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» RAILforum » Passenger Trains » Amtrak » baton rouge via new orleans; also, jackson ms

   
Author Topic: baton rouge via new orleans; also, jackson ms
sojourner
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I'm planning one of my Florida trips for next year and have decided I'd like to go via New Orleans (just a wee detour), probably in late February or March (but avoiding Mardi Gras). I would get to Chicago using either the Lakeshore Ltd or a Regional and the Capital Ltd, then take the City of New Orleans south. When I leave New Orleans, I'd probably use my Guest Reward points and so go all the way (back) to DC and then down to FL from there (rather than go through North Carolina). I've never been on the City of New Orleans and want to get that under my belt and am doing it southbound as I have heard (here) that is more scenic. I hope to stop 2 nights in Memphis, another city I really would like to see, and also stop overnight in Jackson, MS, as it is a state capital. Theoretically, I'd like to visit Baton Rouge while in New Orleans, another capital. So, I have some questions if anyone can help:

(a) There seems to a thruway bus that meets the City of New Orleans in New Orleans and goes to Baton Rouge. I am considering taking this but it would get me in to Baton Rouge fairly late for winter and I'd have to stay 2 nites to take it back (since it only leaves Baton Rouge 9:20 in the morning for NO--too early for me to have visited the capital. The only hotel I can find right downton (near the capital) is the Sheraton. Anyone know anything about it? Anyone know where the bus would take me in Baton Rouge, or what the bus station is like? Would it be near the cluster of other hotels in that city???

(b) Any other advice on visiting Baton Rouge? Is it nice?

(c) It appears I could take other Greyhound buses (not the Amtrak thru bus) to and from Baton Rouge for a day trip, which would be more convenient, probably. The bus station in New Orleans is listed as 101 Loyola Downtown; the Amtrak as 1001 Loyola. Is this a typo, and are they adjoining? Has anyone ever taken a bus from here, and is it OK to do for a female traveling solo.

(d) Anyone know anything about visiting Jackson? Is it nice? Any tips on hotels or eateries?

Posts: 2630 | From: upstate New York | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
George Harris
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Greyhound and Amtrak are in the same building in New Orleans. I think 101 is the typo.

You should be all right inthe daytime.

At one time the Baton Rouge bus connected with the train at Hammond LA which is only about 40 miles east of BR.

I have not been in Jackson MS, other than to drive by the capital, since I was in high school, and that has been a while.

Memphis is my home city, but it is not what it was 40 years ago, or even 20 years ago. The riverfront is nice and I would conside Mud Island worth a visit, but do not be wandering around after dark, or for that matter, much after normal business hours. There is a little boat that goes out on the River that is quite interesting. The Mississippi River at Memphis is a completely different animal from the Mississippi at St. Louis. Compared to what it is at Memphis, the river at St. L is a creek. Unfortunately there are no trains over them now, but the two oldest RR bridges over the Lower River are both at Memphis, the oldest being the southernmost bridge across the river for 43 years.

Posts: 2693 | From: Olive Branch MS | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Steve O.
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Besides Greyhound on NOL-BTR, you can think about using the LA Swift service (only $5 one way, and the buses are nicer) and it stops in front of the Amtrak station in NOL and also stops in front of the BTR Greyhound terminal. There are 8 roundtrips daily. Here is the link:

http:///www.laswift.com

EDIT: Not sure if you can buy LA Swift tickets on the buses though....the website doesn't seem to indicate that. In that case Greyhound might be a better bet.

I haven't been to the bus station in BTR in years but it is busier now than ever, and not too far away from where you are staying. Cabs should be plentiful.

The state capital is worth seeing and there is a great observation deck at the top. Also the old Governor's mansion is pretty nice.

BTR has a nice little riverfront area with the USS Kidd destroyer ship that you can tour. Here's a good link for BTR:

http://www.visitbatonrouge.com/

The terminal in New Orleans houses both Amtrak and Greyhound, and it is busy throughout the day. There are NOPD officers in the station and I have never seen any incidents or things like that take place. There's a gift shop and a Subway restaurant in the terminal just across from the Greyhound counter. It's an open and bright station, also. Outside the terminal you're basically in the business district of the city with the main post office just next door.

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Good morning America, how are ya?

44,950 Amtrak rail miles traveled since August 18, 2003.

Posts: 135 | From: Atlanta, GA / New Orleans, LA | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
notelvis
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I had breakfast in March at a restaurant on the street corner across the street from Memphis' Central Station. The place has been in business since about the 1920's but had been extensively remodeled in the 1950's.

The food was standard southern breakfast.....biscuits, gravy, grits, etc. and it seemed like the interior had not changed in 50 years. It was almost as if Elvis and his crew were going to breeze in for breakfast any minute.

Having catenary and the south end of the Main Street Streetcar line just outside the window added to the ambiance.

I can't remember the name of the place but odds are it will still be there when you arrive. The southbound City is due at like 6:30am (but is often early due to a padded schedule) and this place opens at 7am on weekends......probably earlier during the week.

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David Pressley

Advocating for passenger trains since 1973!

Climbing toward 5,000 posts like the Southwest Chief ascending Raton Pass. Cautiously, not nearly as fast as in the old days, and hoping to avoid premature reroutes.

Posts: 4203 | From: Western North Carolina | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sojourner
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Thank you all for your tips. That LA Swift sounds just great; in fact I think I'd just stay in New Orleans and do a 1 day round trip, esp since the afternoon buses sound like they stop at St Charles & Canal (so I don't have to go back to Union Station).

But George H has me a tad worried about Memphis. I won't be wandering around after dark, but I would probably be having dinner after business hours, and I most certainly will be arriving and departing in the early morning, taking taxis to my hotel. You don't think that would be a problem, do you?

Any more input on Jackson would also be much appreciated.

Posts: 2630 | From: upstate New York | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geoff Mayo
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I went to Jackson a few years ago. Unfortunately I can't remember much about it except that the hotel was a few blocks east of the station, had a swimming pool in the middle, and was adequate for an overnight stay. I had dinner at a diner place where I felt a bit of an outsider as everybody seemed to know each other! Friendly enough though. I wouldn't bother staying here long though, unless there are some out-of-town sites you want to visit. Not the most memorable place in the world.

RE taxis early morning at Memphis station: I didn't have a problem and felt fairly safe, though I wouldn't necessarily walk there after dark. The downtown area is fine though as it's busy and touristy. Plenty of places to eat and drink.

There'a a nice scale model of the Mississippi on Mud Island. Worth visiting as well as the usual attractions.

Geoff M.

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Geoff M.

Posts: 2426 | From: Apple Valley, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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