Monday, April 20, 2009

Trip Log, Day 2

Sunday, April 19, 12:38 PM.

 I slept well last night, unless you count the earthquake dream, which was a direct result of going over some rough track. The quakes in the dream had the same intensity and duration and interval as the train bumping when I awoke. Hmmmmm. Breakfast this morning was ok; I ate with the attorney and her son & his friend again. When you eat, they put you 4 to a table so three of them and one of me make a perfect seating arrangement for dining car personnel.

Let me describe the Amtrak Superliner: the train is two stories tall, about 45 feet long. As my friend Benny says, it is KIND of reminiscent of an aluminum cannoli. On the lower lever there are 3 bathrooms, a shower, 4 roomettes, a family room and a ‘special needs’ room. The luggage is also stored across from the stairway that leads up. Up stairs, there are 5 DELUXE bedrooms, 10 roomettes, a bathroom and a refreshment station.

The roomettes are for one or two people. They have two comfortable seats facing each other. At night, they slide together to make a bed, and there is an upper berth that folds down for sleeping. There is an electrical outlet into which I have plugged an extension cord for my iPod, iPhone and Mac. There is plenty of lighting and view from the upstairs roomettes is wonderful. The deluxe bedrooms have a couch and a chair. The couch folds into a double bed at night (for 2 people) and there is an upper berth, rather like the roomette, that folds down. The Deluxe bedroom has it’s own bathroom/shower combo that, to put it nicely, is small. Even when I had one of these, I showered in the communal shower so I could at least wash myself. The family room stretched the width of the train and can easily house a family of 5. The special needs room is completely handicapped accessible with its own bathroom. This room also stretches the width of the train.

On the California Zephyr, rearward of the sleepers is the dining car, where your meals are taken. Rearward of that is the lounge car, where people hang most of the day. There are side facing seats big windows and tables where you can play cards, eat or I saw some young people doing their Geometry homework. Below the lounge car, snacks of all kinds can be purchased, as can alcohol.

 The train workers have a good union, but the conductors’ branch of that has more clout than that of the people who do all the ‘real’ work on board. This harkens back to the day when the workers were all black and the conductors were all white. This I got from SEVERAL of the train attendants as well as the dining car workers. I’d love to do some real research into the railway workers union.

 I took a shower after lunch (hamburger, cooked Chef’s way, and you’ll LIKE it). The shower was quite roomy. It is a BIT disconcerting, however, to look down and see the tracks flying by. Apparently, the shower dumps right onto the tracks; no tubes, no pipes, from the drain to the tracks. Attached to the shower is a nice dressing room where you can put on fresh clothes and do your hair and use an electric razor. I went upstairs to use my disposable.

 I’ll buzz the concerto a couple times and get back into The Whole Truth.

 We were sidetracked for some time with problems with the rails. Up ahead there was a terrible storm two nights ago and the 5 train westbound was 4 hours late; they expect the same with this train. If that is the case, I’ll miss my connection for the “Cap” and they may have to put me on the Lake Shore limited to NY, which would be fine IF I were to end up with the same accommodations. I do NOT want to ride coach.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I am so totally in the mood for a train trip now!