Train Trip – Final Thoughts

The sun broke out on the way to Portland, near Oregon City on the trip back to Seattle yesterday.  From a photography standpoint, it was difficult to shoot through the reflections and the previously mentioned dirty windows. So I didn’t have the same success as on the way down.

Speaking of dirty, I should follow up yesterdays comments about the conditions on the Cascade.  When we got to Portland, I changed trains to another one of the Cascade trains.  But we had to wait while the cleaners finished.  So, apparently, I just happened to have been given seating in an area previously used by a really crumby person.  And, when I returned to my assigned seat to get my bags at the end of the trip after spending the time in the dining car, a huge mess greeted me.  Moms, come on, at least make some attempt to clean up after your kids.  The area that this mother and her kids used looked so disgusting, I can only imagine what the Amtrak cleaners face on a day to day basis.  Food, on the seats, windows and embedded in the carpet. And cups and paper, left behind.  Simply gross.  Perhaps a cleaning deposit to be refunded afterward! At least on the train, unlike aircraft, I had a place to escape to the dining car to avoid the noise and the rampaging kids. This in a very nicely appointed, leather covered seating area.  It’s too bad the nice cars are treated so poorly.  And, as someone promoting the use of the train, I hesitated to even mention it.  But, it’s a reality today that people just don’t treat public space with any regard.

So, overall, I’d do the trip again without hesitation.  Yes, I’ve highlighted a few problems, but that’s so there is no overselling.  You can easily get first class/business class tickets for a few bucks more and avoid some of the kid related comments.  Ignore the Coast Starlight’s surly crew by hanging out in the lounge and your good to go.  Many more pluses than minuses all around…. Go Amtrak!

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