Seattle to Minneapolis to Boston
This was an interesting trip. I wrote earlier that my car attendant on the Empire Builder from Seattle to Minneapolis was rather salty because his responsibilities had been increased by 50%.
Yesterday I took the Lake Shore Limited from Chicago to Boston and it was the same: on board crew being responsible for more passengers than we located in their cars. I don’t think it imposes as big an extra burden on the crews working the smaller, newer Viewliner sleepers—they’re not as big and the rooms are a little more spacious and easier to work with.
That’s small consolation to the car attendant who’s already getting fewer days off between trips and is now being asked to increase his workload by 50 percent.
The trip itself was OK. The dining car meals on the Lake Shore were of the dreaded frozen/microwaved type and barely acceptable.
Viewliner sleepers are on the train—of the original version, not the newer ones— and, as has been my preference, I asked our very excellent car attendant, Ralph, to prepare the upper berth for me. As always I enjoyed sleeping up there and will continue to suggest that to other folks riding overnight in Viewliner.
– You have a nice window up there and you don’t have to raise up on an elbow to look out at the passing scenery.
– People boarding the train during the night can’t. See you when they walk past your window.
– You have some open floor space between to the facing seats down below making it easy to get dressed in the morning.
BUT . . . I am getting too old and creaky for even the very do-able gymnastics required to get up and down from that upper berth. I’ll be in Viewliner sleepers on three more trains on this trip and I do believe I’ll stick with the lower berths.
Tonight it’s Red Sox-Texas Ranger baseball in wonderful Fenway Park and I have bought a seat in the front row on top of the Green Monster. I can’t wait!