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Train Travel

January 27, 2000
We look at travel on Amtrak, particularly the Coast Starlight route, as part of our vacation, not solely a means to getting to our destination (letter, Jan. 24). The longer it takes, the better! The scenery is superb, the food is terrific, and the service is great. There is such a feeling of leisure--you can walk around, talk with fellow passengers at meals, read and look out the window at mountains, ocean and small towns. You see places you could never see by car or plane. So if you're in a hurry, take a plane, but if you want to relax, take the train.
March 9, 2014 | By Nita Lelyveld
Commuters were rushing by. An update blared on a loudspeaker. An agitated young woman shouted a name again and again. At 5:30 p.m. on a weekday, in Union Station's main concourse, strangers arranged themselves shoulder to shoulder in a circle. They had come for a free tour of public art in three downtown subway stations. They had just been asked to raise their hands if they had taken Metro trains before. Then artist Alex Amerri, one of the tour leaders, had smiled and said, "OK, so we have some people who are inexperienced.
October 13, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Christmas in Italy likely doesn't get much cheaper than this: $419 per person for a six-night stay plus train travel from Rome to Florence and then on to Venice. It's a nice sampler that allows travelers to explore cities on their own, or add on guided tours. The deal: When was the last time any European land trip cost less than $100 a person? Rome, Florence & Venice by Rail from Gate1 Travel starts in the Italian capital with two-night stays in each city.
February 14, 2014 | By Hector Tobar
The routes American railroads follow were laid out almost exclusively in the 19th and 20th centuries, when trains were symbols of modernity and industrial power. And today, riding a train - especially in the United States - can feel like stepping into a time machine. Tom Zoellner enters this time machine again and again in his highly entertaining, lucid and perceptive travelogue "Train: Riding the Rails That Created the Modern World - From the Trans-Siberian to the Southwest Chief.
May 13, 2012
EUROPE Presentation Susan Hickman, Distant Lands' rail agent, will help you plan your itinerary, from purchasing a ticket and boarding your train to exiting at your destination. When, where : 7:30 p.m. Monday at Distant Lands, 20 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena. Admission, info: Free. RSVP to (626) 449-3220. ROCK CLIMBING Workshop Rock-climbing instructors will teach assisted-rescue skills no climber should be without. When, where: 6 p.m. Tuesday at the REI store in Manhattan Beach, 1800 Rosecrans Ave., Suite E. Admission, info: $60; (310)
September 19, 2003 | James F. Peltz, Times Staff Writer
Thousands of travelers were grounded Thursday when U.S. and foreign airlines canceled more than 2,000 flights and mid-Atlantic airports were closed because of Hurricane Isabel. Amtrak also suspended rail service between Washington, D.C., and Florida through today, and canceled some trains between Washington and New York. Shipping companies such as United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp.
June 8, 2001
Recent letters to the editor have aired complaints concerning our gridlocked roads, crowded freeways and congested airports. As such complaints are clearly warranted, I decided this year to do my part and travel by train from my Pasadena home to my parents' house east of Eugene, Ore. I made the trip this past weekend and found that there could be no nicer and more stress-free way to travel than by Amtrak's Coast Starlight. The only drawback, however, was that the train was delayed for a total of seven hours.
June 4, 1995
Seven years after the transcontinental railroad spike was driven in Utah, another Golden Spike was driven at Lang, signaling the completion of a Los Angeles-to-San Francisco route. In the late 1930s, the train traveling those tracks through the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys was known as the San Joaquin Daylight. The Palmdale-Colton cutoff was established in 1967, taking trains through the Cajon Pass.
April 24, 1988 | ERIC FRIEDHEIM, Friedheim is editor/publisher of Travel Agent magazine.
Question: With the low dollar, is it cheaper to tour Europe by train than by air? Answer: Depending on your itinerary and length of travel, train travel can offer substantial savings, with unlimited mileage offered by Eurailpass and similar bargain plans by individual railroads. Your travel agent has details. Q: Must one book a cabin on the Alaska ferry liners, and do they let senior citizens travel free?
March 24, 1991 | JAMES HILL, Hill is a former assistant editor of The Times' Op-Ed pages. He now lives in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Last month, on the day American and coalition forces entered Iraq and Kuwait to begin the ground war, I took a short detour on the way home from my office in Phoenix. Negotiating my way through downtown streets being prepared for Formula One auto racing, I finally was able to join up with several hundred other people who had managed to find their way to one of the most inaccessible places in town--Union Station--to see a train. Not that it was any old train, mind you.
February 3, 2013
EUROPE Presentation Distant Lands' rail agent Susan Hickman will discuss the ins and outs of train travel in Europe, including trip planning and choosing individual tickets or rail passes. When, where: 7:30 p.m. Monday at Distant Lands, 20 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena. Admission, info: Free. RSVP to (626) 449-3220. WILDLIFE Slide show Wolf Haven International will present "Journey's Journey," a look at OR-7, a.k.a. Journey, the first documented wild wolf in California in more than 88 years, and discuss the importance of wolves as a keystone species in an ecosystem.
October 19, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
What can you see in Italy in a week? Plenty, and you won't have to pay a fortune either. Virgin Vacations offers an eight-day rail package (without airfare) that starts at $469 a person. The deal: The trip price is based on double occupancy. It features two nights each in Venice, Florence and Rome where you can set your own sightseeing pace or pay for a night or daytime tour. Participants take the train from city to city via passes included in the package. It starts in Venice and ends in Rome; you can make your own flight arrangements or ask for a quote from Virgin Vacations.
September 23, 2012
FRANCE Presentation Adrian Kalvinskas will present famous and not-so-famous monuments and museums of Paris, an excursion to Versailles and answer questions about renting an apartment in Paris, traveling with children and train travel to easy destinations. When, where: 7:30 p.m. Monday at Distant Lands, 20 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena. Admission, info: Free. RSVP to (626) 449-3220. TRAVEL BLOGGING Workshop Hostelling International and Matador Network editor Josh Johnson will conduct a travel blogging workshop and discussion on the art of travel storytelling, followed by a barbecue and pub crawl.
September 16, 2012
EUROPE Presentation Distant Lands rail agent Susan Hickman will discuss the ins and outs of train travel in Europe, including planning your itinerary and buying a ticket or rail pass. When, where: 7:30 p.m. Monday at Distant Lands, 20 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena Admission, info: Free; RSVP to (626) 449-3220 HIKING Presentation Craig Carey, author of the new book "Hiking and Backpacking in Santa Barbara and Ventura," will discuss destinations in the Los Padres National Forest.
June 24, 2012
AUSTRALIA Presentation Join Adrian Kalvinskas as he discusses Australia's southeastern corner. Enjoy Melbourne and Sydney, see the highlights of the Blue Mountains and the Great Ocean Road, and take a peek at Australia's little-visited capital of Canberra. When, where: 7:30 p.m. Monday at Distant Lands, 20 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena. Admission, info: Free. RSVP to (626) 449-3220. BICYCLING Movie "Ride the Divide - The Movie," follows the 2008 Tour Divide, the world's toughest mountain bike race, for 2,745 miles from Canada to Mexico.
June 6, 2012 | By Patt Morrison
Ray, darlin'. That's what I called him. It was, he had told me, what an Irish cabbie had called him, back when Ray Bradbury was still rather a lad of a writer, albeit an acclaimed one, and had gone off to Ireland to work on the screenplay for the 1956 movie "Moby Dick. " The John Huston film starred Gregory Peck as the divinely mad Captain Ahab and Orson Welles in a harrowing cameo as the preacher, and the epic donnybrooks between Ray and Huston were probably just as cinematic as anything that ended up on film.
November 3, 1988 | NANCY JO HILL, Nancy Jo Hill is a free-lance writer who contributes articles to various sections of The Times.
On a typical Saturday, Chris Ferguson gets up at 5:30 a.m., hurries over to Amtrak's Fullerton Depot, boards a train and then spends the rest of the day riding back and forth between Los Angeles and San Diego. Why? Because for Ferguson, getting there is not half the fun--it's all the fun.
June 27, 2010
It is difficult for me to place any credibility in Karl Zimmermann's story on cross-country train travel ["Make Tracks," June 20] based on my experience. Zimmermann says the Coast Starlight is one of the best trains in the Amtrack system. Here's a slice of reality: My wife and I rode the Starlight roundtrip between Los Angeles and Seattle for several years to visit our son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. Things were fine for a while. Then they started to go downhill fast. On the last four legs we traveled — two northbound and two southbound — the train was never less than seven hours late in arriving.
April 15, 2012
The right to roam in Wales I was pleased to see John Flinn's excellent piece on walking the Offa's Dyke Path with Bill Bryson ["Strolling Over Hill and Dale in Wales," April 1], particularly the picture of one-eyed Llewelyn Morgan, who I have known for some 25 years. (He lost his eye, by the way, practicing the traditional craft of hedge-laying, when the hedge bit back.) At the risk of seeming picky, I'd like to clarify Flinn's reference to trespass and the right to roam.
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