uncleamos: (Default)
This quiz is fun because the questions are dynamic. Take it a few different times!

My first runthrough got me the NYC Subway.

http://rmirailworks.com/trquiz.htm

Not sure if this is really a mandate post, oh well.
uncleamos: (Default)
Alternate titles:

-Amtrak FAIL
-Train Karma is a b****
-NOT OKAY, AMTRAK!

Yes, I lost the Amtrak lottery - big. Got a ticket that looked like it was for a normal train, but it turned out to be a "holiday extra" . . . using borrowed NJT rolling stock. NOT OKAY, AMTRAK. So I paid Amtrak prices and did not get Amtrak level service. NOT OKAY. Calling customer relations first thing tomorrow to make a stink.

Other than that, I had a lovely holiday. The remake of King's Bounty absolutely rocks. As does The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. I recommend both.

I made a new tag. Should be amusing.
uncleamos: (Default)
Fun exercise.

http://www.verysmallarray.com/?p=790

50 largest cities, travel times with high speed trains at a measly 150 mph.

(Edit: As some comments point out, not all numbers are accurate. Still entertaining though.)
uncleamos: (William)
'nuff said.

In other news, I rode MARC for the first time today. I was in Baltimore with over an hour to kill, and I could spend 7 extra dollars to trade my Amtrak ticket for a much earlier one, or save five and get a less earlier but still earlier MARC.

We were in single-level cars, worn but well maintained, with comfy seats. I slept most of the way.
uncleamos: (Default)
Train 2171. A window seat in the quiet car with the lights down. Listening to my Sansa, watching Maryland roll past in the night.
uncleamos: (Default)
Fantastic archive of photos, linked by Josh G. Even if you don't necessarily love trains, these are some fabulously beautiful photographs. Enjoy!

http://englishrussia.com/?p=2081

P.S. There's a rocket too!!!
uncleamos: (Default)
I'm just back from a [livejournal.com profile] dcgamenight meeting in Clarendon. It was fun - the group is more into party games than strategy games, but it was great to hang out with *my kind of people.* (I identified a lost looking couple when one of them said "braaaains.") We played Apples to Apples and Lunch/Beer Money before I left after only about two hours. They were still going strong with about a dozen people at that point.

Relatedly, my name is apparently "Guard Dog." Who knows?

I should also mention that I am starting to feel like I live on the platform at Metro Center. Of course, my transfer wait times today were four minutes going and two coming back, so I have nothing to complain about. <3 Metro!

In unrelated news, Law School is hard, and I appear to be broke. Whee!
uncleamos: (Default)
Do we like them?

Toot toot!

Feb. 5th, 2007 07:27 pm
uncleamos: (Default)
Good episode of Tracks Ahead tonight. First segment was on an Irish rail preservation organization that actually offers steam powered inter-city service. Second segment was on a couple that have a huge garden display. They spent a while talking about all the amazing people they'd met at various conventions. What can I say? Fandom is fandom. Third segment was on an organization that has 172 acres in Indiana, and runs 1.5 inch, 14 inch, 2 foot, and 3 foot gauge trains. It got started in the late 50s or early 60s (ish?) with 22 acres and was a general steam museum, with tractors and whatnot. Then it got the attention of a publisher who liked trains and thought they should pick-up 150 acres and have some railroads. Over dinner the guy who owned it all pointed out that he was broke, and the rich guy promised him $50,000. A few drinks later, he promised $250,000. This segment also led to the unfortunate goodbye line from the voiceover, which promised "a down-home look at America's steamy past." The last segment was on a historian who has been studying and writing on women and railroading. Neat information there.
uncleamos: (Default)
SEPTA is fubared, apparently. There were no LUCY buses to be seen, and the trolleys were on diversion to 40th street, or at any rate not in the tunnel. I rode the El to 34th, and braved the bitter cold. It was quite something, the way we poured off the train and up the stairs. It felt as if the entire University of Pennsylvania had been on that one train.

But before that. Before that was a weekend. Before that was a *week* of games. On Tuesday I went to bible study and then stopped at Ardmore to give Mark brownies and to play Settlers. Let's just say that I didn't produce any grain. Unlike Mark and Chris. Sigh.

On Friday I went to Ardmore for more games. Noda was also there, and we played Age of Steam on the Scandinavia map. I ran Denmark, and won easily. We think we need some house rules to make Denmark less powerful.

Saturday was grown up gaming. First I played my first game of For Sale, which is fluffy and silly, and I won. Then was Tigris. We had two new players, and they ran their hands and ended the game early. Final score, 6-3-3-2. Ouch. I was one of the 3s, because I played for position a little too long. Underwood won. Then I played in a five player game of Ticket To Ride: Märklin. OH MY GOD. *Every* card has a different railcar on it! Every single one! It's just gorgeous. I finished up in 3rd, only 5 points behind the leader. I got greedy for tickets at the end. If I'd taken one fewer tickets OR had one more turn, I would have won easily. (I ended with two unfinished tickets for a total of -16, and I had the cards to complete one of them. Of course, those unfinished tickets were tickets # *8* and *9.* Fun game.

Then we shot some pool. I won a game of Cutthroat, lost a game of Cutthroat, and lost a game of Team 8-Ball. Then we went back to Ardmore, and taught two guys (Dan and Matt) Age of Steam. We played with five in the Midwest, I ran Canada (shockingly), and finished in third place, four or five points behind Mark (and one behind Dan). Dan and Matt left, and Chris, Mark, and I played the grain-less Settlers game that has been seen on Mark's lj. Let's just say that I wanted them to feel my pain. I came in last, again.

Sunday we had a Superbowl party in Ardmore. (Sensing a theme here? I *live* on Lincoln Drive, it seems!) Mark, Chris, Noda, me, Joanna K., Sarah, Brendan, Danny, Mike, Ed, and Adam O. all showed up and had a great time stuffing ourselves on ... everything. It was really great, and many thanks to Mark and Chris for hosting, and to Noda for making chili!

Today, I am thinking of meeting Brian (of grown-up gamers) at Spring Mountain for skiing from 5-9. It will be very, very cold, but awesome. Anyone who wants to come is most welcome, but you'll have to drive yourself or get to my house by train. Total cost should be $42.

After that weekend, skiing at night in bitter cold on a so-so mountain should be very relaxing.

Railbits

Jan. 28th, 2007 12:18 am
uncleamos: (Default)
<3 Metro.

I also enjoyed running by the MARC yards on both Amtrak and Metro. I will have to look into their power and rolling stock! A new railroad to explore!

And. And and and. I saw one of the stumpy single-unit Acelas for the first time!
uncleamos: (Default)
Thursday, January 25. 9:00 AM

I do not, as a rule, keep a journal, either when traveling or otherwise. But the sights are too moving to try to capture after I return.

We see a charming historic district, and I assume that it is Wilmington. But no, the SEPTA sign says Chester. It gives way to a city scape that is stark and desolate, yet beautiful. Ancient brick homes stand in ones and twos, slowly decaying among the unkempt lots that were once their neighbors. Here is a denser patch, still clustered around the factory that gave them life.

Then an empty patch. A forlorn church rises among abandoned lots. Then the Commodore Barry Bridge, remind me that we are moving on.

I look down to get my notebook. When I look up, there are oil refineries. Refineries forever.

And then the river, with the sun overhead.

9:06 AM
_______

9:09 AM

As outdoor stations go, Wilmington is a grand one. From the lattice work around the platform roofs to the stone gutters of the old building, it is clear that someone once cared for it.

On the furthest track, they have improvised a high-level platform out of wood on a tiny scaffold. You can see the old platform underneath, complete with yellow warning stripe. It is somehow a ludicrous sight.

We pull out smoothly, silently accelerating over the new CWR. A northbound Acela Express is pulling in. 45 minutes to Baltimore, the conductor says.

9:12 AM
uncleamos: (Default)
Riding up on Amtrak, there was a couple that was, uh, making out in the seat one in front of me and across the asle. A lot. For a while I was sort of uncomfortable, and trying to decide if they were inconsiderate anti-social bastards for making out on a train or if I was a hyper-sensative person unable to mind my own business.

Then I decided the hell with it, more power to them.

At 30th Street, a gentleman who had been on the train from D.C. borrowed my cell phone. It turns out that he's a health advocate who has worked with Walter Lear these last thirty years. Go figure. He's on the board of the organization whose collection we're absorbing and I'm processing. I fully expect Nancy to be somewhat floored.

Washington

Jan. 23rd, 2007 07:10 pm
uncleamos: (Default)
This is how I am going to survive life outside of the five counties:

ITINERARY
---------
============================================================
Philadelphia - 30th Street Station, PA (PHL) to Washington - Union Station, DC (WAS)
25-JAN-07; 8:48 am - 25-JAN-07; 10:35 am
============================================================
Service: 79 Carolinian
Duration: 1h 47m

============================================================
Washington - Union Station, DC (WAS) to Philadelphia - 30th Street Station, PA (PHL)
27-JAN-07; 7:20 pm - 27-JAN-07; 9:12 pm
============================================================
Service: 182 Regional Service
Duration: 1h 52m

FARE INFORMATION
----------------
Total: $77.40
uncleamos: (Default)
Saw it for only the second time.

Four segments, on:
-An ALCO PA that is currently being rebuilt.
-Some lame model railroad thing.
-The Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad and their trains, especially Climax No. 3, one of a few geared lumber locomotives currently operating.
-A very cool bit on a restored Baldwin 4-4-0 American, one of three in the country (of these, one is in the Smithsonian, and they didn't say where the last is).

It turns out that railfan watching is great fun. Old men get so geeky!
uncleamos: (Default)
Southbound on track 3 just past the CCCT, we went dead on the rails. No power. After a few minutes, a conductor came through to say that the dispatcher was trying to restore power, and a moment later it came back up. My theory? They power-cycled the railroad.
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