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Amtrak Silver Meteor Trip Report from FCRP's George Diller

28 Sep 2015 7:32 PM | Jackson McQuigg (Administrator)

FCRP Members and Friends:

I returned last week from a trip to Pennsylvania to visit my father's homestead.  I spent a week in Hershey and 3 days in Philadelphia.

Took the Silver Meteor both directions to and from Kissimmee.  Both my travel companion and I agreed it was just about perfect.  The bedroom in the Viewliner sleeper was in good condition both ways, comfortable and clean as it could be. The attitude of both the car attendants couldn't have been more cordial.

Interestingly, we had the same dining car crew both going up and cominng back.  Just timing I guess.  They were very friendly and the morale seemed high.  The food was excellent, no criticisms at all of it for either breakfast, lunch or dinner.

One couple we were seated with at lunch coming back were from Orlando.  They were Baltimore passengers in a roomette in the sleeper.  They had a choice when booking of the Silver Meteor or the Silver Star. Of interest to me was their comment that the rate they were quoted for the roomette was the same for either train, so they took the Silver Meteor because it had a dining car.

30th Street Station in Philadelphia still looks good, though it is becoming slightly worn around the edges.  We had Business Class on the Pennsylvanian to Harrisburg. It was a full length dedicated car in like new condition.  The conductor was the only crew member we saw, either direction. Were were advised on the PA system that Business Class passengers could go to the lounge car and get their complimentary non-alcholholic beverage and newspaper. We did that, but there were no newspapers. The lounge car attendant told us we could log on to the Pennsylvanian's web site hot spot and get a free New York Times or Washington Post on-line.

The Harrisburg station is certainly the historic structure it is supposed to be.  It is completely clean and kept up, but it does need a face lift.  While in Lancaster we stopped by the Amtrak station there especially to see it because I'd read it had recently been re-dedicated after a major renovation.  It was absolutely beautiful, I'd say now one of the nicest of the corridor stations.

While in Philadelphia, I had an opportunity for a short commuter rail trip on SEPTA. The cars were clean, in good contiion and the train was certainly well patronzied though we were on the fringe of rush hour.

All of the trains we had both ways, the Silver Meteor and Pennsylvanian were on time all the way through.

This is the way Amtrak long distance trains should be!

--George Diller

Comments

  • 07 Nov 2015 5:18 AM | Anonymous member
    That was NOT the case on the Silver Star on 25 OCT 2015, #91 from Cary, NC to Tampa. I really found little to desire in the food selection of the what I call the "Micabuger cafe" car. Most of that stuff is even cheaper in the vending machines at some of the stations, or for a quick stop at a 7-11 store, You can get the same items for half the price and use the NARP's dinning car bags to put them in. to really put an end to this non-sense, an attendant on the train said Amtrak's office has not received enough complaints, so call them, write to them, email them; wirte and write often.
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