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» RAILforum » Passenger Trains » Amtrak » National Train Day 2013

   
Author Topic: National Train Day 2013
Geoff Mayo
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Has anybody got any tips on attending National Train Day on May 11th, specifically LA Union Station? We're thinking of arriving by Metrolink, maybe around lunchtime if there will be food stands. But if there won't be food, beyond the regular concessions in the station itself, then we'd probably arrive later... unless there's something we should see earlier! You see my problem?! So any tips would be appreciated.

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Geoff M.

Posts: 2426 | From: Apple Valley, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Railroad Bob
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I'm trying to figure out a way to make it up there, Geoff. The person I live with has a teaching job from 8 to 12 PM on Saturdays (Train day) and does not drive. If I can manage a "work around" and go to LA- I will PM you and meet you there at LAUS.

Sounds like a pretty pleasant day; I'm only 2 1/2 hours away by rail. Maybe I can catch an early afternoon Surfliner and still make the event; will advise.

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yukon11
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There is National Train Day activity going on in Davis and Sacramento:

http://www.dailydemocrat.com/news/ci_23136731/davis-celebrates-national-train-day.html

Also, a state-by-state directory for Train Day events thoughout the country:

http://www.atdlines.com/ntd-day.htm#Amtrak-California

Richard

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chrisg
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If you going through private cars do it early before the lines get too long.


chris

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Geoff Mayo
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Thanks, Chris. Bob, sounds good - I'll post here our plans when we know them but that might not be until the day before. A mini Railforum meet?!

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Geoff M.

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Railroad Bob
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I'm out, unfortunately. The earliest I can get up there is 4:30 PM and the event closes @ 4. Have fun any members here who make it to Train Day, anywhere. Chris is right about the long lines for the rolling stock.
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smitty195
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As far as eating at LAUPT, in the past when I have been there, there has been no additional food offered. Just the usual Subway, quickie-mart, and Starbucks.
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Geoff Mayo
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Thanks Smitty. As it happened, I decided to take our son to Olvera Street, partly for the train ride, partly for the Mexican stuff. It was only once I got on board that I realized the date! So Cinco de Mayo was in full swing by the time we arrived, there were long lines for anything, and Olvera Street itself was virtually impassable and - for me - very claustrophobic, such were the crowds.

But in any case, it was a useful recce run as I know we could nip out there next week, when it should be a lot more quieter/normal, for food. You're right about the eateries in LAUPT, except there's also a pretzel place.

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Geoff M.

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Gilbert B Norman
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Ve do Dr. Goebbels proud, Mein Fuerher:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=ePGEi3rrnek

To continue with further thought on this "Woodstock of ferroequinology", even though the likelihood that I'd attend any public event other than a symphony concert is somewhere between nil and non existent, I find it interesting to note that, while other Federal agencies have cancelled owing to the "sequestration' (where Herr Goebbels comes up with that one I know not) their various public exhibitions, Amtrak's Train Day appears unaffected.

True, it can be said that Train Day raises public awareness of the role passenger trains have played in both the past and, more importantly, in contemporary life with such awareness translating to "faces in the windows and fannies in the seats", same can be said that the various Armed Forces exhibitions (Thunderbirds, Blue Angels, DOD participation in Summer Blockbusters, etc) stimulate recruiting for the services.

While in all honesty, it must be considered that the absence of a Train Day event in any community at which one is being held. be it Wash DC or Meridian MS, the economic impact arising from the absence of such would, again, be nil to non-existent. However, I'm certain that absent Armed Forces participation, attendance at Chicago's Air and Water Show held during August will only be down. On that point, imagine the impact to, say, Wausau WI where there is an air show held somewhere around there each year.

All told, be it Train Day or any other aspect of its affairs, it appears that Amtrak has "skated" much of the impact from "sequestration".

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Geoff Mayo
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Amtrak merely facilitates, Mr. Norman. You can be assured that the many stands pay their way to be there. As to where they get their money is another story. In any case, most of it was probably signed and paid long before the sequestration.

On a more positive note, I ended up not only taking my whole family, but two other families too. So I didn't think it too fair to try to make arrangements to meet anyone. Additional food stands were completely non-existent so we ate at Olvera Street again. The center entrance lobby of the station housed tables for Amtrak (pretty much just giving away timetables), police, and general information. To the left, in the old ticket hall, was a Chuggington area with coloring books and crayons for the kids, small trainsets to play with, and a "take your own picture next to a Chuggington poster" - all free. To the right, in the breezeway and into the area just beyond were a whole bunch of tourist information tables - specific areas like Santa Barbara as well as tourist railroads and other tourist sites. Outside the old restaurant - which I never knew was there - was an N-gauge model railway.

Then there were the train displays on the eastern tracks. A couple of cars were decked out in Operation Lifesaver decals; the rest of the cars were hard to see as there were other trains in the way. We didn't go over as there was a 1hr wait at 1:30pm (and the line was much longer when we arrived at 11:30am).

On the way over there was an interesting incident on the Gold Line (light rail). There was a procession of some sort going over the grade crossing. The engineer may have had memories of that Texas incident recently for he stopped before the crossing and appeared to have a brief conversation with police that were stopped either side of the fully-barriered crossing, before proceeding slowly with horn.

An interesting day, albeit a bit limited on real trains. Maybe next year I'll go to one of the other local events.

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Geoff M.

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Mike Smith
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Mr Norman, Amtrak is not "big enough" for sequestration. The administration only wants high visibility cuts that affect as many people as possible for its snit-fit sequestration cuts.
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Gilbert B Norman
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Mr. Smith, the point you have made is the very point to be illustrated.

While the "give or take" $1B Amtrak costs each Fiscal Year borders on a rounding error within the Federal budget, Amtrak is quite "visible". It certainly is in the Northeast where it markets and operates needed service; less so, but not "invisible", in regions where Amtrak is the operator of services that are provided for Local agencies to a particular agency's specifications.

Amtrak is also visible with its Long Distance services - if not for the thirty year continuation beyond the expected date they were to have been gone, just think how many less "talking points' the likes of Rep. John Mica (R-FL7) would have to rant away at during various Congressional hearings.

It would appear that the "sequestration" has featured chicken feed cutbacks that have been selected hardly because they represent a "tinker's toot" towards fiscal responsibility but more for their visibility. This includes the curtailment of tours through government facilities, i.e. the White House, exhibitions by agencies such as DOD (Thunderbirds), and the now rescinded air traffic control services.

With that said, it is astounding to me that Amtrak was not compelled to "cut something", but apparently its operations, including the annual public exhibit, appear intact.

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Geoff Mayo
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In fact, further to my earlier comment, it wouldn't surprise me if Amtrak actually made a profit on yesterday's events - albeit a tiny one.

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Geoff M.

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notelvis
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Perhaps Amtrak is much like the Washington Generals...... the old rag tag basketball team whose job it was to tour with and lose every night to the Harlem Globetrotters.

Shutting down Amtrak..... or even featuring them as a major player in the sequestration theatre... might limit Amtrak's effectiveness as a political punching bag down the line.

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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.

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