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Introduction to
Steve Grande's Amtrak Travelogues

I think a quick note is needed here for those of you that are reading my travelogues for the first time. There are two audiences that might be dissapointed in what they find here. But, there is a third audience who will find these travelogues a unique source of information about Amtrak travel unlikely to be found anywhere else.

The first audience that may be dissapointed is railfans. You won't find much description about the consist, the car numbers, nor other technical details that a railfan might place into their log of travels on Amtrak. From time to time I will write down some of the car numbers and names and a few other technical details when I think of it, but these side notes fall far short of the information that would be gathered by a true railfan. My love is for train "travel" and not for trains themselves. Thus, it is difficult for me to be motivated and remember to gather information that does not get me personally excited.

The second audience is made up of people looking for a detailed description of the scenery along the routes and the history of the places through which I pass. I don't believe in re-inventing the wheel. There are three excellent books available that give second by second detailed descriptions of everything you will see along the Amtrak routes. Click here to see a list of those books now and how to order them. If you want a detailed description of what you will see along the routes, I strongly suggest you puchase and bring one or more of those books along with you on your Amtrak travels. I have also posted many of Amtrak's own Route Guides at RailRoutes.US including the more detailed older versions that are now impossible to obtain elsewhere. Click here to go to RailRoutes.US, select the route in which you are interested, and then select the "Route Guide" and "Older Route Guide" options for that route if available.

The third audience who will find these travelogues of interest are those people that want to learn what they are likely to experience on their Amtrak travels. I detail the events that transpire during the journey. I want to make my reader feel as though he himself has taken the trip and experienced the events along the way. Thus, when the reader takes that route themself, they will feel like they are the most knowledgable and experienced passenger on the train! After reading a number of my travelogues, you will know the customs of Amtrak travel in detail. You won't need to fear being embarassed by not knowing what to say to whom and when, nor which staff member to ask for what, or how much to tip to who. I've already gone through all that embarassment for you!

You will find some of this information covered in the books mentioned above that describe the Amtrak routes, but they don't go into the minute by minute experience of events as they transpire while you travel by train. My descriptions are not all sugar either. I praise Amtrak and their staff where such praise is deserved. I also critisize where service is not up to par and improvements are warrented. Your best bet is to read some of my rail travelogues and judge for yourself.

Another item closely related to the travelogues that you will find at TrainWeb Travel is the extensive gallery of travel photographs. TrainWeb is the only place where you will find an extensive number of photographs of the scenery along the routes, the stations, the trains, and even photos of the onboard accommodtions! There are over 100,000 such photographs posted at TrainWeb and that collection continues to grow rapidly. That is definitely something you can only find at TrainWeb and are not a duplicate of anyone else's efforts.


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