A TRIP ON THE METROLINER METROLINER
by Dave Parkinson
On a recent business trip to the East Coast, I had the opportunity to ride the Metroliner for the first time. I thought the Museum members would be interested in my impressions. My trip was from Washington D.C. to Newark, N.J. on the metroliner departing at 4:30 pm., one of about 7 each way daily between Washington and New York.
Reservations are mandatory; I made mine a day in advance. Those who didn't were left behind in Washington because the train ran at capacity, The reservation process was simple, handled just like airline reservations - they even answer the phone promptly. Although no seat numbers are assigned, only the exact number of seats are sold. The handling of ticket purchases at Union Station was fairly efficient. Prices are very competitive, $l6.50 to Newark versus $24 for air fare.
Union Station itself is a rather depressing sight these days, as are most passenger stations: neglected facilities, empty coach yards, et al. But boarding the Metro liner, one is treated to a red carpet entrance and a short walk through the gate to the Metroliner. Special elevated platforms were built on the Metroliner tracks to handle coach access without steps. My train had six cars; 3 coaches, 2 snack coaches and a parlor coach. I'm told the parlor seats are sold out weeks in advance. Most people have seen pictures of the exterior of the Metroliner so I won't describe it. The interior resembles very much an airline coach - clean, paneled, well decorated and lighted, and pleasant. Coach seating is four across in comfortable reclining seats, baggage is carried aboard and placed on racks overhead.
We departed on time, and shortly thereafter a male announcer came on the PA system to explain the trip and the train much the same way that an airline pilot talks to his passengers.
Soon we had cleared the Washington yards and were accelerating to mainline speed in short order-100 miles-per-hour!! The thirty miles between the Washington Beltway station and Baltimore takes 20 minutes. Other times are shown on the following schedule:
The most pleasing part of the Metroliner trip to me was the ride - marvelously smooth at 100 per. Not only has a good job been done on track maintenance upgrading, but the truck and suspension engineering for the coaches is excellent - little sway or rock. Passengers are free to walk about and visit the snack lounge to purchase food or drink, or to make a phone call from the mobile phone booth.
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A BRIEF REVIEW OF REPORTS MADE AND ACTIONS TAKEN AT THE JANUARY 7, 1971, AND FEBRUARY 2, 1971, BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETINGS OF PSRMA.
JANUARY 7, 1971
1) The Board authorized the corporation Treasurer to pay all bills of $5.00 or less, and all monthly operational bills such as utilities, without Board approval unless there is some question in the Treasurer's mind concerning the validity of a particular bill.
2) The Board passed a motion to continue PSRMA's group affiliation with the Orange Empire Trolley Museum of Perris, California.
3) The Board directed President Kerr to investigate the mater of an alledged bill due the B&M Machine Works of Perris.
4) The Board moved to rescend a motion of the December meeting stating PSRMA would not reimburse a Mariachi band slated to perform during the Puerto Penasco excursion. The Board instead ratified payment of $112 to the Mexican Tourist Board for the band.
5) John Hathaway, Directorr of Records & Personnel, reported 24 regular and 24 contributing members had paid dues for 1971.
6) Robert DiGiorgio, Super intendent, presented his tentative schedule of work parties for the first portion of 1971.
7) By consensus the Board feels a floating fund should be established for each exeursion once that excursion has received Board approval.
8) Kent Anderson reported he had received a verbal okay for a Kelso excursion April 24, 1971. Anderson said a letter confirming the date, with pertinent information, was on the way from Union Pacific, The Board voted to cancel the excursion if the letter was not received by January 20, and took no other action pending arrival of the letter.
9) Chop Kerr, reporting for the Storekeeper's department, announced the U.S. Navy has donated two vintage flat cars now located at the Point Huenueme Naval Base. Chop also added the cars can be stored at Point Huenueme at a charge of 50¢ per foot per year.
10) Eric Sanders was appointed Comptroller for the Association.
11) President KTT was instructed by the Board to contact Mr. Bill Dumond of the Southern California Exposition concerning the possibility of a PSRMA exhibit at the Del Mar fair.
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