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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
How can a major city have a train station like this? My sister is coming for my son's graduation, but she doesn't like to fly so she is taking the train. So I went to the station just to familiarize myself with where it is. There is no where to pick up or drop off, no parking without walking a fairly far distance. I've never seen anything like this.
 

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Atlanta Overwatch
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Atlanta has a very small Amtrak station. I have tried taking the train places and the transfer points are stupid. To get to Orlando you have to change trains in Washington DC.
 

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Atlanta has a very small Amtrak station. I have tried taking the train places and the transfer points are stupid. To get to Orlando you have to change trains in Washington DC.
Could this be the reason they are losing money?
 

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Seems the last time I looked, the routes to destination were really screwy. The cost was rather high too.
 

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To get from Atlanta to Memphis you have to go through New Orleans. From Memphis to Atlanta you go through Washington and Chicago.

Round trip is more expensive than a one hour nonstop flight on Delta.
 

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I just played around with their bookings site. What a disaster.
 

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Junior Butt Warmer
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jato said:
How can a major city have a train station like this? My sister is coming for my son's graduation, but she doesn't like to fly so she is taking the train. So I went to the station just to familiarize myself with where it is. There is no where to pick up or drop off, no parking without walking a fairly far distance. I've never seen anything like this.
I think you're supposed to boondoggle the trolley there or something.
 

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Cross-drawer
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Amtrak is good for what a buddy of mine uses it for. He lives near Atlanta and takes a cross-country trip every year. During the year he will go to NO once or twice. Trying to take Amtrak somewhere is like trying to get from Savannah to Atlanta before the interstates were built.
 

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Amtrak is not an efficient way to travel. Besides the screwy routes, the cost is as much or more than airfare, it takes far more time than air travel, and the "on time" record has a lot to be desired.

That said, it is a fantastic way to travel if you want to see the country and have time to do it. Six years ago, my Bride and I took Amtrak from Chicago to San Fransisco with a side trip out of Salt Lake to Yellowstone......it was one of our best and most relaxing vacations. Think cruise ship, but when you look out the window you see trees, industry, mountains, prairies, and even a few river rafting nudist instead of miles and miles of water. If you ever decide to travel this way, I highly recommend a "Roomette", or one of the bedroom options if you plan to be on the train overnight. They offer more room and far more privacy than coach.

As for the Atlanta station, well, nothing in Atlanta seems to be planned right!
 

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Obviously, the problem is they aren't getting enough Federal funding. More money should fix it right up.
 

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Token Liberal Hippie
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Not an efficient way to travel, but definitely a fun one. A couple years ago I drove (rented car) cross country to visit my sister in California, then took a train back to Chicago, where I caught a plane back to Atlanta.

Caught all the awesome sights driving the southern route, and most of them on the train on the northern route. I'm planning to do it again in a few months when I drive my old car out there to give to my nephew. This time I'm driving the northern part and taking the train across the desert to New Orleans.
 

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My fiancee and I took her two kids on Amtrak from North Dakota to Montana and back last month for their spring break, it was pretty neat overall. The food is highly overpriced ($5 for a microwave hot dog in the lounge car, for example) but the seats are comfortable, all of the staff were friendly and it was a reasonably affordable way to see a lot of sights without much effort - 2-3 hours winding through the Rockies within Glacier National Park was definitely one of my coolest vacation experiences. There were definitely some interesting passengers, I'm sure more so on a less desolate stretch of the lines...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
In this case my beef is not with Amtrak, it is with the PeachTree street station which is Marta's and the city of Atlanta's responsibility. In the case of my sister Amtrak takes her the most direct way and there is only an pickup/drop off/ parking issue on the Atlanta side.
 

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Amtrak is not an efficient way to travel. Besides the screwy routes, the cost is as much or more than airfare, it takes far more time than air travel, and the "on time" record has a lot to be desired.

That said, it is a fantastic way to travel if you want to see the country and have time to do it. Six years ago, my Bride and I took Amtrak from Chicago to San Fransisco with a side trip out of Salt Lake to Yellowstone......it was one of our best and most relaxing vacations. Think cruise ship, but when you look out the window you see trees, industry, mountains, prairies, and even a few river rafting nudist instead of miles and miles of water. If you ever decide to travel this way, I highly recommend a "Roomette", or one of the bedroom options if you plan to be on the train overnight. They offer more room and far more privacy than coach.

As for the Atlanta station, well, nothing in Atlanta seems to be planned right!
While something like New York to Los Angeles will always be the realm of flight (until we get 5000mph maglevs...which aren't all that SciFi), there are many corridors where Amtrak and rail travel in general makes sense, even the long distance routes. I'll keep this short so I won't look at the other corridors, but I'll look at Atlanta's train, the Crescent.

Let's say you have to be in D.C. at noon. For our purposes, we'll say standing on the National Mall as that's pretty central to everything. It can be 30 minutes from Regan airport, so you have to be leaving the airport at 11:30, so you should probably plan to land no later than 11:15. Shortest flight I've seen is 1:45, so you're taking off from Hartsfield no later than 9:30. They say arrive 2 hours before your flight, that's 7:30 at the airport doors. Give yourself 30 minutes to get there, that's leaving your house at 7. Most people take an hour to wake up and get out the door, that's waking up at 6. Not bad, but still somewhat early, and no place to make a mistake.

The Crescent arrives DC by 10. To give the 30 minute travel cushion I gave the plane, it can be as late as 11:30, or an hour and a half which is pretty rare for the Crescent. It leaves Atlanta at 8 the previous night. But you get to sleep till 7 or 8 or whenever before you reach DC. Some of this will come down to comfort and cost, but the Crescent is pretty darn useful to reach DC. New York is 4 more hours away from DC on the Crescent so for the equivalent flight, you'd have to be up by 10. Ok, there, I admit, the plane does win strictly from a time perspective, but even then, that's pretty close.
Obviously, the problem is they aren't getting enough Federal funding. More money should fix it right up.
Actually, it is. Each time they add a train to a route, ridership more than doubles. They added one roundtrip on the North Carolina regional route (the Piedmont) and ridership tripled. Costs weren't even quite doubled since there's a good deal of shared overhead. The same thing happened to the Crescent when Virginia began funding just one roundtrip of a Northeast Regional down to Lynchburg. Even with arrival/departure times only an hour apart from the Crescent, ridership on that segment went up.

Also, I don't see anyone complaining how much roads cost vs how many people use them.
Well that's 180 from your "high road" reply in the campus carry discussion now isn't it.:confused:
Nope, I'm still attacking the argument and how it's presented, I made no comments about the person.
 
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