_ABQ Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Boston: South Station, Back Bay, Route 128 will
> give you short turns and if the train is late you
> could walk back.
Don't think I'd like to walk back from Rt. 128; it's in Westwood, about 15 miles from Boston! Other possibilities are Boston-Portland, ME; Chicago-Milwaukee on those corridors.



Date: 06/07/08 06:25
Re: Short round trip rides on Amtrak
Author: Lurch_in_ABQ

sums007 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Lurch_in_ABQ Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> > Boston: South Station, Back Bay, Route 128 will
> > give you short turns and if the train is late
> you could walk back.
----------------------------------------------------------
> Don't think I'd like to walk back from Rt. 128;
> it's in Westwood, about 15 miles from Boston!
> Other possibilities are Boston-Portland, ME;
> Chicago-Milwaukee on those corridors.
------------------------------------------------------
Certainly those averse to the pedestrian mode of transit should choose the BOS <===> BBY turn.



Date: 06/07/08 06:49
Re: Short round trip rides on Amtrak
Author: ctillnc

Possibilities in North Carolina: RGH-GRO-RGH, 4 hours total, works well -- 73 and 80 are almost always OT early in their runs. Ditto for CLT-SAL-CLT using 80 and 73, although it's a much shorter trip. Same combos can be run in the evening, although 79 is often late. These cities have pleasant stations and vicinities.

RGH-PTB-RGH with 92 and 79, if 92 is OT; turning at RVR is too risky. PTB is not a great place to spend time. Other variants are RGH-RMT-RGH with 80 and 79 -- same perspective about RMT (nice station but dismal vicinity).

Take an all-day run: RGH-GRO-RMT-RGH, RGH-CLT-RGH, or CLT-RGH-CLT.

Too many options up and down the A-line to think about.



Date: 06/07/08 08:32
Re: Short round trip rides on Amtrak
Author: lee45174

NYP to Poughkeepsie and Metro North back to Grand Central - great way to see the sun set over the Hudson. Very short layover in Poughkeepsie.



Date: 06/07/08 08:51
Re: Short round trip rides on Amtrak
Author: Frank

In the late 70s you could catch a train from St. Petersburg Florida in the morning, ride to Tampa and then return in the afternoon, nice scenery and a good breakfast.



Date: 06/07/08 09:40
Re: Short round trip rides on Amtrak
Author: meh

I think that one of the shortest possible round trips would be eight miles each way between downtown Milwaukee (MKE) and the Milwaukee Airport (MKA) on the Hiawatha route. If someone (strangely) wanted to, the round trip could be completed six or seven times a day. Travel time is scheduled for 10-15 minutes each way, although there generally would be layovers of 30-90 minutes before the next train in the opposite direction.

Likewise one could travel the Hiawatha 15 miles (13-14 minutes) between the Milwaukee Airport (MKA) and Sturtevant, WI (SVT); or 18 miles (22-28 minutes) each way between Glenview, IL (GLN), and Chicago (CHI).

One-way walk-up fares are $7 or $8 for each of these trips. Unlike the long-distance trains, which generally have "R" or "D" restrictions at the nearby suburban stations (stopping only to receive passengers when outbound from Chicago or to discharge passengers when inbound to Chicago), tickets can be purchased on the Hiawatha for any combination of stations along the route.



Date: 06/07/08 10:57
Re: Short round trip rides on Amtrak
Author: mp109

The Pennsylvanian from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg would be a great trip. Leave Pittsburgh at 7:20 AM, arrive into Harrisburg at (or usually before) 12:45 PM and leave Harrisburg at 2:36 PM arriving at Pittsburgh at 8:05 PM (or before). Beautifull scenery including the Horseshoe curve. Daylight the whole way, at least during the summer. Doesn't work on Sunday, as the eastbound runs later, but then a Harrisburg to Lewistown round trip might work. Pennsylvanians have a pretty good ontime record.
Looking for high speed running there are infinite possibilities for round trips from just about any station on the Keystone corridor between Harrisburg and Philadelphia.



Date: 06/07/08 13:45
Re: Short round trip rides on Amtrak
Author: howeld

I do this all the time as I have no other reason to travel on Amtrak and can't really afford to take a long trip. I like to wait till one of the trains in my area are on Hot Deals I can make around trip for less the $50 most times. As a rule of thumb I don't like to make my layovers any less than 4 hours. Some of ones I've taken are:
Rode one of the last runs of the Three Rivers from Fostoria Ohio to Lewistown Pa. We layed over for about 5 hours and froze out butts off.
One of my Favorites is the Cardinal from Cincinnati, Oh to Thurmond, WV. For those who don't know Thurmond is a ghost town in the new river gorge. There is nowhere to to eat or use the restroom if the visitor center is closed but the location is beautiful remote and the few people who are around are friendly. It is something like an 8 hour layover but it is great.
The last one I did that didn't work out was the Capital Limited last winter. We departed from Waterloo IN 5 hours late, our destination was Harper's Ferry for a 5 hour layover however we lost more time and had to get off at Cumberland and only had an hour or two before our return train came back. Over night an ice storm hit Indiana so our train stopped at Toledo to wait for the Lake Shore where they detoured though Michigan but we got to finish our trip by Bus.

Always know if your train is running on time and also keep track of your return train. If yours is behind have an early exit plan so you don't miss your return trip. Often the crews will be the same both ways for part of the trip and they will remember you and ask what your doing coming back so soon.

If you have easy access to the Chicago area you have a number of trains in every direction that are always on Hot Deals however here in Ohio none of the trains have been on for a long time. As soon as the Cardinal, Capital or Lake Shore show up I'll take another trip. The Gas prices and number of people riding amtrak has really killed the hot deals but I guess thats good for amtrak.
Derek



Date: 06/07/08 14:28
Re: Short round trip rides on Amtrak
Author: CSX_Steve

There is a group of retired folks here in Central Florida who
(almost) daily board #91 South (10AM) from Winter Park, FL and
go to Lakeland, FL for lunch.
They then catch #92 North (6PM) to return about 8PM.
A year ago, #92 ran 2 hours earlier and it was a quicker day for them.

When #91 is late, they only go as far as Kissimmee, FL for lunch.

We have an unlimited Amtrak "rail pass" that is good for unlimited
rides within FL on Amtrak, it's $249 for 12 months (on sale sometimes for $199).
It's especially handy, since you can take any train @ any time, without
a reservation (even if it's full during the holiday, you just go to the lounge car).

We also have 2 pairs of Amtrak (91/92 and 97/98) trains that make it
possible to alter their lunch schedule when the trains are late.

Likewise, (grand)parents with their (grand)children routinely go from
Winter Park (91) to Orlando and return via (98) shortly afterwards.

All aboard!

Steve
Central FL



Date: 06/07/08 14:53
Re: Short round trip rides on Amtrak
Author: SpeederDriver

Wed, Fri & Sun you can ride from Washington to Charlottesville and return on 51 and 50. In years past, I thought you could do that all the way to Staunton, but that wouldn't be possible unless 50 were to be real late.



Date: 06/07/08 15:52
Re: Short round trip rides on Amtrak
Author: wa4umr

Try the Cardinal or Hoosier Cardinal from Indy to Chicago and back. There's always something to do in Chicago. You get to ride CSX, NS, GTW, Metra, Belt, UP and Amtrak. It really gives your scanner a workout.

John



Date: 06/07/08 15:57
Re: Short round trip rides on Amtrak
Author: newriver400

Interestingly enough, you can do the opposite with 19 & 20 out of Atlanta - 19 to B'ham, 20 back to the ATL, with a 2 hour layover in Birmingham to get lunch or walk around downtown a bit. You could take a cab to Sloss Furnace and easily kill the two hours as well. Just to note, you should be able to get lunch on the train between Anniston and Birmingham and dinner just prior to Atlanta on the return. I did this once and had a great time (as well as a cab ride from B'ham to Atlanta - perks of being an NS employee).



Date: 06/08/08 22:52
Re: Short round trip rides on Amtrak
Author: chakk

Several times I have taken #20 from NOL to Meridian, MS, had lunch in Meridian and visited the Jimmie Rodgers ("Father of Country Music" Museum, and then taken #19 back to NOL.

Shortest trip I ever took was pre-Amtrak -- I believe it was 1965 -- on the C&NW from Negaunee, MI to Ishpeming, MI and return. Three miles each way. The conductor didn't even attempt to collect fares from me and the other passenger making the trip. Instead, he kept us on the train and gave us a tour of the locomotives, a ride on the turntable, and in the locomotive from turntable back to Ishpeming station.



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