Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Rail Trips
Old 12-23-2006, 02:01 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Pasadena CA
Posts: 2,695
Rail Trips

My wife & I and some friends recently returned from a week long expedition to Mexico's Copper Canyon. There are four major elements to the trip, one is the rail trip. full day trips into and out of the area is pretty much the only way to get there. While we like rail travel we were definitely in the presence of real train buffs who reveled in the train part. Then there is the canyon itself which appears to be bigger than our Grand Canyon, we stayed at a hotel right on the edge of the canyon, watched the sunrise over the canyon and went on day hikes. Another element was meeting the local Tarahumara indians who are the most amazing runners in the world and generally live isolated from even the Spanish population. And the surprise element was a half day float trip down the El Fuerte River, not even remotely challenging water wise but full of birds.

We enjoyed the trip we are looking at more rail trips. But I wonder, most of the even the ER types here are old enough to have had rail travel, maybe you can recall some older or more recent trips.
__________________

__________________
T.S. Eliot:
Old men ought to be explorers
yakers is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: Rail Trips
Old 12-23-2006, 03:27 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,288
Re: Rail Trips

Sounds like a great time.... I think my parents did that back in the mid 70s... they liked it...

But, and this is from memory.. the Grand Canyon is the largest in the world and deepest also.. I remember the guide said that if you only looked at the 'skinny' part that it would be one of the deepest in the world and you still had a few thousand feet for the wide part... but, I am sure someone will look it up...
__________________

__________________
Texas Proud is online now   Reply With Quote
Re: Rail Trips
Old 12-23-2006, 04:24 PM   #3
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 987
Re: Rail Trips

Back in the late '50's my mother/I took a train (Eastern PA) several times into NYC to visit my aunt (who lived in the Jamaica & Flushing areas during that time). That train service was stopped in the early '60's.

Last fall, during our Alaska trip, we had a two-day train trip (Fairbanks to Denali; Denali to Anchorage) on the "front-end" of our cruise.

Certainly a more "civilized" way of travel.

When I traveled to Lyon, France back in the late 90's (wo*k), I would travel on the TGV (high speed) from CDG (Paris) to Lyon every 6-8 weeks (flying from the US).

My wife and I made the same trip, and then took the local train to the French Alps during a 2-week vacation last spring.

Additionally, we took the Glacier Express (Switzerland) during a vacation in the early '90's. Quite an experience in going up a "circular tunnel" to a pass with no snow in the valley to over 2 ft (.6 M) at the top, in a blizzard, in the middle of May! Quite an experience...

Anyway, the times I have spent on trains (very little, compared to my air travel) are memorable...

- Ron
__________________
rs0460a is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Rail Trips
Old 12-23-2006, 05:05 PM   #4
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Okanagan Valley
Posts: 805
Re: Rail Trips

I've experienced 2 train trips that have been memorable. The first was in the '60s when as a high school student, I took the train from Western Canada to Montreal as part of a student exchange. It was super cool to eat, sleep and generally goof off on about a 3-4 day trip. The equipment was probably 50 years old at that time but everything worked most of the time.

The second was in 1990 during Gorbie's days when DW, kids and I did an adventure tour of the then Soviet Union. One of the legs of the 2 week 5 city tour was a day long electric train ride from Kiev in the Ukraine southeast to Odessa on the Black Sea. Was highly interesting seeing the various villages and people from many walks of life use the train.
__________________
AltaRed is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Rail Trips
Old 12-23-2006, 05:11 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
2B's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 4,330
Re: Rail Trips

I can't resist this.

When I was very young, my "uncle" (lived with my grandmother) would take us to Philadelphia to either the zoo or to see a baseball game. We'd take the train. I loved going to the bathroom. When you "flushed," you could see the tracks rushing by down below. That was in the 50s.
__________________
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane -- Marcus Aurelius
2B is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Rail Trips
Old 12-23-2006, 07:16 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
73ss454's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: LaLa Land
Posts: 4,378
Re: Rail Trips

2b you are easily amused.
__________________
Work is something you do to get enough $ so you don't have to....Me.
73ss454 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Rail Trips
Old 12-23-2006, 08:06 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 8,646
Re: Rail Trips

Quote:
Originally Posted by 73ss454
2b you are easily amused.
Me too. When we were kids we would sneak downtown (Chicago). We would take the bus to the Englewood "El" station and then catch the "El" downtown. We would try to get the first seat in the front car -- next to the driver. When it went underground watching the lights rush toward you was like an amusement park ride.
__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Rail Trips
Old 12-23-2006, 08:12 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Goonie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: North-Central Illinois
Posts: 3,198
Re: Rail Trips

For many years I took the Southwest Chief from a stop just outside of Chicago to Pasadena CA, at least twice a year to visit friends. I loved it!!! Very relaxing...and met some very nice fellow travellers on board.

One older fellow, I had the benefit of dining with a couple of times on one trip, had been on EVERY Amtrak route at least once per year, for the last several! He had taken EVERY side tour that Amtrak had...several times! He said his wife had passed away some years before, and he decided to go see the country to get out of the house. He said he goes home (near St. Louis) about every 5 weeks for a few days, to check the house and catch up on the mail, and visit his daughter....then off he goes again!

I noticed that all the car attendants, diner staff, conductor, etc all knew him by name, and would ocassionally recall past encounters with him. A very nice guy! IIRC, he was 84 or 85 at the time!

One of the things I have on my "To Do" list for FIRE is to travel by train again! It was a blast!
__________________
Goonie is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Rail Trips
Old 12-23-2006, 10:43 PM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 127
Re: Rail Trips

My sister and her girl friend came to visit us in Florida a week ago by train from Michigan. They said the ride from Toledo to Washington DC was nice but the ride from Washington to Orlando was very rough and the condition of the rail cars was not the best. Bathrooms dirty etc.
__________________
If you think nobody cares whether you're alive or dead, try missing a couple of mortgage payments.
kowski is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Rail Trips
Old 12-24-2006, 04:29 AM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
2B's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 4,330
Re: Rail Trips

Quote:
Originally Posted by 73ss454
2b you are easily amused.
Very easily amused then (about age 8) and now (much older).
__________________
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane -- Marcus Aurelius
2B is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Rail Trips
Old 12-24-2006, 10:46 AM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Los Angeles area
Posts: 1,432
Re: Rail Trips

I take Amtrak from Los Angeles to Oregon on occasion and find it quite relaxing
compared to flying. I will be doing so again in a few weeks. Last year I continued
on the train up to Bellingham,WA, then took the Marine Ferry up to Alaska, just
to see what it was like. It was very nice, sleeping in the big comfortable chairs
in the movie theatre at night, walking around watching the coast go by, reading,
listening to mp3s, etc. very relaxing. Slightly cheaper than flying.
__________________
learn, work, save, invest, fire
CyclingInvestor is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Rail Trips
Old 12-24-2006, 02:00 PM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
bosco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 987
Re: Rail Trips

Quote:
Originally Posted by AltaRed
I've experienced 2 train trips that have been memorable. The first was in the '60s when as a high school student, I took the train from Western Canada to Montreal as part of a student exchange. It was super cool to eat, sleep and generally goof off on about a 3-4 day trip. The equipment was probably 50 years old at that time but everything worked most of the time.
was that the CN route or the CP route? I took the CN route in 1978 from Vancouver to Montreal. I don't think it runs any more for passengers since the merger--I think it's all the southern route now.

A short trip well worth taking is from Skagway up to Lake Bennett on the White Pass & Yukon Route RR. It's a narrow-gage, and has some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.
__________________
I have an inferiority complex, but it's not a very good one.
bosco is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Rail Trips
Old 12-24-2006, 02:11 PM   #13
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Okanagan Valley
Posts: 805
Re: Rail Trips

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosco
was that the CN route or the CP route? I took the CN route in 1978 from Vancouver to Montreal. I don't think it runs any more for passengers since the merger--I think it's all the southern route now.

A short trip well worth taking is from Skagway up to Lake Bennett on the White Pass & Yukon Route RR. It's a narrow-gage, and has some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.
It was the CP route, but I started in Calgary..not Vancouver.

DW and I did the White Pass RR out of Skagway in 2002. Loved every minute of it. We did a loop starting in Anchorage with a leased auto* where I was working then - drove down to the coast and took the ferry to Juneau and then Sitka, then the ferry again off to Skagway and the RR, then drove the Alaska Highway back to Anchorage via Denali and Mt McKinley. The single engined plane tours of Mt McKinley are awesome too.

*beware that Cdn residents cannot take a US rental car into Canada (Canada customs will stop you) so if any Canucks here are thinking about doing that loop, don't do it with a US rental. I only could do it because of a US work visa I had with me.
__________________
AltaRed is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Rail Trips
Old 12-24-2006, 02:16 PM   #14
Full time employment: Posting here.
bosco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 987
Re: Rail Trips

Quote:
Originally Posted by AltaRed

*beware that Cdn residents cannot take a US rental car into Canada (Canada customs will stop you) so if any Canucks here are thinking about doing that loop, don't do it with a US rental.
this is true, and often the Canadian customs officials aren't totally versed on the rules themselves (Betty at the Haines border is easily confused....). The key term is 'resident', not 'citizen' but sometimes they get confused. I actually called the Canada Customs 800 number to talk about this since it had been a big issue a couple of times. As a dual citizen, I now always give Canadian customs my US passport when driving a US plated car (I'm presently residing in the US). Then they want to know about criminal records etc--have to treat me as a visitor. But it's easier than all the BS about automobile plating.

This is a rule I never understood. BTW, it's waived for U-Hauls (don't ask me why).
__________________
I have an inferiority complex, but it's not a very good one.
bosco is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Rail Trips
Old 12-24-2006, 05:37 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,199
Re: Rail Trips

Quote:
When you "flushed," you could see the tracks rushing by down below. That was in the 50s.
This was true when I was on the "Inlands Bana" railroad in Sweden in 1991.
__________________

__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Canada by rail Cattusbabe Life after FIRE 17 10-25-2006 05:00 PM
Winter trips Martha Life after FIRE 15 10-17-2006 12:44 PM
Airlines in the High Speed Rail business? Lakewood90712 Other topics 7 09-26-2006 01:50 PM
Guilt Trips & Other Doubts SamHouston Life after FIRE 55 03-16-2006 03:37 PM
Affordable Accommodation On Trips? ShokWaveRider Life after FIRE 25 03-31-2005 01:11 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:26 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.