Any body here ever sleep over night on a train?

laming posted:
Richie C. posted:

Almost - while in college in 1972 I was driving home at about 2:00 AM on a lonely, deserted stretch of back road after a night of heavy partying when I came across what must have been a mile long freight train at a flat road crossing. I slipped the tranny in my '66 Fairlane GT into neutral and must have fallen asleep, because the next thing I knew the sun woke me up and it was 6:00 AM in the morning. It took me a few seconds to get my bearings, but the motor was still running and I made it to class on time. Does that count ?

Interesting story, but IMHO, nope... doesn't count. (Don't 'cha wish you still had the '66 Fairlane GT??)

Andre

You betcha' - midnight blue 390 with a white convertible top; Holley 750 dbl. pumper on a Weiand alum. manifold; cherry bombs; and Cragars all around - but I digress

Richie C. posted:
laming posted:
Richie C. posted:

Almost - while in college in 1972 I was driving home at about 2:00 AM on a lonely, deserted stretch of back road after a night of heavy partying when I came across what must have been a mile long freight train at a flat road crossing. I slipped the tranny in my '66 Fairlane GT into neutral and must have fallen asleep, because the next thing I knew the sun woke me up and it was 6:00 AM in the morning. It took me a few seconds to get my bearings, but the motor was still running and I made it to class on time. Does that count ?

Interesting story, but IMHO, nope... doesn't count. (Don't 'cha wish you still had the '66 Fairlane GT??)

Andre

You betcha' - midnight blue 390 with a white convertible top; Holley 750 dbl. pumper on a Weiand alum. manifold; cherry bombs; and Cragars all around - but I digress

Wow! What a great car! Was interior white to match the roof? 

back in 1970, I was on a short layoff from my job at National Can in San Leandro, Ca., Took the train out of Oakland to Columbus Ne.  Rode in coach with accessible vestibules both ways.  Norden had a huge snowshed to stop in back then, Ogden by morning,  up the Wasatch and Wyoming during day.  Slept well, upright in those big chairs.  Returned on a morning trip out of Reno and Truckee and above Donner Lake.  Stood in the open vestibule all the way up to Norden.  Even got to smoke a  "cigarette".

Amtrak’s InterAmerican from Ft Worth to St Louis, and Sunset Limited from LAUPT to El Paso back in the hodge-podge days. Chihuahua al Pacifico trains Ojinaga to Los Mochis and back. Southwest Chief with Superliners.  

Each trip had a story of its own. 

Yes, Sort of. Laming's reply reminded me of a time many years ago on the railroad. I was working third trick at Buckeye Yard in the early days of Conrail. We just had a foot of snow dumped on us and the temp was in the low twenties. The instruction crew brought the power over from the diesel pad and tied onto the train. I knew that the outbound crew was called for later in the shift, and I knew it was going to take quite a while for the air to build. I climbed aboard the lead unit, one of the 6100 series ex PRR SD45s. The warmth of the heater combined with the slight rocking of that V20 put me in dreamland real quick.  But the easiest to catch a nap in was what we referred to as a "serta" the ex PRR N5c cabin car. The cupola would get nice and warm and with the right amount of cabin cushions it was like being in small hotel. Ah the memories.....

ncdave posted:
Richie C. posted:
laming posted:
Richie C. posted:

Almost - while in college in 1972 I was driving home at about 2:00 AM on a lonely, deserted stretch of back road after a night of heavy partying when I came across what must have been a mile long freight train at a flat road crossing. I slipped the tranny in my '66 Fairlane GT into neutral and must have fallen asleep, because the next thing I knew the sun woke me up and it was 6:00 AM in the morning. It took me a few seconds to get my bearings, but the motor was still running and I made it to class on time. Does that count ?

Interesting story, but IMHO, nope... doesn't count. (Don't 'cha wish you still had the '66 Fairlane GT??)

Andre

You betcha' - midnight blue 390 with a white convertible top; Holley 750 dbl. pumper on a Weiand alum. manifold; cherry bombs; and Cragars all around - but I digress

Wow! What a great car! Was interior white to match the roof? 

No - it was medium blue vinyl to go with the exterior. The car's long gone , but I did manage to salvage the Grant wooden steering wheel I had on it.

Here is my story.  July 1962, our family took the City of Los Angeles to Los Angeles.  Remember it all very well, spent the night in the dome car as I wanted to see everything I could.  It was a very long and dark night.  If I recall it was about a 28 hour trip for us.  See the pic I attached of the breakfast menu.  I think I had a roll (that was dried out); we were on a tighter than tight budget.  Did get to my watch my beloved Dodgers play the Giants.  Dodgers won 11 to 1.  Willie Mays had a home run for the Giants.  What more could I ask for!

Due to the current economic conditions the light at the end of the tunnel has temporarily been turned off.

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I've had many sleeps in Pullman sleeping cars -- Bedrooms, Roomettes, Heavyweight Open Section (upper), and deluxe Bedroom on a business car.

Slept on the Frisco, Union Pacific, Omaha Road, Rock Island, Missouri Pacific, Southern Pacific, and, of course, Santa Fe.

Tom

 

Superintendent, High Plains Division (O Gauge) 

The Panhandle & Santa Fe Railway Co.

Lone Star Hi-Railers

Santa Fe, All the Way

My wife and I rode the Capitol Limited from DC to Chicago, then the Empire Builder to Seattle, had several nights on the rails. I slept like a baby every night in our roomettes.

One night on the Builder, I opened the blind from my bunk and watched an extremely rural landscape zipping by...

I've had a few hundred sleeping car rides - Us and other countries including France-Suisse-Austria, Sweden, Egypt, Australia and China.  I'll just mention a few highlights.

First trip in 1951, family trip to Niagara Falls from New york.  As the oldest of three children, I ahd the roomete while the others rode in the double bedroom - listening to the Hudson on the head end as I lay in bed in the roomette.

Second trip in 1953 on the CP from McAdam Jct. to Sherbrooke in a lower berth behind a Royal Hudson.

Working for the NYC, I had a pass endorsed "good for roomette in New York Sentral operated sleeping cars".  Several trips on the Century, also between New York and Syracuse, Rochester, Massena, Buffalo, Detroit, and many others.

My wife's first sleeping car trip was on the Pioneer LTd from Chicago to Minneapolis when I was working for the Milwaukee Road.  Our oldest daughter (earlier than planned
) was a result of that trip.

Egypt from Cairo to Luxor in a Hungarian sleeper, courtesy of USSR funding, but no funds for maintenance - not recommended.

Night Ferry from London to Brussels.  Sleeping cars on the ferry from Dover to Dunquerque.

China, Canton to Changsha and Wuhan to Peking in a four berth compartment in a Russian soft class sleeper.

Wiener Walzer in 1971 with my wife from Zurich to Vienna, being served continental breakfast in our room by the Wagon-Lits sleeping car conductor.

I could go on all night, but that's a good sample.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many times, frequent Amtrak rider mainly in the 1990s.  Second night the sleep comes much easier.  Always fun though.  Roughest ride was on the recently acquired by UP (at the time) Missouri Pacific south of St Louis. Weeks after that ride Amtrak rerouted the Texas Eagle for the rest of the summer for track work on that segment.  Unforgettable night though, not much sleep but some cool last scenes of MP power.

Always nice in the morning to get the complimentary coffee, juice, and a newspaper.  

A good friend of mine just got back from a round trip from Portland to Wisconsin Dells on the "Empire Builder". Since it was her first long distance train trip, she opted for coach, just to see what it was like.

Like most of you, she was only able to "doze" in the car, and thinks she will probably upgrade to a sleeper next time. But she loved the space she did have, and being able to move around while traveling was a big plus. The families she saw all seemed to be having a good time, and she met some interesting people. She said the staff was really helpful, the food in the diner was really good, and " you just can't beat the view". Over all, she thought it was a great way to travel: so much better than an airplane.

A big thumbs up for Amtrak!

Mark in Oregon 

My son and I took the overnight train from Paris to Florence in 2007. We traveled 2nd class I think and shared a sleeping compartment with four other people. There was a lady from Chicago, a gentleman from Italy and two African ladies who were part of a Trafalgar Tours group. No one spoke Italian but the lady from Chicago and the Italian man spoke Spanish. The African ladies spoke excellent English so we could all communicate a bit. I secured a bottle of wine from the bar car and the ladies from Africa had a supply of Scotch so w had a very congenial trip. They were from Rwanda I believe and spoke very briefly of the terrible times in that country but mostly laughed all night. In the morning the porter returned our passports as we were rolling through Tuscany watching the beautiful landscape pass.

Really an enjoyable experience and it saved us the cost of a hotel room.

MarkVB posted:

My son and I took the overnight train from Paris to Florence in 2007. We traveled 2nd class I think and shared a sleeping compartment with four other people. There was a lady from Chicago, a gentleman from Italy and two African ladies who were part of a Trafalgar Tours group. No one spoke Italian but the lady from Chicago and the Italian man spoke Spanish. The African ladies spoke excellent English so we could all communicate a bit. I secured a bottle of wine from the bar car and the ladies from Africa had a supply of Scotch so w had a very congenial trip. They were from Rwanda I believe and spoke very briefly of the terrible times in that country but mostly laughed all night. In the morning the porter returned our passports as we were rolling through Tuscany watching the beautiful landscape pass.

Really an enjoyable experience and it saved us the cost of a hotel room.

The accomodation that Mark is talking about is what the europeans call a couchette.  IT's intended for six coach passengers to be able to lie down through the night.  Europeans don't think of it as a sleeping car.  There is no privacy and it's not expected that passengers will undress and change to night clothes.

The old European sleepers, almost all gone now, could be set up with two beds or three.  On a second class ticket, you could get a berth in a three bed compartment.  Users of the other two beds might get on and off at different stations.  With a first class ticket, you could have the compartment set up for one bed or two.

These cars were known as the Wagon-Lits except for German routes operated by Deutsche Schlafwagen.

Most of the routes did not have dining service, usually departing after *:00 pm and arriving before 8:00 am.  The sleeping car conductor provided beverage service in the evening and a continental breakfast in the morning.  Conductor is the European English word for what we would call a porter.

My first European sleeping car trip was Lausanne to Paris in 1962.  The train arrived Paris and much to my annoyed surprise we had to get off immediately when we arrived Paris at 6:30.  The Europeans didn't observe the american custom pof parking sleepers until 8:00 am

Yes, my wife and I have used AMTRAK sleepers a few times, with quite favorable opinions of the experiences.  Like Alan Miller remarked, we felt rocked to sleep.  We feel that with all the extras that other replies have mentioned as being included with a first class ticket, it is well worth the cost.

eddie g posted:

From 1938 to 1946 I went to boys camp on a sleeper from NYC to Portland, Maine.  It was called the State of Maine Express. When we got to Portland we boarded a bus to the camp in the Belgrade lakes. 

I did the same thing in 1953 - Boston to Bangor with a canoe camp making the allagash trip.  Our camp had a sleeper on the Gull, which also had sleepers for Calais, Van Buren, St. John and Halifax.

Oh, yes,  Liked it so much I bought one.   1948 Pullman, built for Frisco, then to CN, then VIA.  We bought it in 1983, returned it to its home in St Louis, and restored it to close to original look.  Amtrak certified, has run over 500,000 miles in our private ownership.  Seriously cuts into model railroading time and funds.

Tony


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On my first ever train ride, in 2003 at Christmas.  Yes, have had Lionel trains all my life, got first set in 1958.  But, always flew when traveling for business. But, took the Texas Eagle from Chicago to Texas for Christmas , 2003.  Met the most wonderful Lady after she boarded in St. Louis around 21:00 hr that night, 12-23-2003.   Thing is, left Houston early due my kids all being grown and had plans for New Year with friends.  Well, same with Lady from St.Louis, left early visiting relatives in Houston.  We both wound up being on same Amtrak back North 12-30-2003, her to St. Louis and me to Great Lakes Naval.  We spent the night mostly talking, mostly, and spent night in coach, not expecting need for a sleeper.  Traded business cards, called and talked for New Years eve, kept in touch... now have been married for over 12 years of the best times of my life!  If not for Amtrak, we may have never met....

Jesse   TCA  12-682##  

Yes, It was September of 1962 and the first leg of the trip departed Detroit early in the am on the Wabash Cannonball...arriving in St Louis late afternoon...that was the day part of the trip.

Next was the overnight adventure on the Texas Special...departed St Louis that evening and arrived the following am. Everyone was assigned a private berth...however because the destination was San Antonio and basic training...I’m pretty sure that most of those berths didn’t get much use and not much sleep was had by anyone either! Just Sayin...

 

Paul

The Marshall & Michigan Southern Railroad

Twice — 1st time was in an Amtrak car on a train trip out of NewOrleans bound for L.A. had a big seat in the second row from the front of the car. That was a problem on that overnighted, because people were opening the noisy door all night long to walk to the bar or the bathroom in the car in front of us. 

2nd time was Friday, September 14, 2001. I was stranded in Washington DC, which I had flown into on September 9th for a meeting on the 11th at NOAA Headquarters office. While in that meeting, a friend walked in to tell us that a passenger jet had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York. We said yeah, that’s awful, but what’s that got to do with us. Later in that same meeting, she walked in again and said an airliner had just crashed into the Pentagon and we had to end our meeting because All NOAA offices were shutting down and we had to leave the building. We left and drove to our friends home, passing fairly close by the Pentagon on the way. We saw it smoking big time.

Point is, there was no way to get a flight out of DC back to Florida. I kept hearing reports that National Airport would open “tomorrow” (it stayed closed for weeks). Tried to find a rental car, but none were available within 100 miles. Was really stranded in DC. Then my office assistant called me to say that Amtrack was going to do a 1-time run for stranded people on Friday, the 14th, on their Auto Train. I was actually able to get a ticket and rode overnight from Lorton Virginia to Sanford Florida on the Auto Train. Wonderful experience and easy to sleep all night, comfortably, but with those sad images of the 9/11 attack in my head all night.

Arrived in Sanford the next day and drove a rental car headed East on I-4 that morning straight into a class 1 Hurricane that was barreling down I-4 from the West Coast of Florida. Semi trucks and trailers were overturned in the median and off the right side of the road. I hunkered down in a Huddle House pancake restaurant to get out of harms way. Although the electricity was out, they told me their grill was still hot and made me breakfast. 

Ill never forget that trip and the overnight ride on that auto train.

I can't believe it still runs well...

tonymarchiando posted:

Oh, yes,  Liked it so much I bought one.   1948 Pullman, built for Frisco, then to CN, then VIA.  We bought it in 1983, returned it to its home in St Louis, and restored it to close to original look.  Amtrak certified, has run over 500,000 miles in our private ownership.  Seriously cuts into model railroading time and funds.

Tony


IMG_1641

Did your car ever run on the TX SPECIAL?  PRR PENN TEXAS?

The TEXAS SPECIAL:  The REAL RED streak of the golden prairies!

Cincinnati Limited overnight from Paoli, PA to Cincinnati, OH, Christmas of 1963. I was a kid but had my own sleeping compartment with a fold-down bunk. In those days, there was a cubby hole into which you could put your shoes and the porter would shine them while you slept.

I rode the UP City of Portland in the summer of 1966 during the Nationwide Airline Machinists strike.  All major air carriers were shut down and we were stranded in Washington during move to Chicago for several weeks until we could get two sleeping compartments on that train.  I was very young but remember eating in the diner dome and how frightening it was passing between cars and seeing the the gap between the diaphragm and the floor with the visible roadbed rushing by.  That trip sealed my love of railroads for my whole life.  A few years ago my Wife arranged for us to ride on a private rail car excursion from Los Angeles to Portland on a three car addition to the Coast Starlight.  My sleeper was the Pacific Sands, and we had the lounge car Overland Trail and Sleeper Salisbury Beach with us.  Brought back so many memories.  I spent considerable time looking out the open dutch door in the vestibule.  No fear spending time between rail-cars cars at this age.

Cimarron River was built for the St Louis-Tulsa-Oklahoma City train "the Meteor".  All sleeping cars built for the Meteor were named for rivers along the route.  The Texas Special sleeping cars were all named for people important to the history of Missouri and Texas.  All cars were identical except for the names.  Unclear how long the railroads strictly kept the cars on the routes they were built for.   The Frisco RR stopping their participation in the Texas Special in the late 50's, maybe only 10 years after the trains were streamlined.  Therefore, I would tend to think the cars stayed with their original trains.  As for the Penn Texas, it was the eastern connection for the Texas Special and the MP Texas Eagle.  So, the through cars would have been from those trains.   For a couple years, the Meteor had through cars to Chicago and I think a car to the east on the B&O.  I'm not sure any documentation exists now that would identify which specific cars were on the specific trains.

In the early sixties, Cimarron River operated on the Kansas City-Florida Special (KC to Jacksonville).  It ran through Memphis and train consist notes do exist showing it ran on that line.   Passenger business declined on the Frisco and the car was sold to Canandian National (with many sister cars) in 1965.  Rebuilt then and renamed Rainbow Falls, painted in CN two-tone black and gray.

I have a photo of Rainbow Falls running into Chicago on the International in 1970.   But have never seen a photo of the car in service while on the Frisco.

Long answer, but now you know what I know.

Tony

 

Hello, when I joined the Air Force in October, 1956, I flew on Eastern Airlines to San Antonio, TX for basic training. A month later, I took the train from San Antonio to Denver, CO for technical training and the only thing that can remember is that somewhere, I assume in Texas, the train went down the middle of a street by a theater that advertised the movie "Giant" on its marquee. I assume that my excitement about going to Colorado and being on my own for the first time in my life, I did not remember any other details about my first lengthy train ride.

Art

B&MRRHS

LCCA

LOTS

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