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Passenger Trains > Trains, Planes and Automobiles in the age of Pandemic


Date: 09/14/20 06:10
Trains, Planes and Automobiles in the age of Pandemic
Author: andersonb109

With limited travel this year (typically I'm over seas at six times per year) I needed to get out of Michigan and see how the rest of the country is living during these not normal (if anyone says "new normal" again I'm going to lose it)  times. The objective was to drive the Lincoln Highway...the first transcontinental highway built in the U.S. started in 1913. I dropped my car at DTW where I picked up the rental a nice Jeep Cherokee which would be very much  needed during the drive.  By comparison the off airport lot was way more crowded than it was in June when I did the Route 66 drive but still at about only half capacity. I joined the highway in Buffton, OH and drove as far as Salt Lake City. Very interesting to note the varied approaches to the virus by state. Passing through Indiana just as school was letting out I saw many students, back packs inn tow on their way home. By contrast in Illinois some schools had signs that said "welcome back via remote learning."  It was  pleasure to be in the free states of Iowa, Nebraska, and Wyoming. What I found is that corporate establishments including hotels and restaurants required masks and had all the various safety precautions in place. I felt totally totally safe in clean environments.  Independent establishments didn't have any such requirements. I stayed at the historic Lincoln Hotel in Loweden, IA. The only food available was a bar across the street. Full capacity was allowed and no masks required. Everyone drinking and having a good time. No fear there.  Signage in support of our President were ever where. It was a fun and interesting drive using the excellent Lincoln Highway Association interactive map,  I was able to follow as much of the old road as is drivable. Lots of great photo opportunities and as a bonus it follows the UP for most of the way. Mileage per day averaged about 250.

While in SLC, I sampled their excellent FrontRunner commuter service....riding from SLC to Ogden, then south to American Fork, then back to SLC. All trains excepting the last one were lightly patronized. Never an issue spacing out between passengers. Trains appeared to be clean.

Next was a flight to Reno to catch the Zephyr there (SLC wasn't an option with the middle of the night arrival). The SLC airport was busy.TSA said numbers were slowly increasing.  Flight full excepting the center seats blocked so about 2/3 normal capacity. The usual Delta upgrade was appreciated.  No issues at all. People seem to be going about their normal business. By contrast, the Reno airport looked like a ghost town. Of course it's way smaller than SLC. After a huge dinner and milk shake near the former SP Station, I joined No. 6 running about a half hour late in Reno. There the "fun" began.. This was the No. 6 of 9/11 that ended up in service disruption do to a brush fire in Nevada. We sat for three hours and ended up 5 down in SLC. So I called Delta and flew home (Denver was the original destination). That train got to Denver well after midnight. . Delta got me home in 3 hours. Sad that I couldn't have stayed on but with no eatable food on board, that wasn't really an option. The crew noted that they are stuck eating this crap for 7 days straight saying they typically  bring their own.The "first class lounge" as they now call the diner even smelled gross just walking through.

The crew was very friendly and  excellent but very worried about their jobs. Without a further relief bill, they said it will be "all over" for the LDT's soon. Noted was that Amtrak will be paying for a nights hotel and transportation as crews won't be able to return the same day to their home base. And this is suppose to save money?   The conductor I met the morning of arrival was very nice and professional. He looked like a sea captain (think Captain Smith from the Titanic) and in fact was at one point. He noted my ticket in his computer so I could apply for my refund for the unused SLC to Denver portion. We met in the "First Class Lounge"  just as he was waiting for his hours of service to end causing a further delay. I had my mask on but  not over my nose.  I asked if I needed to pull it up. "No, I 'm not worried about that" was his response. A far cry from the Stalin like Conductor in Reno that threatened to put anyone off in the middle of nowhere for not being fully covered. It should also be noted that Delta didn't enforce nose covering...just wearing a face covering of some kind. 

Overall my impression is that people are beginning to travel. The Amtrak crew said ridership was up but not by much. The two sleepers appeared to be at about half capacity. I didn't walk t through the two coaches.  Both Delta flights were full excepting the limited capacity. There were 4 flights daily from SLC to Reno and three from SLC to DTW. The strangest thing I saw was a couple at the SLC airport. They had full length see through gowns, gloves, masks, and shields. And they couldn't have been over 25.   I'll withhold comment. . I'm happy I did the trip. I'll stay mostly isolated for two weeks having dined out multiple times and stayed in 8 different hotels. People if not health  compromised  should get out and support our great airlines, Amtrak, and our pre virus great economy. Otherwise there will be nothing left to support once this is all over...hopefully sooner rather than later.   

Photos are: FrontRunner at American Fork Station and the historic restored Lincoln Hotel at Loweon, IA.  Eventhough this is a passenger board, included is one of a UP freight in Wyoming. Lots of snow there already making a side trip to the Ames Monument impossible. 








Date: 09/14/20 06:11
Re: Trains, Planes and Automobiles in the age of Pandemic
Author: andersonb109

Heres the UP freight. All station shots on the trip will be included later in my station series. 




Date: 09/14/20 09:24
Re: Trains, Planes and Automobiles in the age of Pandemic
Author: radar

andersonb109 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I needed to get out of
> Michigan and see how the rest of the country is
> living during these not normal (if anyone says
> "new normal" again I'm going to lose it)  times.

Let me be the first to say it then.  "The new normal."



Date: 09/14/20 11:38
Re: Trains, Planes and Automobiles in the age of Pandemic
Author: SANSR

Date: 09/14/20 09:24
Re: Trains, Planes and Automobiles in the age of Pandemic
Author: radar
Let me be the first to say it then.  "The new normal."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Fed-X just called, they found your Anti-Snark medication.  Delivery is pending.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bruce, nice report.



Date: 09/14/20 13:36
Re: Trains, Planes and Automobiles in the age of Pandemic
Author: alally8444

SANSR Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> Bruce, nice report.

Yes, nice when it stayed a travelogue/trip report/travel analysis. ​Not nice when it veered into Covid denialism.



Date: 09/14/20 14:28
Re: Trains, Planes and Automobiles in the age of Pandemic
Author: BenWight

Thanks for the good trip report, Bruce.  I value your opinions as well.

Ben



Date: 09/14/20 15:30
Re: Trains, Planes and Automobiles in the age of Pandemic
Author: jp1822

alally8444 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> SANSR Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> > Bruce, nice report.
>
> Yes, nice when it stayed a travelogue/trip
> report/travel analysis. ​Not nice when it veered
> into Covid denialism.

Thought it was a nice travel report with perhaps some honest observations at times... I believe Bruce commented that he was quarantining as a result of the travel, which is being smart when knowing COVID-19 is still out there. I didn't get the sense that there was a general "COVID denialism." Some people don't want to wear masks - but still believe COVID-19 is real. A spike in COVID cases in the Dakotas is said to be linked to not enough people wearing masks. As was mentioned, if people are not healthy or compromised, perhaps they don't do a trip like this. My observation - from these past two weekends - people are wanting to GET OUT and do something. They are tired of being housebound. With many events and functions cancelled I can see how this may create stress on those areas or functions that are open (and trying to live by standards and rules). It's already starting to create a strain on businesses or organizations that are open and trying to stay within the rules. They are trying not to get overrun. The Fall is going to create a time when an interesting balance needs to be struck. 

EDIT - you were allowed to drive a rental Jeep from Detroit Airport to Salt Lake City Airport? Did I get that right?  



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/14/20 15:32 by jp1822.



Date: 09/14/20 17:49
Re: Trains, Planes and Automobiles in the age of Pandemic
Author: RuleG

andersonb109 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>  I had my mask on but  not over my
> nose. 

Masks are supposed to be worn over the nose.  Otherwise, they are much less effective.

I asked if I needed to pull it up. "No, I
> 'm not worried about that" was his response. A far
> cry from the Stalin like Conductor in Reno that
> threatened to put anyone off in the middle of
> nowhere for not being fully covered.

Likening a conductor who properly enforces Amtrak's mask requirements to Stalin trivializes suffering of millions due to his actions.

 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/15/20 19:35 by RuleG.



Date: 09/14/20 17:50
Re: Trains, Planes and Automobiles in the age of Pandemic
Author: SANSR

Author: alally8444

Yes, nice when it stayed a travelogue/trip report/travel anasis (sic). ​Not nice when it veered into Covid denialis(sic)

***************************************************************************************
Wow.  How sad for you that you see fit to condom another person's offering.  But, you are right, free speech is for all.  Still,  modicum carries a sense of, well, modicum.  Also, Spell Check is as friendly as Google, And quite simple to use.
(He says a day later when noticing that 'condem' came out as 'condom',........all over the map here.)

 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/15/20 11:15 by SANSR.



Date: 09/14/20 17:53
Re: Trains, Planes and Automobiles in the age of Pandemic
Author: masterphots

jp1822 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> alally8444 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > SANSR Wrote:
> >

>
> Th you were allowed to drive a rental Jeep
> from Detroit Airport to Salt Lake City Airport?
> Did I get that right?  

Most rental outfits allow one-way rentals.  Drop off-charge can add some bucks though.



Date: 09/14/20 23:45
Re: Trains, Planes and Automobiles in the age of Pandemic
Author: SP4360

Nothing more than a chin bra. Might as well not have it at all, you're spewing just as much crap out of your nose as your mouth.

>  I had my mask on but  not over my nose. <



Date: 09/15/20 04:33
Re: Trains, Planes and Automobiles in the age of Pandemic
Author: goduckies

Seams like a fun trip, I would have gladly had the pizza or hot dog or burger in the lounge though, those are good.

Posted from Android



Date: 09/15/20 06:27
Re: Trains, Planes and Automobiles in the age of Pandemic
Author: ironmtn

Thanks for an interesting trip report, Bruce. I envy you being able to make the trip, and am glad that you were able to make the trip safely and enjoyably.



Date: 09/15/20 06:41
Re: Trains, Planes and Automobiles in the age of Pandemic
Author: ironmtn

SANSR Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Author: alally8444
>
> Yes, nice when it stayed a travelogue/trip
> report/travel anasis (sic). ​Not nice when it
> veered into Covid denialis(sic)
>
> **************************************************
> Wow.  How sad for you that you see fit to condom
> another person's offering.  But, you are right,
> free speech is for all.  Still,  modicum carries
> a sense of, well, modicum.  Also, Spell Check is
> as friendly as Google, And quite simple to use.

SANSR: Most unusual usages of the words "condom" and "modicum".  Yes they are spelled correctly, and you used Spell Check properly. Thank you. But before you criticize spelling, perhaps you should also pay attention to grammar and proper usage of words by their meanings. And if the usage was intended by the proper meaning of the words, then whether the usage is appropriate.

Again, Bruce, nice trip report. And I did not find your COVID comments to be inappropriate or out of context, whether I agree or disagree. For any travel today, they are of prime concern, and there is plenty of discussion concerning such things. Glad that you had a good trip.

MC



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/15/20 06:42 by ironmtn.



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