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Old March 19th 08, 10:03 PM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
Spehro Pefhany Spehro Pefhany is offline
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Default OT Amtrak from IL to CA (Bay Area)

On Wed, 19 Mar 2008 21:43:12 GMT, Jim Chandler wrote:

Ignoramus30927 wrote:

On 2008-03-19, Jerry Foster wrote:

"Ignoramus30927" wrote in message

Amtrak is made from metal. So there is some relevance. Anyway. My 6
year old wants to ride Amtrak from IL to CA (Chicago to Emeryville
CA) in summer.

I first dismissed the idea, but now I like it. I doubt that Amtrak
will be around for much longer, and 7 (he will be 7 by summer) is old
enough to remember, so perhaps this ride would be a memorable
experience. he may not have a chance to do it when he grows up.

My question is, has anyone tried something like this, is there enough
we can do on the train to keep this 54 hour ride interesting?


I haven't ridden it, but several friends have taken at least part of that
54 hours on a train seems like a long time for a seven year old, especially
since it is fairly common for the train to stop and sit for sometimes two or
three hours at a time... Because Amtrak owns the train but uses other
railroads' tracks, the other railroads give priority to their freight trains
Amtrak moves on a "time available" basis. The result is that the schedules
are approximations only. One friend of mine had the unique experience of
having to sit for several hours somewhere in Nevada because they'd caught
up with the previous day's train...

Don't misunderstand. I think taking the kid on a train ride is a great
but you might opt for a (much) shorter one.

Or have you considered flying part of the way and taking the train the rest?
The segment, say, from Reno to Emeryville is rather spectacular.

Yes. I am concerned with this 54 hours number. We may fly to Denver,
hang out in the mountains for 2 nights, and take Amtrak from
there. Colorado has some very nice mountain places near Denver.

Chicago to Denver, is not a very spectacular ride anyway.


Back in 1966 I took the train from Fairfield, CA to wichita Falls, TC to
save some money. I will NEVER do that again unless I have a sleeper.
Three days in one of those seats is too much. Your idea of flying to
Denver and then by train is excellent. the scenery is much better on
that segment and might keep him occupied.


Not Amtrack, but we took a 10-year-old on a train from Beijing to
Chengdu (IIRC around 30 hours)-- it was more expensive than flying--
just for the experience. As well as books, kids today have portable
DVD players, iPods, PSPs and so on to keep busy when the view outside
the window gets boring, and you're not nearly as cooped up as during a
long flight. He also learned to work one of their yo-yos--

I wouldn't do the 54 hours thing with a kid that age. Fly out and do
the best part, as others have said. There will always be trains
somewhere to take if you want to take a train.
Best regards,
Spehro Pefhany
"it's the network..." "The Journey is the reward"
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