Monday, April 19, 2010

South to North to East to West ... All By Amtrak

I’m leaving here tomorrow and will be en route to Washington, DC, for the annual director’s meeting of NARP, the National Association of Railroad Passengers. The first leg is the worst: an eight-hour red-eye flight to Dallas and a connecting flight to New Orleans.

Once I hit the French Quarter, however, things start to turn around: a return visit to the terrific D-Day Museum, an exquisite dinner at Irene’s Cuisine, and a good long night’s sleep.

The next day, I’ll catch Amtrak’s City of New Orleans for the overnight ride up to Chicago, where I have a meeting scheduled with my publisher* and will have dinner with some old and dear friends. I’m overnighting in Chicago on this trip to be sure there will be time to tour the U-505, a German submarine captured by the U.S. Navy in May of 1944.

Then it’s overnight on the Capitol Limited to Washington for the three-day NARP directors’ meeting. I will post developments of interest every day from there.

By happy coincidence, the Boston Red Sox will be playing in Baltimore right after the meetings conclude, so I’ll take in two of those games, then head back to Chicago on the Cardinal, one of Amtrak’s more scenic rides across the Blue Ridge Mountains and through the New River Gorge.

In Chicago, I’ll connect with the Southwest Chief for the ride back to Los Angeles, although this time I’ve scheduled an overnight at La Plata, Missouri, which is home to the Silver Rails Resort, an ever-expanding railroad themed facility.

Again, there will be reports posted along the way as time and facilities permit.

* All Aboard - The Complete North American Train Travel Guide, 3rd edition; Chicago Review Press; publication date, January 2011 (plus or minus).


Mike said...

Sounds like a fantastic trip, Jim. Enjoy and I'm looking forward to your reports.

One thing I'd ask of NARP is to publish a way for we "proles" to provide comments to Amtrak as part of their review of their routes. I've seen a couple of news articles about the review but can find no mention of it at

JIM LOOMIS said...

You can always call Amtrak's main reservations number (1-800-USA-RAIL) and ask to the transferred to Customer Relations. I've dealt with them a few times and they're very good. An even better approach would be to work through the Amtrak Customer Advisory Committee, which is made up of Amtrak passengers and has affected many changes and improvements in the past. The committee's contact info is on the Amtrak web site.