27 November 2011 @ 07:20 pm
Sunday Surplus: The Luxury of Rail Travel in the Forties  
I LOVE old trains, especially dining and sleeping cars.

The next two are worth enlarging for the details in the artwork alone, quite apart from the text.

The New York Central, with New "King-size Diners"

Full size: 888x1117

The Choctaw Rocket, by Pullman-Standard

Full size 883x1203

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
TeaRoses: The Little Prince by ladytalonrosehiptea on November 28th, 2011 03:45 am (UTC)
From the first one I'm flashing back to this Mary Tyler Moore episode where Lou Grant is trying to get a woman to marry him (yeah, it wasn't your typical episode) by promising her a honeymoon on a train with big windows that runs through Canada.

"And everywhere you look... Canada!"

I pine for the days when train travel was more popular. I love taking short trips on them and the idea of a longer trip with an old-fashioned dining car sounds fun. Then again maybe it's one of those "It's great if you don't actually have to do it" things.
Man Writing Slash: sanzwrite_light on November 28th, 2011 03:54 am (UTC)
I've done both dining and overnight. Dining was astonishing, mainly because (1) it was Europe and (2) I paid a lot for it. Full meal with the Alps going by outside at sunset = priceless. Overnight I've done in an old sleeper car, but I can't sleep well on trains - bunks are small and there's always some noise or light or bump or announcement. It's like sleeping on a plane, tbh. But still, v. cool and worth doing once, and worth paying for the best you can manage.
Lardvarkcionaudha on November 28th, 2011 04:21 am (UTC)
Oh, that sounds fantastic. That's been on my to-do list since I learned about the Orient Express when I was a kid.
Man Writing Slashwrite_light on November 28th, 2011 04:25 am (UTC)
It doesn't need to be the Orient Express, it just needs to be a country (or region) with lots of train experience, and a decent seat/compartment. I wouldn't go for more than a 24-hour experience or you'll discover where the limits of comfort are, and you'll miss a lot besides. :)
luke_russellluke_russell on November 28th, 2011 05:57 am (UTC)
One of the greatest joys of travel to Eurpoe is the ability to move about by train. City-centre to city-centre, convenient, fast, comfortable. I love it! It's so sad the US "free market" system destroyed a great transportation mode.
TeaRoses: Adam Grahnrosehiptea on November 28th, 2011 05:52 am (UTC)
That does sound great. I doubt I'll ever get to Europe let alone be able to pay for an expensive train trip there, but you never know...
Dianacontradictacat on November 28th, 2011 04:25 am (UTC)
Oh man. I just went to Seattle by train (after a detour through NOLA and Chicago), and while it wasn't the most comfortable ride I've had (since I slept in chairs for most of the nights), it was pretty darn awesome. And I adored my time when I had a sleeper car and a dining car to go to. Like write_light said, it's kind of difficult to get a really sound sleep unless you're one of those people who's out for the count at the drop of a hat, but it's a fantastic experience. These ads really make me want to go again.
3cthelion3cthelion on November 28th, 2011 07:28 pm (UTC)
i've done chicago to san francisco and chicago to seattle, both in sleeper cars with full dining, and, though expensive, i agree - it's a great way to travel. the rooms are not luxurious, but comfortable, and the dining is really pretty amazing for a mode of transportation. we spoke with one of the chefs, and he said they get off the train at several stops and pick up fresh, local food to serve.

i know it's popular to bash the u.s., but amtrak (with help from the government) has managed to keep train travel here pretty nice, as long as you live near a line and want to go where it goes.
vp19: 1931 hollywood boulevardvp19 on November 29th, 2011 03:32 am (UTC)
To Seattle after a detour through New Orleans and Chicago? Where did you start?
Dianacontradictacat on November 29th, 2011 03:38 am (UTC)
I started in Boston and flew back from Seattle.
Ejia Arath: Jack and... Jack?ejia_arath03 on November 28th, 2011 08:00 am (UTC)
I want to do the whole Agatha Christie murder travel tour thing! Solving mysteries on ships and trains, and perhaps enticing other gentlemen of negotiable affection!

I would dress up in white tie, suit, top hat and all, to attend a nice dining car on a train ride.
bradygirl_12: mel--johnny (fedoras)bradygirl_12 on November 28th, 2011 04:06 pm (UTC)
Even with train travel's drawbacks as listed by other posters, I'd still take it in a heartbeat over air travel. At least you're not treated like cattle trying to board, for one thing. And train travel just seems more civilized, especially the dining car! Beats tiny packets of overpriced junk food offered by the airlines as your 'meal' now.
Singe Addamssingeaddams on November 28th, 2011 05:12 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'd love to take a trip on that.
TudorLady: b&w kittiestudorlady on November 28th, 2011 07:08 pm (UTC)
My BEST TRIPS EVAR have always been on trains. I'm so looking forward to going cross-country again :)
Joejoebehrsandiego on November 29th, 2011 02:05 am (UTC)
Thanks for these great ads. My folks and I took the Empire Builder (Great Northern and then Amtrak) out to Seattle to visit relatives several times. Seeing that part of the country while being able to relax etc. was amazing.

I haven't used a sleeper berth as an adult; it's good to know they're still worth it!
vp19: william powellvp19 on November 29th, 2011 03:30 am (UTC)
I traveled cross country by Amtrak in September 1996 -- the Lake Shore Limited from New York to Chicago, then the now-defunct Desert Wind from Chicago to southern California. (Most of the route paralleled the current California Zephyr that goes to northern California, though the route shifted somewhere in Utah.) Loved it, though I slept in my coach seat, changing clothes daily in a large restroom. The scenery was magnificent, especially the Rockies, and so was the food. Every American should travel cross-country at ground level at least once during their lifetime; it will enable you to grasp the scale of this nation and give you a feel for how it developed.
Lady Lprincesslollyoz on November 29th, 2011 06:23 am (UTC)
for some reason train travel makes me think of the thin man movies
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )