Thursday, February 12, 2015

Sleeping Car



Back in the day, traveling by train could be very luxurious. Some cars had individual berths, or little rooms with comfortable seats that could be turned down into a bed. The picture above is such an example from the 1910's. Also notice the electric lighting above the bed.

8 comments:

  1. Very nice, it beats air travel (as we have it today) anytime. I think this would be a nice way to see the country ...

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  2. For a business trip my husband took Amtrak from Michigan to San Diego, CA. It took 2.5 days and cost more than a plane ticket since he got a sleeper berth. He still enjoyed the experience very much. He said sleeping is a bit difficult since the train is constantly in motion. He opted to fly back home.
    -Anne K.

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  3. When I was about 12 or 13 I travelled by Pullman from Southern California to New Mexico. The whole car was turned into little bedrooms, upper and lower bunks. The photo above shows almost all of the room. It was just the size of the bed. I guess we all went to breakfast then, and the car was turned back into regular seats. Can't remember. Greast fun.

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  4. My grandfather worked for B&O, and he and my grandmother often took my sister and me places on the railroad. We got a roomette, which had a little washbasin; I honestly don't remember a toilet, but that doesn't mean there wasn't one; 1953 was a long time ago! The seats opened to form a double bed, and the upper bunk, which was the delight of our lives, dropped down for my sister and me. It wasn't the Hilton, but we loved it!

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  5. Sometimes it's hard to remember that travelling used to be a comfortable activity.

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  6. I would love to go by train from Kansas to Oregon but Amtrak tells me I have to transfer to a bus at Bakersfield and then ride to another town to get back on a train. I think I'll pass.

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  7. In 2010, I hoped to take the train from Seattle to the Black Hills of SD. There was no direct link. Amtrak would have taken me across the northern part of the country through numerous mountain passes in northern WA, ID, MT, across the prairies to Bismark, ND. I assumed I could catch another train headed south to Rapid City, SD. Not so. That train, which should have existed, and did 100 years ago, was now just a freight line. Now I'd have had to switch to a "milk run" bus line. This would have taken between 18 and 24 hours on the bus, stopping at every tiny town along the way, sometimes at every crossroads. Not all the buses even had restrooms. I was strongly advised not to take the trip this way, even though it would have been a real adventure. So I flew. That meant a flight from Seattle to Denver, with a several hour layover and walking up stairs into a small plane. The small plan to Rapid City was very late taking off and therefore very late arriving. After arrival, it was still two hours drive to the other side of Spearfish, where my hosts lived. On the return trip, there was an extremely long layover in Denver, never explained. They kept delaying it by an hour at a time, saying to stick close to the gate. No time to get anything to eat! I kind of wish I'd taken the train! It would have at least been interesting to watch the countryside go by. Another reason I didn't, though, is that the Amtrak tracks from downtown Seattle, where I live, north to pick up the east-bound train, are on occasion impassible because of landslides covering the tracks. The tracks go through a picturesque valley between cliffs and the shores of Puget Sound. These cliffs are not stone, but in many places are eroded earth. When it rains a lot, they get supersaturated and can form mudslides, covering the tracks. These can take days to remove. In many places the cliffs are covered with heavy rope nets, but they don't hold back the saturated mud completely. These mudslides can play havoc with train schedules.

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  8. Amtrak has a very nice train running from Washington State down to San Diego. We went 1st class and had a room on the lower deck...which was the whole width of the train car. The meals were very good, we even had a bar and a wine tasting in the Club car. There is a café downstairs, where you can get things to eat anytime, and a movie theatre too.
    The children had a great time.

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