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(Amtrak)   Amtrak is now accepting applications for its residency program. You get to sleep on a train, basically   (blog.amtrak.com ) divider line
    More: Strange, Amtrak, mobile apps, AmtrakResidency, creative professional, trains  
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7228 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Mar 2014 at 12:46 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-09 10:59:20 AM  
That actually sounds like a great program for authors with nothing better to do.  It's probably not even a waste of taxpayer dollars because no one rides the long distance routes anyway.
 
2014-03-09 11:20:24 AM  

Lsherm: That actually sounds like a great program for authors with nothing better to do.  It's probably not even a waste of taxpayer dollars because no one rides the long distance routes anyway.


That's what I was thinking.  Young hipsters will love the free trip and lack of accountability, plus the old school feel of a train.  Little Old Ladies who are writing poems will love being treated like a queen with their own private berth.  Up-and-coming recreational chemical dealers who claim to be emerging writers will love the business opportunities.
 
2014-03-09 11:54:50 AM  
This trip is useless without weed.
 
2014-03-09 11:55:56 AM  
Will they accept rejected one-liners I penned for Bazooka Joe and His Gang while under the influence of peyote as a writing sample?
 
2014-03-09 12:49:59 PM  
Hobo approved.
 
2014-03-09 12:50:59 PM  
LAUGHTER OL!!!

https://twitter.com/Amtrak/status/442661343687360512/photo/1

The version of this is that they have the link which is answering of questions of train wifi connections but then the website has gone down such as the roommate of me when promised the French fry date.
 
2014-03-09 12:53:50 PM  
AMTRAK is the new pickup truck topper.
 
2014-03-09 12:54:00 PM  
Can I bring a friend?

facweb.cs.depaul.edu
 
2014-03-09 12:56:39 PM  
Painters need not apply.
 
2014-03-09 12:56:39 PM  

meow said the dog: LAUGHTER OL!!!

https://twitter.com/Amtrak/status/442661343687360512/photo/1

The version of this is that they have the link which is answering of questions of train wifi connections but then the website has gone down such as the roommate of me when promised the French fry date.


I understand perfectly.
 
2014-03-09 12:57:58 PM  
Oh man would I love this.
 
2014-03-09 12:59:02 PM  

meow said the dog: LAUGHTER OL!!!

https://twitter.com/Amtrak/status/442661343687360512/photo/1

The version of this is that they have the link which is answering of questions of train wifi connections but then the website has gone down such as the roommate of me when promised the French fry date.


Such as U.S. Americans and such, therefore.
 
2014-03-09 12:59:07 PM  
mmm....Eva Marie Saint.
"I'm a big girl."
"Yeah, and in all the right places, too."

Not bad also is Jill Clayburgh
raoulbruce.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-03-09 01:00:57 PM  

HotIgneous Intruder: AMTRAK is the new pickup truck topper.


Well this brought back memories..

When I was a kid, we would take cross country trips in the bed of the pickup truck with a topper on it.

Going through Arizona in June back there really really sucked.
 
2014-03-09 01:01:42 PM  
Sounds good to me. I have taken overnight trips on Via Rail (Canada) a few times and it is a nice way to travel if you can afford it. Unfortunately I write software, not literature, so I wouldn't have a chance with this program.
 
2014-03-09 01:10:24 PM  
Just threw in my application. I'd love to take a few days to go up to Seattle.
 
2014-03-09 01:17:37 PM  
"Who Can Apply: Legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States and the District of Columbia... "

Jack London need not apply
 
2014-03-09 01:19:47 PM  
Of all of the travel experiences I've had (which aren't many in number, admittedly), I've liked Amtrak the best.
 
2014-03-09 01:26:31 PM  

Mock26: Painters need not apply.


Coffee, keyboard, etc.
 
2014-03-09 01:28:44 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Lsherm: That actually sounds like a great program for authors with nothing better to do.  It's probably not even a waste of taxpayer dollars because no one rides the long distance routes anyway.

That's what I was thinking.  Young hipsters will love the free trip and lack of accountability, plus the old school feel of a train.  Little Old Ladies who are writing poems will love being treated like a queen with their own private berth.  Up-and-coming recreational chemical dealers who claim to be emerging writers will love the business opportunities.


Is it free though? The article only said it was free to apply. Too lazy to dig further.
 
2014-03-09 01:29:31 PM  

Lsherm: That actually sounds like a great program for authors with nothing better to do.  It's probably not even a waste of taxpayer dollars because no one rides the long distance routes anyway.


Duration, 2-5 days.

If it were a month or so, but as it is, just a joke.
 
2014-03-09 01:31:22 PM  
That page load is as slow as their trains.

/and with just as much unnecessary baggage
 
2014-03-09 01:43:24 PM  
sweden.kcomposite.com

Would love to do this.  Will there be swedish meatballs?

/where's Beeks?
 
2014-03-09 02:35:02 PM  
My experiences riding Amtrak, were for the most part, not good. I was a regular rider on the Philly to Saratoga Springs (final destination- Montreal) route. Let's see....on two separate occasions the engine  caught on fire-why yes, I did see lots of smoke billowing past my window, yet the conductors told me "it's nothing". Yeah... riiiiiiight.....sat in the Albany station for a few hours-each time, waiting for Amtrak to find an engine to take over. Once, the wrong engine  was sent. How we laughed about that, as the conductors said "it's nothing". Another time the train stopped. For about a half an hour, in the middle of nowhere. Conductors would tell us nothing. Not to worry, we watched as a passenger was taken off, on a stretcher, fully covered in a white sheet, quite dead. This train was never, ever, ever on time coming from Montreal, averaging at least 45 minutes or more behind in schedule. I always made allowances for that too. My final attempt to ride Amtrak was when the train to Philly was over 2 hours late, the station master could not tell me when it would, if ever arrive. Hopped a bus, which was delayed by a snowstorm, made it to Penn Station in well over 5 hours, took a shuttle over to Amtrak, which looking at my full priced ticket, put me on a beat up, over heated, smelly (vomit crossed with cigar butts) commuter train. When I pointed out I'd paid full price for the ticket, having only been able to use this one section of the ride, I thought the conductor was going to friggin' explode. So, of course, that was the end of my trying to go green, not pollute, not waste gas.....and quite happy to rent a car.
  So, writers will have lots, 'n lots of material to work with! Surley staff! Uncomfortable seats! Lots of time waiting for a train, an engine! Dead people! Fires! Over booked trains-standing (I did several times) all the way to Manhattan!

Oh, and for the record, I traveled through out France and Italy on trains....so much easier.
 
2014-03-09 02:53:22 PM  
This looks like a cheap way to get some discussion about the long distance services.  Let someone use an empty berth and hope they inspire others to leisure travel via Amtrak.

/And I'm usually anti greasy-hippy-dippy artist, but it's good to see a marketing ploy like this that may help create something interesting someday.
 
2014-03-09 03:34:54 PM  

Artist: My experiences riding Amtrak, were for the most part, not good. I was a regular rider on the Philly to Saratoga Springs (final destination- Montreal) route. Let's see....on two separate occasions the engine  caught on fire-why yes, I did see lots of smoke billowing past my window, yet the conductors told me "it's nothing". Yeah... riiiiiiight.....sat in the Albany station for a few hours-each time, waiting for Amtrak to find an engine to take over. Once, the wrong engine  was sent. How we laughed about that, as the conductors said "it's nothing". Another time the train stopped. For about a half an hour, in the middle of nowhere. Conductors would tell us nothing. Not to worry, we watched as a passenger was taken off, on a stretcher, fully covered in a white sheet, quite dead. This train was never, ever, ever on time coming from Montreal, averaging at least 45 minutes or more behind in schedule. I always made allowances for that too. My final attempt to ride Amtrak was when the train to Philly was over 2 hours late, the station master could not tell me when it would, if ever arrive. Hopped a bus, which was delayed by a snowstorm, made it to Penn Station in well over 5 hours, took a shuttle over to Amtrak, which looking at my full priced ticket, put me on a beat up, over heated, smelly (vomit crossed with cigar butts) commuter train. When I pointed out I'd paid full price for the ticket, having only been able to use this one section of the ride, I thought the conductor was going to friggin' explode. So, of course, that was the end of my trying to go green, not pollute, not waste gas.....and quite happy to rent a car.
  So, writers will have lots, 'n lots of material to work with! Surley staff! Uncomfortable seats! Lots of time waiting for a train, an engine! Dead people! Fires! Over booked trains-standing (I did several times) all the way to Manhattan!

Oh, and for the record, I traveled through out France and Italy on trains....so much easier.


I rode Richmond to DC and back for seven years, almost daily.  In about year 5, they discovered that employees in Boston (where the evening train originated) would deliberately sabotage the train if they wanted to work overtime, which meant that the train that took me home had an abysmal 14% on-time rate.  The employees had been doing it for over a decade.  They arrested over 40 people.

It got marginally better after that, but for more than 10 years a 14% on-time rate was A-O.K. with Amtrak.  No one bothered to look into it.  The only reason the workers got caught is a new member of the scheme got in an argument because he didn't want to work overtime one day when everyone else did, so he blew the whistle on the whole scam.
 
2014-03-09 03:38:42 PM  
I'm considering applying. I've had a few poems published, and I've always wanted to ride on a train...
 
2014-03-09 03:48:52 PM  
The fine print points out the fact that Amtrak owns a permanent, royalty-free right to works created on the program.

/pointed out by a local author who was considering applying...
 
2014-03-09 03:51:11 PM  
My CSB:

I lived on a train. I used to work for Ringling Bros. and we lived and travelled by train. The room I had had a bunk bed up top, table and two seats that could convert to another bed, closet, counter, cabinets, sink, mini-fridge and a closet. Very tiny room. The beds though were not positioned on the side wall of the train. No, they went  across the room. Now here's why that's a bad idea. Imagine you are traveling from New York City to Worcester, MA. You are being pulled by CSX which normally hauls freight. You are in your bunk sound asleep after having to have pulled a six pack (three shows Sat and Sun) plus load out that night. Suddenly, the engineer needs to slow down. He hits the brakes, but the brakes hit hard. Now you are flying  OUT OF THE BUNK, ACROSS THE ROOM, HIT THE CABINETS AND THEN THE FLOOR! This happened more than once. And apparently there is some sort of strange reason why they could not orientate the car the other way so if you suddenly stop, you just role up against the back wall.

Moved outta that room after a month and into the oldest car which had bunks against the wall. Never fell out of bed after that...
 
2014-03-09 03:57:29 PM  

Richard_The_Clown: Suddenly, the engineer needs to slow down. He hits the brakes, but the brakes hit hard. Now you are flying  OUT OF THE BUNK, ACROSS THE ROOM, HIT THE CABINETS AND THEN THE FLOOR! This happened more than once.


Heh.  After the first time, you'd think you would have tied yourself in.
 
2014-03-09 04:06:47 PM  
I think it sounds fun. there I said it.
 
2014-03-09 04:12:49 PM  
I didn't see where the trip was free.  I hope it is on a route where wifi is always on.   I don't see it being used by anyone other than those who are already wealthy authors.  I would like a 2 day trip just to see what it is like.
 
2014-03-09 04:18:26 PM  

rev. dave: I didn't see where the trip was free.  I hope it is on a route where wifi is always on.   I don't see it being used by anyone other than those who are already wealthy authors.  I would like a 2 day trip just to see what it is like.


?? If it's not free then what's the point of the program? Anyone who wants to pay to ride the train and write for a few days can already do that....

Also, from TFA: "Round-trip train travel will be provided on an Amtrak long-distance route. Each resident will be given a private sleeper car, equipped with a desk, a bed and a window to watch the American countryside roll by for inspiration.  "
 
2014-03-09 04:38:47 PM  

beezeltown: The fine print points out the fact that Amtrak owns a permanent, royalty-free right to works created on the program.

/pointed out by a local author who was considering applying...


Not on the program, but for whatever materials you use to apply. And that's only if you win the residency so they can show off what got you in the program.
 
2014-03-09 05:01:41 PM  
I lived and worked on a vacation train for about six months, the American Orient Express. (GIS it, there's good stuff.) Richard_The_Clown, we tied up next to the Ringling Bros Red Train in Vegas a couple of times, we might've been neighbors.

There wasn't a lot of room in the cabins, but the window took up a lot of the wall, so literally the first thing you saw when you woke up was another amazing landscape passing by. Not a billboard in sight.

There're plenty of downsides; You get stuck sitting on rail sidings a lot, since in america, freight trains get precedence over passenger trains. Showering on a moving train can be a little tricky, as can using the bathroom. (Protip: Don't try to pee standing up. It ends badly.) But the upside was that you were living on a frickin' train! That never really gets old.

One of the best jobs I've ever had in my life.

/Also there were two Bar Cars.
//Any bartender who can make martinis on a train going 70mph should get some kind of award.
 
2014-03-09 05:26:26 PM  
kirlian:
/Also there were two Bar Cars.
//Any bartender who can make martinis on a train going 70mph should get some kind of award.


And another plus; they'll always be shaken not stirred :)
 
2014-03-09 05:42:13 PM  

kirlian: I lived and worked on a vacation train for about six months, the American Orient Express. (GIS it, there's good stuff.) Richard_The_Clown, we tied up next to the Ringling Bros Red Train in Vegas a couple of times, we might've been neighbors.


That was my unit, but sadly when I was with the show that was the one year they DIDN'T do Vegas. We did Albuquerque, NM instead. In the middle of June. And you would think that an arena, located in a DESERT, would have air conditioning! That was a long week!

/but if all goes well this week, I'll get to go BACK to the circus!
 
2014-03-09 05:42:21 PM  

Lsherm: That actually sounds like a great program for authors with nothing better to do.  It's probably not even a waste of taxpayer dollars because no one rides the long distance routes anyway.


Yes they do. I've ridden the Coast Starlight end to end, the Zephyr end to end, and the Empire Builder end to end.. All were sold out and packed.
 
2014-03-09 05:56:24 PM  
Took a four day trip from Cincy to Portland, Oregon on AmTrak. Wonderful time watching America roll by. Plan on doing it again this summer.
 
2014-03-09 06:16:25 PM  

Lsherm: That actually sounds like a great program for authors with nothing better to do.  It's probably not even a waste of taxpayer dollars because no one rides the long distance routes anyway.


CSB-time.  I rode the Empire Builder route last summer (Chicago to Seattle), and it was packed.  I don't know if my anecdote is representative of the overall ridership numbers, but there were a lot of people on that train.

They had a wine tasting, and National Park volunteers in the observation car pointing out the sights along the way.  It was very cool.
 
2014-03-09 06:50:18 PM  
I like the Boston-NYC Amtrak run, great view of the shoreline; the rails are practically on the beach in spots.

Did have an odd run one VERY cold winter day a few years back; the brake lines kept freezing on the cars at the rear of the train, so they kept detaching them.  We got to New Haven, they had to cut loose the bar car...and a bunch of college kids opted to stay with it :)
 
2014-03-09 07:10:02 PM  
Richard_The_Clown:

That was my unit, but sadly when I was with the show that was the one year they DIDN'T do Vegas. We did Albuquerque, NM instead. In the middle of June. And you would think that an arena, located in a DESERT, would have air conditioning! That was a long week!

We used Albuquerque as a turnaround station a few times. It did get a tad warm...  But I think you dodged a bullet there; the place they parked the trains in Vegas was ridiculously hot. Big metal boxes in the sun. Good times, good times...

/but if all goes well this week, I'll get to go BACK to the circus!

Nice. I'm envious. Good luck. :)
 
2014-03-09 07:21:33 PM  

Lt. Cheese Weasel: [sweden.kcomposite.com image 320x213]

Would love to do this.  Will there be swedish meatballs?

/where's Beeks?


High point of the movie - Jaime Lee Curtis whip-out!

/Awesome
//Totally cool that Nigel Tufnel now gets the jiggly-sport
 
2014-03-09 07:31:22 PM  
It sounds like the prize is one round-trip on a long distance train of their choice. It sounds like an admission that fares are too high for the regular sort of struggling writer.
 
2014-03-09 09:05:01 PM  

This About That: It sounds like the prize is one round-trip on a long distance train of their choice. It sounds like an admission that fares are too high for the regular sort of struggling writer.


Everything is too pricy for a struggling writer. That's a big reason residencies exist.
Wiki say:Artist-in-residence programs and other   opportunities exist to inviteartists, academicians, curators, and all manner of creative people for a time and space away from their usual environment and obligations. They provide a time of reflection, research, presentation and/or production. They also allow an individual to explore his/her practice within another community; meeting new people, using new materials, experiencing life in a newlocation.

So basically this is a perfect example of a residency (if a little short).

Sorry for the weird link text. Dunno why.
 
2014-03-09 10:07:22 PM  

kirlian: Richard_The_Clown:

That was my unit, but sadly when I was with the show that was the one year they DIDN'T do Vegas. We did Albuquerque, NM instead. In the middle of June. And you would think that an arena, located in a DESERT, would have air conditioning! That was a long week!

We used Albuquerque as a turnaround station a few times. It did get a tad warm...  But I think you dodged a bullet there; the place they parked the trains in Vegas was ridiculously hot. Big metal boxes in the sun. Good times, good times...

/but if all goes well this week, I'll get to go BACK to the circus!

Nice. I'm envious. Good luck. :)


Yeah, why do we have to go to the desert in the summertime?
 
2014-03-09 11:34:15 PM  

Lsherm: That actually sounds like a great program for authors with nothing better to do.  It's probably not even a waste of taxpayer dollars because no one rides the long distance routes anyway.


Go ahead and pick a few blocks of time, traveling long distances I the family room of an Amtrak train.  Not a lot of availability.  Like Yogi Berra says, "it's so popular, nobody goes there anymore".
 
2014-03-10 12:55:27 AM  
This sounds like a pretty good gig.

Also, the weirdest train pick-up scene from a movie has to be this one. Gets my vote, anyway.
 
2014-03-10 02:09:47 AM  
I've got mixed experiences on the 'trak.  My last trip went perfect.  Had a sleeper most of the way down the Worst Coast and everything went perfect.

A previous trip, however was a disaster.  Arrived at my destination over 12 hours late and they essentially said "fark it" and told people going the rest of the way that they were SOL because the rest of the trip had been cut.  They just dumped them in the bay area.  (Well, maybe they compensated them and/or paid for alternate transportation.  I don't know because I wasn't part of that group.)  The worst part was that they left the Redding, CA station knowing that the engineers didn't have enough time left to make the next stop.  So they stopped the train in the middle of farking nowhere for hours while they waited for a new crew.  I guess it would have made too much sense to wait at the farking station where people would be able to get off the train and get a good meal, maybe arrange for alternate transportation.  Oh, and the cars were without power for much of the time it was stranded.

Having biatched about that experience, I'd still apply for this residency program if I had any samples of decent writing to submit.
 
2014-03-10 06:46:28 AM  
--PROTIP: If you're going to ride a train for an extended period of time - GET THE SLEEPER CAR. Do *not* try to save money by sleeping in a seat.

/ worst mistake of my life, South Texas to Northern California
// apart from that, buying a Suzuki Katana and losing like $3000 on it in ONE YEAR
/// life is better nau
 
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