No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

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islandboi
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No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by islandboi » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:04 am

I was just looking at some Amtrak maps and realized this.
This could have been popular.
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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by NorthAmerican » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:01 pm

islandboi wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:04 am
I was just looking at some Amtrak maps and realized this.
This could have been popular.
Once upon a time, it was. Before there was an Amtrak, you had your choice of two trains traveling that route. I remember that there were two because our next-door neighbors went to Florida every year and would call home to make sure someone from their family would be at the station to meet them when they got back to Chicago.

We had a phone number very similar to theirs, and one time my mother answered the phone only to hear the operator say she had a person-to-person collect call for Paul L. Jones. As my mother started to tell the operator she had got the wrong number, the neighbor broke in and said "Jean, is that you? Can you go next door and tell P.L. to call us?" Puzzled, my mother said she would, and the operator terminated the connection. There was no Paul among the Jones family, and therefore no P.L.

Those initials were a code for the Panama Limited, one of the two trains coming from Florida the next day. And the Joneses never paid for the otherwise expensive person-to-person call. Whatever code they used each year, that person was never at home, so they told the operator they'd try again later; meanwhile their message had got through.
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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by VinnyD » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:02 pm

We should explain to the youngsters that there were two kinds of long distance calls, station-to-station, which were cheaper (but still expensive by today's standards, less so outside of business hours and even less so after 11 PM, for times when you didn't care who you talked to at the number, and person-to-person, when you named the person you wanted to speak to and were not charged if they weren't available.

The other way of doing that kind of thing was to ask to place a collect call, giving yourself a false name. I knew people who would do that to, e.g., say they had arrived somewhere safely. I don't think I knew anyone who used names with coded meanings.

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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by VinnyD » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:14 pm

Musical Interlude #1:



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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by VinnyD » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:18 pm

When they weren't on the Panama Limited, I guess they placed a call to Chalres Oliver Nelson Otto Jones.

Musical Interlude #2:




(In either case they must have changed trains somewhere. I don't think it would ever have made economic sense to run a train direct from Chicago to Florida.)

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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by NorthAmerican » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:59 pm

VinnyD wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:18 pm
...In either case they must have changed trains somewhere. I don't think it would ever have made economic sense to run a train direct from Chicago to Florida.
You're probably right. Even as I posted Panama Limited, I suspected I might have got the name wrong, because the Panama Limited and the City of New Orleans were two trains I could choose when coming home from the University of Illinois at Christmas break or for the summer. One of them, maybe both, ran express from Champaign to 63rd Street on the South Side of Chicago, then to Central Station at 12th Street, where my father would meet me.

The stills on the first of your musical interludes confirmed that the Panama Limited ran from New Orleans to St. Louis and Chicago. Both trains made the Champaign-to-Chicago leg of the route (about 120 miles) in two hours; the other, much less expensive trains on the route, stopped at every town between and took three hours.
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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by islandboi » Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:41 am

I was thinking of a more direct Chicago- Florida route.

Something akin to Chicago-Indianapolis-Louisville-Nashville-Chattanooga-Atlanta-Jacksonville then on to Tampa, Orlando and Miami.

That route would be iresome..
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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by strife » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:41 am

The New Orleans to Florida route was Destroyed by Katrina, and hasn't been up since. You'll need to go Chicago to DC, and then catch a train down south from there.
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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by polardude1 » Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:06 pm

The only good reason to take a train to Florida is to take your car with you. For that, there is an east coast auto train
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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by Chip_Oatley » Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:19 pm

Take a boat.

BTW, the Amtrak NE corridor trains now have pleather seats.

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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by strife » Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:05 pm

Chip_Oatley wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:19 pm
Take a boat.

BTW, the Amtrak NE corridor trains now have pleather seats.
NE Corridor trains are ridiculously overpriced. I bought to DC-NYC roundtrips last month during their sale last week, since Amtrak is pretty good about changing dates.
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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by Chip_Oatley » Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:15 pm

strife wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:05 pm
since Amtrak is pretty good about changing dates.
Even for that route?
I paid $75 for Saturday's trip from Phil to DC. Not that bad. NY-DC they really get you.

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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by strife » Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:34 pm

Chip_Oatley wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:15 pm
strife wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:05 pm
since Amtrak is pretty good about changing dates.
Even for that route?
I paid $75 for Saturday's trip from Phil to DC. Not that bad. NY-DC they really get you.
Yeah, they have been in the past. Sometimes you'll wind up on a red-eye, since they are the only ones available, but I don't remember them charging anything to change trains.

$75 for two hours on the train is still steep. Once you're out of NE Corridor though, it's cheap-cheap. NY Grand Central to Montreal, an eleven-hour trip, is $69.
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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by Chip_Oatley » Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:39 pm

I have a sleeper reservation coming up for SF to Portland OR. Had to change it due to family emergency. I think I pushed it back to mid-September. I guess I can push it back again.

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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by strife » Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:15 pm

Sleepers are super expensive, aren't they? I've never had one on Amtrak. SF to Portland must be a beautiful route. I did St. Paul to Portland in 1994 - after the interminable Great Plains and High Plains, you go through Glacier National Park, and then finish the trip in the Columbia River gorge. Stunning.
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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by Chip_Oatley » Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:19 pm

strife wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:15 pm
Sleepers are super expensive, aren't they? I've never had one on Amtrak. SF to Portland must be a beautiful route. I did St. Paul to Portland in 1994 - after the interminable Great Plains and High Plains, you go through Glacier National Park, and then finish the trip in the Columbia River gorge. Stunning.
Depends on time of year, supply/demand, and luck (call Amtrak for help finding best rate). I paid $800 for SF-DC (Zephyr plus CapLtd) in late November. I only did sleeper to Chicago. If you get sleeper, that includes 3 meals/day. And you can BYO more easily.

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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by strife » Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:49 pm

Chip_Oatley wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:19 pm
Depends on time of year, supply/demand, and luck (call Amtrak for help finding best rate). I paid $800 for SF-DC (Zephyr plus CapLtd) in late November. I only did sleeper to Chicago. If you get sleeper, that includes 3 meals/day. And you can BYO more easily.
BYO has never been a problem for me on Amtrak. I think it's still permitted on the MARC. I commuted between Baltimore and DC for a while last year, and I'd see groups of people getting hammered on the MARC, especially on Fridays after work.
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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by ManchVegas » Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:52 pm

Frickin' Amtrak. Such rude and indiffernt service. That's what the whole country would be like under my "closed market economy" model.
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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by strife » Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:55 pm

If you go into the trip without any expectations of Amtrak's service, you won't be disappointed. All I expect is for them to get me to the destination, preferably on schedule. I pack my own food and drink, in order to minimize my contact with Amtrak staff. Claim a seat in coach next to a window, and then stake out a spot in the lounge/observation car, and watch the scenery go by. It's really hard for me to be unhappy on a train ride. Sometimes I take the MARC up to Baltimore and back, just for the ride.
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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by ManchVegas » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:04 pm

My sister only does Amtrak. She won't get on a plane. LOL. Not an issue if you live in England but major issue in the US!

I shouldn't pick on them. I had a great experience on the ICE train years ago. I got on at Back Bay station and it stops at South Station before proceeding to NYC. I joked with the attendant. I was like. If I only wanted to go from Back Bay to South Station would you have charged me and she was like "Hell No!

So pro tip right there. Free rides between Back Bay and South Station!
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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by Chip_Oatley » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:30 pm

I meant that you have private space for a cooler in a sleeper compartment.

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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by strife » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:37 pm

Are the sleepers cozy? I've taken them in Other Countries, but have never been able to justify the price for Amtrak's sleepers. Besides, the rocking of a train puts me to sleep, even in one of the vermin-class seats.
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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by ManchVegas » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:46 pm

Lol. ICE I think was an acromym for intercity express. I don't know if they still have it. It was BOS - NYC with a stop in Providence I think. It was actually much better than other option like flying or driving.
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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by strife » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:49 pm

ManchVegas wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:46 pm
Lol. ICE I think was an acromym for intercity express. I don't know if they still have it. It was BOS - NYC with a stop in Providence I think. It was actually much better than other option like flying or driving.
ICE is a German high-speed train - I don't think Amtrak has anything called ICE. The Boston - Providence - NYC - Philly - Baltimore - DC route is called NE Regional (regular) or Acela (fast train).
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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by ManchVegas » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:59 pm

Yeah, It was the Acela service and I had a business class type seat. At the time I'm pretty sure they used the ICE designation but I may be wrong on that. It was years ago.

OMG. Strife. I think you may be a fellow rail aficionado. * Manch get hardon * The last thing Strife probably wants to hear.
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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by strife » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:19 pm

I love love love train travel. In the past few years, I've done Johannesburg to Cape Town (26 hours) and Nairobi to Mombasa (maybe 15 hours - that one was a complete Shitshow). I really want to do the trans-Siberian.
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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by ManchVegas » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:38 pm

OMG. That's my trip of a lifetime too. The Tran-Siberian.

I'm also into airplanes as is Cummy. I picture the 3 of us in a circle jerk.

There's an "off the grid" rail system in Quebec province that I also want to do. I tried finding it but I think it might be shut down. That's a shame if it is. It's the only rail network not connected to the rest of North America. * Gets hardon *
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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by strife » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:49 pm

I took the train from Winnipeg to Churchill with my dad when I was a kid. That was cool. Also traveled most of the way from Singapore to Chiang Mai by train. India's rail network is impressive on paper, but bureaucracy makes it a pain in the ass to get tickets. I like airplanes in theory, but commercial air travel is a pile of Suck unless you're flying Business. I rarely get to do that.
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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by ManchVegas » Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:46 pm

Holy crap. Does the route still exist? Winnipeg to Churchill?
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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by Chip_Oatley » Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:51 pm

strife wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:37 pm
Are the sleepers cozy?
Yes. It was cozy. You get a steward assigned to your car, and just let him/her know that you want the bed to be made up or put away. Those who had 2 people in the basic sleeper (one person is upstairs) said it was pretty rough on that upstairs person.

What I did not know is that it's better to choose the bottom level. The train tried to make up time at night, and it would shake and rattle like crazy. You can always sit in the Obs car if you want the best view.

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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by strife » Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:55 pm

ManchVegas wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:46 pm
Holy crap. Does the route still exist? Winnipeg to Churchill?
Looks like the rail was washed out last year, and they haven't reopened it since. There's a lot of press about Churchill being cut off now.
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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by ManchVegas » Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:16 pm

Yeah. I've heard about that. I'ts very remote and the air services are expensive. I know for example. I was in Montreal and wanted to do a quick flight up to Fort Chimo, as it was called then and it was like $1200.00 bucks!

I did a little research and Canada doesn't have subsidized air services to remote communites like the US. That's really odd given the size of the country.
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Re: No direct Amtrak Chicago to Florida servce...

Post by polardude1 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:05 pm

Srife
India's rail network is impressive on paper, but bureaucracy makes it a pain in the ass to get tickets
Foreigners can use Cleartrip.com to book but you 1st have ti send a copy of your damn passport in India Rail to get clearance. Once done, it's easy to book trips and pennies to cancel them
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