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West Coast Train Trip: 4th Annual! - T-Shirts have arrived!

TimeCruiserMikeTimeCruiserMike Registered User regular
edited October 2010 in PAX Archive
The 4th annual
West Coast Train Trip Follow us on twitter @PAXTrain
T-Shirts have arrived!
Spoiler:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2m-ImPMoNs

What it is
The Successor to the West Coast Super Trip (the nerdy caravan that started it all) The West Coast Train Trip, or "PAXTrain" for short, is a coordinated effort for PAX-goers to ride the same train at the same time going up the western coast of the United States - both as an alternative to driving or flying, and to enjoy an intimate "mini-convention".

Why the train?
Well, aside from that little mishap on the WCST in 06 when one car crashed into a pole and another had its engine seize up? Ask anyone who's flown, driven and taken the train up - the train was the best experience. We don't care if you're new - this ain't no private party, and all people going to PAX are welcome. We didn't even know anyone else in 2007 and have become fast friends. We invite you to join us!

How to get on the PAXTrain
We are riding Train #14 - Coast Starlight departing September 1st, 2010. from California. If you are in Chico, CA or north, get on the same train, but on September 2nd, 2010. We're going back on Train #11 - Coast Starlight departing September 6th. Every from Eugene and all points north be sure you select the Coast Starlight and not the Cascades when buying your tickets.

PDF of the train schedule

The following is a courtesy list of standard coach prices for a round trip, but they won’t stay like that. You should buy now because the prices go up as we near our departure date. Last year I saw round trip tickets from LA to Seattle go for $277.
Spoiler:
Once you've secured a seat/sleeper on the train please fill out this form so that we can add you to the roster. (Courtesy of Tek)

Some Informational links on the status of the train
Stuff You Need
You'll need to be prepared to survive on PAXTrain. Following is a list of stuff you probably should bring if you want to have a livable experience on the rails.
Spoiler:

PAXtrain Gear
People's willingness to bring their expensive toys to share is part of what makes PAXtrain such an awesome experience. Please understand that if you are joining up any later than San Jose, it may not be "worth it" for the train trip. We need supplies on the front as early as possible. If you are not sure what to bring here are some things we need.
Spoiler:

This is all the essentials - if you want to burden yourself with bringing more, that's fine, but it's also window dressing. If you're thinking about bringing more shit and saying "I'll hook it up in my hotel later after PAX closes", you're so wrong - you should either be sleeping or heading to a bar or party, not going back to the hotel to play some video games. You just did that all day.

The PAXTrain Staff
I know that a small percentage of people have issue with an organized "PAXTrain Staff." There was some drama in 2008. "You are on a power trip and need to settle down." Please understand that to keep good relations with Amtrak and not have a bunch of people booted off the train in the middle of buttfuck nowhere we present the Amtrak Staff with a Face (or faces) who represents us a group. This helps keep the staff more at ease and provides everyone on both sides with a go to guy(or go to people) with whom they can speak if there is a problem. If any of the PAXTrain staff seems at any time to be rude or power tripping, please know that it is because we don't like being yelled at by Amtrak Staff, and yes Amtrak staff has on occasion asked PAXTrain staff to quell some problems that have come up. (Noise, crowding the isle, hogging the obs. deck, etc.)

The Rules
We have some rules on PAXTrain. They're simple. Don't sweat it. But if you break them we will be miffed and we'll find appropriate punishment for you. These rules mainly apply in Headquarters (the Arcade car or obs deck) as that's where most of the magic happens.
Spoiler:

Booze
Amtrak has a policy against outside alcohol on the train. They probably just want to sell more of the overpriced stuff in the snack bar. We won't tell you what to bring or not bring, but know that the risks / consequences of bringing alcohol are your own, as we aren't condoning private stashes. Openly drinking your own stuff in public areas is discouraged. If you choose to do so please do it discretely. If keeping it out of sight is a problem for you I would suggest that you check out these links

These sites offer a variety of inconspicuous covers for your beer cans
http://thebeermall.com/beercancovers.html
http://www.ezcom.com/hideabeer.htm

or if you would rather make a cover your self
http://www.instructables.com/id/Sneaky-Drink-a-Beer-Anywhere/

or . . . you could bring the brand of beer they sell on the train.

As for the other variety of beverage(aka hard stuff), just premix your drink of choice into a inconspicuous container before you board and you're set. We’re still not condoning it though. Think of it as teaching 6th graders about condoms. You don’t want them to need them, but if they’re going to do it, at least they know how to protect themselves.
Spoiler:

The Hot Spots - I'm Going off the Rails on this Crazy PAXTrain
The majority of all PAXTrain activities happen in two locations: The coach car with the arcade room (which will likely be the home of Rock Band), and the Obseravtion Deck (which will be designated as the Obs Deck or simply as Obs). These areas are beehives of activity and the "home" of most of our console systems. We'll have to play it by ear, balancing the use of the arcade cars and observation car between PAX goers and the rest of the passengers can take a little doing sometimes.
Spoiler:

Events
We will be having the following events on PAXTrain:
Spoiler:


Be sure to come up to me on the train and ask for a Forum Badge.
Spoiler:


Feel free to PM me if I left anything out or need to make any changes.

TimeCruiserMike on
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Posts

  • MrDoctorProfessorMrDoctorProfessor Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Awesome. I was waiting for this. I was planning on taking the train up from Sac anyways, but this seals the deal.

    Love the music on the video btw. Kind of fitting for the train trip, where were going, we dont need roads.

    noAZAb5.png?1
    Hey Satan!
    Post
    Amazon
    Steam
  • ArcoArco Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I'll also be boarding in Sacramento, if I can afford to go to PAX this year.

    Like this, not like the gas station.
    Organizer of the Post-PAX Party. You should come!
    Satellite Theater for life!
  • MrDoctorProfessorMrDoctorProfessor Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Are there going to be spiffy pax train shirts again this year?

    noAZAb5.png?1
    Hey Satan!
    Post
    Amazon
    Steam
  • Vaulter85Vaulter85 Registered User
    edited April 2010
    I will most likely attend this. If so I will probably board form Sacramento as well.

    Team Charmander Brofessional
  • ArcanicEightArcanicEight Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    While I don't think I'll be able to make it to Prime this year (PAX East was my very first PAX), I would like to know: Will there be something similar to the cross country train that was established for PAX East? I would assume we could do the same, just map out different routes. I thought this was what that was, but this looks like West coast only. I'm all the way over on the East coast. Just curious if there would be something like that.

  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited April 2010
    The PAX East train was done because March is too unpredictable a month to handle driving. Traditionally for Prime there is this trip up the west coast and the Cross-Country Supertrip for people from the further reaches of the east and south.

  • smerksmerk Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Excellent! Already bought my ticket. THIS is how you get over post-PAX blues!
    Getting on at LA Union, see you all there!
    Are there going to be spiffy pax train shirts again this year?

    Spiffy shirts were spiffy.

    What is this 'Pants' of which you speak?
  • YamaraYamara Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I'm planning on taking the train again this year, hopping on in Davis.

    We want strategy board game testers! Check out Paiko's Indie Game thread.
  • sobjwsobjw Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Can't decide on train or flying. Train is cheaper but waaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy longer. But waaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy funner as well. Also flying would cut out the need for a hotel for two nights. But again, not that much fun to get to Seattle right before PAX and leave right after.

    I live on a farm.
  • nemaihnenemaihne Registered User
    edited April 2010
    sobjw wrote: »
    Can't decide on train or flying. Train is cheaper but waaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy longer. But waaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy funner as well. Also flying would cut out the need for a hotel for two nights. But again, not that much fun to get to Seattle right before PAX and leave right after.

    Split the difference: train up, fly back. Taking the train up gives you a head start on gaming and meeting people- plus sharing the excitement of impending PAX with everyone. The trip back is fun too, but everyone's much more tired and laid back. Personally, I tend to sleep a lot more on the way south.

    TCM: I know zilch about desktop design and whatnot, so I am the most unlikely of candidates for making T-shirts. But if you need anything organizational, give me a ping, because that I can do.

    I *think* that's what I meant to say...
  • SnickersSnickers Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    edit: *cough* This is tek posting on Snickers' computer cuz I am Seattle..

    easier roster to use.. ;)

    http://bit.ly/PAXTrain2010Roster

    <@frellnik>; and suddenly, Snickers
  • TimeCruiserMikeTimeCruiserMike Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    i just realized the prices i put up don't include the return trip do'h thats what i get for posting a thread at 4 in the morning . . . give me a minute and i'll have that fixed . . . .

    edit: it's been fix'd

    double edit: How do people feel about Train Twister making a comeback this year?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_dgQ3xHXbI

    Also! Bring your DS Pokemon games. I'll be doing mystery gift events periodically.

    timecruisermikebanner450x79.png
  • Cerrato0426Cerrato0426 Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Finally! I've been hoping for this thread to pop up forever. This year will be my first time not driving to PAX. Last year's drive home in a small Accord with 4 cases of PAX Swine pretty much ruled out driving ever again. I can't wait for the WCTT this time around.

  • contrefaitcontrefait Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I'm really hoping to make it on but my friends are balking slightly at the cost this year. I'm full steam ahead to do it because when else am I going to take a vacation this year?

    PAX Prime 2014 Checklist
    Passes: ▬ Hotel: ▬ Flight: ▬ Buttons:
  • Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Highfire and I will be attending as always.

    This year we're probably going to be bringing a buddy of ours too, if he gets a job in time to cover his share of the hotel room.

    camo_sig2.png
  • nemaihnenemaihne Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Hey, Tek. I'll have to get back to you on the games and stuff. I am not nearly to planning the fun stuff yet. :)

    I *think* that's what I meant to say...
  • Cerrato0426Cerrato0426 Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Couple questions. Does anyone have experience with the rooms? Are they worth it? I kinda want one for the trip back since I have class that Tuesday and we pull into my stop at 350am haha. Also, If I get my tickets now does anyone know if I can add a room later? Thanks.

  • TimeCruiserMikeTimeCruiserMike Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Couple questions. Does anyone have experience with the rooms? Are they worth it? I kinda want one for the trip back since I have class that Tuesday and we pull into my stop at 350am haha. Also, If I get my tickets now does anyone know if I can add a room later? Thanks.

    well, having never actually gotten a sleeper (can never afford one) i can't vouch for them being worth it. though i have heard some good things from people who have. as for upgrading your coach ticket to a sleeper i'm pretty sure all it takes is a phone call. If i remember correctly i think some one even did after he got on the train, but don't hold me to that.

    timecruisermikebanner450x79.png
  • ArcanicEightArcanicEight Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Moe Fwacky wrote: »
    The PAX East train was done because March is too unpredictable a month to handle driving. Traditionally for Prime there is this trip up the west coast and the Cross-Country Supertrip for people from the further reaches of the east and south.

    I'd love to do the CCST, I just need to get a group of people together that are willing to go with me. Thanks for the quick response.

  • nemaihnenemaihne Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Couple questions. Does anyone have experience with the rooms? Are they worth it? I kinda want one for the trip back since I have class that Tuesday and we pull into my stop at 350am haha. Also, If I get my tickets now does anyone know if I can add a room later? Thanks.

    Hi. I take the sleepers every year because I'm old and crotchety and don't do well without a decent night's sleep.
    I know you can upgrade your tickets on the train depending on whether they have sleepers left. Keep in mind that Amtrak is not the most customer oriented and technologically advanced organization- every time I've had to change something with a room it's taken ages on the phone. Also, sleepers are what really change in price as they sell more of them. Another thing to keep in mind is that the train isn't a cruise ship- the two kinds of sleepers are both tiny. The roomette is basically an updated version of those curtained off bunks that you see in the old movies. They've enclosed two of them with a sliding door so during the day, you've got two chairs facing each other and a bit of room on the hallway side. At night, the bunks take up the whole space. The rooms have a bit more room and a little RV style bathroom with shower, but not a lot. Here's a picture of some of us on PAXtrain last year trying to play Dominion in one.
    Both roomettes and rooms include meals. The Amtrak people come through the sleepers first to make reservations, so if you don't have four in your party, make it for four anyway and go find friends up front.
    I've rambled on too much, so if you have any other questions, just PM me. :D

    I *think* that's what I meant to say...
  • EugalEugal Registered User
    edited April 2010
    You have my vote for Train Twister. Although if we do play again we should play while the trains moving and not parked in San Francisco for an hour. Anyways cant wait for PAX Train 2010 I look forward to it just as much as i look forward to PAX

  • TransparentTransparent Registered User
    edited April 2010
    I plan on doing my damndest not to miss out this year, and to help at least as much as I traditionally have. As far as shirts go, I don't have the cash to do the up front purchase, but I have the contacts to get it done. I'm friends with the owner of a local T-shirt shop. Coolest thing about his shop? You can design your shirt on an iPhone! http://shirteeapp.com/ (had to plug, but honestly they have artists in the store so I'd probably just go in). Hope to see everyone on the train!

    PAXtrain '10, let's do this!
  • smerksmerk Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Couple questions. Does anyone have experience with the rooms? Are they worth it? I kinda want one for the trip back since I have class that Tuesday and we pull into my stop at 350am haha. Also, If I get my tickets now does anyone know if I can add a room later? Thanks.
    Having traveled with and without rooms, and have decided that having a room is worth it for me. Sleeping Horizontally, especially just before PAX, is not to be sneezed at. The cabins look like a lot of money until you try to sleep in coach, at which point it will probably be too late, especially on that particular train. also remember the meals are $10-20 each if you're paying for them.

    Technically you can upgrade, but I Didn't have any luck when I tried.

    What is this 'Pants' of which you speak?
  • Slipstream0Slipstream0 Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Reply for shirts -
    Im a graphic artist and have local connections that produce custom shirts. If this is something enough people want I can figure out the numbers and see what kind of deal I can get for us. I will also be taking the train. cant wait!

  • ArcoArco Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Coming from the other end of the spectrum as nemaihne (who is awesome), I never get a sleeper car. I also don't sleep. The cost of a sleeper is just too steep for me. I wouldn't be able to do the PAX Train if it cost that much to ride; I'd just fly.

    I play games the entire train ride, then get to Seattle and do the Tri-Wizard Drinking Tournament, then sleep before PAX the next day.

    Like this, not like the gas station.
    Organizer of the Post-PAX Party. You should come!
    Satellite Theater for life!
  • nemaihnenemaihne Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Arco, if I had your stamina I'd do it too. I think I made it one round into Galaxy Truckers with you before falling over last year. Sucks to be old, but it beats the alternative! ;)

    I *think* that's what I meant to say...
  • TimeCruiserMikeTimeCruiserMike Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    i had an interesting thought today, what if i did a documentary on the west coast train trip from it's humble origins as the west coast super trip in 04 to the largest PAX community run event it is today. part of that would involve contacting veterans of the 04 super trip. i'm going to try my best with whatever old information i can find to contact the original organizers, ben184 and RedMachineD. i'm hoping to get video and photos as well as interviews.

    i'm also attempting to find my long lost vhs-c tapes from 06. i made the mistake of letting a friend borrow them as soon as i got back from Seattle instead of capturing the video right away like i wanted to cuz he wanted to see the all the footage from my trip right away and when i finally got them back i just never got around to doing anything with them and now they're lost among my many boxes of crap.

    additionally if there is any one who would like to share their thoughts on the train trip or the super trip feel free to send me a video, or an audio file (find a file host and pm me the link or mail me a disk or something) or if your local to the LA area arrange to meet so i can film you.

    any video or photos you may have of past trips would also be welcome.

    timecruisermikebanner450x79.png
  • ArikadoArikado Southern CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    TCM, should we just post them here or PM you?

    Also, already bought my PAX tickets and will buy train tickets this week after I get paid.

    Also also, totally rocking the pokeymans this time.

    Also also also, I HOPE WE GET GUS AGAIN CAUSE HE'S AWESOME!

    3DS: 5112-3515-8441 | PSN: Nezandy | XBL: Arikado PA | BNet: Arikado#1153 | Steam | Twitter
  • TimeCruiserMikeTimeCruiserMike Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    PM me, unless you have a picture so awesome you feel compelled to share with the rest of the class 8-)

    timecruisermikebanner450x79.png
  • ArikadoArikado Southern CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I'll bombard you tomorrow with my meager share. Must sleeeeeeeeep.

    3DS: 5112-3515-8441 | PSN: Nezandy | XBL: Arikado PA | BNet: Arikado#1153 | Steam | Twitter
  • ArtemisArtemis Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Hi, Ill be attending PAX Prime this year (PAX East was my first), but travel seems to be really expensive seeing as I will be travailing from New York. If I get a round trip plane ticket direct to Seattle on the 2nd its like $500 plus another $500 for 3 days at a hotel. Which is a little over my budget (College student work at CVS -.-).

    I was thinking I might fly into Seattle instead on the 1st then take the train up to Seattle. It seems like so much fun, and it would be around the same price, a few dollars cheaper even! I would buy a return flight from Seattle back to New York. Then I would still need the 3 night Hotel room.

    Do you think it is worth it to spend an extra day partying on the train meeting new people?

    Note: I'm 18 (19 in december) and going alone. Will I feel left out on the train or will there be other people my age?

  • ArikadoArikado Southern CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    You will only feel left out if you do not engage others. Otherwise, it's like a 2nd home.

    On the way up, definitely worth the trouble.

    3DS: 5112-3515-8441 | PSN: Nezandy | XBL: Arikado PA | BNet: Arikado#1153 | Steam | Twitter
  • ArcoArco Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Take the train. It's awesome.

    That being said, if you're splitting a hotel with 3 other people it will only run you around $40 a night for one of the nice PAX hotels. It shouldn't be anywhere near $500.

    Like this, not like the gas station.
    Organizer of the Post-PAX Party. You should come!
    Satellite Theater for life!
  • ArtemisArtemis Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Arco wrote: »
    Take the train. It's awesome.

    That being said, if you're splitting a hotel with 3 other people it will only run you around $40 a night for one of the nice PAX hotels. It shouldn't be anywhere near $500.

    I'm going alone, and I dont know how I feel about sharing a room with strangers.

  • ArikadoArikado Southern CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I have done so for the past two years and now they are no longer strangers.

    3DS: 5112-3515-8441 | PSN: Nezandy | XBL: Arikado PA | BNet: Arikado#1153 | Steam | Twitter
  • ArcoArco Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Arikado wrote: »
    I have done so for the past two years and now they are no longer strangers.

    Seriously. I've met some of my best friends on the train. PAX people are the best people. Forcing myself onto a moving metal tube with 100 other people who very frequently share my likes/dislikes/hobbies/sense of humor was the best thing I ever did.

    It's almost unfair to call other PAXers strangers, because you already have so much in common by virtue of the fact that you're all going to PAX.

    Like this, not like the gas station.
    Organizer of the Post-PAX Party. You should come!
    Satellite Theater for life!
  • ArtemisArtemis Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Arco wrote: »
    Arikado wrote: »
    I have done so for the past two years and now they are no longer strangers.

    Seriously. I've met some of my best friends on the train. PAX people are the best people. Forcing myself onto a moving metal tube with 100 other people who very frequently share my likes/dislikes/hobbies/sense of humor was the best thing I ever did.

    It's almost unfair to call other PAXers strangers, because you already have so much in common by virtue of the fact that you're all going to PAX.

    No, no, I am fine with the train, just a bit unsure about sharing Hotel rooms is what im saying.

  • TimeCruiserMikeTimeCruiserMike Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    the second year i went to pax i stayed with a group of people i had never met prior. I actually only ever saw them before pax on friday and after pax on sunday . . . all other times they were sleeping when i left and sleeping when i got back. . . the small amount of time i actually spent with them was fantastic. :mrgreen:

    timecruisermikebanner450x79.png
  • Weenog42Weenog42 Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    We shall be returning - that means a new awesome t-shirt design from Amanda!

    Any requests as to colors or design elements this year?

    As for the method of fabrication, I have a vendetta against Plastisol, which is that thick rubbery stuff that a lot of printers use. It is usually the cheapest option, but it makes the shirt uncomfortable and cracks after some wear. Without any specific numbers the question is, would you wear your PaxTrain shirt throughout the year if it were more comfortable/trendy but also a little pricier?

    [EDIT] I didn't see that Slipstream had already offered t-shirt designs. If you guys want to either collaborate or have a no-holds-barred showdown, far be it from me to get in the way. I just know that Amanda made the shirts last year on pretty short notice, and I know she's been chomping at the bit to cook up something kickass ever since.

  • ArikadoArikado Southern CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I've been rocking the past two PAX shirts regularly, although the '08 one is showing it age due to me using it when I bike/run.

    3DS: 5112-3515-8441 | PSN: Nezandy | XBL: Arikado PA | BNet: Arikado#1153 | Steam | Twitter
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