Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for November 20th, 2022

Amtrak November 8 18:30

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We left Pacific Central five minutes early and rolled along gently, overtaking a cyclist here and there, until we got to Sapperton.

We were in the dining car with Ivar’s chowder and Des Chutes porter when there was an announcement. They had just been informed that there were track works ahead, and the delay would be 45 minutes to an hour. It seems I was prophetic when I told the desk clerk at the hotel we might be very much later than the scheduled arrival time. There is no wifi on the train until we get south of the border, but when I can I am going to look up taxis in Seattle, just in case there are none in the rank. 

The last time we did this eleven years ago the schedule was better and the cars more comfortable. The Talgo train is in the shop, apparently.

At 19:35 we start moving ahead of any time mentioned in the announcements. By 20:30 we are at the border to hand over our customs declaration. 

Over the border the train speeds up. There is a very dodgy wifi that seems to drop in and out. To be free of roaming charges which are extortionate I go through the set up menu and turn everything off on the phone. 

20:58 approaching Bellingham

 We are, they say, an hour and fifteen minutes behind schedule.

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The text above comes from the Notes app that I was using thinking I might make a journal for our trip to Seattle. It made up for the lack of wifi on the train – but in the event I did not write more, but I did take a lot of photos some of which are making their way onto a Flickr album.

We were late and by the time we got outside the station all the cabs had gone. Of course most people were getting Uber or Lyft. We could easily have walked. That was why I had booked the Best Western on Yesler. For the return journey, very early in the morning, that is exactly what we did. A cab did turn up after a short while and it was a cheap enough ride. Which was just as well since I never did find out the number of a taxi company to call.

The hotel is a listed building. But one thing I had not expected was that the bathroom window had been left wide open, on a very cold night. Of course, we closed it and cranked up the heater – but that did interfere a bit with getting to sleep that night as it relied on a very noisy fan.

Written by Stephen Rees

November 20, 2022 at 2:09 pm

Posted in Railway, taxi