Link Dump


ratpag is full of ideas and would never stoop so low as to repeatedly reference 21 year-old episodes day after day after day when there are so many riveting transportation topics and discussions to be had.  So why did we post this image of three separate beers coming from one pipe?  To show that we are not a news and transportation website that only taps the same well, time and time again, for slightly different daily posts.  Yes…that’ll do.

And so we proudly present, from our New Jersey correspondent, this week’s Link Dump:

Hello readers.  With summer approaching, and the spring weather already here, we know that you are looking to get away.  Luckily, our friends at the BBC have put together a list of fun, interesting places you can visit.  Now, some of us may not be among those wealthy enough to spend $250,000 on a week-long vacation – but that doesn’t stop us from getting away.  Amtrak can provide us with vacation fun for a much lower cost.

First, the BBC suggests visiting an island such as Grenada.  Someone who wants to see an island like Grenada won’t want to take the train to a mainland city like Asbury Park but he or she can take transit to Governor’s Island.  From the Amtrak network, it’s a quick ride to South Ferry on the 1 train and then a ferry to the island.

Next, the BBC lists skiing.  Well, Amtrak provides service to ski resorts as well!  Check out Fraser, Colorado on Amtrak’s California Zephyr line.  A skier could leave Chicago at 2 in the afternoon and be on the slopes the afternoon of the next day.  ratpag has even ridden through that station!  [Editor’s Note:  ratpag also has a station guide, of sorts, for nearby Denver Union Station if you were to layover for a night before heading to the slopes.]

The BBC spends the rest of its list suggesting warm weather places for its readers:  The Italian seaside, the historic city of Istanbul, and the desert oasis of Abu Dhabi.  Taking transit to the coast is easy, whether the rider wants to leave Amtrak’s Pennsylvania Station and take the LIRR  to the beaches of Long Island or take NJ Transit to the Jersey Shore.  Or a vacationer could take Amtrak to the Norfolk station and take the bus to Virginia Beach.  Down south, Amtrak serves Charleston, Jacksonville, Tampa, and Miami, among other resorts.  Spending $250,000 on a vacation is pretty silly when an Amtrak ticket from Chicago to Miami only costs about $200.

The remaining two suggestions, historic cities and the desert, are so well served by Amtrak that no list could be comprehensive.  Amtrak riders can find them on their own and sometimes the stations themselves could be historic treasures.  To see the desert, a rider could take either the Southwest Chief [Another Editor’s Note:  More on the Southwest Chief on Thursday.] or the Sunset Limited.

With all of these fun, affordable vacations available via Amtrak, ratpag hopes we just saved you $250,000.  And, as a bonus, check out the exciting transportation news happening, well, in those three links right there.

We discovered, while reviewing this post, that there is a difference between Granada in Spain and Grenada in the Caribbean.  We alerted our New Jersey correspondent of his error and that his reference to the song “At Long Last Love” is baseless and, subsequently, have docked him one month’s pay.  We apologize for any confusion.

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