The federal government shutdown and how it affects rail travel

Here’s a quick blast on what’s happening on passenger railroads in the wake of the federal government shut down of October 1, 2013:

Amtrak will continue to operate trains as usual for at least the next five or six weeks. They have cash on hand to make payroll at present, and many of their subsidized […]

The good news–the bad news

A couple of things happened this week in the world of North American Passenger railroading, one really good, one truly disappointing. Amtrak’s November rare-mileage trip up the Susquehanna from Philly looks like it’s going to be a big hit. After selling out one entire train, this week they added a second section. To my knowledge, […]

Private Car trip scouting in Vermont

Babs and I are up in Vermont for the weekend attending a conference and doing a little private car destination scouting at the same time in Rutland, Vermont. Rutland is at the end of the line for Amtrak’s Ethan Allen train. The train arrives in the evening, parks overnight and leaves in the morning. I […]

Wintertime trip on Amtrak’s Coast Starlight–Portland to San Diego (includes brewery tours and lots of mass transit)

Here are some pictures from our latest post-semester cheapo cold weather escape. Using discount tickets on Soutwest Airlines, we flew to Portland OR, caught the Coast Starlight and Surfliner to San Diego (cashed in Amtrak Guest Rewards points), and rode the commuter rail system to Los Angeles. Visited breweries and beer shrines by mass transit. […]

Five Winter rail travel ideas

Meg and I are hardcore off season train travel enthusiasts–we hate crowds and love deals. Listed here in no particular order, are some of the places where we had an astoundingly great time in places that are a little off the beaten path, or not well known. I liked these places so much I wrestled […]

VIA Rail Canada’s park cars run on Amtrak’s Adirondack.

In the Northeast, Thanksgiving and Christmas weekends are peak demand times for Amtrak, who responds by lengthening consists and adding additional trains. Typically, Amtrak turns to NJTransit and MARC to provide a few extra sets of equipment for this additional service. This year, realizing that operating rail equipment is in short supply due to the […]

Surviving Sandy, and collecting railroad antiques.

My neighbors in Princeton-land continue to clean up after Monday’s storm, which delivered to us a large number of uprooted oaks and snapped off pines. A lot of people are still without power, but my home never lost electricity. Due to the travel bans, I haven’t been able to get up to the railroad yard […]

Winding down the Mount Vernon operating season

Today, the Mount Vernon is sitting in Harrison, NJ at Hudson Tower, waiting for a lift back to the Morristown and Erie Railway. The car is full of soiled sheets and bath towels, but otherwise clean, and pretty much ready to go out again for another trip. The fall operating campaign ran nearly two months […]

Back from Chattanooga– now off to New Orleans

Bad news on the trip back from Chattanooga. The next major trip, a New Orleans to Oakland multi-car charter movement for a music promoter, had fallen through, however the Mount Vernon had 10 people who already paid to ride down from Washington, DC to NOL on the positioning move, and the car was ready to […]

Photos from the Chattanooga private train

From Private Train to Chattanooga, posted by Tom Coughlin on 9/22/2012 (18 items)

Attached to the rear of Amtrak train #91 (Silver Strar) The Mount Vernon, pauses in T… We spent most of Saturday sitting in Washington Union Terminal without electrical pow… Parked for Saturday night on Track 30. The station gets really empty […]