Saturday, May 9, 2009

National Train Day

NOTE: We've moved! Visit us at the California High Speed Rail Blog.

by Robert Cruickshank

Today is National Train Day, and although I'm up in Seattle for the weekend, there are a number of California events going on today that you might find worthwhile. The CA events are mostly oriented toward Amtrak, but we support all passenger rail at this site, and these events are open and welcoming of high speed trains. After all, Amtrak does operate the only real high speed train in the country!

The main event is at LA Union Station. There's live music, train displays, including of historic passenger rail cars, galleries and exhibits - including one called "Trains Move Our Economy".

The Coast Starlight is also participating in National Train Day, with a group riding Train 11 from Emeryville to Paso Robles and back - you can follow their activities on Twitter @CSCN, and the Twitter feed for National Train Day is @trainday09. There are events at several stations along the route, and elsewhere in the state - find more by clicking here and scrolling down to the CA section.

RailPAC has more as well.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

In other news....
This was in San Jose Mercury News.

Some guy wrote to the newspaper about the tunnel or nothing attitude.

Tunnel or Nothingif you want to write to the newspaper...
How to have your say

Jay said...

I was in San Luis Obispo visiting faimly today. They had a big todo at the train station there, with a jazz band, local model rail road club and rail pac. It was pretty cool..
Oh and the Coast Starlate was about a half hour EARLY getting in to SLO.

Spokker said...

We took the train to see Star Trek today at the Arclight in Hollywood. We each got a cool 800 reward points each for the trouble, but I still think Amtrak is overpriced.

I saw some of the stuff on display at Union Station but essentially we were just passing through. I have enough mass transit and train related brochures and other literature sitting next to the toilet.

Alon Levy said...

Spokker, you live in California. You guys can get from LA to SD for $29. We Northeasterners have to shill out $64 for NY-Philly, which takes less than half as much time and travels two thirds as much distance.

YesonHSR said...

Where is the Arclight at? went ot school in LAA and lived in Silver Lake..is this the Arglie on Sunset

yesonHSR said...

Happy BDay LAUST ..Now thats a beautiful space to see our Blue/Gold babies...NOT the ugly thing that is being built here in SF

Spokker said...

YesonHSR, it's at Hollywood and Vine bear the Hollywood/Vine Red Line subway stop.

Robert Cruickshank said...

Nice job on the letter, Daniel Jacobsen! Exactly what we need to start doing.

adirondacker said...

Alon, you can get to Philadelphia for $34.75 roundtrip. You have more options, 33rd, 23rd,14th, Christopher and the World Trade Center in Manhattan and 30th, Suburban and Market in Philadelphia. . .

Alon Levy said...

Yes, if I take commuter rail, which involves a transfer at Trenton, then it will be cheaper. I tried it once - I missed the connection and ended up taking 3 hours to get from Penn Station to 30th Street Station.

Anonymous said...

Actually NY to Philadelphia is only $13.60 oneway via PATH, NJT, River Line and PATCO. LA to San Diego via Metrolink+Coaster is $20 or $16.75 on Saturday, but there are almost no trips with workable connection times.

jim said...

Spokker said...
We took the train to see Star Trek today at the Arclight in Hollywood" ---- hey I was in hollywood this weekend too - didn't see you - but did see superman and jesus. You know the more i visit LA the more respect I have for that place. Those folks are so cool, laid back, not political, super friendly, incredibly good looking, ( I mean I saw bodies that made me want to put a bag over my head and hide) and always having fun. Meanwhile up here in the bar area we are uptight, politically correct, and way too serious about everything. Of course, down there you spend more time in the car that the house, and you can't see more than 1/2 mile in any direction on a good day. - did you know they don't light up the hollywood sign at night - and - much to my horror, they don't have a bar in disneyland. but other than that its an amazing place. I don't know if they are going to use HSR. THey really love to drive down there and they are reeeaaally good at it. I love driving there. Its like church to those folks. They don't seem to be very interested in much of anything except having a good time. They service was great everywhere, super friendly, oh and there's no one over 30. anywhere - I think its like logan's run - once you turn 30, they remove you and send you to "carousel" very twilight zone. There is a subway that goes right to the hotel at hwood and highland - I didn't really see anyone go in or out of it though. Maybe they figure some future generation will use it. I didn't get the sense that anyone is interested in anything political down there. Everyone was too busy having fun. SF really is a small county town in comparison.

Spokker said...

Amtrak is definitely overpriced if you are paying for two. It's often cheaper to drive. It was a "special day" though, so whatever.

For solo travel, however, the train can't be beat in many cases.

jet said...

@spokker

up here is 26 bucks sf to sac. So yeah for two people its more than driving, but if you have 3 or 4 or 5 people you can use the 10 ride ticket and save about 40 percent. you can get em down there too.

Alon Levy said...

Anon: if you want to split hairs, then hitchhiking costs $0.00. It just won't get me there in reasonable time, and neither will transferring 4 times - remember PATH doesn't have a one-seat ride from Penn to Newark, and the NJT doesn't have a one-seat ride from Hoboken to Trenton.

adirondacker said...

I tried it once - I missed the connection and ended up taking 3 hours to get from Penn Station to 30th Street Station.

Even if you manage to catch a Clocker, well NJ Transit's replacement for the Clockers, it takes 2 and half.

You can have it good, you can have it fast or you can have it cheap.
Acela gets you from NYC to 30th Street in just over an hour. If you upgrade to business class I'm sure it's very very good. It's not even going to pretend to be cheap.

An Amtrak regional takes a few minutes more but it's less expensive than Acela. Plainer seats and there isn't a power outlet at every seat. Much nicer seats than NJ Transit though and it's a lot faster than changing from one commuter train to another in Trenton.

If you manage to catch a Clocker between Trenton and NYC the best time you can do is about two and a half hours. If you are on a Clocker you are paying peak fares because Clockers only run during rush hour. 3 hours off peak is probably about right for using NJ Transit and SEPTA to get between NYC and Philadelphia. It's attraction is that it's cheap. If saving four hours in your roundtrip is worth the premium for Acela go for it.

Too bad NJ Transit doesn't go to West Trenton anymore that used to be an option. Very scenic and very slow. And you'd get to change trains in Newark to the Raritan Valley Line...