Okay, Joe, my wife and I went over to NOUPT yesterday and did a little research, as we are in New Orleans this week.

First, you don't even have a choice to stay overnight in the depot.  It's closed from 11:00 PM until 5:30 AM.  The neighborhood is not safe after dark.  You'll need to book a hotel for the night.  There's a Hyatt not too far from the depot (no, don't walk to it at night) and there are good hotels downtown on Canal Street (Marriott, Westin, Hilton, etc).  You can stay farther away for less, but the longer taxi ride eats up money, too.

The station is in good condition, and has a lot of molded plastic chairs in the waiting room.  There is the Magnolia Room Lounge for first class passengers, but, the Sunset leaves in the morning, so you'll have to get there very early if you want to use the Magnolia Room.

The seashell ballast is now buried deep under a lot of large granite ballast.  Environmentalists stopped the salvaging of seashells for gravel.

The Rampart Street streetcar goes right to the station, but is not a 24-hour operation.  Also, luggage does not do well on New Orleans streetcars.  Taxi or Uber or Lyft is the answer.  I suggest taxi, as I would not want to wait for Uber or Lyft after dark there.

Tom

 

Superintendent, High Plains Division (O Gauge) 

The Panhandle & Santa Fe Railway Co.

Lone Star Hi-Railers

Santa Fe, All the Way

Attachments

Photos (3)

Returned from our trip today...so, a re-cap: Took the Crescent from Phila to New Orleans. My wife and I each had a roomette. It arrived in N.O. only 1 1/2 hours late, which is REALLY great for this train. Plenty of cabs outside of the station at 9 pm. We spent one day and 2 nights. On Saturday morning we were due to leave on the Sunset Limited at 9 am, BUT it had arrived from Los Angeles VERY late, which resulted in it leaving for the return trip at 2:30 pm (5 1/2 hours late). We appreciated the private waiting room (with drinks and snacks) for sleeping car passengers. We arrived in Maricopa, AZ at 1:30 am rather than 8:52 pm. All in all, a good trip, but we will just fly to AZ both ways from now on (been there/done that).

Overall, we liked the Viewliner (Crescent) set-up better. Viewliner had toilet and sink in each roomette... Superliner did not, and overall, the cars were showing some wear.

Thanks to all of you for your input/advice.

The wife and I took the Sunset limited from LA to Pensacola FL in June of 2006 to see my son stationed at Elgin AFB.  It was only 12 hours late and the air conditioner was a bit weak. half way trough the trip they moved us to first class. I highly suggest first class, the AC works. I did not mind the 12 hours late,  it was a free 12 hours.

I know where I have been, I know where I am at, I am hopeful I know where I am going.(The devil and God are talking it over).

eddie g posted:

Antoines for dinner, and Pralines. That's all you need to do in New Orleans.

We had a great dinner at Antoines...I even tried a cup of their Alligator bisque. YUM! We also had front row tickets for the Preservation Hall Jazz Show, which I booked a month in advance.

Joe,

 I must have misread something, I thought you said you weren't going until June...I was all set to say try to visit the National World War II museum (with the 75th Anniversary of D-Day approaching) in New Orleans, but I guess your trip is over. Maybe next time.

Tom 

Joe Hohmann posted:

Returned from our trip today...so, a re-cap: Took the Crescent from Phila to New Orleans. My wife and I each had a roomette. It arrived in N.O. only 1 1/2 hours late, which is REALLY great for this train. Plenty of cabs outside of the station at 9 pm. We spent one day and 2 nights. On Saturday morning we were due to leave on the Sunset Limited at 9 am, BUT it had arrived from Los Angeles VERY late, which resulted in it leaving for the return trip at 2:30 pm (5 1/2 hours late). We appreciated the private waiting room (with drinks and snacks) for sleeping car passengers. We arrived in Maricopa, AZ at 1:30 am rather than 8:52 pm. All in all, a good trip, but we will just fly to AZ both ways from now on (been there/done that).

Overall, we liked the Viewliner (Crescent) set-up better. Viewliner had toilet and sink in each roomette... Superliner did not, and overall, the cars were showing some wear.

Thanks to all of you for your input/advice.

Joe, thank you very much for this thread. I have been thinking about your recap for a few days.

The only train travel I have done is DC or BWI (Baltimore) to NYC (NE regional and acela) and trains in Japan including shinkansen Osaka to Tokyo, but those are more like long commuter trains imo. 

I had some vague hope of doing something like this some day.  Sounds like it's sort of maybe ok for a train enthusiast, but not so appealing.

I am not retired, and won't be for a long time I hope, and my daughter is 13. My wife would hate what you described, daughter probably would be only slightly less cantankerous.  So I think it will be decades or never before I try this, but who knows.  As a train enthusiast it is sad to me that the trains run so terribly late on top of the already long trip. But it is what is, just have to keep suffering aweful domestic airlines. 

pennsy484 posted:

Joe, thank you very much for this thread. I have been thinking about your recap for a few days.

The only train travel I have done is DC or BWI (Baltimore) to NYC (NE regional and acela) My wife would hate what you described, daughter probably would be only slightly less cantankerous.  As a train enthusiast it is sad to me that the trains run so terribly late on top of the already long trip. But it is what is, just have to keep suffering awful domestic airlines. 

Thanks for the "thanks". We travel on Amtrak at least 3 times a year from Philadelphia to Boston (Rt128). Frankly, the scenery is more interesting on that trip than it is on the New Orleans (Crescent) or Florida (Silver Meteor) runs. Seeing the NYC skyline, Queens neighborhoods, going over the Hell Gate Bridge, traveling along the Long Island Sound, water and boats sometimes on both sides of the train, and neat railroad stations along the way, makes for a nice trip. We do NOT travel on the Acela (see no need to pay double the price to save 30 minutes).

On the Florida run in March, the sky is dark by the time you get to Baltimore, so you miss some interesting towns in MD, VA, NC, SC, and wake up in GA...where you ride through solid pine trees. Entering Florida, you ride through solid regular trees for hours. After Seebring, you ride through an Orange Grove for 5 minutes. From West Palm on down, interesting stuff to look at. On the New Orleans run, much of the same, except the trees are growing in swamps. The run to the West Coast has more interesting scenery, but by Arizona, it's dark again.

Their ARE positives: Your vacation starts as soon as you turn over your bags to a Red Cap, who will take you and your baggage down to the platform on an elevator to your correct sleeping car location. He will hand it over to your car attendant, who will get you set up in your TWO roomettets (trust me on this one). Pick what time you want to have dinner in the dining car (meals included in your sleeper ticket price), and usually be seated with another couple for a nice chat. This trip will not save you any money over flying, but no annoying check-ins or security lines to put up with.

After all of our long distance trips, we fly home. We will probably repeat the Florida trip, but not the Crescent/Sunset Limited trips, although we do not regret taking them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Hohmann posted:

...

Overall, we liked the Viewliner (Crescent) set-up better. Viewliner had toilet and sink in each roomette... Superliner did not, and overall, the cars were showing some wear.

Thanks to all of you for your input/advice.

I agree.   But, the Viewliner II sleepers do not have individual toilets and sinks.  They are down the hall like on the Superliners (at least they are all on the same level).  

For my March trip from Reno to Chicago the toilets were out of service in both directions in my Superliner sleeper so I had to go to another car.  Really defeated the purpose for getting a downstairs room.

And, yes, they are getting old.  They are coming up on their mandated 40 year FRA inspections and Amtrak apparently doesn't want to do that so there is a small imperative to make up their minds whether or not to replace them with Viewliners in the not too distant future or not.

We go from Newark to Lakeland FL every Christmas season. Been taking the Silver Star but the loss of the dinner makes the trip not so good--Cafe Car food for 24 hours is not something my system can deal with. We bring a variety of tuna, cheese, crackers and etc so we can eat in our room. They've even been getting tighter on the morning coffee in the sleepers cutting back the time its available.

Not much choice as I'm not allowed to fly for medical reasons but we do get the handicapped bedroom, more spacious, right by the car door and has an enclosed toilet. If you have handicapped certification you should consider this upgrade, costs the same as a roomette if you meet the requirements.

Joe Hohmann posted: Thanks for the "thanks". We travel on Amtrak at least 3 times a year from Philadelphia to Boston (Rt128). Frankly, the scenery is more interesting on that trip than it is on the New Orleans (Crescent) or Florida (Silver Meteor) runs. Seeing the NYC skyline, Queens neighborhoods, going over the Hell Gate Bridge, traveling along the Long Island Sound, water and boats sometimes on both sides of the train, and neat railroad stations along the way, makes for a nice trip. 

On the Florida run . . .  you ride through solid pine trees. Entering Florida, you ride through solid regular trees for hours. After Seebring, you ride through an Orange Grove for 5 minutes. From West Palm on down, interesting stuff to look at. On the New Orleans run, much of the same, except the trees are growing in swamps. The run to the West Coast has more interesting scenery, but by Arizona, it's dark again.

I'm glad you were able to enjoy the trip, Joe.  Yes, the great southeastern pine forest does seem to go on forever, and the Louisiana portion of the Sunset Route is largely through swampland.  It has a large number of small drawbridges, and until the late 1990's it had some Magnetic Flagman wig wag crossing signals, but they're gone.

A nice, fairly short trip on Amtrak, with scenery, is the Montrealer, on my bucket list for a week-long getaway with Mrs. Number 90.  You already know the train scenery is mostly (though not all) west of the Mississippi, because, over a large part of the west there are few trees and each western Amtrak long-distance train has to cross at least one mountain range.  But that's the reverse of my situation -- a long way to travel.  Don't wait too long, though, things are a bit on edge this year, and could get worse.  Bring your own duct tape for the squeaks in the Superliners, haha.

Tom

 

Superintendent, High Plains Division (O Gauge) 

The Panhandle & Santa Fe Railway Co.

Lone Star Hi-Railers

Santa Fe, All the Way

Scotie posted:

Not much choice as I'm not allowed to fly for medical reasons but we do get the handicapped bedroom, more spacious, right by the car door and has an enclosed toilet. If you have handicapped certification you should consider this upgrade, costs the same as a roomette if you meet the requirements.

I understand that IF they have any available 24 hours prior to departure, anyone can book it. Since there is only one per sleeper, and many trains only have two sleepers, I'd guess these are usually taken well ahead of time.

Yes there are only two on the Silver Star, one per Viewliner. Traveling in Christmas week my wife usually makes the reservations in March as its a very busy time.

I've taken the train to Montreal when it was NYC/D&H in February. Spectacular scenery starting with the Hudson River just out of NYC. We were scheduled to do it a week ago to Montreal and then take the Ocean to Halifax. The Ocean is an overnight trip with some very interesting equipement purchased from the British for a failed overnight train to Paris. It does however carry a stainless steel round end observation dome car for first class passengers. Unfortunately my wife injured herself (she's OK now) and we had to cancel. It looks like a trip well worth taking and if you book your "cabin" as VIA calls it early they do have one with two beds both on the floor so no one has to climb up. If you're interested in a VIA trip I would recommend calling them as all of the agents we dealt with were wonderful--even haning on for almost 30 while I fought with my credit card about a charge in Canada.

Scotie posted:

 

 If you're interested in a VIA trip I would recommend calling them as all of the agents we dealt with were wonderful

We looked into a VIA cross Canada trip, and put it off for 2 reasons: It makes no "sightseeing" stops along the way. I've seen it run up to 36 hours late. 4 days on a train without getting off ? To be honest, I was getting a little "rammy" on a 2 day trip.

There are a few sightseeing rail trips in Western Canada that we are considering. The Rocky Mountaineer leaves Vancouver, stops at Kamloops, BC, then on to Banff , Lake Louise and Jasper. Also a VIA Vancouver to Calgary 6 day trip with 4 sightseenig  stops.

>> A nice, fairly short trip on Amtrak, with scenery, is the Montrealer,<<

The Montrealer was an overnight train via Vermont that was discontinued years ago and replaced by the daylight Vermonter which only runs as far as St Albans.   A more scenic trip is the Adirondack, via the west shore of Lake Champlain, but it has no Business Class.  I get a sore neck trying to peep through the dinky windows.

OLDGUYFROMNJ

Have you ever priced that trip from Toronto to Vancover first class? It's around $10,000 . In the meantime for the past 3 years I have taken the train first class from Boston to Flagstaff, AZ.  San Fransisco to LA,  White Fish, MT, & 3 times to Key West.

Eddie G

Kent

Right on the name, I was remembering when we took it in the early 1970s and took the night train back. We were in a very tired NYC sleeper but there was a lounge car. Locked up the Canadian taxed beer at the border and opened another refrigerator.

True there is no business class on the Adirondack. I ride it often to VA. The windows are the same as the coaches, they've added drapes on the windows and the seats have more legroom and a foot rest. Also frees soft drinks. With a cup of coffee at $3.50 now in the cafe car I drink most of the price difference.

Add Reply

Likes (0)
Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
×