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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NorthAmerican
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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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VinnyD
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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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VinnyD
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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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NorthAmerican
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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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strife
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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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Chip_Oatley
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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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strife
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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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