March 29, 1989 |
There is a big white house here on Commerce Street with a second-story porch about 5 feet from the window seat of the "Cardinal," Amtrak's sleeper train from Chicago to Washington. The old-fashioned porch swing there must be the second-best seat to watch the world go by. The first-best, of course, is that window seat on the Cardinal. Passenger trains, we all know, are supposed to be dead in the United States. I guess they're not what they used to be, but we couldn't tell that last Sunday rolling east for five hours from Clifton Forge, Va., to the capital.
February 28, 1990 |
The model train, the Yankee Clipper, must not have been allowed at Kennebunkport at Christmas time. George Bush, while sloshing through the campaign trail in later years, must not have read Paul Theroux's The Old Patagonian Express where, on a "morning of paralyzing frost" in Boston, it was "the perfect day to leave for South America" by train. It appears, too, that Richard Darman, buried deeply in the ideological tomes of the Reagan era, must not have been distracted by the subtle mystery of Chris Van Alleburg's The Polar Express or imagined its "sounds of hissing steam and squeaking metal.
April 20, 2013 |
Amtrak faces a "crisis of success," unable to keep up with the growing demand for service on the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak president Joseph Boardman says. "We've used up the legacy capacity of the existing railroad while further depleting its infrastructure assets, leading us to a major coming investment crisis that, without a solution, will mean strangled growth and deteriorating service," Boardman told a Senate committee Wednesday. Amtrak, setting ridership records every year, needs about $2 billion annually for upkeep and growth on the corridor, far more than the $260 million a year it has been spending, Boardman said in calling for a long-term federal plan for funding the railroad.
August 10, 1993 |
"The Germany's ICE train is the hottest thing on rails," quips Alice Andors, spokesman for Siemens Transportation Corp., which hopes Amtrak will adopt ICE's technology for its planned high-speed rail service between Boston and Washington. Competition is heating up for the $450 million Amtrak expects to spend to put 26 fast trains into service by 1997. ABB Traction Inc. of Sweden said the ICE may be nice, but it's not as cool as its own model, the X2000. According to James N. Michel, Amtrak's assistant vice president for design and engineering, Amtrak hopes to be able to award contracts by next spring.
April 29, 1988 |
Amtrak officials knew that tower control operator Thomas A. Connor was a problem employee years before his inattentiveness in a Marcus Hook control tower caused a speeding passenger train to careen into a 14-ton track- maintenance machine, according to company officials. And just nine days before the Jan. 29 crash, Connor's supervisor, Donald F. Knapik, warned him for the final time about his continued absences from work, Amtrak personnel records show. Yesterday, during the second day of hearings before the National Transportation Safety Board, Lynnwood B. Simmons, Amtrak's assistant superintendent for Philadelphia, said it was only after the accident that he learned that Connor had missed 85 work days in 1987.
July 9, 1995 |
Amtrak just made it a lot easier for its riders to reach two key travel destinations - John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and the Foxwoods Resort Casino in southeast Connecticut. The railroad has arranged for buses to meet arriving passengers and take them to the casino entertainment complex or the airport. The shuttles to JFK airport depart from Pennsylvania Station, near the taxi area at Seventh Avenue and 32d Street, on the hour between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. and cost $13. Service also is available for $10 to LaGuardia Airport.
March 14, 1999 |
Trios of travelers who plan to ride Amtrak long-distance between now and June 12 should ask about the railroad's "spring getaway fare," under which the first passenger pays full fare, the second person half-fare, and the third rides for free. Under this fare, three friends or family members riding on Amtrak round-trip from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh in mid-April could pay as little as $126 - $84 for the first, $42 for the second, nada for the third. If they were paying full fare ($152 round-trip apiece)
March 26, 1989 |
TRAIN TIPS. Amtrak's first big order of new railroad cars in seven years will begin rolling before summer, but don't look for any of the new coaches in the Northeast Corridor. The new Horizon Fleet equipment is going to the Midwest, says Amtrak spokeswoman Sue Martin, and the Amfleet cars it replaces will come east, where they match the cars already in use. The new cars are part of Amtrak's attempt to alleviate the overcrowding that forced 200,000 passengers to stand last year on trains between Washington and Boston.
June 11, 1989 |
BOOM TIMES. It looks like another record summer for Amtrak, straining some of its cars to capacity. "There's plenty of coach space on most of our routes nationwide," says Amtrak spokeswoman Patricia Duricka, "but most of our long-distance routes are experiencing (a shortage of) first-class sleeping accommodations. " People wanting beds on a train this summer should check every day, and people wanting them next summer should start reserving in August, Duricka advises. The Amtrak computer can hold reservations for 10 months, and there is no penalty if you change your plans.
October 8, 1989 |
FAIR FARES. Last Sunday, Amtrak cut the cost of its All Aboard America fares to $179, $229 and $259 for a 180-day period of travel with three stopovers, with the price depending on distance. The tickets had cost $189, $269 and $309, and had been good for only a 45-day period. The rates will go up again in May. In addition, Amtrak instituted $7 return fares on most routes on which the regular round-trip rate is $65 or more. Under the plan, which does not apply on the Metroliner or Auto Train, travelers pay a one-way fare plus $7 for a round-trip ticket, through May 24. COLORS OF AUTUMN.