When Travel was Romantic

Discussion in 'The Golden Era' started by 4drymartinis, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. 4drymartinis

    4drymartinis New in Town

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Georgia
  2. BombshellBella

    BombshellBella Familiar Face

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    Location:
    New York City
    Ahhh those were the days... I always try to be a bit dressed up than most people even on the airplane. But it is really hard to do especially when you are on the plane for 8+ hours... but I sure do wish people put in a bit more effort.

    Thanks for posting.
     
  3. anglophile

    anglophile One of the Regulars

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    111
    Location:
    Chester,UK/Memphis
    sigh
    I try to dress when I travel but the elegance is gone from the whole expirience
     
  4. bobalooba

    bobalooba One of the Regulars

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    275
    Location:
    near seattle
    I personally love trains, I think that they are still relatively romantic.
     
  5. Pip

    Pip A-List Customer

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    420
    Location:
    Worcester - UK
    I'd tend to agree. Old train stations are particularly romantic places as well!
     
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  6. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,158
    Location:
    Da Bronx, NY, USA
    What they don't make clear is that travelling FIRST CLASS was romantic. Train travel on the lesser lines, the "milk runs" could be thoroughly miserable. My grandmother used to ride the old Delaware Lackawanna and Western, aka the DLW, which was jokingly said to mean "Delay, Linger and Wait". Old cars were not heated as well, were smelly and dirty. Schedules were irregular.
    Those early passenger planes were a lot less comfortable than modern jets. They bounced a lot, the seats were stiff, and the cabins were extremely noisey. And you had a much greater chance of going splat into a mountain than today, because of grossly inferior navigation aids.
    That said, I'd jump at the chance to ride any of the old trains, planes and ships shown in the story.
    However there's one old fashioned means of transport that never gets mentioned. That's the trolley system. In the 1920's you could go from Maine to Kansas City on the trolleys, otherwise known as the interurbans. Electrified tracks ran between thousands of small towns in America. You could get a ticket printed with a section for each leg of your trip, that might wind up three feet long. The cars, sometimes a single car, had space for passengers and freight. They were a great economical and flexible system, which has been utterly obliterated from the American consciousness.
     
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  7. Caleb Moore

    Caleb Moore Familiar Face

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    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA

    Very true. Just ask Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson. Well, they have both passed on so I guess we can't...
     
  8. fashion frank

    fashion frank One Too Many

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    1,175
    Location:
    Woonsocket Rhode Island
    Looking at this Thread got me wondering ,how many of you loungers take a train to travel .

    I haven't been on one in years ,but plan on taking one the next travel to a place that I often visit.

    All the Best,Fashion Frank
     
  9. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec One Too Many

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    1,127
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I took trains whenever they made sense. All over the UK, Canada (back in the days of the TransCanadian), and Australia. 1st and 2nd class on the Indian Pacific was truly a blast from the past (after doing 1st I realizes that 2nd was just as good for me, 1st was mostly about fancy food), very classy.

    Air travel prior to the late 1950s would probably seem pretty brutal to us today. I flew on a ancient Convair in the West Indies in the 1980s and it was pretty bad, even imagining it new was pretty bad. But you weren't strip searched in those days ... people back then wouldn't have put up with the indignities of our era for a second. We flew around a number of thunderstorms and the ride was ... dramatic.
     
  10. Stearmen

    Stearmen I'll Lock Up

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    7,206
    There was a resent show on The Smithsonian Channel called, I Was a Jet Set Stewardess, all of them agreed the glamor went pot when the Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet appeared! They said, it was just work from the time the wheels came up until the wheels came down. Before, on the smaller planes, they had time to talk to the passengers, and make sure they were having a good time. [video=youtube;sHELzkz6Z_8]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHELzkz6Z_8[/video]
     
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  11. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    15,080
    Location:
    New York City
    Train travel today - if you close your eyes to some modern things and use your imagination - still has a decent romantic vibe left. Grand Central in NYC, Pennsylvania Station in Philadelphia and Washington DC and Boston's old train station still have an incredible amount of magic. And the trains themselves still have roomy seats, great views and - overall - a civilized embarking and debarking. And if you are on one when it snows - happened to me on the way back from Portland ME to Boston several years ago - you feel like you are inside a snow globe experiencing a snow storm in a way you never have before.

    And great point on the interurbans - we lost a lot when we let those go away.

    All that said, I can't find the story - the link this morning just goes to the MSN main travel page. Hate to be a pest, but would love to read it - anyone have any advice (I tried a Google search as well as MSN search and couldn't find it)?
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
    scottyrocks likes this.
  12. fashion frank

    fashion frank One Too Many

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    Location:
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    I'd like to read that as well perhaps someone on here can find it.

    All the Best,Fashion Frank
     
  13. Nobert

    Nobert Practically Family

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    831
    Location:
    In the Maine Woods
    I recently packed up and left Maine on a speculative excursion, taking a train whenever I could. I had to use the bus to get from Portland to The Berkshires, where I was visiting a friend. Which is too bad, because South Station in Boston is a real train station, but the line was under repairs. From there I caught a bus to Albany and a cab over to Rensselaer to make the next leg by train, and that was a treat. Going by rail, you see things that you wouldn't on the highway, people's backyards, the statue of Nipper on top of some building as we left the Albany area, and downtown Schenectady, which looked like a charming town. Extortionate though the prices may be, having a sandwich and a beer while watching the window music of upstate New York pass by was more luxurious than any other form of travel I've been on. And in a world that seems to increasingly transmogrify for the Hell of it, it's comforting to know that Amtrak still has water dispensers with the pointy little paper cups.

    Recently came back to Maine for my parents' 50th, took trains the whole way except the Boston to Portland run. 30th St. Station in Philly is a classic, gigantic terminal. Small birds would get in and flit about the benches. No one seemed to mind.
     
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  14. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    15,080
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    Nobert, that sounds wonderful. I have ridden most of the Amtrak routes you did and, like you, have enjoyed the journey. I haven't been up in Boston for years, but I used to take the train out of North Station to Portland (it started running sometime in the early part of this Century) - is it not running anymore? It is / was a very nice leg as you see a lot of the early industrial revolution style buildings along the way as well as some pretty Maine scenery.
     
  15. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    22,391
    Location:
    London, UK
    Trains are wodnerful. I like to fly. Long haul, that is - I can't be bothered with all the hassle of security and such for short hops (though that said, the plane is the only sensible way to visit family in the old country. Flying, I can realistically go for a weekend, whereas it's nearly 24hours journey by land from London to Belfast.... not to mention generally scandalously expensive if you do it by train). Long haul flights are great on a decent airline, especially business class. My favourite is my regular Air China flight. Has its flaws, but miles better than some of the competition (especially British Airways, legendary in their own minds alone). The biggest joy of Air China - apart from ten hours in the air when nonone can phone, email or otherwise hassle me - is that typically those seated around me are all Chinese, and so highly unlikely to attmept to engage me in conversation. I can't abide people that think it's okay to bother a stranger, even claiming they're just being "friendly"!

    Within Britain, I take the train rather than fly. Door to door it's either faster or at least the same time, you end up in the city you're headed to (not miles outside it), and you spend your time relaxing on a seat that's getting you there, not sitting around an airport or being x-rayed.... :thu:
     
  16. Forgive me if my geography is that of an ignorant colonist, but aren't Belfast and London located on two different islands? Can you get there "by land"? Or by that do you mean anything other than by plane?

    As for long-haul flights...my favorite airline by far is Singapore Air. In business class, every seat is an ailse seat, and they've had to make them narrower because people complained they were too wide. It's like sitting in a loveseat. Thai Air is good, as are the Middle East airlines...Emirates, Qatar, etc. Anything but a US airline. They all pretty much blow.
     
    Edward likes this.
  17. Nobert

    Nobert Practically Family

    Messages:
    831
    Location:
    In the Maine Woods
    The Downeaster between Portland to Boston is still running (Has even expanded to Brunswick), but it arrives and departs from North Station, and since nearly all southbound trains go out of South Station, making connections can be tricky.
     
  18. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    15,080
    Location:
    New York City
    As you imply, oddly, there is no easy way to get from South to North Station and North Station is the opposite of South architecturally: North Station is an ugly cave of a station. But we were so grateful to be able to take the train to Maine, that we hardly complained. Glad it goes up to Brunswick now - do you know if they intend to extend it further up?
     
  19. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    They're talking about bringing it up here to Rockland, but it's bogged down in debate over whether there could be enough business to sustain a regular schedule. There are summer excursion runs now from Rockland to Brunswick that connect to the Downeaster, but that's as far as they've gotten with it.
     
  20. Guttersnipe

    Guttersnipe One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,942
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Amen, brother! Folks always wax poetic about the glamorous early days of commercial air travel. But the airline industry in the 1940s and '50s had an utterly abysmal safety record. Ticket were also extremely expensive!

    In spite of its cattle car ambiance, I'd take safe, modern air travel over a nostalgic crap shoot any day!
     

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