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Time Periods => WWII => Topic started by: 16thspc on October 18, 2007, 06:51:19 PM
A few years ago someone organized a "Troop Train" with AmTrack from Chicago to FIG.
Anyone know if this is happening again this year?
It never happened due to lack of interest or people say yes, then cheesing >:(
As someone that helped organize the one & only train thing in '05, I'll tell you that it's not worth it. There was a lot of hassle, added expense, and time wasted that wasn't out-shined by the good points. Here's what happened:
1. Amtrak initially promised us a whole train, then a train car after that didn't pan out. OK cool, a whole car to ourselves is not too bad. But we ended up not even getting that.... the Amtrak people on the scene said that even if we had the people to fill up a car (which we had about half that after a bunch of people backed out at the last minute), we couldn't guarantee free run of a car. So, we ended up sharing the whole trip with a mixed crowd that gave us weird looks... except the Penn Dutch family that recognized the German uniforms, they seemed to like us!
2. The train trip itself took 18 hours from Chicago to Harrisburg, PA, and 19-20 hours coming back. We could have driven from Chicago in about 9! Since Amtrak has to rent the tracks from commercial freight lines, we had to pull over a few times and wait for freight to pass.
3. Amtrak lied to us about the weapons... initially they told us no problem, we could put them together in a crate and ship them in the cargo as "Amtrak mail" and pick them up like luggage when we arrive. NOPE, they totally changed the story at the last minute, and had to hire another reenactor to drive a truck out there to meet us with the stuff. That ended up costing WAY more than we anticipated.... we're just lucky that we had a friend here in Indy that was willing to lend us the truck for free (that Thomas & I had to drive up to Chicago & back, adding 3 hours each way on our journey!).
Other than that, it was nice not having to worry about driving on ice, and we could drink the whole time. I think if it were ever done again, the only good way to do it would be to charter your own engine pulling a privately-owned car (preferably a period one). You'd still have the freight lines to worry about, but you'd have your own train!