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Jack M. Turner Train Travel Reports

Train Travel Reports & Photos
by Jack M. Turner

Oct 1, 2022 - Riding Reading Railroad Steam: Report & Photos by Jack M. Turner. The first week of October 2022 found my wife and I heading north on Amtrak train # 52, the AutoTrain, from Sanford, FL to Lorton, VA (see earlier TrainWeb report at We then spent several nights at... Read More>>

Oct 3, 2022 - All Aboard The Auto-Train and Strasburg Railroad: by Jack M. Turner. We arrived at the Sanford AutoTrain terminal as servicing of our train was completed. Train # 53 had arrived close to schedule and would welcome a large crowd which soon filled its large waiting room almost to capacity. We were entertained by the... Read More>>

May 8, 2021 - Riding Georgia Coastal Railway: by Jack M. Turner. A new excursion train operator recently kicked off service in southeast Georgia over the rails of the St. Marys Railroad. The passenger operation runs under the name Georgia Coastal Railway. Our train departs from the St. Marys depot on Saturday, May 8 at 12:01pm and begins its leisurely 8 mile... Read More>>

Aug 4, 2019 - Roundabout Route To Norfolk: by Jack M. Turner. Between 1967 and 1970 my father took our family on 3 or 4 trips aboard Seaboard Coast Line's Silver Star between Florida and Richmond, VA. Several aspects of those trips stood out such as riding the rear sleeping car (line number R-360) which was... Read More>>

Aug 2019 - Train Watching HotSpot: Plant City, Florida: by Jack M. Turner. Traditionally the leading Florida destination by train is Orlando with its plethora of theme parks that appeal to multiple generations. Two daily Amtrak trains directly serve Orlando along with the Auto Train which delivers passengers and their automobiles to nearby Sanford. Both the... Read More>>

Final Eastern Trips With Full Service Dining: Text by Jack M. Turner, Photos by John C. Turner. Amtrak's October 1, 2019 removal of cooked to order dining service on its eastern trains provided the impetus to schedule one last trip where we could enjoy nicely prepared meals in a Viewliner II diner. My son John and I decided... Read More>>

Eastbound On The Sunset Limited: by Jack M. Turner. Following our Panama Canal cruise aboard the "Island Princess" and a day of sightseeing between San Pedro and Malibu, we headed to Los Angeles Union Station to board the eastbound Sunset Limited. We spent a couple of hours exploring the magnificent station and... Read More>>

April 9, 2019 - Cruising The Panama Canal and Riding Central American Rails: by Jack M. Turner. The Panama Canal has been known for a century as one of the world's top man-made engineering marvels. A cruise through the canal provided us the opportunity to ride the transcontinental Panama Canal Railway and take a short train ride in Costa Rica as well as... Read More>>

Riding The Downeaster And Silver Meteor by Jack M. Turner. The Downeaster was led by F40 cab control car 90214 followed by a Business class/cafe car, 4 Amfleet coaches, and trailing P42 # 130 wearing the Amtrak belt stripe heritage paint scheme. That engine had led the northbound run that we spotted from the Brunswick Hotel. We had ample room in... Read More>>

Mountain Majesty: The Conway Scenic Railroad by Jack M. Turner. Monday October 7 was Columbus Day, a major holiday in New England and a busy day for the Conway Scenic Railroad. The North Conway station was crowded with passengers boarding the round trip Valley Train to Conway and those waiting for the Notch Train to Fabyan and return. Once the... Read More>>

Riding The Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad by Jack M. Turner. Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad is part of the Hobo & Winnipesaukee Railroads which operate over 54 miles leased from the State of New Hampshire. This mileage stretches from Lincoln southward to Tilton. Both end points are nestled close to I-93 though the railway arches eastward along... Read More>>

Riding The Green Mountain Railroad by Jack M. Turner. After taking Amtrak from Jacksonville to Albany-Rennselaer, NY (covered in my previous story) Christine and I drove eastward from Lake Placid along the Ausable River then north to Plattsburgh. Near Plattsburgh we boarded a Lake Champlain ferry for... Read More>>

Sep 30, 2018 - Streaking North On The Silver Meteor: by Jack M. Turner. A visit to New England to view the autumn leaves was our first planned trip taking advantage of my wife's recent retirement. The northbound Silver Meteor pulled into Jacksonville, FL about 15 minutes late on September 30, 2018 and we... Read More>>

Carolina Rails and Football: Text by Jack M. Turner, Photos by The Author and John C. Turner. Train # 92, Amtrak' Silver Star, pulls out of Jacksonville, FL right on time a few minutes after 11:00pm and we are glad to trade train station seating for the relative comfort of beds in Viewliner sleeper 62011 Gulf View. We have a short overnight ride so it's right to bed rather than enjoying the nocturnal views of our passage from north Florida into the woods and swamplands of southeast Georgia... Read More>>

Jun 12, 2018 - Riding Brightline Over The Florida East Coast: Report & Photos Jack M. Turner Sometimes events in life come full circle. Such is the case for me with riding over the Florida East Coast Railway rails. A clear recollection remains in my memory bank of a round trip between Miami and West Palm Beach over the Florida East Coast Railway in 1962 with... Read More>>

June 2017 - Touring Mayberry and Southeastern Rail Attractions: Report & Photos Jack M. Turner The third part of our Summer 2017 travels took Christine and I southward from Lancaster County, PA to North Carolina. On our northward journey we took Amtrak's Auto Train from Florida to Lorton, VA then drove to Pennsylvania as noted in the previous two stories. After stopping in Winchester, Virginia, we picked up the Skyline Drive at Front Royal and drove its length along mountain peaks through Shenandoah National Park. The south end of the park is located between Charlottesville and Staunton, VA, both... Read More>>

June 2017 - Visiting Strasburg Railroad and Lancaster County,PA: Report & Photos Jack M. Turner After traveling north on Amtrak's Auto Train, Christine and I enjoyed our first visit to the Manassas Battlefield Park where the Battle of Bull Run was a major event of the Civil War. A quick visit to the Air and Space Museum Annex in Chantilly, VA provided our... Read More>>

Jun 23, 2017 - Northbound on Amtrak's Auto Train: Report & Photos Jack M. Turner When the idea of visiting Pennsylvania Dutch country began to percolate in our minds, my wife Christine and I had to consider the fact that it would take the better part of three days to drive from our Florida home to... Read More>>

Dec 16, 2016 - Riding The Silver Star to Colonial Virginia: Report & Photos Jack M. Turner One of the leading destinations in the Southeast is Williamsburg, VA as that community and neighboring Jamestown and Yorktown are filled with history from America's colonial period. The train is a great way to... Read More>>

Sep 27, 2016 - Touchdowns And Trains: by Jack M. Turner, Photos by John C. Turner. The arrival of autumn each year signals the start of one of my favorite activities as I attend football games, primarily high school games. This passion can be traced back to my grandfather who was a legendary high school coach in... Read More>>

Jul 3, 2016 - Windy City to Sunny Florida: Report & Photos Jack M. Turner Our four hour layover in Chicago passed quickly thanks to the comfort of the new Metropolitan Lounge. A few teething pains accompanied the first week of the new lounge as sleeping car passengers who were not using red cap service blocked the foyer between the waiting rooms and the gates to the tracks... Read More>>

Jul 2, 2016 - Chicago Union Station's New Metropolitan Lounge: Report & Photos Jack M. Turner Our arrival at Chicago Union Station on Saturday, July 2, 2016 aboard the California Zephyr was filled with anticipation as we prepared to experience the new first class Metropolitan Lounge for the first time. On the outbound trip in mid-June we spent much of our layover between the City of New Orleans and the Empire Builder in the old Metropolitan Lounge located close to the south concourse gates. Now the journey from trackside to the lounge would be longer as it has been relocated close to the station's Great Hall which is about as far from the boarding gates... Read More>>

Jun 30, 2016 - Breezing to Chicago on the California Zephyr: Report & Photos Jack M. Turner The Sacramento Amtrak station was alive with arriving and departing passengers while we waited for the arrival of train # 6 the California Zephyr on Thursday, June 30. In Amtrak's early years the CZ was the only train to serve this attractive station, however the... Read More>>

Jun 16, 2016 - The Amtrak Empire Builde: Rails to the Pacific Northwest: Report & Photos Jack M. Turner Westbound train # 7, the Empire Builder, departed Chicago on-time at 2:15pm on Thursday, June 16, 2016. As soon as the train ducked out of Union Station, views of the north side of the Loop filled our windows... Read More>>

Jun 15, 2016 - Riding On The Amtrak City Of New Orleans: Report & Photos Jack M. Turner A familiar feeling swept over me as my wife and I stepped inside New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal on Wednesday, June 15 to board the City of New Orleans headed to Chicago. Our ultimate destination, Seattle, was a three night... Read More>>

Feb 18, 2016 - All Aboard The Gulf Coast Inspection Train: Report & Photos Jack M. Turner In February 2016 the [Southern Rail] Commission was ready to take the next step by running an inspection train with major Amtrak involvement from New Orleans to Jacksonville. The inspection train would allow Amtrak and the SRC to inspect the track and station infrastructure while permitting officials from the... Read More>>

September 22, 2015 - Eastbound and Down: Sacramento to Florida on Amtrak: Report & Photos by Jack Turner Tuesday, September 22, 2015 would be the beginning of my homeward bound journey starting with the California Zephyr. Following a restful night at the Vagabond Inn and a stroll around the block... Read More>>

September 21, 2015 - Riding Altamont Commuter Express: Report & Photos by Jack Turner Following a pleasant overnight in San Jose and a midday visit with my uncle, aunt, and cousin in Menlo Park, I boarded Altamont Commuter Express train # 4 in San Jose. This had long been... Read More>>

September 20, 2015 - Cruising Along The Pacific On Amtrak's Coast Starlight: Report & Photos by Jack Turner Sunday, September 20, 2015 kicked off with a smooth drive to Los Angeles Union Station. I dropped off my rental car at the underground parking garage below the station and a redcap picked up some other passengers... Read More>>

September 15, 2015 - California Dreamin': Touring So Cal By Rail - Report & Photos by Jack Turner Following an overnight in Albuquerque I enjoyed a morning walk around the convention center... Read More>>

September 15, 2015 - An Evening on New Mexico's Rail Runner: Report & Photos by Jack M. Turner After checking in at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Albuquerque, it was time to make the short walk to the Alvarado Transportation Center to catch a Rail Runner commuter train to Santa Fe... Read More>>