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www.trainweb.com/travelogues/1999/1998i04a_019.html


Subject: POSSIBLY Incomplete Message: Re: trains, of course
Date: Fri, 4 Sep 1998 22:53:48 -0400
From: "Elizabeth W. Knowlton"
To: "INTERNET:steve@trainweb.com"

Steve I emailed you last February about my train experiences. I enjoyed your web pages and thought they were just fine. Amtrak's are improving. Recently I took the train from Atlanta to NYC and returned two weeks later. The service was great, but $650 for roundtrip for one person, even with meals, seems very unfair, particularly when I realized that two people pay the same for the compartment. In 1996 and this time I expressed my wish to the attendants that the old economy sleepers come back. Each time they have said they would. I don't know whether this is just a ploy to keep me happy while on board. This time I traveled with duct tape, note cards, regular tape, and nail scissors to be able to cover all the lights at night. The curtains are not opaque like the shades were plus are now disintegrating. And the upper berth still squeaks. I mentioned the latter to the attendant this time [after trying to stuff washcloths around where it slides up and down]; and he fixed the problem by sliding the [unused] birth all the way up to the ceiling after getting down what he needed for my berth. I suspect the squeaking is not a problem when someone is actually weighting down the berth. Generally the whole car feels lightweight and tinny, not the heavy substantial feel of the old compartments. I know they were getting worn looking but wish they could have been refurbished. It never occurred to me to want a larger window. Most of the DC to Atlanta run is in the dark. From Atlanta to New Orleans is 95% kudzu and 5% impoverished edges of small cities. I love the South, but a larger view was not needed! The service is much more evenly good, however. Some extra training must have taken effect, especially in the dining car where one of the Heads used to be a Control Freak of monstrous proportions, ordering the passengers around in the most inefficient way possible just to show off how he could make us obey him [or never eat]. Now some attention was paid to being nice to us even when the wait service was poor. I felt it was ignorance, not maliciousness I had good stewards on all four of my last trips. I was also going to Cape Cod but was not able to do any of this by train. The one train a day from NYC to Atlanta leaves about 2:25 pm. The only way I could connect from the Cape was to take a bus that left Hyannis at 630 AM. Thank goodness it existed. By the time I got to Providence, trains that could get to NY in time for the Crescent had already passed by. So I took this express bus round trip NYC to Hyannis and back to NYC. We got into Port Authority around 1 PM, and it was a single subway stop to Penn Station. Amusingly, the bus driver carried on a conversation with another passenger about the old Cape Cod train service for much of the last hour. You may use any of this on your web page. Elizabeth W. Knowlton KnowltonEW@Compuserve.com

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