CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 23, 1995
Our only national passenger train service, Amtrak, and our California rail passenger systems, may be virtually eliminated by the 104th Congress and President Clinton if they proceed to cut all federal rail subsidies. Amtrak has been a success story by increasing its annual ridership by 24% since Amtrak was created, yet its inflation-adjusted operating subsidy is some 70% less. Amtrak covers its operating costs from fares--80%--more than any other passenger railroad in the world! Considering inflation, aviation and highway federal spending went up 97% and 25% respectively from 1982 to 1991, while Amtrak went down 36%. Yet we see no proposals from the 104th Congress to eliminate air and highway subsidies.
September 30, 2012 |
This week's Culinary SOS request comes from Kathy McCarthy in Redondo Beach: "We recently traveled Amtrak 's Southwest Chief from L.A. to Chicago. The dining car served the most delicious lamb shanks with mushroom sauce. Could you see if you can get the recipe? Thanks. " Amtrak was happy to share its recipe with us, telling us that the lamb shanks are the creation of Seattle chef and cookbook author Tom Douglas, who is part of their culinary advisory team. Amtrak's executive chef, Daniel Malzhan, developed the recipe, using sous-vide cooking ("20 hours at a precise 160 degrees")
October 6, 1985
My son Christopher, 17 months, and I just completed an 11-day trip on Amtrak's See America plan. We traveled a total of 96 hours on the train, including three nights without a sleeper. Amazingly, we enjoyed ourselves. The Amtrak people were efficient and friendly, the food surprisingly good and the scenery terrific, especially the Denver to Salt Lake route. We met all kinds of interesting people and, as far as I'm aware, Christopher didn't ruin anyone else's trip. We sat in the handicapped section and the lounge areas so the baby had some freedom of movement.
December 26, 2009
Ever since Amtrak banned passengers from bringing firearms onto its trains, a step it took shortly after 9/11, the gun lobby has been working hard to get weapons back on board. While this campaign would hardly seem appropriate for a country with terrorism concerns, such has been the case. Part of the eight-year delay has been due to the difficulty of resolving security issues. One problem, for instance, is that many Amtrak stations across the country are little more than a platform and two tracks, and they don't have the personnel to inspect or check luggage, let alone monitor whether weapons are properly stored and secured.
January 10, 2013 |
Coming soon on Amtrak: fewer excuses to not work while commuting. The national railroad, which operates 21,000 route miles, is upgrading its Wi-Fi service to 4G on many routes across the country. Amtrak says the aim is to offer increased wireless speeds and greater reliability. Hopefully, this will enable a wider set of online features for train travelers. According to Amtrak's site, its current Wi-Fi service does not allow for "high-bandwidth actions such as streaming music, streaming video or downloading large files.
July 26, 2011 |
Here's an idea for a leisurely autumn trip that's scenic and saves money: Amtrak is taking 25% off tickets on a stretch of the Coast Starlight route between Los Angeles and Davis, Calif. The sale applies to destinations such as Oakland, San Jose, Paso Robles, Santa Barbara and others. -- The deal: The Coast Starlight runs between Los Angeles and Seattle, but the Book Early and Save 25% offer covers only the southern leg of the line. The discount also applies to up to two children, ages 2 to 15, who travel for half fare with the purchase of an adult ticket. -- When: The offer is good for travel Oct. 13 through Nov. 17. But you must buy tickets by Sunday.