Do you have adblock enabled?
 
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(ABC News)   Apparently there are these things called "trains" run by a company called "Amtrak" which many people continually ride in and visit neat places. Who knew?   (abcnews.go.com ) divider line
    More: Spiffy, Amtrak, Superstorm Sandy, fiscal years  
•       •       •

1440 clicks; posted to Business » on 09 Apr 2013 at 9:41 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



53 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all
 
2013-04-09 08:25:49 AM  
[citation needed]
 
2013-04-09 08:29:10 AM  
Huh, and just yesterday some of the sage wisdom of Fark was asserting trains were dead and why does America bother.
 
2013-04-09 09:42:21 AM  
Not many
 
2013-04-09 09:49:49 AM  

Generation_D: Huh, and just yesterday some of the sage wisdom of Fark was asserting trains were dead and why does America bother.


With the TSA, frequent delays and being nickel-and-dimed to death it's no wonder people are opting for trains for short trips.  If the destination is 1-2.5 hours away by plane, a train is competitive. I'm guessing there are several reasons, but the increase in ridership is probably regional: Northeast and the Rust Belt.  I don't think people are going cross country.
 
2013-04-09 09:57:09 AM  
If they used the trains they use in Europe I would bet they would be a lot more popular, getting from Philly to NY in under an hour without the hassle of the airport.

Its a shame they don't do more trains in the nation, I would pay close to the same price for the convenience.
 
2013-04-09 10:02:24 AM  
I've done the trip from Atlanta to Washington, DC. It's an absolutely unique way to travel that people ought to experience once in their lives. We were in a first-class car (not the recliner section), so we had relatively nice beds and such. As I recall, it cost about the same as it would have for air (I think first class on Amtrak was about the price of coach on a plane). We left Atlanta late afternoon and arrived at Union Station the next morning. It was an awesome trip.
 
2013-04-09 10:02:35 AM  
I did. Use them whenever feasible. If there were an Orlando-Atlanta run that didn't involve transferring in DC or something stupid, I'd be on it so hard the rails would dent.
 
2013-04-09 10:03:05 AM  

syberpud: Generation_D: Huh, and just yesterday some of the sage wisdom of Fark was asserting trains were dead and why does America bother.

With the TSA, frequent delays and being nickel-and-dimed to death it's no wonder people are opting for trains for short trips.  If the destination is 1-2.5 hours away by plane, a train is competitive. I'm guessing there are several reasons, but the increase in ridership is probably regional: Northeast and the Rust Belt.  I don't think people are going cross country.


You can see some truly beautiful scenery on some of Amtrak's cross-country trains, but you had best not be in a hurry.

The route of the Chicago-San Francisco California Zephyr is supposed to be particularly stunning.  Might do that for a vacation one of these days, possibly with a day or two in Denver to break it up a bit.
 
2013-04-09 10:05:49 AM  
I roe it twice last year, so I blame myself for this.Hours and hours of delays because we had to stop for freight trains to go by, both rides. Never again, except maybe Acela. Maybe.
 
2013-04-09 10:10:41 AM  

steamingpile: If they used the trains they use in Europe I would bet they would be a lot more popular, getting from Philly to NY in under an hour without the hassle of the airport.

Its a shame they don't do more trains in the nation, I would pay close to the same price for the convenience.



I remember reading recently that if you just look at the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak is a profitable business.  Their operations in the rest of the country is hemorrhaging money though -- I presume this is because the driving is better.
 
2013-04-09 10:11:31 AM  
If Ric Romero didn't report on it, it's a fake story... Ignore it citizens.

images.blahpers.com

/OBLIG
 
2013-04-09 10:13:54 AM  
Sheldon FTW!

3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-04-09 10:14:49 AM  

Arkanaut: steamingpile: If they used the trains they use in Europe I would bet they would be a lot more popular, getting from Philly to NY in under an hour without the hassle of the airport.

Its a shame they don't do more trains in the nation, I would pay close to the same price for the convenience.


I remember reading recently that if you just look at the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak is a profitable business.  Their operations in the rest of the country is hemorrhaging money though -- I presume this is because the driving is better.


FWIW, the NE Corridor is the only place where Amtrak actually owns the tracks, and IIRC they're pretty much the only traffic on those lines.  Everywhere else they have to lease running rights from the freight companies, so they end up having to pull over and let everything else go by.
 
2013-04-09 10:17:17 AM  
Detroit (well really Ann Arbor since that station has better parking) to Chicago is pretty awesome, except for the times Amtrak has to pull over on a siding in Gary ,Indiana as a freight train rumbles by.  Because for some dumbass reason (I assume lobbyists) passenger trains don't automatically get the right of way.

Drops you off in downtown Chicago, no fuss or muss with parking or fighting your way into the city through traffic.  It's only going to get better once we get high speed rail, even pseudo HSR with just better gates and the right of way over the freight trains will be a nice improvement.
 
2013-04-09 10:24:18 AM  
That's nice, but unless they can do it without huge taxpayer subsidies (like they do in the Northeast) I am not really interested.
 
2013-04-09 10:24:51 AM  

Robo Beat: FWIW, the NE Corridor is the only place where Amtrak actually owns the tracks, and IIRC they're pretty much the only traffic on those lines.


They share the lines with the local commuter transit companies, but yes, Amtrak owns the lines and naturally gives their trains priority.
 
2013-04-09 10:32:37 AM  
It's a 9 hour train ride from North Carolina to DC and it costs at least as much as a plane ticket. And it's only 9 hours if it's on time. Outside of the northeast Amtrak is a disgrace.

Amtrak trains are way way too slow for the prices they charge. About 90% of the time it's cheaper for me to fly and it takes a quarter of the time.
 
2013-04-09 10:43:07 AM  
When I moved to the US I took a train from Buffalo to Orlando. It was a  24 hr trip, but enjoyable. Of course, this was during the sniper stuff that was going on around DC so when we had a stop there they told us that we could leave the train to grab food, but it wasn't recommended. Still, spent the entire time in the club car drinking and playing cards.

Not sure what it's like now, but train rides can be fun.
 
2013-04-09 10:46:07 AM  

ThatGuyFromTheInternet: I roe it twice last year, so I blame myself for this.Hours and hours of delays because we had to stop for freight trains to go by, both rides. Never again, except maybe Acela. Maybe.


Rochester, NY--->Worcester, MA by the way. Happenin' spots, the both of them.
 
2013-04-09 10:58:08 AM  

ha-ha-guy: Detroit (well really Ann Arbor since that station has better parking) to Chicago is pretty awesome, except for the times Amtrak has to pull over on a siding in Gary ,Indiana as a freight train rumbles by.  Because for some dumbass reason (I assume lobbyists) passenger trains don't automatically get the right of way.

Drops you off in downtown Chicago, no fuss or muss with parking or fighting your way into the city through traffic.  It's only going to get better once we get high speed rail, even pseudo HSR with just better gates and the right of way over the freight trains will be a nice improvement.


retired railroad engineer here. we ALWAYS had to give the right away to amtrak. the dispatcher put us in the siding everytime amtrak was within 100 miles just to make sure we DID'NT delay him in any way
 
2013-04-09 10:59:38 AM  

YixilTesiphon: That's nice, but unless they can do it without huge taxpayer subsidies (like they do in the Northeast) I am not really interested.


Air & road transit both get huge taxpayer subsidies as well.  I'd like to see them use the train subsidies a bit more sensibly (get the Northeast high speed line working like it should, then hit other densely populated areas, and only then worry about the more sparsely populated areas better served by busses) but I'm not against the Government subsidizing infrastructure.
 
2013-04-09 11:03:36 AM  

Unoriginal_Username: Still, spent the entire time in the club car drinking and playing cards.


Was anyone keeping score?
 
2013-04-09 11:04:27 AM  

YixilTesiphon: That's nice, but unless they can do it without huge taxpayer subsidies (like they do in the Northeast) I am not really interested.


I may be mistaken but most of those subsidies goes towards their service in other parts of the country.

There just needs to be a high speed rail system installed in high travel corridors that could also transport cars in the back. I imagine a rail from LA to Atlanta that had stops in Vegas, San Antonio, Houston, new orleans, then branch off to Florida and the northeast would be popular. Mainly I think its because I hate the takeoff part of flying lately, although the Valium is nice in case we crash.
 
2013-04-09 11:05:11 AM  
Why pay retail when you can just hop between a couple freight cars. You'll get to your destination quicker, too
 
2013-04-09 11:07:41 AM  

ThatGuyFromTheInternet: ThatGuyFromTheInternet: I roe it twice last year, so I blame myself for this.Hours and hours of delays because we had to stop for freight trains to go by, both rides. Never again, except maybe Acela. Maybe.

Rochester, NY--->Worcester, MA by the way. Happenin' spots, the both of them.


Well, what do you expect? A direct high speed route between every pair of random borderline cities?
 
2013-04-09 11:07:45 AM  

you have pee hands: YixilTesiphon: That's nice, but unless they can do it without huge taxpayer subsidies (like they do in the Northeast) I am not really interested.

Air & road transit both get huge taxpayer subsidies as well.  I'd like to see them use the train subsidies a bit more sensibly (get the Northeast high speed line working like it should, then hit other densely populated areas, and only then worry about the more sparsely populated areas better served by busses) but I'm not against the Government subsidizing infrastructure.


Its actually one of the few things the government should be in charge of, infrastructure to make sure their company runs well.
 
2013-04-09 11:12:49 AM  

wingnut396: Unoriginal_Username: Still, spent the entire time in the club car drinking and playing cards.

Was anyone keeping score?


I can't remember. I had enjoyed a few crown and cokes during the trip.
 
2013-04-09 11:13:32 AM  
The thing is, America is big.  Planes actually work better in a big, empty country like much of the US.  Now, the East Coast, California, and parts of the Mid-West are crowded enough for trains to work, and that's where Amtrak should concentrate on.  But the rest of the country...nope.  However, Amtrak needs budget approval from congress, which means you have to have at least a couple trains stop in Buttfark, Texas to get it's budget passed.
 
2013-04-09 11:14:29 AM  

Lost Thought 00: ThatGuyFromTheInternet: ThatGuyFromTheInternet: I roe it twice last year, so I blame myself for this.Hours and hours of delays because we had to stop for freight trains to go by, both rides. Never again, except maybe Acela. Maybe.

Rochester, NY--->Worcester, MA by the way. Happenin' spots, the both of them.

Well, what do you expect? A direct high speed route between every pair of random borderline cities?


I was more hoping for human beings trying to get to their homes to take priority over freight trains full of widgets. But then again, This is  America, so yeah...
 
2013-04-09 11:19:39 AM  

ThatGuyFromTheInternet: Lost Thought 00: ThatGuyFromTheInternet: ThatGuyFromTheInternet: I roe it twice last year, so I blame myself for this.Hours and hours of delays because we had to stop for freight trains to go by, both rides. Never again, except maybe Acela. Maybe.

Rochester, NY--->Worcester, MA by the way. Happenin' spots, the both of them.

Well, what do you expect? A direct high speed route between every pair of random borderline cities?

I was more hoping for human beings trying to get to their homes to take priority over freight trains full of widgets. But then again, This is  America, so yeah...


A lot of freight in this country is food-related and is quite time-dependent.

Still think they should just add a passenger car to most freight trains.
 
2013-04-09 11:21:57 AM  

Lost Thought 00: ThatGuyFromTheInternet: Lost Thought 00: ThatGuyFromTheInternet: ThatGuyFromTheInternet: I roe it twice last year, so I blame myself for this.Hours and hours of delays because we had to stop for freight trains to go by, both rides. Never again, except maybe Acela. Maybe.

Rochester, NY--->Worcester, MA by the way. Happenin' spots, the both of them.

Well, what do you expect? A direct high speed route between every pair of random borderline cities?

I was more hoping for human beings trying to get to their homes to take priority over freight trains full of widgets. But then again, This is  America, so yeah...

A lot of freight in this country is food-related and is quite time-dependent.

Still think they should just add a passenger car to most freight trains.


In the age of refrigeration, I think the food can wait two hours instead of us.
 
2013-04-09 11:25:14 AM  
I heard Lana like choo-choos.

/time of my life, eh kid.
 
2013-04-09 11:28:59 AM  

fustanella: If there were an Orlando-Atlanta run that didn't involve transferring in DC or something stupid, I'd be on it so hard the rails would dent.


If they had something like the Auto Train where I could put my vehicle on the train with us in STL and wake up the next day in central FL I'd be all over that. But from STL, Amtrak is only useful if you're going to Chicago or KC, and even then it's just faster to drive.
 
2013-04-09 11:30:53 AM  
Amtrak is awesome, you get to pay the price of a plane ticket for a trip that takes as long as a Greyhound bus! And don't worry about food, they have $20 burgers the quality of Walmart frozen patties.
 
2013-04-09 11:37:20 AM  
Amtrak doesn't allow dogs.

I don't go anywhere without him
 
2013-04-09 11:55:45 AM  

Unoriginal_Username: When I moved to the US I took a train from Buffalo to Orlando. It was a  24 hr trip, but enjoyable. Of course, this was during the sniper stuff that was going on around DC so when we had a stop there they told us that we could leave the train to grab food, but it wasn't recommended. Still, spent the entire time in the club car drinking and playing cards.

Not sure what it's like now, but train rides can be fun.


Well, since I just looked it up and found that the Buffalo to Orlando train ride is 36 hours each way (but there was a notification of a service delay, so it could take longer), and costs $206 each way for coach seats.  Or I could fly from Buffalo to Orlando in about 5 1/2 hours each way, counting the layovers, with the flight costing me about $211 round trip.  I'm glad you had fun, but I'd rather not spend 3 days of my week long vacation sitting up in chairs, trying to get to where I'm going.
 
2013-04-09 12:15:51 PM  

devildog123: Unoriginal_Username: When I moved to the US I took a train from Buffalo to Orlando. It was a  24 hr trip, but enjoyable. Of course, this was during the sniper stuff that was going on around DC so when we had a stop there they told us that we could leave the train to grab food, but it wasn't recommended. Still, spent the entire time in the club car drinking and playing cards.

Not sure what it's like now, but train rides can be fun.

Well, since I just looked it up and found that the Buffalo to Orlando train ride is 36 hours each way (but there was a notification of a service delay, so it could take longer), and costs $206 each way for coach seats.  Or I could fly from Buffalo to Orlando in about 5 1/2 hours each way, counting the layovers, with the flight costing me about $211 round trip.  I'm glad you had fun, but I'd rather not spend 3 days of my week long vacation sitting up in chairs, trying to get to where I'm going.


The biggest delay was waiting in Penn station. But you're right. If you're on limited time then fly. I was moving so it was a one way deal. I was coming down from Canada so it was cheaper for me to get a train from Buffalo then it would have a flight.
 
2013-04-09 12:49:31 PM  

tjsands1118: Amtrak is awesome, you get to pay the price of a plane ticket for a trip that takes as long as a Greyhound bus! And don't worry about food, they have $20 burgers the quality of Walmart frozen patties.


But you can buy (decent) beer and have it at your seat.

Advantage: Amtrak
 
2013-04-09 01:02:18 PM  

Unoriginal_Username: wingnut396: Unoriginal_Username: Still, spent the entire time in the club car drinking and playing cards.

Was anyone keeping score?

I can't remember. I had enjoyed a few crown and cokes during the trip.


So close, yet so far.

/le sigh
 
2013-04-09 01:38:56 PM  
I really would like to take a train on vacation instead of driving twice a year from California to Oklahoma.

With the two kids, prices for flying is cost prohibitive and, after checking the trains, it's even worse.  The prices are the same if not more (don't remember the exact cost from last year) than flights.  If it was a supertrain that arrived as quickly as a plane, sure, but the same price per person?  And if you want to sleep, that's extra.
 
2013-04-09 01:53:07 PM  

blueknight: retired railroad engineer here. we ALWAYS had to give the right away to amtrak. the dispatcher put us in the siding everytime amtrak was within 100 miles just to make sure we DID'NT delay him in any way


How long have you been retired? I remember the right of way rules changing, but I couldn't tell you the date (late 90s? early 00s?).
 
2013-04-09 02:41:05 PM  
I've taken the train 3 times in my life.  First time was a 4.5 hour trip from Boston to NYC, when I was moving home from an internship and had a family vacation in NYC.  Was really, really cheap, I had meh wifi the entire way, and because both Back Bay and Penn Stations were in their downtowns, it probably was about the same door-to-door even without the TSA.

2nd and 3rd time was when I had an interview in Chicago while going to school in Ann Arbor, and the train schedule worked really, really well with my class schedule.  Took the school buses to (near) the Amtrak station, got in about 1, walked to the hotel, got 5 hours of sleep, did the interview, did homework in the local library until my train left, got back into Ann Arbor about 1:00, took a taxi back to the dorm to avoid the drunk bus, and went to class the next day.

Now, if I was forced to take the train any further than that...  Man, would that suck.

Robo Beat: The route of the Chicago-San Francisco California Zephyr is supposed to be particularly stunning.  Might do that for a vacation one of these days, possibly with a day or two in Denver to break it up a bit.


I had an aunt do that.  From what she said:

1) Fly to Denver.
2) Take the train to SF, making sure that you're passing through the Sierra Nevada's during the day.
 
2013-04-09 02:57:14 PM  
meyerkev:
I had an aunt do that.  From what she said:

1) Fly to Denver.
2) Take the train to SF, making sure that you're passing through the Sierra Nevada's during the day.


3) Make sure that Casey Ryback is on the train?
 
2013-04-09 03:05:11 PM  

meyerkev: Robo Beat: The route of the Chicago-San Francisco California Zephyr is supposed to be particularly stunning.  Might do that for a vacation one of these days, possibly with a day or two in Denver to break it up a bit.

I had an aunt do that.  From what she said:

1) Fly to Denver.
2) Take the train to SF, making sure that you're passing through the Sierra Nevada's during the day.


I considered using the California Zephyr for a trip from San Jose to Chicago, but decided to fly instead mainly because the trip would take four days and the cost of a bed to sleep in on the train would have made the trip cost about 5 times as much as flying.

Also, the California Zephyr doesn't go all the way to San Francisco, but instead stops at Emeryville (just north of Oakland).  From there you'd have to transfer to BART to get to San Francisco, or to the Capitol Corridor to get to San Jose.
 
2013-04-09 03:27:24 PM  

syberpud: Generation_D: Huh, and just yesterday some of the sage wisdom of Fark was asserting trains were dead and why does America bother.

With the TSA, frequent delays and being nickel-and-dimed to death it's no wonder people are opting for trains for short trips.  If the destination is 1-2.5 hours away by plane, a train is competitive. I'm guessing there are several reasons, but the increase in ridership is probably regional: Northeast and the Rust Belt.  I don't think people are going cross country.


Trains are viable where there's a lot of commuter traffic, or you have retirees. More and more retiring baby boomers are clogging up the airports now, stands to reason they'd be doing the same with trains. The commuter corridors (Boston to DC; Northern Indiana through Chicago to Southern Wisconsin) are already well known demand and probably hasn't changed.

Portland to Seattle to Vancouver BC is capable of demanding commuter rail, but we don't have the track infrastructure in place from 100 years ago to support it. They keep trying to half-ass it on freight rail owned track, and it keeps failing to meet demand/getting closed for days at a time due to blockages.
 
2013-04-09 04:24:59 PM  

syberpud: With the TSA, frequent delays and being nickel-and-dimed to death it's no wonder people are opting for trains for short trips.


Trains are not, alas, immune to the TSA.  There was an incident in Denver where the TSA insisted on searching people as they got off of an Amtrak train.
 
2013-04-09 05:29:54 PM  
It depends on where you need to go. I'm taking Amtrak from St Louis to Dallas next year, and the cost will be a fraction of the price of flying. A 3 hour drive to STL with a 16 hour overnight (I'm booking on a day that will leave in the evening to make it a LOT more tolerable) transit, arriving at Dallas at about 10 in the morning.

Major population center to major population center, it's not a bad way to go. But if you have to board in the tiny little satellite stations, then you'll be in for a long trip.
 
2013-04-09 06:03:00 PM  

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: It depends on where you need to go. I'm taking Amtrak from St Louis to Dallas next year, and the cost will be a fraction of the price of flying. A 3 hour drive to STL with a 16 hour overnight (I'm booking on a day that will leave in the evening to make it a LOT more tolerable) transit, arriving at Dallas at about 10 in the morning.

Major population center to major population center, it's not a bad way to go. But if you have to board in the tiny little satellite stations, then you'll be in for a long trip.


But those tiny stations are on lines between big cities. For instance my Rochester-to-Worcester train Starts in Chicago and goes to Boston. The long trips between whistlestops are a part of those bigger ones.
 
2013-04-09 06:27:11 PM  
One benefit of being unemployed is you aren't in much of a hurry to get anywhere.  What a perfect opportunity to take an old-fashioned train ride or a cruise.  See, there's always a bright side....
 
2013-04-09 10:08:17 PM  
Rode the Coast Starlight from OAK to SEA and back last week, just because.
Pretty nice except the fact that I rode in coach, and it's impossible to sleep.

Nice part was no TSA patdowns, great views of Oregon, Mt Rainier, etc.
 
Displayed 50 of 53 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
On Twitter






In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report