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Passenger Trains > Seattle Trip Report Part II


Date: 06/11/07 17:33
Seattle Trip Report Part II
Author: SunsetLtd

We were up early on June 8th after a very relaxing and fun time in Seattle. We got to the station at about 9:15am and got there just as they were backing train #11 in. After getting our DigEplayers and boarding passes we boarded #11 in car 1131 Roomette 10 again; 32094 Montana. This was the same consist we had as #14 a few days earlier, We were just in the 31 car not the 30. We left SEA on-time and sped south to Tacoma. Just before Tacoma we had a rather lengthy slow order and arrived Tacoma about 10 minutes late. We had a great number of passengers boarding here and after 10 minutes we were off again. The run south to Portland was smooth and fast. We were a few minutes late into Portland but easily made it up. On the platform in Portland I met jdb and handed me his own version of the route guide from Portland to Klamath Falls. His version is absolutely amazing!!! Every milepost is covered and he goes into great detail about each location we travel through. I strongly recommend that you read this route guide next time you ride the Starlight. Anyways, we left Portland on-time and crossed the Steel Bridge and picked up speed. We were delayed a few times running down the valley but not too badly. We left Eugene about 30 minutes late. Once in the Cascades we had spectacular views as we eat dinner at Sunset. The train pulled into Chemult about an hour down and had to double spot on the platform. Shortly after Chemult my cousin and I retired for that evening and I awoke at about 7:00am the next morning. I checked my timetable and I realized that we were about to arrive into Sacramento. I quickly put on some shoes and rushed downstairs just as we pulled to a stop in Sacramento. I got some pics before heading back upstairs. After a quick cold shower (The water heater in our car wasn't functioning) my cousin and I joined two ladies on their way to San Diego for breakfast in the Diner. As we were enjoying breakfast we saw 5 hot air balloons from our window. After Breakfast we went back to the parlour car and played checkers until our arrival into Oakland. They made an announcement just prior to stopping in OKJ that 105 people were getting on here and to not leave train side. We watched the station work at Oakland and hopped back on after 15 mins. Right after we pulled out of Oakland we had a guest on our train..a customer service Representative. She was there to get feedback from passengers so they know what to address when they relaunch the Starlight in August. The trip through San Jose and the Salinas valley was quick and a little rough. After Paso Robles I took pics from the Parlour car as the Starlight descended Cuesta Pass and got some really good ones on the horseshoe curve. We arrived into SLO and were there for only 10 minutes or so before we departed a little over 2 hours late. Then here is where UP got us, at Vandenburg Air Force Base we sat on an embanked curve which made us feel like we were going to fall over for over an hour in a half waiting on a northbound train. As it turns out it was Surfliner 775 which was at Goleta when we stopped. But after that giant stab the "Starlean" as everyone was saying after being parked on that curve, sped south to a gorgeous Sunset along the coast. We had no delays after that and arrived into LAX at 11:17pm. That messed up our plans because we were going to go Hollywood during the layover but since we got in so late we woke up late and had no time to do Hollywood the following morning.

After the layover in LAX we boarded Train #2 headed back home. Roomette 10 car 0230; 32071 Arizona. We left LAUPT on-time and had no delays (shocking isn't it??) all the way to Palm Springs. The only reason we were 30 minutes late into Palm Springs is because of slow orders on the Alhambra Sub, and Yuma Sub. We left Palm Springs and again had no delays all the way to Yuma (I was thinking the world was coming to an end!). We made it to Maricopa, AZ Under an Hour down and had to make 6 spots to load passengers. I was still awake when we pulled into Tucson only 45 minutes late and I took the last few pics there before heading up to the room and calling it a night. Now over the night I assumed we would be delayed by the track gangs working west of Lordsburg but nope, I awoke to my dad pounding on the door to wake me and my cousin up. We were only 30 minutes away from ELP and had barely enough time to shower, change, and put the beds up before we arrived into ELP at about 8:30am. Only 15 minutes late.

In conclusion, our trip was great and car attendants coming back from Seattle were some of the best Amtrak has to offer. We will definitely travel again soon but to where we do not know. Only time will tell....

Picture time!

1. Looking south at Eugene
2. Looking north at Eugene
3. Car 1131 at Eugene with my little cousin walking on the rail and my dad video taping her








Date: 06/11/07 17:46
Re: Seattle Trip Report Part II
Author: SunsetLtd

1.Looking towards the station in Sacramento
2.Looking North in Sacramento
3.Another Cascade waterfall








Date: 06/11/07 17:53
Re: Seattle Trip Report Part II
Author: SunsetLtd

1.Salinas through the window
2.#14 passes by with a short consist
3.The beginning of Cuesta Pass








Date: 06/11/07 17:55
Re: Seattle Trip Report Part II
Author: SunsetLtd

1.Cuesta Pass
2.Starlight on the horseshoe
3.Engines on the horseshoe








Date: 06/11/07 18:02
Re: Seattle Trip Report Part II
Author: brassjournal

Great trip report, thanks for posting.

Did you speak with the customer service representative about your experiences?



Date: 06/11/07 19:06
Re: Seattle Trip Report Part II
Author: smitty195

SunsetLtd Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> 3. Car 1131 at Eugene with my little cousin
> walking on the rail and my dad video taping her

In your 3rd picture, is that your sleeper attendant in the background? If so, I had him a few weeks ago---nice guy. He calls it "his" train, because he's going to retire on the Starlight after many years with Amtrak. He told me how many, maybe 32 years, but I don't remember now.

Glad you had a nice trip, and that you got to meet John and see his excellent route guide!

Also, regarding your encounter with the sleeper attendant mentioned in Part I of your trip report, you might want to let Amtrak Customer Relations know about that. If you don't want to write a letter, then give them a call. You just call their regular reservation number (1-800-USA-RAIL) and ask for Customer Relations (during normal business hours). That type of attitude needs to be brought to someone's attention. BTW, I know who you're talking about and she is a piece of work.



Date: 06/11/07 20:08
Re: Seattle Trip Report Part II
Author: SunsetLtd

ok here's some more...

1.Starlight at rest in San Luis Obispo
2.Myself in front of the Parlour Car
3.Maricopa, Az station








Date: 06/11/07 20:09
Re: Seattle Trip Report Part II
Author: SunsetLtd

1.Building at Maricopa
2.Tucson, Az
3.Tucson station








Date: 06/11/07 20:11
Re: Seattle Trip Report Part II
Author: SunsetLtd

Finally the last ones.....

1.Refueling in Tucson
2.Sleeper 0230 in Tucson

Hope you enjoyed the report and the pics!






Date: 06/12/07 10:14
Re: Seattle Trip Report Part II
Author: sfericsf

smitty195 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> SunsetLtd Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > 3. Car 1131 at Eugene with my little cousin
> > walking on the rail and my dad video taping her
>
> In your 3rd picture, is that your sleeper
> attendant in the background? If so, I had him a
> few weeks ago---nice guy. He calls it "his" train,
> because he's going to retire on the Starlight
> after many years with Amtrak. He told me how many,
> maybe 32 years, but I don't remember now.


That's Ron I believe. (Gosh I think I know all the attendant's on the route, I've ridden it enough! LOL.


> Also, regarding your encounter with the sleeper
> attendant mentioned in Part I of your trip report,
> you might want to let Amtrak Customer Relations
> know about that. If you don't want to write a
> letter, then give them a call. You just call their
> regular reservation number (1-800-USA-RAIL) and
> ask for Customer Relations (during normal business
> hours). That type of attitude needs to be brought
> to someone's attention. BTW, I know who you're
> talking about and she is a piece of work.

Andy you took the words right out of my mouth. I think overall she means well, but... And I love the way she sings and mumbles to herself. LOL.



Date: 06/12/07 10:28
Re: Seattle Trip Report Part II
Author: GBNorman

I'm sorry. Mr. Schillinger, but I am obliged to speak out; are you aware how many safety rules your little cousin is breaking with her "beamwalk" atop the rails - and your Father videorecording it to boot?

Well be assured, I think I had about one hour of railroad service during 1970 when I was directed to never, never set a foot atop the rails.

When I view charades such as that, I have to wonder; no wonder your party and the Sleeper Attendant were "not exactly" the best of friends.

Just my thoughts.



Date: 06/12/07 10:33
Re: Seattle Trip Report Part II
Author: sfericsf

GBNorman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm sorry. Mr. Schillinger, but I am obliged to
> speak out; are you aware how many safety rules
> your little cousin is breaking with her "beamwalk"
> atop the rails - and your Father videorecording
> it to boot?
>
> Well be assured, I think I had about one hour of
> railroad service during 1970 when I was directed
> to never, never set a foot atop the rails.
>
> When I view charades such as that, I have to
> wonder; no wonder your party and the Sleeper
> Attendant were "not exactly" the best of friends.
>
> Just my thoughts.


Uhhh, no train comes in on that rail when the Starlight is in the station. And that's not the attendant he had a problem with.



Date: 06/12/07 11:35
Re: Seattle Trip Report Part II
Author: jdb

Walking on rails.

I didn't work for the railroad so I didn't learn about walking on rails as being a job safety violation.

The railroad ran through our backyard and next to the two room grade school I walked to for seven years. One of my earliest memories was being told that if I got caught on the railroad I could go out to the woodshed and select the piece of kindling for a whipping. IT IS NOT SAFE TO WALK ON THE RAILS. You will slip and fall and get hurt. On top of that between our house and the school was a cattle guard. If you slipped and fell there you would get punctured many times.

jb



Date: 06/12/07 13:59
Re: Seattle Trip Report Part II
Author: sfericsf

Better keep kids away from the playground or even the edge of sidewalks then. They may "fall down" <gasp> and get hurt...



Date: 06/13/07 09:54
Re: Seattle Trip Report Part II
Author: SunsetLtd

sfericsf Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Better keep kids away from the playground or even
> the edge of sidewalks then. They may "fall down"
> and get hurt...


I have to agree with sfericsf. You only live once, it was her decision to walk on the rail. If she fell she'd learn, but that's life. You live you learn. No one tried to stop her, nor did anyone care if she walked on the rail. No train is going to run through the station while the Starlight is there, because passengers have to cross those track to get to the Eugene Depot.



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