Staying over at Haunted Places— (or: If the place was really haunted, they probably wouldn’t tell you.)

Living room at the Haunted Chamber–the guest quarters at the House of Trembling Madness, in York (UK). Yes, the taxidermy is real.

A recent stay-over at a purportedly haunted house in York, UK was a disappointment—it was wonderful, cozy and very nice. The place was beautiful in the Morticia Addams-kind of way: taxidermed small […]

The Traveler’s Rest– eight unusual pubs you can take the train to.

Nothing makes a train trip more enjoyable than a nice beer along the way–and here’s a personal list of all-time favorites:


  Upright Brewing, Portland OR 240 N Broadway #2, Portland, OR 97227 (in the basement of the Left Bank Building) Limited hours– various times Thursday to Sunday only From the Portland Amtrak […]

Private car destination guide– Chicago

Downtown Chicago, as viewed from the coach yard.

Why go: Chicago is one of North America’s great cities–birthplace of the skyscraper, home to some major museums, and beautiful, walkable neighborhoods. Very easy to get around without a car thanks to a comprehensive subway and bus system. Millennium Park, built on the site of the old, […]

Our summer of some very late trains

The Mount Vernon’s July 20-27 trip from New York Penn to Minneapolis was particularly noteworthy for very late trains. The Late Shore Limited left NYC more than six hours late, at 9:30 pm due to a rockslide on the tracks in Peekskill, NY. Arriving in Albany after Midnight, the train was held some additional time […]

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. […]

Counting down to the Chattanooga trip–Stocking the bar.

It’s very tough to put together a small bar for a railroad car. In the space of a 4′ by 3′ cupboard, you have to represent the latest trends in spirits, while offering the passengers their favorite old standards and traditional refreshments.

In honor of visiting the Old South and for some seasonal adjustment, I […]

St. Paul Union Depot–New Amtrak station for Minneapolis and St. Paul, opens fall 2012.

No announcements yet as to when the actual moving day will take place–likely in November. The station will replace Amtrak’s Midway station and immediately serve the Empire Builder. Between 2012 and 2015, a planned expansion of the Northstar commuter rail service will move in to the station, and an extension of the light rail will […]