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  1. #1
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    On The Road - No Vacation from Traffic

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...081702064.html

    Here's a good article of the pain and suffering people go through just to go on vacation. I don't know how these people do it spending 4 hours or more on a highway. Being carfree, I'm done with those type of vacations that require spending all morning in a car just to lay on a beach. Not fun at all.

    This article made reminded me of the past.

    When I was growing up, my father used to take the whole family to Coney Island using the subway. It wasn't so bad because there was little or no stress and the train had air conditioning. Those days at the beach I will remember forever. Even though Coney Island was not a first class resort, the trip there by train didn't leave us haggard or exhausted at all.

    Once my father purchased a new car, we spent 4 - 6 HOURS on the Parkway heading for the Jersey Shore. This was back in the late 1970's so I can just imagine how the situation is today. We were frequently lost and stuck in traffic for what seemed like an eternity. The constant arguing between familiy members left everyone in a bad disposition after leaving the car. The journey back home in the evening wasn't any better and full of stress as we argued all the time. After a while, I stopped going altogether on these trips because they just stopped being enjoyable.

    About 3 years ago, I took a train to the Jersey Shore and could not believe how fast and pleasant the experience was. Folks. Taking a vacation by train instead of car is like night and day. I never could have imagined the same distance that took 4 hours by car took two hours by train. The train was cool with A/C and maybe even a little too cold!

    I know your expereince or non-expereince with trains is totally different than mine because your state does not subsidize the these systems. I want you to know that a train vacation in parts of this country and world are incredibly effective and clearly superior to one involving motor transport.

    It's unfortunate those mentioned in the article or on this forum will never have such expereince. Driving to a vacation has to be one of the most unpleasant experiences I've ever encountered in my life. If you could just imagine how easy and enjoyable a train vacation could be, you'll never go back to using a car. I don't know if we're ever going back to the "Iron Horse" as a means of transportation but we sure gave up a LOT going from this to the "Horse Less Carriage" system we use today.

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    Trains just rule. It's going to be nice seeing them come back as the airlines die.

  3. #3
    jim anchower jamesdenver's Avatar
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    i live in Denver and ski quite frequently. the congestion on I-70 from Denver to Mountain resorts is so heavy i usually take weekday off, rather than a Saturday or Sunday, or go REALLY early and leave early.

    Same applies to the lift lines

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    Nice post. This will be the last year I'll do a driving vacation. My wife and I usually go for weekend trips by car; I'm the one who drives so it's no vacation for me. This Labor Day weekend we're going to Newport Beach area by car again. I checked-out the Amtrak schedule and we could have used it but my wife says that riding the train will make her motion sick, and the car doesn't? Go figure. Next year I won't drive, anywhere. It will be interesting to see how she figures-out the holiday travel details. We'll either be riding Amtrak or she'll be doing the driving.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thomj513
    I checked-out the Amtrak schedule and we could have used it but my wife says that riding the train will make her motion sick, and the car doesn't? Go figure. Next year I won't drive, anywhere. It will be interesting to see how she figures-out the holiday travel details. We'll either be riding Amtrak or she'll be doing the driving.
    Trains can get you motion sickness but I think buses are the worse and cars are right there. I don't know where you live but Amtracks rails are concrete between New York - Boston. I still found Amtrak to be smooth even when the tracks are not ballast.

  6. #6
    Out Riding BlueBikeRider's Avatar
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    I tend to want to vacation in places train and buses don't go, such as the middle of the Smokey Mountains, the Adirondaks and National forests. Lugging camping gear, stoves and fuel on trains can be a bit problematic. People tend to get a little nervous when we show up with ice axes for climbing. I still enjoy driving to vacation in the middle of nowhere. You don't have to deal with much traffic in the middle of nowhere.

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    I'm in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. Most of the rails I see in this area are welded steel tracks on crushed rock beds. Looks like it should give a fairly smooth ride.

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    Senior Member TuckertonRR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
    Trains can get you motion sickness but I think buses are the worse and cars are right there. I don't know where you live but Amtracks rails are concrete between New York - Boston. I still found Amtrak to be smooth even when the tracks are not ballast.
    Trains the vast majority of the time are smoother than any bus or car.. Steve, ever take the train to Atlantic City? it's nice, only like 4 blocks walk to the boardwalk. I never drive to AC anymore. There's also a (tourist) train into Cape May City from Cape May CourtHouse, it's even better, I think, cause the traffic in Cape May is WORSE than in Atlantic City. BTW, all tracks have ballast under them, and the ride quality isn't usually determined by wood or concrete ties. What makes one train smooth over another is the overall condition of the tracks (whether they're new or not) and the suspension of the railcar.

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    Senior Member smurfy's Avatar
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    Trains are fun!!

    My family took the Amtrak to DC four years ago and we had a great time. In the observation car a couple of people had an inpromptu jam session with a flute and guitar and was enjoyed by all. I wasn't about to suffer the summer Beltway traffic!
    "You handle it like you handle a bicycle" - Jacques Rosay, Airbus A380 test pilot

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    I guess using a train works if you're going where trains go and not carrying a weeks worth of gear for a young family. I vacation in all the hot traffic area mentioned in the article. I've found ways to beat the traffic so it's usually not a factor. Not every time, but usually. I've also adopted the attitude of most long distance truckers and just take the traffic in stride. Like them I call traffic jams brake checks. As long as were building cars faster than we're building highways congestion will continue to grow.

    The Garden State Parkway southbound is still not the place to be Friday night or Saturday.
    I'm just trying to be the person my dog thinks I am.

  11. #11
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    trains are interesting in that they actually speed up service in rush hour. busses and cars all slow down to a crawl.

  12. #12
    Senior Member conradpdx's Avatar
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    I've taken the Empire Builder a few times between Chicago and Portland (moving once cheaper than moving vans if you don't have a lot of stuff), and it was great. Big plus for trains are two fold.

    1) You can by passes(or at least could -been awhile pre-911) , which let board and disboard pretty much at will so many time in a certain period of time. One time I decided to take a few extra days and explore Glacier National Park. Which was enjoyed even more because I had my bike stowed on the train.

    2) They'll pack bikes and it was cheaper than planes or shipping it. (if I remember right it was like $10---in the mid 90's.)

    I can't say that they still do either as well as they did now-a-days. But it was awesome then.

    I still take the train from here to Seattle every now and again. And will likely be going to Frisco on one in the next year too.

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    I thought a couple "old regulars" had returned to the forum. Then I noticed this thread is a bump from more than six years ago!



    "Think Outside the Cage"

  14. #14
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I like Amtrak, rode it enough to garner almost enough points for a free round trip ticket to anywhere in the US. It has it's limitations, and some areas are better than others. I just wish it were being more fully funded, to increase operational efficiency. We need high speed rail, but we need to get the regular passenger rail fixed first.

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  15. #15
    Senior Member ezdoesit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom cotter View Post
    I guess using a train works if you're going where trains go and not carrying a weeks worth of gear for a young family. I vacation in all the hot traffic area mentioned in the article. I've found ways to beat the traffic so it's usually not a factor. Not every time, but usually. I've also adopted the attitude of most long distance truckers and just take the traffic in stride. Like them I call traffic jams brake checks. As long as were building cars faster than we're building highways congestion will continue to grow.

    The Garden State Parkway southbound is still not the place to be Friday night or Saturday.
    That's not the Garden State Parkway it's the Garden State Parking Lot.
    Remember it's mind over matter
    if you don't mind it doesn't matter


    Ride more and drive less.

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