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» RAILforum » Passenger Trains » Amtrak » See? (Page 2)

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Author Topic: See?
TwinStarRocket
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To get directly to this show:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/letstalktrains/2013/12/07/ask-the-amazing-chris-guenzler-any-railroad-related-question-you-want

or http://www.letstalktrains.com/ and scroll down to Archives in lower right and click on December.

If you listen to the end, be warned of some distasteful crank calls.

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Gilbert B Norman
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Mr. Guenzler address the matter of source funding starting at 9:30 and moves on to other topics by about 19:00.

My computer seems to have 'issues' with accessing this material through Let's Talk Trains Dot Com. Such results in a crash that is only resolved through logging off and restart. Blogtalk seems to work OK but I'm not sure if I am railfan enough to listen to all of two hours.

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Henry Kisor
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Thank you, TwinStar. Evidently the short answer to the question of Chris' trip financing is "Any way I could."

As for myself, I use AGR points most of the time.

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DonNadeau
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i enjoyed the show too (first hour). Showed how creative we can be to extend our travel budgets. Probably wasn't a typical program though as Chris had to fill the time during at least one no show interview.

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@DonNadeau

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smitty195
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TwinStar: Thanks for the link. I'm listening to it now. I'm near the beginning where he's explaining the funding. Very interesting so far!
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smitty195
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Okay, got it now. Various sources, and lots and lots of pre-planning. I guess that would be the most difficult for me to figure out: How to plan all of these trips to get the most bang for your buck, using a combo of AGR points, Alaska Airline miles (back when they had that program), and other sources. Plus you've really got to know the system----For example, if you take a train from Point A to Point B, how long do you have to wait in order for the train going in the OTHER direction to take you back to Point A again? It can get rather confusing, I'm assuming.

And thanks for the answer to the other question. I was surprised to hear how many miles a Surfliner engineer puts on in one year. That's a lot higher than I was expecting.

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TwinStarRocket
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I've always fantasized about using 15,000 AGR points for a roomette from Wolf Point, MT to El Paso (one zone). 70 hours train riding time and 9 meals. If two people rode, the value of the 18 meals would exceed the price of the ticket ($1500-$2600 depending on the day).
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Geoff Mayo
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quote:
Originally posted by smitty195:
And thanks for the answer to the other question. I was surprised to hear how many miles a Surfliner engineer puts on in one year. That's a lot higher than I was expecting.

How many? I don't have time to listen to the entire program for the one bit I'm interested in! Was there mention of how many round trips per day - not more than 2 I would have thought.

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Geoff M.

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smitty195
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This is off the top of my head, but he used the example of a Surfliner engineer who works 126 miles one one direction (Los Angeles to San Diego), and then returns that same day. So the math went like this:

126 x 2 = 252 miles per day
252 x 5 = 1,260 miles per week
1,260 x 4 = 5,040 miles per month
5,040 x 12 = 60,480 miles per year

So a Surfliner engineer puts on about 60,480 miles per year. For Chris, at this point of the year (He said it's a slow year), he is at 22,000 miles or so. So the Amtrak engineer puts on many more miles than he does, just in using a Surfliner engineer as an example.

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Judy McFarland
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Twin Star Rocket: I've also contemplated that one-zone trip. Nice to know I'm not alone in the almost-loony bin!

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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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Geoff Mayo
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Thanks Smitty.

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Geoff M.

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Mike Smith
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Judy, you and TSS are not the only ones contemplating that, except I was going to go 1st class. I'm real close to 25,000 points. [Smile]
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Railroad Bob
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Smitty, your math is pretty accurate for the regular assignment engineers. The extra Board men/women can go above those numbers, as long as they observe the Fed HOS regulations, of course.
Now to OBS- remember they are moving round the clock even when they sleep (except for stops of course) while the engineer is home on the mandatory rest period.

Since Hours of Service rules don't apply to the OBS employees, these workers generally will amass more miles than the T/E crews. Let's look at one simple calculation for a regularly assigned #4/3 OBS crew member (works 6 on- 5 off.) 4400 mi. RT LAX-CHI in 11 days. In 33 days that adds up to 13,200 miles. Figure that number times 11.06 = 145,992 miles in a year.

Extra Board OBS employees can blow that number out of the water, as they can "double or triple out" if they are needed, and/or want to. So OBS employees rail miles in a long career can go into the millions. I'd say a 25 year OBS worker who stayed on the job (did not mark off a lot) might amass something like 3 million fairly easily in his/her RR career. 145,992 X 20 = 2,919,840. Mark offs, sickness, forced "time on the ground" are variables, of course.

But how 'bout those Flight Attendants miles? Have no idea on that one...

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Railroad Bob
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Hm, I "shorted" my math on those calcs; the latest Amtrak TT shows 2265 as the OW between LAX-CHI. So add 130 more miles to all those single round trips LAX-CHI!
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RR4me
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I haven't been posting here for quite awhile. Did I miss something? What in the world is the big deal with how Chris pays for his trips, or why he takes them? Have you all been watching too much pseudo-news shows, where they create "interest" in minutia or irrelevant stories simply by starting to talk about it? WHY would ANYONE care???? I'm at a loss.
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Henry Kisor
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We're all jealous, that's why, and when Chris was shy about revealing how he financed all those miles, we just had to know. For a while it kept our minds off all those domestic squabbles on Capitol Hill, etc.
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Ocala Mike
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quote:
Originally posted by RR4me:


WHY would ANYONE care????

Well, actually, I don't anymore. What you missed was an original thread started by Chris and later deleted wherein he SOLICITED questions that might be of interest for his Saturday program. I'm the one that wanted to know the whys and wherefores of his travels, and also wanted him to talk about the many acquaintances he struck up on his trips.

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Ocala Mike

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Geoff Mayo
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quote:
Originally posted by RR4me:
I haven't been posting here for quite awhile. Did I miss something? What in the world is the big deal with how Chris pays for his trips, or why he takes them? Have you all been watching too much pseudo-news shows, where they create "interest" in minutia or irrelevant stories simply by starting to talk about it? WHY would ANYONE care???? I'm at a loss.

Actually the original question wasn't a big deal. The overreaction and shut down of the forum topic caused a lot more action than the original question. What was being hidden, and why did it have to be buried? That's why it suddenly became a big deal! And the answer wasn't exactly exciting after all that!

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Geoff M.

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Henry Kisor
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I was hoping Chris would reveal that he was a pneumatic blonde's personal boytoy and she financed all his trips. Instead his answer was perfectly reasonable, if something of a letdown.
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RR4me
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OK, I did miss something, then. Oh well, I guess it pays to stay involved.
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chrisg
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It was three older ladies who would by me ten rides for about ten years until two died and the other ended up in a nursing home and just had a stroke,

I have really missed all three of them.


Chris

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Railroad Bob
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Thanks for sharing that story, Chris. ^^^
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