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» RAILforum » Passenger Trains » Amtrak » Trip to New Orleans

   
Author Topic: Trip to New Orleans
Davidmc1524
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I may be traveling to New Orleans fro Atlanta on the Crescent...is it safe....what can I expect.
Posts: 3 | From: Education | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
cubzo
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Define safe, is the train safe? N.O. safe? Atlanta safe? All I can say is yes and no.
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Davidmc1524
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Sorry, I wanted to know if the train is safe I have a friend who had a bad experience on it several years ago.
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George Harris
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??? What sort of bad experience? Late train? Unruly passenger? Derailment? Hit vehicle?

I have ridden parts of this segment several times, although the last was about 10 years ago. Never experienced anything that registered as unsafe, nor particularly unusual.

In general, you can expect a fairly slow ride between Atlanta and Birmingham - very curvey alignment scheduled for 4 hours for 162 miles, then a much faster trip southwest from Birmingham, a lot of forests and swamps south of Meridian, and a 6 mile concrete trestle across the mouth of Lake Ponchartrain followed by several miles following the south shore of same lake before getting into New Orleans station. All of this is on NS track, and they usually keep it quite well maintained. All, or almost all the track in welded rail. Fairly busy line. You will meet quite a few freights.

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Davidmc1524
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The bad experience I am referring to on the Crescent is that a couple of passengers got into a fight and one pulled a knife on the other. I have always been interested in taking a trip on Amtrak... in particular this ride from Atlanta to New Orleans and hope to do it soon. I had heard it was crowded and the train was dirty. I appriciate any positive feed back..I want to take my wife on this trip I dont wont her to feel uneasy.
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Gilbert B Norman
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While I'm sorry to learn you have knowledge of a violent on-board incident, be assured they are very rare.

Possibly you may wish to upgrade to a Sleeper room. Even though you would not be aboard overnight, you do have privacy, and for what it worth, there will be at least one meal included in your fare.

Since the 'critical segment" aboard the Crescent is Wash-Atlanta, you can be sure that there would be rooms for your day journey available. This is especially the case since two years afterwards, New Orleans has only recovered some 2/3rds of its pre-Kartina population base.

Why you wish to go there is honestly none of my business; I presume you have relatives in the area.

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City of Miami
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I made that trip 3 yrs ago and I enjoyed it: Atlanta to New Orleans. All day time (absolutely no reason to upgrade to a sleeper) and the train was pretty much on time. The Crescent was MUCH less crowded south of Atlanta - I have ridden it north of Atlanta several times on other occasions.
I am planning to spend a week in New Orleans in November. I have no relatives in the area - I am going for the opera and for the FOOD. I enjoyed it very much last time and perhaps my presence can help the city recover! Afterwards I'll be taking the Sunset to San Antonio and #22 on home to Austin.

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Gilbert B Norman
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I learn something everyday, Mr. IC #53.

New Orleans has an opera company, my word.

http://www.neworleansopera.org/
But with the French culture of the region I would have expected to see works such an Manon (Massenet) and Samson (Saint Saens) in the repertoire.

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whistler
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quote:
Originally posted by Gilbert B Norman:
I learn something everyday, Mr. IC #53.

New Orleans has an opera company, my word.

But I bet it ain't as good as Nashville's Opry! [Wink]

Seriously, interesting offering in November weird like a lot of Opera's but interesting.

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City of Miami
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Well, I saw Tales of Hoffman there which is a wonderful French opera. This October they do Faust by Gounod but my favored accommodation in the Crescent City is booked then. So, I settle for the Puccini in November - which I've never seen. They are performing in an auditorium on Tulane campus because the Mahalia Jackson Theater hasn't been repaired from flood damage yet. A smaller venue could well be an advantage. Anyway, the FOOD, not to mention the train ride home, will make up for a lot.
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sojourner
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What is your favored accommodation in the Crescent City, if you don't mind my asking? Is it safe? I am told I should stay only in the French Quarter, and then only on certain streets. It's all a little confusing, and many of the places friends recommend are pretty pricey.

Still, I hope to go through New Orleans one of these days (the only major l.d. Amtraks I've never been on are Crescent south of Atlanta, Sunset Ltd between NO and San Antonio, and the City of New Orleans) but I have been concerned about safety there (not on the train). Being a female traveling alone, I am a little worried about taking a taxi from the train station, esp if the Crescent gets in late. Is this a problem? Are the taxi companies all safe? Should I phone one in advance, and is there a particular one you recommend?

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Ocala Mike
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sojourner, if a city could suffer PTSS (Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome), New Orleans is it, and Katrina is to blame. I can only tell you that I left my car parked right outside the Amtrak station for a week last year at a nominal charge, and it was fine when I got back to it.

As far as cabs, they are plentiful. If you want the added security, call UNITED CABS at 504-522-9771 or 504-524-9606.

"Is it safe?" Wasn't that a catch phrase from a movie or something?

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

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royaltrain
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quote:
Originally posted by Ocala Mike:
sojourner, if a city could suffer PTSS (Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome), New Orleans is it, and Katrina is to blame. I can only tell you that I left my car parked right outside the Amtrak station for a week last year at a nominal charge, and it was fine when I got back to it.

As far as cabs, they are plentiful. If you want the added security, call UNITED CABS at 504-522-9771 or 504-524-9606.

"Is it safe?" Wasn't that a catch phrase from a movie or something?

The phrase "is it safe" was from a film starring Sir Lawrence Olivier and Dustin Hoffman. It was a thriller from the mid 1970's called Marathon Man about a Nazi dentist trying to recover stolen pearls. It still makes me cringe when I recall the torture scene of the evil dentist, played by Olivier, pulling out Hoffman’s teeth without an anaesthetic. Every time he yanked on a tooth, Olivier would say “is it safe?” It has been many years since I’ve seen this film, so I can’t recall the significance of that phrase.

In any event it is unlikely Amtrak passengers will encounter a Nazi dentist on a train

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Gilbert B Norman
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Mr. Royal, since you have previously noted at the Forums we both visit that you are an opera buff, what operas would come to mind to be in the New Orleans company's repertoire?

How about Britten's Billy Budd to depict the suffering people there have endured and how the "authority' knowing many need help simply will not help.

Comparo, "the government" and Vere?

But of course every Company should have Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana even if for no other reason than to be able to hear the beautiful yet haunting 'Intermezzo" - always in the "Top 40" of "Opera for those who Hate Opera".

(BTW, it is also the theme from the film "Raging Bull")

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DeeCT
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Sojourner,

Have reservations there for this coming November at a Days Inn. Fairly reasonable rates.

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stlboomer
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I'd suggest Andre Previn's "A Streetcar Named Desire." Not among my favorite operas, but highly appropriate.
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HopefulRailUser
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David - there is a lot to see in New Orleans and they are desperate for tourists. The French Quarter is in excellent condition as is the waterfront area.
Sojourner - we arrived last January on the SL after dark. There were plenty of taxis. Our hotel in the French Quarter was excellently placed for walking everywhere and we felt quite safe. I said the hotel had "character", my friend said it was "somewhat seedy". The price was right.
I wish more people would visit New Orleans; it is an interesting city and in need of the business of tourism.

--------------------
Vicki in usually sunny Southern California

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City of Miami
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My choice of place to stay in N.O. is the Canal Street Guesthouse. www.bestguesthouse.com. They only rent by the week but it is so inexpensive you can stay less than a week and still come out way ahead. Check it out. When I have stayed there I felt like I was in a Tennessee Williams play - lots of character/slightly seedy, take your pick: high ceilings, fans, french doors onto second floor veranda, claw-footed tub, banana trees in the garden. They are exceedingly friendly and helpful; there's a community kitchen/lounge and free internet computer. It's on Canal just above the freeway on the corner of Roman St. Google map it. It's a 15 minute walk to the French quarter but the street car stops literally right in front. This is not even similar to a commerical hotel so if that's what you need, don't even consider it.
Whistler's remarks above about Nashville Opera intrigued me so I checked it out. World premier of a new opera: Elmer Gantry! Now there's a passionate story worthy of operatic treatment: I can already hear the aria, "Love is the Morning and Evening Star!" I'm half way there already - too bad there's no Amtrak connection; it will involve a lot of flying. Thanks for the heads up, Whistler.

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sojourner
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Thanks for the info on New Orleans.

OT: Marathon Man was set in NYC. It's diamonds, not pearls--I remember the famous scene in NY's wholesale diamond district, where a Holocaust survivor recognizes Olivier. Roy Scheider is Dustin Hoffman's brother, it's because of him Hoffman gets unwittingly involved in the whole business. Hoffman is just a Columbia U student, I think. He is in training for the marathon--he runs around the Central Park Reservoir, which is among my many favorite places to walk in NYC. It has a phenomenal view--because of the runners etc, you can only go in one direction (counterclockwise), and you walk in a circle (you can access it from E93rd St off 5th Av, I think, just a few blocks up from the Metropolitan Museum of Art). The skyline you see is really neat across the water. They are the buildings around Central Park (including the Ghostbusters buildings). A climactic scene in Marathon Man was in the little building right at the reservoir--the pump house, I suppose it is--probably closed to the public--I remember the scene had lotsa water gushing and diamonds in jeopardy. I won't say more.

The film is based on a thriller that was something of a best seller here. Author is William Goldman, I believe.

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TwinStarRocket
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Regarding the streetcar that stops in front of the Canal Street Guesthouse: It isn't named Desire is it? That would be too good to be true.
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royaltrain
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quote:
Originally posted by Gilbert B Norman:
Mr. Royal, since you have previously noted at the Forums we both visit that you are an opera buff, what operas would come to mind to be in the New Orleans company's repertoire?

How about Britten's Billy Budd to depict the suffering people there have endured and how the "authority' knowing many need help simply will not help.

Comparo, "the government" and Vere?

But of course every Company should have Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana even if for no other reason than to be able to hear the beautiful yet haunting 'Intermezzo" - always in the "Top 40" of "Opera for those who Hate Opera".

(BTW, it is also the theme from the film "Raging Bull")

Mr. Norman, For New Orleans I can immediately think of two operas. From Wagner's Flying Dutchman, the scene of Senta leaping into the ocean would bring to mind the fate of so many in that city. As well, from Verdi's Don Carlos perhaps the Grand Inquisitor could order various government officials to the stake as retribution for their criminal negligence in failing to maintain the city's dykes. Water and fire, two of the great elemental themes in opera.
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royaltrain
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Sojourner, you are right is was diamonds. Quite a few years ago since I last saw the film. I wonder if Dustin Hoffman would be up to marathon running any more?
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