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Old 08-02-2012, 02:10 PM   #1561
chartle
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Originally Posted by Lucky'sMom View Post

I was shocked by the lack of security for our bags and people. I could have walked on with an arsenal and no one would have noticed. The check-in agent only asked for my id, no one elses and there aren't any security checks for bags.
You can't hijack a train and run it into a building.
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Old 08-02-2012, 03:50 PM   #1562
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You can't hijack a train and run it into a building.
Not to mention that the TSA "Security Theater" doesn't really do a lot to increase ACTUAL security.

I seem to recall a story a little while back that the TSA was going to attempt to install themselves into the passenger rail system, but the riders pushed back hard because the added hassle would greatly outweigh any additional benefit gained. (Kinda hard to convince people that someone with a pen-knife and/or lighter on a train is going to be able to hijack and divert the train.)
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:14 PM   #1563
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Originally Posted by chartle

You can't hijack a train and run it into a building.
No but you can load it with explosives and blow it up under or in any number of cities. You can use weapons to take it hostage an threaten to kill everyone on board.
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:21 PM   #1564
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No but you can load it with explosives and blow it up under or in any number of cities. You can use weapons to take it hostage an threaten to kill everyone on board.
Cost/Benefit for the bad guys just isn't there for AMTRAK service.

To be perfectly honest, The Subways in any number of major cities would be MUCH better targets due to ease of access and the 'fear' factor that such an attack would likely generate with the public.

I highly doubt we'll see TSA screeners at every subway stop in the country, and they'd be a much better allocation of resources.
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:29 PM   #1565
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Cost/Benefit for the bad guys just isn't there for AMTRAK service.

To be perfectly honest, The Subways in any number of major cities would be MUCH better targets due to ease of access and the 'fear' factor that such an attack would likely generate with the public.

I highly doubt we'll see TSA screeners at every subway stop in the country, and they'd be a much better allocation of resources.
I agree subways and even bridges are a much better target but an exploding Amtrak train can do a heck of a lot of damage in many cities along the north east corridor or even Chicago. Since the idea is to create panic. The govt focuses on airports because of the past but forgets about huge sections of our nation transportation system left virtually unguarded.
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:31 PM   #1566
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And no I would not welcome a tsa like presence in our subways/train stations etc. for the most part the simple metal detectors world perfectly fine for decades.
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:17 PM   #1567
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We came back from our July AT trip to Disney and once again had a wonderful experience. This time we got a roomette for the 2 of us (previous times had been Family Rooms for 4 people or coach seats for 4 people).

Both north and south bound trains were early and somehow a whole lot less bumpy than when we took them in January. I'm not sure if it was the extra heat or b/c we were on the upper level this time.

I actually expected the upper level to be more bumpy....

Staff was pleasant as always and both a waiter and the "wine lady" recognized us as previous travelers. I chose the steak dinner for my meal both times and it was very good as always, although I think it was a different cut of steak than we had previously.

Special dessert was a berry torte. Movies were Journey to the Center of the Earth 2 and Happy Feet 2.

We enjoyed our dinner and breakfast and meeting new people each time. My DD7 liked talking to the "nanas and papas" and of course, they were 'tickled pink' at having pleasant kids around.

There were 188 vehicles on the way down to FL and 161 on the return to VA...three dining services. It was a full train but surprisingly the Lounge cars were not that full and hardly anyone stayed to watch either movie, so it didn't feel busy except at dinner time.

Last edited by Marshay; 08-02-2012 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:29 PM   #1568
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I'll post some pictures, esp of the new train car (Lounge car) we had. The regular one was being serviced but I LOVED the replacement much better. See photos in next post (uploading to photobucket now so it will take a moment)

One concern I did have with the roomettes was the inability to easily climb up to the upper bunk. With the family rooms, you get a small ladder and you have room nearly the entire length of the bed. So that was much easier to climb up.

I am 6' tall and working my way up the upper bunk was certainly manageable for me, but I realized that my mom would never be able to get up there ... and my dad would go crazy up there from the lack of space and no window to look out on the upper bunk. This was disappointing to me b/c I was hoping that the roomette could serve them well, as I don't want my dad driving from PA to FL by himself all the time. But I know he won't sleep in the upper bunk either (he's just too claustrophobic).
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:40 PM   #1569
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Here is a picture of the replacement Lounge car. It was wonderful!! So light and airy.

The entire car is for seating and if you want to go to the bar to purchase soda, drinks or snacks, then you have to go downstairs.

Amtrak said that less people purchase items when they have this car so they don't like to use it all the time.

I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this car and told them that I wished they used it all the time.



As you can see, the windows are huge and go all the way down to the seat, plus with the skylights, it was just sooooo beautiful in there.



As for the roomette, here is a picture of me lying down on the upper bunk, just so you can see the amount of room you have.



And here are the two "steps" that you climb to get to the upper bunk.


My DD7 loved the bed and I really loved the lower level bunk. I could look out the window, had head clearance, etc.

Oh and in the roomette there is no room under the lower bunk. In the family room, since the lower bunk bed is wider, there is room to put (small) bags under the bed and out of the way.

Also, there is more room between the door and closet in the family room and the beds. As you can see in the picture above, there is not much room at all on the floor for your "stuff".

Oh and there is a small closet in the Family Room car and no closet in the Roomette, although there are 2 coat hangers on the wall -- we just hung our laundry basket on there with our previous days clothes, books, shoes, etc.

I would definitely go on the Autotrain again -- in fact, we have ressies for January 2013 in a Family Room Sleeper again.
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:45 PM   #1570
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As for security and TSA: I would definitely not like a TSA presence with Amtrak. I also agree that they are more trouble than they are worth. Yes, a terrorist or crazy person could bring anything on board ...but they can do the exact same thing on a bus, metro train, into Disney, etc.

If a terrorist wants to do harm to someone or some vehicle, they will find a way. Anything can be a weapon.

Obviously, train travel is not for everyone but we definitely prefer it as our primary mode to travel to Disney.
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:08 PM   #1571
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Movies were Journey to the Center of the Earth 2 and Happy Feet 2.

It was a full train but surprisingly the Lounge cars were not that full and hardly anyone stayed to watch either movie.
I can't understand why no one would want to stay to watch the movie.
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:57 PM   #1572
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Riding the Autotrain to Sanford in 11 days, so excited!

I just wanted to make sure I'm correct about check-in - can you go to the station early (11ish?) and check in and get your meal assignments and then go eat lunch, and return and give them your car later? My friend just took the autotrain a few days ago and got the 9:00 dinner seating - there's no way my kids could make it that late. So I want to check in at 11 and then so have lunch down at Potomac Mills, then come back closer to 2. Has anyone else done this? TIA for your help!
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:40 PM   #1573
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Does anyone know if a Kia Sedona is considered a regular size or oversized vehicle? Thank you, this will be my first trip on the AT with 2 kids (10 and 7).
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:44 PM   #1574
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Does anyone know if a Kia Sedona is considered a regular size or oversized vehicle? Thank you, this will be my first trip on the AT with 2 kids (10 and 7).
It depends on how tall it is.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:09 PM   #1575
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Riding the Autotrain to Sanford in 11 days, so excited!

I just wanted to make sure I'm correct about check-in - can you go to the station early (11ish?) and check in and get your meal assignments and then go eat lunch, and return and give them your car later? My friend just took the autotrain a few days ago and got the 9:00 dinner seating - there's no way my kids could make it that late. So I want to check in at 11 and then so have lunch down at Potomac Mills, then come back closer to 2. Has anyone else done this? TIA for your help!
yes that is correct. When you arrive in Lorton-- drive around the check in booth into the parking lot across from the unloading area. you can park there and then go check in. Last year for both trips on the AT -- they encouraged us to do so BUT make sure you are back in time. The traffic on 95N can back up. BTW Potomac mill Mall has a disney outlet. That is our 1st stop after checking in. The only drawback is that finding seats in the waiting area may be hard but by 2-230pm they already start boarding.

If you have sleepers and get a late dinner- talk with your sleeping attendant and she/he can get your meals to your room. We have done this a few times when we got the late dinner. our first trip we showed up at 9pm with the kids in tow and the dining staff was mad that we made the kids wait for dinner. They said to make sure we advised them that we had little kids with us.

Are you on the 13th or 14th train?? We are on the 14th train.

Enjoy ur trip!
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