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Author Topic: JAX-NO sounding even better
sojourner
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During my trip to New Orleans via CONO, I got the impression from a pretty high Amtrak person traveling in the area that the train between Florida and New Orleans was very likely to resume, perhaps as early as next January, and that the main thing still being studied was precisely how--with serious thought to a second train that would connect with the City of New Orleans, perhaps in the same way the westbound connects with the TX Eagle. Also that there was discussion of a daily train, not 3x a week. . . .

As noted in earlier posts, I heard something similar (though from Amtrak employess lower on the totem pole) in JAX station in January.

So this seems much further along than the mere rumor stage. . . .

Has anyone heard any more (reliable) details?

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Gilbert B Norman
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Ms. Sojourner, I will acknowledge I've heard nothing, and even if I had I woldn't believe it.

Reference Adobe Page 220:

http://www.utu.org/worksite/PDFs/RR_bill_092508.pdf

That is the extent of the law of the land - study. Federal agencies "study' a lot of things - this service restoral is simply a one of many. Lest we forget, consultants of the "wired in" genre expect to be fed at the trough.

While I must acknowledge that there has been some initiatives of late to enhance the LD product (reinstatement of 448-449 as a through BOS-CHI train; a third Sleeper line for 7-8 when six Sleepers have been rebuilt using funds allocated from ARRA '09) of late, none of such includes additional route and/or train miles. How receptive can one reasonably expect CSX, having been rid of "three a week', react to the possibility of becoming burdened with "two a day'? Yes at this moment, rail traffic is way down, and the additional trains could likely be handled with dispatch, but rail traffic will return (if it doesn't, then God help us all) to pre-Recession/Depression levels, and, having once sought short term gain while ignoring the potential for long term pain, been burned by joining Amtrak (volks, again I remind you "I was there" on A-Day, and the water cooler said they would be gone in five years) the industry is not about to repeat same.

I think this was simply a case of "tell 'em what they wanna hear".

Finally, having gotten rid of Sunset East without 180 Day Notice under ARAA '97 represents a victory to someone, likely within the Legal Department, at Amtrak. Depending upon how high up or if even still there, that someone is not going to let that victory be repudiated with a restoral of the train. It would be analagous for having a Judge's decision reversed on appeal.

Amtrak has more important issues on the plate at this time.

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sojourner
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Mr Norman, wasn't it you who poohpoohed my having heard, while traveling the LSL last year, that the sleeper to Boston was probably going to make a comeback? If so, I hope you are again in for a surprise . . . at any rate, I'm almost certain this was not just a case of tell 'em what they wannt hear. But, we shall see . . .
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Gilbert B Norman
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Yes, Ms. Sojourner, I do admit to that, and I should accept that in a "Political Neverland" anything goes.

I am quite certain that the only reason the Lake Shore service enhancement moved forth is because some pol who had the capacity to adversely affect Amtrak's interests "leaned on 'em" for the enhancement. I highly doubt if such initiated @ 60 Mass.

Sunset East is apparently devoid of any political "patron saint'; otherwise Amtrak would have simply restored it as soon as CSX had completed same with the line. The Gulf Coast is simply a bastion of conservatism even when such is out of favor in Wash.

Finally, allow me to note that I am a veteran of two Sunset East journeys during Feb 02 and Feb 04 (surprise; I never rode the Gulf Wind). Both were part of an ORL-1-NOL-58-CHI routing and I found my "more positives than negatives' overall Amtrak assessment was quite applicable to these journeys.

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sojourner
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I know you have said before that you feel a politician had something to do with reinstating the Boston sleepers on the Lakeshore Ltd, but then and now I confess I did wonder on what you base that premise. I cannot imagine a politician being interested in sleepers on the LSL, considering its route. It seems to me any Massachusetts politicians interested in Amtrak are interested in the NE corridor, and perhaps the train down from Springfield, serving some of their constituents. They might have been interested in getting that new station in Worcester, or even more trains TO Worcester or other locales some day . . . something like that. But they do not go to Chicago, and vice versa, so why would they care if there are SLEEPERS on the train that does go there? Albany politicians do not go there either; they would be more interested in having the in-state service, and perhaps more of it, to western NY, but not in any SLEEPERS. And we all know that Ohio cares zilch about long-distance passenger trains; they have never done anything for them and are the disgrace of the nation in that regard, considering the kind of state they are and the kind of service they SHOULD have between their cities.

So which politician do you think caresd about whether or not there are sleepers on the LSL?

No, I think AMTRAK put the sleepers back on the Boston part of the LSL because of customer demand for one.

OTOH, I do think Florida politicians, including the governor, could be interested in having a train to their capital. It is ridiculous that there is none. I know I for one cancelled my plans to visit Tallahassee as a tourist because there was not train--and phone the governor's office and Tallahassee office of tourism to tell them so. Esp in a state with such an elderly population, who tend to use public transportation, I would think having the train would be politically advisable (even if they do not care about it going beyond Pensacola, I mean).

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Gilbert B Norman
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Ms. Sojourner, in view of that Amtrak is mandated to cut costs in any manner possible absent compromising safety or abrogating existing labor and other contractual agreements, I think it is very safe to conclude that of their own initiative, Amtrak is hardly going to again incur the additional costs that they had avoided over the past four plus years (as I recall the through cars were removed with the October 04 Timetable). Such would not make any economic sense whatever.

However, I do not know which pol leaned on them; all I know it that the likelihood any such initiative came from within 60 Mass is quite nil. The pol no doubt was responding to a constituent who enjoys the LD train experience - and for whom the additional costs incurred are of little concern.

We have previously discussed over at the Lake Shore topic thread (which, my fault, is where this discussion should properly move forth), the additional costs that Amtrak will incur from both the switching of cars @ ALB (even though it appears that they are using the most economical means to do so) as well as operating one Sleeping Car from a facility where there previously had been none.

Regarding Ohio, you are correct in that they have never funded any intercity train (only the Cleveland rapid transit system) since the short lived funding of the first incarnation of the Lake Shore from June 71 to Jan 72, however it does appear that an initiative to establish locally funded service between Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati just might come to pass.

Now to conclude this posting back on the topic of Sunset East, existing Florida law holds that local funding of passenger trains must come from a County level dedicated excise tax (possibly as valorem as well). This of course ensures that a passenger agency need not go to Tallahassee hat in hand each fiscal year and put on the begathon skit as does Amtrak at Federal level. But on the other hand, it means that passenger service will only move forth piecemeal. For example, the reasonably successful Tri-Rail is constrained to its original three counties (Palm Beach, Broward, Dade) as Martin County, located to the North of Palm Beach, will not enact any tax suitable to fund the Local portion of service - and from fast growing communities such as Jupiter and Stuart, there would be business.

The Central Florida initiative only includes two counties arising from the same funding constraint. However, it should be noted that once a County is on board, there is both State funding for operations and Federal funding through FTA for equipment and infrastructure.

Therefore, if there is to be additional intercity Florida service, as distinct from the regional service (commuter trains) noted, such initiative will have to be at Federal level - and I don't think in view of our economic crisis, there is going to be too much of that at this time.

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DeeCT
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Sojourner,

Recently each time I took an Amtrak trip that included the Albany to Boston section I received a questionaire. It was quite specific that the answers to the questions were to be ONLY for the portion of the trip that was Albany to Boston. The questions ranged from the usual cleanliness, employee attitude etc to questions about Food Service and Accomodations. It also gave ample room for and encouraged suggestions as to how to improve the travel experience on this route.

I have to believe that this and similar Amtrak initiated Customer Service inquiries had more to do with the return of the Sleeper Car than any un-named Politico leaning on anyone.

I am quite familiar with Politicians in these parts. They would publicly take credit for getting Amtrak to add a couple of rolls of toiler paper to the rest room. Had they any part in the return of the Sleeper Car --- trust me ---they would have set up a "Presser" in South Station and invited the print, audio and video media there to cover it.

I suspect that somewhere in the bowels of 60 Mass
someone is doing their job.

As to the return of the Florida - New Orleans connection, I too have heard chatter from train employees that it is more than a "study". Most conversation seems to be about a once a day train that would allow connection with the CONO, Sunset and Crescent. However, not neccessarily same day connection for all. (Due to the thrice weekly schedule for the Sunset).

I for one would welcome such and would certainly make use of it.

Dee

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Gilbert B Norman
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OK Ladies; some day the truth just might come out.
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George Harris
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With in-laws in Pensacola I would like to see this return as much as anybody, but let's take a look at the reality:

This route has never been fast. The Gulf Wind's best time of about 15 hours was light speed compared to the predecessor trains' time of around 22 hours. It is unlikely that anything Amtrak does can be even match the Gulf Wind's time. There is still the 250 miles or so Flomaton to Tallahassee that is unsignaled. The railroad distance is around 615 miles versus a road distance of 546 miles. Mapquest says you can drive it in 8 hours 15 minutes. Even with meal stops, you are around 10 hours end to end versus 15 to 16 hours by train.

A couple years ago an in law's relative who will not fly went Pensacola to Houston by bus. The time was only a little more than Amtrak's New Orleans to Houston time. (The bus bypassed New Orleans altogether.)

It would take major work beyond simply adding signals to get the reliable train time down very much, such as some second track sections New Orleans to Flomaton, and several additional long sidings east of Flomaton, and some work to spped up several slow areas otherwise.

One interesting thing you could get out of an extended City of New Orleans: You get a reasonable two nights one day schedule between Chicago and Jacksonville. This is about the best time there was before the inauguration of the "Fast Three" (City of Miami, South Wind, Dixieland) some 60 to 70 years ago.

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palmland
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I think the best we could expect is a daylight train New Orleans to Mobile. An afternoon New Orleans departure (after Sunset/CONO arrival) would have it into Mobile at a decent hour with stops at Gulfport and Biloxi, MS where the gaming and resort interests would welcome the service, I suspect. Perhaps even kick in few bucks.

For those wanting to go to Pensacola or Tallahassee, a thruway bus Mobile to Jax on I-10 would make sense. The total driving time is a little less than 6 hours. The old Gulf Wind took almost 12.

A morning return to New Orleans could get there in time for Sunset/CONO departures. Several coaches and a cafe and crew making the round trip should keep the costs down.

If Amtrak had the funds to add LD service, I think I'd rather see it spent on Atlanta-Savannah-Jacksonville service. That has to be a bigger market than New Orleans - especially if it made Crescent connections in Atlanta.

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George Harris
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Atlanta - Jacksonvville would require megabucks.

The CSX line used by the Dixieland and Dixie Flyer is very congested and fairly crooked and slow, anyway. The NS line used by the Royal Palm is also fairly heavily traveled and NS has said no to passenger trains, anyway. The NS line that was ex Central of Georgia between Atlanta and Macon and Southern between Atlanta and Macon could host trains, but, it is currently lightly traveled and unsignaled south of Macon. NS has said previously that it was willing to host Atlanta to Macon trains on this route. However, it is likely that a lot of work would be needed on track before you could be running 79 mph or 90 mph plus trains. Between Jesup and Jacksonville it would be on CSX on their ex ACL main which really needs double track put back to be reliable.

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SilverStar092
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I beg to differ with the naysayers and hope service resumes between Jacksonville and New Orleans. I live in Tallahassee and rode the Sunset frequently beginning with the special inaugural media train right up to about a month before service was halted. I spent many lunch hours at the TLH station and learned alot from train crews, the ticket agent (when we had one), and from observing ticketing. As I have said before, the Sunset did well until its tradiness reputation dragged it down. The eastbound train became so unreliable that nobody in their right mind would count on it. Westbound the train did quite well with decent loads on at Orlando and big crowds regularly on at Jacksonville. However, eventually the number of annulled trains due to lateness cut ridership down.

The timeliness issue would be resolved by making this train an extension of the City of NOL. Connections would be maintained with the westbound Sunset but likely would need to be broken eastbound. This would do away with the need for Amtrak to house passengers at JAX after they missed their connections with the trains to New York.

During my lunches at the station I found that many would be passengers were also deterred by the tri-weekly schedule as they would reserve a trip to NOL only to discover that the return train did not come back on a suitable day of the week. A daily train would correct this problem and would restore a major gap in the Amtrak system.

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RRRICH
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I agree with Silver Star -- I have ridden the Sunset East several times, and the ridership going west, from ORL to NOL, was always pretty decent, but coming back east, the number of passenegrs on the train decreased considerably after New Orleans. LAX to NOL always had a good passenger load, but NOL to ORL was often like a "ghost town train."

I agree with the concept of making the Sunset East an extension of the CONO.

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Gilbert B Norman
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OK let's take a closer look at an extension of 58-59, City of New Orleans (CONO in forumese) to Jacksonville.

#59 arrives NOL at 340P; #58 departs 145P. Presumably the continuation of 59 would leave NO about 430P; 58 would arrive 1PM. Summer 2004 running time NOL-JAX was "give or take' 15hr. Therefore #59 would arrive JAX 830A; #58 would leave 11PM. "Safe" connections would be available in either direction with 97-98 Silver Meteor.

Only one additional set of equipment would be required; the 22hr layover of equipment from 59 to next day 58 would be eliminated. A same day turn of both equipment and crew would be possible at JAX.

On the negative side would be Tallahassee being served at an inconvenient Odark30 hour in both directions. Also a Car Department facility would need be established at JAX. While there presently is a Base for Operating (T&E) at JAX, there is not for OBS; if someone "laid off' (justified or otherwise) at JAX, there could be a 'scramble' to cover the vacancy, i.e. hope enough time to fly someone in from somewhere.

A further negative point is that the connection with tri-weekly #1 WB Sunset Limited would be lost at NO. #2 EB would require some 'tweaking'.

Possibly operational efficiency could result if an OBS base was established at JAX and the equipment deadheaded to Sanford for servicing.

So there are the facts presented by one who has some degree of grounding in railroad operations and who no longer is all that much of a railfan or hobbyist traveler. I hope someone will note that I have endeavored not to opinionate at this posting.

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MDRR
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In reference to GBN posting regarding 59/58 extension, Amtrak does have a small OBS crew base in Jax. It supplies coach (sleeper qualfied) attendants as well as dining car waiters, for the Florida service. This crew base was opened approx. 3-4 years ago if I recall correctly. Undoubtedly a LSA (dining/lounge) could be obtained quite easily as the staff from the MIA crew base reside all over the state of FL as well as elsewhere.

I also am very impressed with the facts presented by GBN without opinion as he has noted. Well done!

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Ocala Mike
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Prediction: By this time next year, I will be on Amtrak all the way between Lake City, FL and Gulfport, MS for a casino gambling binge. JAX-NOL is coming, and remember you heard it here!

--------------------
Ocala Mike

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George Harris
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Given the apparently typical Amtrak practices, I would expect any CoNO extension to have somewhere above 2 hours, maybe even 3 hours at New Orleans.

It appears that the horrible timekeeping of the Sunset are now history thanks to a combination of
1. A slower schedule
2. Much second main now in service west of El Paso
3. Less freight traffic on the route
4. Maybe, just maybe a change in attitude/policy at UP.

Still does not get past the need for more sidings, some second main, and maybe even signals on the CSX portion.

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sojourner
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I'm with Ocala Mike. In fact, I've booked my trip down to FL but not back because I'm hoping I can go to Tallahassee, by train, next January or February. I would come up from the south to Winter Park and overnight there as necessary. I am not sure how I'd come home from Tallahassee, perhaps via New Orleans!

BTW, I had initially planned to go to Tallahassee this winter (and got some good tips on hotels etc from Silver Star & others, thank you very much!), but the thought of the long train trip to Orlando turned me off, so I cancelled those plans and just visited Columbia and Richmond this. I phoned Tallahassee and told them, if they get a train, I'll be a tourist. So I feel certain there will be a train.

Positive thinking!

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Gilbert B Norman
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quote:
Originally posted by sojourner:
....I would come up from the south to Winter Park and overnight there as necessary....

Actually, Ms. Sojourner, you will find an absence of major brand hotels within Winter Park, as that is where I would have stayed for my Dinner hook up with Mr. & Mrs. RRRICH Kimmel.

I wish I could report that there is a major brand hotel, including the likes of upscale Marriott Renaissance or Intercontinental Crowne Plaza, within walking distance of the idyllic downtown and its equally idyllic train station, but I can't.

Major brands seem to be about 6-7 miles away in Maitland and Altamonte Springs. However, be warned should you rent an auto and drive to a hotel - particularly the Marriott Courtyard at which I stayed, BEWARE of "Maitland's finest serving and protecting".

However, I should be mindful that there could be independent hotels within Winter Park perfectly acceptable to you. Admittedly, I only stay at recognized national brands choosing to pay for the predictability such offers. But I should be respectful of "to each his own".

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palmland
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I still vote for a Nancy Hanks III (old Central of Georgia train Atlanta to Savannah) with continuation to Florida, but that is admittedly a longer shot than reviving the Sunset-East.

With the popularity of the Silver Service trains, I'm not sure a cross platform connection to the Meteor, as GBN suggests, would work if the revived Sunset carries a decent passenger load - most of whom would want to see the Mouse or S. Florida beaches.

The revived train should continue at least to Orlando. I guess the Superliners could be tacked on the back of the Meteor to avoid additional crew costs, but would need another set of equipment.

From my days in Jax, I do recall a mechanical department employee on hand to inspect all trains. Not sure if that was a mandated inspection as they also worked on the equipment for Amtrak's express shipments that were switched there.

Sojourner, we checked out a very nice hotel in Winter Park (but did not stay there) called the Park Plaza. A short walk to the station with some rooms overlooking that great city park. Certainly not for everyone, as it's a the other end of the spectrum from chain hotels, but seemed like it would be a fun place to stay and the location can't be beat.

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Gilbert B Norman
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Must say, Mr. Palmland, it looks nice:

http://www.parkplazahotel.com/

Appears to be the kind of place that could cause me to make an exception of my usual national brands only. Further, the rates appear quite "in line'. FWIW the Courtyard in a 'Corplex" at which I stayed was $139. The 'Greetings" from the Maitland PD would have been extra (in all honesty, I have stayed at better Courtyards; lest we forget the "Chinese Fire Drill" I noted earlier).

Even though she and I are likely "more or less" the same age, I'll readilly admit that Ms. Sojourner is far more adventuresome in this life than is yours truly.

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Henry Kisor
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Ah ... Chinese fire drills, Mexican standoffs, Dutch courage, Indian givers -- all those once common pejorative terms. Makes me wonder what nouns those in other countries use "American" to modify.
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George Harris
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And then there are the thigs we ascribe to the French:

French leave = going awol
French drain = a ditch full of rocks
French kiss = no explanation needed

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Henry Kisor
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French letter, too!
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sojourner
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Mr Kisor, do Americans use that one, or is it mainly the British (who of course also use "the French disease," don't they; and let's not even get into one of the even "worser" ones the French ascibe to the anglaise. . . )?

There are some interesting British ethnic slurs that people here use and often don't even realize are slurs . . . hooligans, for instance, and to welch on a bet.

BTW, getting back to the topic of this strand, I just realized I misnamed the strand; it should say Orlando-NO (I hope, otherwise how will I go from Winter Park!!! . . . I already was planning to stay at the Park Plaza, Mr Norman, it was recommended by a train friend I met on the FL trains and I believe mentioned before here too . . . I do like chain hotels sometimes but a well recommended smaller hotel is OK too, as long as it doesn't have an outlandish cancellation policy. And price is also a factor. In some of the larger more popular cities I cannot always afford the chain hotels!)

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Geoff Mayo
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I think, as far as the British are concerned, French Letter was a polite way of saying condom back before the swinging 60s (in more ways than one) and liberalisation. I certainly haven't heard it used in my lifetime!

Geoff M.

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Geoff M.

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sojourner
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Geoff, so sorry my too quick wording was present tense and made it sound like I think the British use those terms now; I know "French letter" has not been in general use for a long long time.

But I also do not know if "French letter" was a polite term; I suppose it could have been, since I think back back in the late 1700s/early 1800s, they may often have been purchased in shops in and around Paris. However, I was thinking "French letter" was more a mildly derogatory term, from back in those days of French-British tensions (Napoleonic and earlier) and also when a certain strand of the British upper class went over to Paris for their hanky panky . . . a certain number of words came into use that were not polite but derogatory, implying that French women had loose morals. And I believe there were similar slurs in French about "les anglaise," but I'll not get into them . . . it's all pretty vulgar and nothing to do with trains.

Anyway, sorry, I should not have posted so off topic and unclearly. But I do love anything to do with word origins.

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Henry Kisor
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These days they call 'em French e-mail, of course.

Merriam-Webster Online says the term "French letter" dates back to 1856 (isn't that the Crimean War?) but gives no etymology.

Posts: 2236 | From: Evanston, Ill. and Ontonagon, Mich. | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
SilverStar092
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Recently stayed at the Homewood Suites in Maitland and found it very nice.

As for the NOL-JAX train, I agree there likely would be a 2 to 3 hour layover at NOL with it being a through CHI-JAX train. The westbound schedule would thus still permit connections to the Sunset at NOL though eastbound Sunset passengers would likely have to overnight there. It would be hard to move the Sunset's eastbound schedule any earlier due to the early hour at Houston and I don't see Amtrak being willing to frequently delay departure from NOL as that would result in missed connections at JAX.

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Gilbert B Norman
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Oh well, Mr. Silver Star, it appears that in order to exit Homewood Suites, you need not view the heinous http://maps.google.com/maps?sourceid=navclient&rlz=1T4DMUS_enUS226US226&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=homewood+suites+maitland+fl&fb=1&split=1&gl=us&cid=0,0,3188441609760410603&ei=COXhScbSBsPmnQ eM0fGoCQ&sa=X&oi=local_result&resnum=1&ct=image crime scene, Keller & Maitland, at which the peace and dignity of the people of City of Maitland was so dastardly violated on or about 10AM Thursday March 26, 2009 and for which the perpetrator remains at large.

I certainly must acknowledge that I find rates for an identical stay at "your" Homewood comparable to same at "my" Marriott - Homewood appears to offer a "comp' Breakfast, at Courtyard, it's "pay" ($11.35 in my case). However, I have my loyalties to Marriott that I'm happy to share here at the Forum.

During Sep 1999, my Father entered a Marriott managed Life Care Retirement Facility in Stamford CT. The arrangement included a mid six figures endowment and monthly residence fees. The amount would be same regardless of whether he was in "Independent', "Assisted" or "Skilled" and that they would return 90% of the endowment upon leaving the facility. Further, if a resident was unable to pay the monthly fee, they would start "invading' the endowment, but they would not evict anyone in favor of a Medicaid facility - even if completely "bust".

My Father rather quickly went from Independent to Assisted to Skilled and deceased during August 2001 at age 92. I was appointed Executor of his estate. Before I even held Powers of Office, the Marriott facility was inquiring "where can we wire the endowment...."

Talk about honoring an agreement to a tee!!!!!!, especially one which could give rise to a lot of 'run-around". I think such speaks volumes for the conduct of business by a major hospitality company.

Posts: 9388 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
George Harris
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quote:
Originally posted by Gilbert B Norman:
My Father rather quickly went from Independent to Assisted to Skilled and deceased during August 2001 at age 92. I was appointed Executor of his estate. Before I even held Powers of Office, the Marriott facility was inquiring "where can we wire the endowment...."

Talk about honoring an agreement to a tee!!!!!!, especially one which could give rise to a lot of 'run-around". I think such speaks volumes for the conduct of business by a major hospitality company.

Thean you for information well worth knowing. Even though unlikely to be of personal use to me, I like to know what people are honorable in business beyond the minimum necessary and give my trade accordingly.
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Judy McFarland
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Heard a couple new (to me) ones yesterday:

German goiter - beer belly
Egyptian flu - pregnancy (becoming a "mummy")

A bit of interesting info my daughter learned when studying in Germany: In USA if we don't understand something, we say "it's Greek to me". A person in Greece confronted with the same problem would say "it's Chinese to me".

And I think in Turkey, that fowl is referred to as the American bird.

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My new "default" station (EKH) has no baggage service or QuikTrak machine, but the parking is free! And the NY Central RR Museum is just across the tracks (but not open at Amtrak train times. . ..)

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SilverStar092
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GBN: Great post about Marriott. For what it's worth, I also am a loyal Marriott customer but also am a loyal customer of the Hilton family. Like you, I am very picky about my hotels...or shall I say, I am discerning. Basically it comes down to whether the marriott or Hilton property offers the better price and location. In the case of Homewood Suites in Maitland, the rate was great as we were there for the state high school football championship and they offered a great special rate. It was convenient with Applebees right next door.

I really am glad to hear about Marriott's great treatment of your father as that is so rare in the world today.

I am thankful we didn't run into Maitland's finest like you did. I had to make an illegal turn at least once as getting off I-4 onto Maitland Blvd. is crazy as the obvious right hand lane takes you west, missing the left turn to the hotel where we stayed. Only if you make a convoluted left lane right turn onto the far westbound lanes of Maitland are you able to make legal entry to the hotel. I bet they hide out and wait to catch tourists there all the time.

I, too, enjoyed meeting RRRich during my visit there in January.

Thanks for visiting our state. Glad you got home safely.

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Gilbert B Norman
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quote:
Originally posted by SilverStar092:
I really am glad to hear about Marriott's great treatment of your father as that is so rare in the world today.

While of course I was primarily addressing matters regarding the settlement of my Father's estate, be assured that on numerous occasions my Sister reported to me that his care at the Marriott managed facility could only be considered "exemplary".
Posts: 9388 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Steve O.
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In an ideal world, they should have a daily NOL-ORL train and something like a 3X weekly NOL-JAX train which would connect with the Silver Star for points North. I made a proposed schedule for both.

Gulf Coast Limited
Tri weekly
NOL-JAX
Dep NOL: 6:00am
Arr JAX: 9:30pm

Dep JAX: 8:10am
Arr NOL: 10:50pm

The above schedules would connect to/from the Silver Star in JAX. Could be a small train, just a couple of Amfleet 2 coaches and a cafe car....maybe a "Gulf Coast Business Class" car. [Wink]

The daily Gulf Wind would dep. NOL at 5:50pm allowing for faster connections from the SL and CONO and would serve the gulf coast at better times...on the return, train departs ORL @ 5:00pm and arrives NOL at 11:10am...this would require adjusting the WB #1 schedule out of NOL to, say, 1:15pm.

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

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