Monday, June 29, 2009

Where has the luxury gone?

For the last week I have been continuing my work on research for articles I need to write. I have been learning so much about the Road. Last week I read a lot about the Hiawatha's and they truly are spectacular. I would have loved to experience these trains first hand. However, in a small way I have. During my research I learned that Amtrak took over some of the routes/railroads that were run by the Hiawatha. I have taken the Amtrak several times before, especially recently to and from school. So I began thinking about the way it was and the way it is and brought the question to mind, what's happened to the luxury? Amtrak offers a lot of great services and amenities. However, the Hiawatha had impressive speed, but even more impressive was the luxury it offered passengers. Amtrak does offer coach, business, and dinning cars (and probably sleeper cars on longer rides). Which are all great and have pretty good room to feel comfortable, but on a packed train with college kids for 5 1/2 hours can still get a bit crowded. The first photo is what is offered for my ride. Thinking of how it is I just can't get the image of how it was out of my head. The Hiawatha's offered the best of the best for an enjoyable travel. I loved the beaver-tail, skytop lounge, Superdome, large bathrooms with private lounges, and diner cars that served prim rib. A girl can only dream for luxury to resurface like that. However, travelers seem to be more interested with speed, while companies want higher passenger quantity. Maybe I'm wrong and travelers enjoy how it is and feel it's more luxurious. I personally wouldn't ,ind having a couch or recliner with a great window view to make the ride more enjoyable. Also last week I was given a little behind the scenes tour of the library. I saw a second workroom where a lot more of the Milwaukee Road history is stored. I'm just amazed at the amount of stuff that is here, the workroom had 2 floors! Then I saw where the city of Milwaukee Archives was, which also stores some drawings from the Road due to no storage room. This week I'm reading all about electrification and I'm sure I'll learn a lot!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jenn,

    I stumbled on your blog and thought I'd say hello. It sounds like you're involved in an interesting project this summer. I, like you, never knew the real Hiawathas, but over the past several years I've photographed and traversed as much of the abandoned Western Extension to Seattle as I could.

    I blog about the Milwaukee and my experiences along its path to the West Coast over here:

    I'll add your blog to the side bar and see if any of the other Milwaukee Road fans out there make their way over to you.

    Take care, and thanks for posting about your experiences this summer.