Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Streamliner


Today's picture was taken in 1943, and shows a diesel "Streamliner" locomotive. It was taken at the train station in Albuquerque, NM. I live in Albuquerque for 20 years, and the train station is still there. Once my wife and I thought it would be fun to ride the train, so we took it from Albuquerque to California for a vacation. Turned out to not be a fun ride. The Amtrak experience is not a good one. The Amtrak employees are very rude, and it was a lot like taking a greyhound bus somewhere. 

11 comments:

  1. I remember my mother was pleased that the engine for our train journey was a diesel. When I asked why, she said they were so much cleaner than steam trains.

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  2. I'm disappointed in the lack of a good passenger train system in this country. I grew to love train travel in Europe, and wish I could hop a train for a relaxing ride to visit family here, rather than fighting traffic on the interstate.

    Still, we're considering taking the train to the State Fair this fall, even though it's $100 round trip, for a 3-hour ride which is no faster than driving.

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  3. I'm not sure when you rode Amtrak but I suspect it was thirty years ago. Amtrak these days is clean, the people who work on it are polite and the entire experience is very relaxing and wonderful. My wife and I have taken a number of vacations on Amtrak and were pleased every time.

    mike serens

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  4. I'm not sure how long ago you rode Amtrak, but I suspect that it was thirty years ago. These days, the employees on Amtrak are polite and the entire experience is good. My wife and I have taken several vacations on Amtrak and have been pleased every time.

    mike serena

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  5. "You better do something, you idiot, because in ten minutes you're going to have two hundred tons of locomotive smashing through Central Station on its way to Marshall Field's."

    Corny, but "Silver Streak" is still one of my favorite movies.

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  6. Took the VIA Rail train from Toronto to Vancouver for Mathan's Mate's birthday a few years back (2006?) and it was wonderful. The rolling stock was from Canadian Pacific's fleet dating to around the '50's. Very quaint, but clean and roomy. An absolute delight in every way.

    So, we decided to take AMTRAK from Houston to Tucson to visit a friend in 2007. We opted for a berth like we had in Canada and discovered that AMTRAK has been taking lessons from the airlines. The seats were small with very little padding, and when it came time to make up the beds, we discovered that her 5'10" frame wouldn't fit in the bed, much less my 6' one. Short and narrow. Laying with my back against the bulkhead, my knees stuck out into space by a good four inches. And the "first class" shower was smaller than an airplane bathroom. If you drop the soap, you have to open the door to be able to bend over to pick it up.

    I've been told that AMTRAK is very spotty with regards to the quality of their trains. I certainly don't recommend the one across the South. I've heard the Pacific Coast train is quite nice, but, I don't think I'll test the theory. I'll stick with narrow gauge.

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  7. Thanks Mathan for the recommendation on Via's Toronto to Vancouver route! I've always been curious about taking it. I used to take VIA Rail back and forth between Toronto and Montreal and it was always a wonderful experience: roomy, clean, and great staff - approachable and attentive. :)

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  8. Here's some old trains for ya:

    http://www.riverviewparkdsm.com/pic13.html

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  9. I took Amtrak fro Erie PA to Dodge City, KS for Gunsmoke's 50th anniversary 5 years ago. Very nice trip and very fitting considering what I was going for. Brought back memories of when I was a child and rode a passenger train from Iowa to CA

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  10. As a child (1959?) my family took the train from Oregon to South Dakota. My memory was that it had a steam engine. As an adult I have fallen in love with the train network in Europe! It is a wonderful and efficient way to travel anywhere. I so wish we had something similar here. You "connect" with the places you go if you can see them. There is a pitiful "network" in California. To go to Sacramento (our state capital) from southern California you take a train for a while then get off and board a bus!!

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  11. I take Amtrak from Ft. Worth to San Antonio about once a month. Considering the 28 dollar cost it is well worth it. Takes close enough to the same amount of time as a drive and I don't have that Austin traffic to wade through. Sure there are some of the rougher elements on the train but there are also a bunch of really neat people as well. Kinda hit or miss on that one.

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