Friday, February 25, 2011

My First Train (AMTRAK) Ride Experience

I had a wonderful first train ride experience. It was nice and smooth. It was somewhat educational. And most of all, it was complimentary!

My daughter Jen and I resorted to ride a train going to Reno for an important appointment since hubby had to work that day.

I called the 1-800 numbers of AMTRAK for seats reservation but it was a hassle since it's only a machine that answers the call. Anyway, after many attempts, I was able to make reservations for two and decided to pay it on the train.

The Winnemucca station is very small. There were only five or six people waiting inside a shed. The wind was  blowing cold air, burr!  As soon as I hopped on the train, I remember riding an air conditioned bus back home. I was excited. A black lady came to orient us where to find the restrooms, lounge, dining place, etc. It was cool!

The train  left Winnemucca around 6:05am instead of its regular departure time at 5:30am. I was expecting that the ride must be bumpy and loud but I was wrong! It was very smooth and quiet.

I was sleepy but I did not sleep because I waited for the conductor to issue tickets and to get the fare. I saw the conductor who greeted me and my daughter in the station issuing ticket to the other passengers then he came to our seat, greeted us again then post  a ticket in the iron bar up in our head. We smiled back and thought he'd come back. He did not. I started to wonder.

The Chief Conductor, Ms. Janis Mader came instead. I have met her months ago when she came to the hotel one morning. AMTRAK Conductors have been staying in the sister hotel  like forever and I get to talk to the incoming conductor every morning to transfer the call to Ms. Mader's room or to whoever is the in-charge of the AMTRAK going to California. The sister hotel has nobody in graveyard shift so calls go to the hotel where I work. And our shuttle driver takes them to the AMTRAK station every morning.

Ms. Mader greeted us. She asked if everything was okay. She offered to tour us inside the train. At first we were kinda ashamed but we took her offer anyway. So she took us to every part of the train. I didn't know that every "compartment" of the train is called "car", haha! I like the lounge car because it is where you can enjoy the view, read a book or chitchat with other passengers. She took us to the dining car, to the sleepers,  and down to the lower part of the train where a nice man offered us something to drink which I declined but Jen got hot chocolate for free.

While we were walking, I attempted to ask Ms. Mader about the tickets but she just ignored me totally. She was too focused in telling us about the train.  

poses after sipping Jen's hot chocolate =)

sleeper for two

paused to pose

a souvenir pose inside a De luxe room (with bathroom)

what a narrow walk way!

an empty table  in the lounge

a door going to other car

a walk way going to fancy sleepers

a stair leading to the restroom

Jen- she didn't like the idea of taking her picture with people behind her =)

a souvenir photo of Jen's  hot chocolate cup

Ms. Mader is camera shy so my daughter did not take photo of us together. The tour stopped at the lounge. We stayed there for awhile after Ms. Mader left. I was hoping to see her again before we get to Reno to express my heartfelt thanks but I never get to see her again until we hopped off.

I bought a thank you card for her the following day and sent it through the shuttle driver.

This has been my first train experience here in US. It was nice and smooth. It was kind of educational  and it was amazing that we didn't pay a dime on this wonderful experience. Wasn't it cool?

Have a good one!

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