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The Pleasure of Amtrak

September 14, 1986

Though I am usually a big Travel Section fan, Richard Burgholz's article about Amtrak Aug. 10 annoyed me greatly. I had the pleasure of riding the train in a sleeping compartment in July, 1985, from Springfield, Mass., to Los Angeles.

At no time during the three days did I feel any unpleasant bumping or wrenching from badly maintained tracks. The nights in my upper bunk on the top floor of the double-decker Pullman were pure bliss. Everything having to do with that trip was smooth. I charged the tickets over the phone and they were mailed to me on time. The booking agents answered dozens of questions for this first-time Amtrak traveler, and the service people on board were always polite and eager to do any little thing that might make the trip happier.

In contrast, in September, 1985, I rode the highly praised European train system from Paris to Stockholm and back again to Amsterdam. My reservations were messed up on the way north and the porter told me I had to change compartments just as I was falling asleep. Plus, one must carry her own drinking water and what food was available was poor and very expensive. As European trains go, I'll take Amtrak anytime.

NANCY H. GAGE

Anaheim

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