Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Into Training for Detroit

This morning I bit the bullet and redeemed 80,000 Amtrak Guest Rewards points (most of which are actually transferred from my Diner's Club card representing years of purchases with it) to buy a round-trip Superliner Bedroom (the big room with its own integral shower/toilet compartment) on the California Zephyr between Emeryville and Chicago on our way to/from Detcon 1. That's a $3780 ticket, so I feel pretty good about buying it on points.

Chicago-Detroit will also be by train. In theory we could tack on coach seats on Amtrak's Wolverine for no additional cost, as Detroit straddles a zone boundary and for point-redemption purposes is the same place as Chicago. However, it would mean trusting the four-hour connection at Chicago and arriving in Detroit at 12:18 AM, and also require that we be on the train at Detroit at 6:28 AM in order to meet our connection at Chicago. Now train stations don't require airport-style, arrive-two-hours-in-advance security, but I still don't like being up that early the day after a convention if I can avoid it, so we'll go ahead and spend the extra money (only $123) to purchase the other tickets and for the extra hotel nights at Chicago coming and going.

We could of course catch the train at Reno if we wanted to spend $200 on taxi fares to and from Reno from Fernley, but we'd miss one of the major scenic highlights of the trip. We can park long-term at Fremont and catch the Zephyr out of Emeryville as we have done previously. Also, I have commitments in the Bay Area on the days at the end of the trip, so it's just as well to end the trip there instead of Reno and Fernley.

A reassuring element of train travel over air is that these tickets are fully refundable until the departure of the booked trains; that is, if we change our minds, we get the points back. It's not like air travel where if you make one mistake, your money evaporates and you're stuck.

I'm looking forward to this trip. It will be our third (and fourth) times on the Zephyr. It's the first time we've gone east and west on the same route, but we couldn't work out a routing that would take us over one of the other routes (the only big east-west route we haven't done is the Empire Builder) and still fit the needs of the rest of our schedule.
Tags: amtrak, nasfic, trains

  • Circle Completed

    This afternoon I decided to try to book the final leg of the Amtrak Circle Trip to Worldcon, that being the Los Angeles - San Jose run on New Year's…

  • TrainCon Scramble

    The smoke conditions were mostly unchanged today. Actually, it was slightly less funky than yesterday, with the AQI only 168, which is still…

  • Talking About WSFS With Winnipeg - The Video

    The discussion I had with the Winnipeg Worldcon bid about how WSFS works is now posted on their YouTube channel.

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.