West Coast Train Meet-up

ginsusamuraiginsusamurai Registered User regular
Took the Coast Starlight from LA to Seattle last year and had a blast. Is anyone organizing this again this year?


Posts

  • CennediCennedi A strange man A strange landRegistered User regular
    Here is a quote from the FAQ thread that should answer your question
    SkeleVader wrote: »
    I know that I asked this already in this thread, but last time it got kinda buried and I'm hoping for some better luck this time. Anyway...

    Who typically organizes the West Coast Train Trip? I really want to experience it, but am getting antsy not seeing a thread for it. I went ahead and bought my tickets, assuming the days that made sense, but I'd love some confirmation that it's happening (and that I'll be on the correct train).

    The West Coast Train Trip is usually handled by @TimeCruiserMike and is always on the #14 Coast Startlight that gets into Seattle on Thursday evening.

    Hopeful First Time Attendee of PAX Prime 2014.
    [ X ] Badge
    [ X ] Hotel
    [ X ] Plane
    Wish me luck!
  • giantrygiantry Registered User regular
    I'm taking the starlight up on monday :D Can't wait.

  • ginsusamuraiginsusamurai Registered User regular
    Cennedi wrote: »
    Here is a quote from the FAQ thread that should answer your question
    SkeleVader wrote: »
    I know that I asked this already in this thread, but last time it got kinda buried and I'm hoping for some better luck this time. Anyway...

    Who typically organizes the West Coast Train Trip? I really want to experience it, but am getting antsy not seeing a thread for it. I went ahead and bought my tickets, assuming the days that made sense, but I'd love some confirmation that it's happening (and that I'll be on the correct train).

    The West Coast Train Trip is usually handled by @TimeCruiserMike and is always on the #14 Coast Startlight that gets into Seattle on Thursday evening.
    Yes, "usually" but there is no current thread (other than this one), Time Cruiser Mike hasn't been active for some time and the roomettes are selling out...

    If no one objects, I say this is the thread, lets start getting organized! Time Cruiser Mike is free to highjack it at any time as a moderator!

    All aboard!


  • giantrygiantry Registered User regular
    Are there any tips for people who have done this trip before?

  • MidnightJesterMidnightJester Jester Extraordinaire Los AngelesRegistered User regular
    As I've never taken the trip nor even been to PAX, I feel like there are other people that would be better qualified to truly take the helm on this. That being said, I'd gladly help out whoever does step up in any way necessary. I definitely want to see this trip happen. It sounds like too much fun.

  • neurosliceneuroslice Registered User regular
    giantry wrote: »
    I'm taking the starlight up on monday :D Can't wait.

    Just FYI, if you're planning on taking the train that most PAXers will be on (the train trip train), it's the Coast Starlight that leaves LA on Wednesday.

    Hotel bound on PAX Saturday,
    I exclaimed "Khoo is my Sensei!"
    So if memes make great shirts,
    And Pod Six is Jerks,
    Then Moe, Khoo and I had our day.
  • TimeCruiserMikeTimeCruiserMike Past Organizer of the West Coast Train Trip San Fernando ValleyRegistered User regular
    Hey guys, I'm terribly sorry that I haven't yet put a train thread up this year. I will try to find time to put together a thread but PAX is fast approaching and Amtrak ticket prices are likely getting steep. If someone wants to take over for me this year you won't be stepping on any toes. I won't be able to join you on the Train or at PAX this year. My financial situation just won't allow it.

    SkOelFN.png
    {Fondly remembers the PAXTrain}
  • giantrygiantry Registered User regular
    neuroslice wrote: »
    giantry wrote: »
    I'm taking the starlight up on monday :D Can't wait.

    Just FYI, if you're planning on taking the train that most PAXers will be on (the train trip train), it's the Coast Starlight that leaves LA on Wednesday.

    Haha yeah I figured, but I wanted to go around Seattle for a bit without too much of a crowd so we're heading up earlier.

  • ElmoFuntzElmoFuntz Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    Get your tickets now. I just got mine a couple days ago and they were shockingly the cheapest I have ever paid. That won't last though.

    Go for the eyes Boo, GO FOR THE EYES!
    vn6ID15.png

  • MidnightJesterMidnightJester Jester Extraordinaire Los AngelesRegistered User regular
    edited July 2014
    Alright, well, I'm tired of seeing this go nowhere. I'm just going to piggyback off of the thread from last year and hopefully start getting this going. Props once again to TimeCruiserMike for all the effort he put into originally typing most of this out. So, without further ado...



    The 8th Annual West Coast Train Trip
    PAXTrain 2014 Roster
    I'll be updating this with the info you put in this thread, so please let me know your deets.

    Looking For Group
    Would you like to play or run an RPG on the train? Seems like buckets of fun to me. Like everything else, let me know here in this forum. I'll want to know what game it is and the desired number of players. Also, if there is anything else that players should know beforehand, a link to that info would probably be the best. I'll continually edit this post with your game added into the events.

    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?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaAN6Rng0o0

    How to get on the PAXTrain
    We are riding Train #14 - Coast Starlight, departing August 27th, 2014 from Los Angeles California and arriving at the Seattle King Street Station(SEA) on August 28th at 8:37 pm. If you are in Chico, CA or any stop further north you’ll be boarding on August 28th, 2013. We'll be returning on Train #11 - Coast Starlight, departing September 2nd at 9:45 am. Everyone from Eugene and all points north should be sure to select the Coast Starlight and not the Cascades when buying your tickets.

    The following is a courtesy list of coach prices for a round trip as they exist at the time of me typing this, but they won’t stay like that. You should buy now because the prices go up as we near our departure date.

    DEPARTS AUG 28th
    • Los Angeles, CA (LAX) - $230 Departs 10:10 am, Returns 9:00 pm Sep. 3rd
    • Van Nuys, CA (VNC) - $230 Departs 10:40 am, Returns 8:22pm Sep. 3rd
    • Simi Valley, CA (SIM) - $228 Departs 11:11 am, Returns 7:48 pm Sep. 3rd No ticket office (has a credit card kiosk), No checked baggage
    • Oxnard, CA (OXN) - $228 Departs 11:44 am, Returns 7:05 pm Sep. 3rd
    • Santa Barbara, CA (SBA) - $226 Departs 12:40 pm, Returns 6:02 pm Sep. 3rd
    • San Luis Obispo, CA (SLO) - $222 Departs 3:35 pm, Returns 3:07 pm Sep. 3rd
    • Paso Robles, CA (PRB) - $222 Departs 4:37 pm, Returns 1:38 pm Sep. 3rd. No ticket office, No checked baggage
    • Salinas, CA (SNS) - $222 Departs 6:28 pm, Returns 11:48 am Sep. 3rd
    • San Jose, CA (SJC) - $210 Departs 8:23 pm, Returns 9:55 am Sep. 3rd
    • Oakland - Jack London Square, CA (OKJ) - $208 Departs 9:39 pm, Returns 8:35 am Sep. 3rd
    • Emeryville, CA (EMY) - $208 Departs 10:04 pm, Returns 8:15 am Sep. 3rd
    • Martinez, CA (MTZ) - $200 Departs 10:46 pm, Returns 7:34 am Sep. 3rd
    • Davis, CA (DAV) - $194 Departs 11:25 pm, Returns 6:50 am Sep. 3rd
    • Sacramento, CA (SAC) - $190 Departs 11:59 pm, Returns 6:15 am Sep. 3rd

    STATIONS BELOW DEPART AUG 29th
    • Chico, CA (CIC) - $176 Departs 1:47 am, Returns 3:50 am Sep. 3rd No ticket office, No checked baggage
    • Redding, CA (RDD) - $160 Departs 3:06 am, Returns 2:21 am Sep. 3rd No ticket office, No checked baggage
    • Dunsmuir, CA (DUN) - $148 Departs 4:56 am, Returns 12:35 am Sep. 3rd No ticket office, No checked baggage
    • Klamath Falls, OR (KFS) - $126 Departs 8:17 am, Returns 9:50 pm Sep. 2nd
    • Chemult, OR (CMO) - $110 Departs 9:32 am, Returns 8:08 pm Sep. 2nd No ticket office, No checked baggage
    • Eugene, OR (EUG) - $110 Departs 12:36 pm, Returns 5:03 pm Sep. 2nd
    • Albany, OR (ALY) - $102 Departs 1:22 pm, Returns 4:10 pm Sep. 2nd
    • Salem, OR (SLM) - $90 Departs 1:55 pm, Returns 3:37 pm Sep. 2nd
    • Portland, OR (PDX) - $68 Departs 4:12pm, Returns 1:50 pm Sep. 2nd
    • Vancouver, WA (VAN) - $68 Departs 4:28 pm, Returns 1:08 pm Sep. 2nd
    • Kelso, WA (KEL) - $58 Departs 5:06 pm, Returns 12:29 pm Sep. 2nd No ticket office (has a credit card kiosk), No checked baggage
    • Centralia, WA (CTL) - $48 Departs 5:49 pm, Returns 11:45 am Sep. 2nd No checked baggage for trip up, you can check bags for return trip.
    • Olympia-Lacey, WA (OLW) - $34 Departs 6:14 pm, Returns 11:21 am Sep. 2nd No ticket office (has a credit card kiosk), No checked baggage
    • Tacoma, WA (TAC) - $30 Departs 7:03 pm, Returns 10:31 am Sep. 2nd

    Once you've got your ticket squared away, post in this thread with the following
    • Name you'd like to go by besides your forum handle
    • Any people coming with you who aren't members of the forum (+1s)
    • If you're going both ways or just one leg of the journey
    • Any videogames you'll be bringing for the flock
    • Number of screens you'll be contributing
    • Number of power cables you'll be contributing
    • Any Tabletop or Card Games that you'll be bringing along
    • Any food you'll be bringing (that's meant to share)
    • Anything else that I should know, such as RPG/s that you'll be running or other events you plan on hosting

    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.
    • You are allowed to carry on two bags, and check three (if you board at a station that allows checked baggage). (Note: from what I understand, laptop bags and backpacks don’t count as carry-ons.) We suggest checking a suitcase for your PAX supplies and packing a separate carry- on bag / backpack. This pack should contain personal effects and clothing, as well as everything else you think you'll need on the train.
    • Earplugs and an eye mask. It is considered PAXTrain courtesy to be quiet in all coach areas, where people may be sleeping - but still, be prepared. If you're upstairs people will be walking through at all hours.
    • A toothbrush and toothpaste, mouthwash, a comb, and if you need them, shaving razors and cream. No showers are provided for coach passengers, so if you're on the train for two days bring wipes or a sponge or something to wash the stank off in the bathroom sink the second day. Ignoring basic hygiene highlights a disregard for your fellow gamers, who are great people who don't need to know what you smell like after two days without cleaning yourself in a cramped environment.
    • Snacks. There is a snack cart and a dining car, but it's not cheap. You can save some money if you bring some food and water with you.
    • Your meds. Nobody needs to see you off them. I for one will need to be popping zoloft all weekend to tame my social anxiety.

    We also recommend the following items:
    • A power strip. We plan on bringing power squids and some power strips, but there are never enough outlets.
    • A handheld system - a Nintendo DS or 3DS is the preferred item for wireless gaming. A PSP is welcome but has more of a personal role rather than multiplaying with the cool kids.(I’m going to insist “multiplaying” is a word whether firefox likes it or not.)
    • A book for pleasure reading. We advise everyone to take a break from train festivities to "regroup", and read a book or listen to music.
    • Headphones, preferably a pair of ear buds rather than studio headphones, but to each his own. It is considered rude to subject others to the noise of your personal entertainment device
    • Cash. Dining with fellow PAXtrain goers is a good way to relax and get to know some people. Expect about one breakfast (from the snack cart), two lunches and two dinners with each trip (either from the snack cart or the dining car), each meal running about 10-20 dollars. The food in the private dining car isn't bad. Apart from that, bring spare cash for snacks or bring your own in your travel backpack.

    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.
    • Power strips and extension cords. Power management becomes a problem on the train. If you can, grab something from home before you go, or go buy a cheapie power strip for 15-20 bucks. This seems small and unimportant, but it's the foundation of all of our operations!
    • 2 15 Amp Twist-lock Adapters (1 for arcade, one for obs car) There are some outlets on the train that are very different and would be more convenient for us to use if we had the proper adapters. (Not every train has these outlets) Power managment has become much better now that they put in outlets in most of the cars, though I can’t really guarantee that we’ll get cars with enough useful outlets.
    • Card games. What’s your poison? Magic, Fluxx, Curses, WoWTCG, Pokemon, Cards Against Humanity etc. Doesn’t matter. Shit, bring the Sailor Moon TCG, I don't care. Bring it. If you have a silly game that's easy to learn, bring it. “We didn't Play test This” was a big train hit in the past.
    • Fans. If you have room to spare, fans are an invaluable asset. There may be times when the train’s AC just isn’t cutting it, be it because it broke down, or the result of the high density of sweaty nerd bodies and medium to high powered laptops generating so much warmth. We will probably need at least two fans. An electric fan can reduce the temperature of a room by up to 10 degrees; the arcade cars will likely need them.
    • Television sets (optional). Small, lightweight affairs. Don't bring anything you can't afford to replace if it breaks, but don't bring some ancient monolith because you were planning on giving it to Goodwill anyways. If you're BYOC and have a big monitor that can double as a TV, we'd appreciate you offering its use for the good of the Party. The arcade car has a (small) television if we need it. Extra TVs and monitors are optional, not a necessity.
    • A Rock Band Setup.
    • A Wii with Super Smash bros Brawl and 4 gamecube controllers. other games are welcome, but people tend to just play Smash. A Wii U would be a good idea too.
    • You win 10,000 internets if you bring snacks to share with everyone during the trip. Whatever it is, we don't care, as long as it isn't hilariously messy or unsafe. Please do not bring home-cooked goods - we have no way of knowing what's in your killer brownies, duuuuuude. (Cookie Brigade excluded of course. People selling cookies for charity are surely trustworthy)
    • Tape! We like to try and keep our power cables away from where other passengers can trip on them; which tends to mean taping them to the ceiling. (This is of course assuming we don’t get an observation car with outlets at every table.)

    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

    So, since I'm just kind of hijacking this this year, I can't say that there's much in the way of "Staff" right now. I've never been on this train trip before. Hell, I've never even been to PAX before. I'm just a regular guy who really wants this train trip to be a success. So, please help me out in making this run smoothly. If there's anyone else out there who would like to help out in a more official capacity, let me know. I'm not exactly sure what that capacity would be, but we'll see what arises. Also, if you know more about what it takes to make this trip run smoothly than this noob, by all means feel free to chime in and help out.

    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.(you can’t see it, but I have an evil grin on my face.) These rules mainly apply in Headquarters (the Arcade car or obs deck) as that's where most of the magic happens.
    • Remember Wheaton’s Law: “Don't be a dick”. Just don't. Play nice, children. And if you don't like someone, don't start shit stirring and backtalk.
    • Don't be an asshole to the Amtrak staff.
    • Train staffers are generally pretty cool and will let us do what we want with little explanation. Be nice to them, and if they tell you to do something, you probably want to do it.
    • Don't be a loud prick. Other people may be sleeping in other cars. Or whatever. We usually sack the arcade car and half of the observation car as our Headquarters and keep it there - that muffles the sound pretty well (it’s been tested thoroughly). Still, noise discipline. Be quiet in the coach areas and sleeper cars, be polite in the dining cars and don't try to overrun the observation deck during the day if other people are using it.
    • Don't be a freak to kids. When kids are around, mind your tongue. Pretend Mommy's right behind you. Don't give anyone a reason to complain about PAXTrain.
    • Don't get too hammered.

    WE HAVE HAD NO PROBLEMS WITH THIS SO FAR AND WOULD LIKE TO KEEP IT THIS WAY. I'M NOT POINTING FINGERS, THERE'S NOBODY TO POINT THEM AT! Let's just keep it that way.

    We've never had any real problems, but vigilance and diligence will insure it remains that way. These rules are also loose guidelines more than anything, so don't flaunt them or play the legalist. If you play the rules lawyer, we'll treat you like a rules lawyer. Anyone in gross violation of the rules or common decency won't be welcome at group festivities - you're now persona non grata and everyone hates your guts, and you're banned from PAXTrain events.

    Again, we've never actually had to do that! Everyone's been cool and has watched each other's back, kept everyone else in check and been real champions, doing their duty to assist their fellow gamers when they are falling out of line. We work better as a loosely organized motley band than as a full regiment. We've done terrific! Just keep diligent - we have a legacy to consider, and we want to keep good relations with Amtrak.

    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 yourself

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Sneaky-Drink-a-Beer-Anywhere/?ALLSTEPS

    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.

    The PAXTrain "staff" will be assessing the situation and reacting appropriately. We got some rookie drinkers on PAXTrain '07 (the only year Amtrak allowed outside booze). If you're new to drinking, we have some info for you right here to help you get in the swing of things - most vets already have some sort of system on how they handle the booze. Here are the four levels of inebriation as we will ID them:
    • Not Drunk - You've had one, maybe two. You're not feeling it. Drink a little more, if you want, or not. Maybe you're just not a beer (or liquor) guy. You don't need to be drunk to enjoy PAXTrain. Most people weren't drunk at all in previous years. It's overblown how drunk we were. (Or I am cleaning our images up and rewriting history.)
    • Buzzed - You've had a few and you're feeling pretty good. Bit of a headrush. Congrats - you're buzzed! Now slow down and enjoy it. Drink a bit after an hour to keep the buzz going. Don't feel like you need to drink a lot to look like a big man.
    • Drunk - Congrats, you're drunk. Now sit your ass down. Being drunk is not a good thing. Lay off the booze and get some chips. A pro alcoholic can "maintain", cutting through his drunkenness and working with his lack of motor skills to help him calm down and get it out. Be careful - we'll try to help keep you quiet and unseen, but if the train guys spot you drunk, they can call the cops at the next stop and have you hauled off to the drunk tank. That means no Paxy Pax for you.
    • Wasted - What the fuck is wrong with you? If you're clearly wasted we're throwing you out of PAXTrain events and the word will spread you're persona non grata. Go to the bathroom quietly and puke before the train personnel eject you from the train - and into the arms of the police, who will arrest you for being drunk in public.

    Anyone who is really wasted will be asked to leave the festivities - sit in your coach seat for a while and maintain. You wanna drink on the PAXTrain? Fine. Just don't be a little newb about it. Since we won't have a PAXtrain alcohol stash we can't exactly cut you off. Just remember if you're out of hand you'll be asked to go somewhere else until you can maintain.

    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 Observation 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.
    • The Arcade Car(s): These are private rooms, allowing us to speak freely with no cause for the concerns of other passengers and are fairly soundproof, allowing us to get a little loud (not too loud). Here you can find our primary console setups. It is on the first story of a coach car, with no other passengers to heed, and has a luggage rack for storing our critical gear, a water dispenser for more drinkable cold water, and doors to exit in case of a smoke break. When the door opens to the arcade car, get quiet for a second until it closes; otherwise, speak away. Amtrak closes the arcade cars at 11pm, though sometimes we can convince them to let us spend the night there.
    • The Obs Deck: Obs is a public area for all passengers. We have to be conscious of the other passengers during the day, but we pretty much have it to ourselves at night. Obs has a large, spacious observation deck on the top floor with a number of private tables, benches and seats to view the countryside, use a laptop, play cards or do whatever, but due to the furniture it is not a good place to hold a mass congregation unless everyone sits down. The first floor of the obs deck has a commissary for buying snacks, drinks, booze and small meals. The prices are a little high, but not complete robbery - still, it's advisable to bring your own foodstuffs. Also on the first floor are more tables and furniture and more observation areas, we try to leave this area open while the snack bar is operational as we pretty much take up all the tables upstairs. Wireless connections (assuming we have the equipment we need) will be set up and administrated from a table on the upper floor, you can take advantage of it from the whole obs car. At night, we appropriate obs for PAX-y uses, but it is still a public area, so don't be a total boor or drunkard. This is when we typically chill and watch movies.
    • The Dining Car: The onboard restaurant of the train is pretty good. Or, at least it has been. Be sure to bring cash as the magic plastic cards seem to confound the servers here.

    Events
    We will be having the following events on PAXTrain:
    • RPGs : TBA: Thirty-four hours is a lot of time to spend on a train. Many people like to spend a good portion of that time playing Pen and Paper or Table top RPGs. We need Game Masters to run scheduled and/or spur of the moment Campaigns. Post details here in the thread if you plan on running a game or two on the train.
    • Tournaments: TBD. At the very least there will be Super Smash Brothers Brawl, and Rock Band going on.
    • Meals: Amtrak takes Lunch and Dinner reservations before meals happen. Find some people and make a reservation for four. It's a great way to commiserate with people in a more relaxed environment than the public areas.
    • Movie Night: CURRENT FILM LIST: TBD. Do you have something you want to watch at night in the observation car? Bring it with you and / or let us know. Dr. Horrible was a big hit.
    • Train Twister: This was arguably a success in 09. How do we feel about it making a return?

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

    MidnightJester on
  • MidnightJesterMidnightJester Jester Extraordinaire Los AngelesRegistered User regular
    Starting to lose faith that there will we PAXers will have the run of the train this year.

  • Morgan BlackpowderMorgan Blackpowder Registered User regular
    well we're bringing 8 on the train in our group, so there's at least a party in the Parlor car!

    MidnightJester
  • MidnightJesterMidnightJester Jester Extraordinaire Los AngelesRegistered User regular
    Well, excellent! I've got another 2 coming with me that are just as eager to have a good time on board. Anything in particular that you plan on bringing?

  • ginsusamuraiginsusamurai Registered User regular
    Hey Midnight Jester! Thanks for posting the details. Morgan was off by two, we only have 6 and we are all riding up front in the roomettes. Didn't really make it back to the Observation Car much last year due to the crowding.

    However, I will gladly notify Amtrak if we DO in fact have a large group of PAXers going this year.

    Please sound off with:

    1. Name
    2. +1s in your group
    3. Coach or Sleeper cars
    4. Games you are bringing
    5. Technology you are bringing (Laptops, power strips, etc)
    6. Any event you are down for on the train (for example, we had a comedy show last year, Pathfinder in the Movie lounge, pizza run in Portland, etc. If you want to have a Ticket to Ride Tournament, and I LOVE the irony of that, post it here! Let's get people excited!)

    Life is a bit overwhelming this week, but I will check back next week and see what our numbers are, try and schedule some events for the ride up, and give Amtrak a call to warn them of our numbers lest we once again drain the snack car of all resources.

    In the meantime, I know there are several veteran PAX train-ees who are happy to answer the burning questions of those who have not train-ed before!

    I will just endorse the Sleeper cars here:
    Totally worth it to have a place to sleep and leave your stuff secure
    Worth it because 5 meals are included, drinks and dessert as well (and two free wine tastings)
    The parlor car kicks the observation car's caboose
    Free champagne

    All aboard!


  • SolelronSolelron Wandering Gamer Cornelius, ORRegistered User regular
    this sounds like fun, but I'm training up 1 day early (allows me Thursday to rest before the event and hang in seattle) anyone going up Wednesday let me know (may influence my ticket purchase)

  • MidnightJesterMidnightJester Jester Extraordinaire Los AngelesRegistered User regular
    Well, I'm indeed coming. I'm J, and I've got two +1s tagging along. We're all just on standard cheap-o tickets, though, so not rooms for us. We'll be bringing all sorts of games:

    Story War
    Machine of Death
    We Didn't Playtest This At All
    Isle of Dr. Necreaux
    The Island
    Bang!
    Ultimate Werewolf
    Regular decks of playing cards
    and perhaps some others that I'm not thinking of right now

    As for technology, I'll certainly have my laptop with me, but can't speak for my +1s. I can also bring a power strip or two and other cables as requested.

    I would love to play an rpg while on the train, and might run something myself. Still in the works. Smash Bros would be a great time, though my copy is on the fritz. I could bring it if necessary and hope it behaves. Also, my +1s and I are always fond of playing charades. But not your wussy little titles of movies and books kind of charades. We play where any word or phrase is fair game, appreciating the challenge of making someone really work for abstract concepts like...well, "abstract" or "purpose" or all sorts of other historically difficult ones that we've eventually gotten. I'll certainly be bringing the materials for that, by which I mean a hat, some paper, and writing implements.

  • gorgeousplanetgorgeousplanet Meat Popsicle OregonRegistered User regular
    Wasted - What the fuck is wrong with you? If you're clearly wasted we're throwing you out of PAXTrain events and the word will spread you're persona non grata. Go to the bathroom quietly and puke before the train personnel eject you from the train - and into the arms of the police, who will arrest you for being drunk in public.
    Well that escalated quickly!

  • MidnightJesterMidnightJester Jester Extraordinaire Los AngelesRegistered User regular
    Heh, that's from the original post by TimeCruiserMike, though I do agree with the sentiment.

  • Chee-Kay EchsChee-Kay Echs Registered User regular
    Hello all.

    So this year I again will be on vacation, so I won't be the Red Cap at your final destination. I WILL be going to PAX (which is why I am not working) and will very likely be taking the train to PDX in the morning to meet up with the Coast Starlight to come back to Seattle.

    Since I work for Amtrak, I can try my best to answer questions related to the service, or about Seattle in general, since some things have changed in the last year. (Particularly with certain substances now being legal in Washington state.) I also officially know NOTHING about things like personal supplies of alcohol being brought on board. But I DO know that in general OBS (on board services) tend to not look too hard for such things if passengers are well behaved and not making asses of themselves...

    ginsusamurai
  • Chee-Kay EchsChee-Kay Echs Registered User regular
    Hello.

    [*]You are allowed to carry on two bags, and check three (if you board at a station that allows checked baggage). (Note: from what I understand, laptop bags and backpacks don’t count as carry-ons.) We suggest checking a suitcase for your PAX supplies and packing a separate carry- on bag / backpack. This pack should contain personal effects and clothing, as well as everything else you think you'll need on the train.

    The policy on this has changed in that you can now only check in two bags for free. You can also check in 3 more bags for $10.00 a piece.

    [*]A toothbrush and toothpaste, mouthwash, a comb, and if you need them, shaving razors and cream. No showers are provided for coach passengers, so if you're on the train for two days bring wipes or a sponge or something to wash the stank off in the bathroom sink the second day. Ignoring basic hygiene highlights a disregard for your fellow gamers, who are great people who don't need to know what you smell like after two days without cleaning yourself in a cramped environment.

    PLEASE follow this!

    [*]Snacks. There is a snack cart and a dining car, but it's not cheap. You can save some money if you bring some food and water with you.

    Amtrak has no problem with you bringing your own shacks and beverages with you (except for alcohol).

    [*]Your meds. Nobody needs to see you off them. I for one will need to be popping zoloft all weekend to tame my social anxiety.

    This is a big one. Always keep them handy.

    [*]Don't be an asshole to the Amtrak staff.

    [*]Train staffers are generally pretty cool and will let us do what we want with little explanation. Be nice to them, and if they tell you to do something, you probably want to do it.

    [*]Don't be a loud prick. Other people may be sleeping in other cars. Or whatever. We usually sack the arcade car and half of the observation car as our Headquarters and keep it there - that muffles the sound pretty well (it’s been tested thoroughly). Still, noise discipline. Be quiet in the coach areas and sleeper cars, be polite in the dining cars and don't try to overrun the observation deck during the day if other people are using it.

    [*]Don't be a freak to kids. When kids are around, mind your tongue. Pretend Mommy's right behind you. Don't give anyone a reason to complain about PAXTrain.

    [*]Don't get too hammered.

    These go without saying. Just remember to use common sense and courtesy to the on boards. Unlike the conductors and engineers, they are on the train the entire time for the entire trip. The less stress you create for them, the better the entire trip will be. (Remember, while the on boards and station services may be separate branches of Amtrak, we are STILL all part of Amtrak. And we talk to each other. And we remember...)

    embraceternity
  • Chuck Liddell FanChuck Liddell Fan Registered User regular
    Hopefully this doesn't derail the thread but if anyone is taking the train from Vancouver on the morning of the 27th (I think it departs at 6am) me & a friend will be there and we are casual mtg players (meaning we don't have net decks nor tournament decks we generally use a good portion of the cards in standard rotation but are pretty flexible (ie don't care too much if you run the odd card from m10 - on ward))

    I hope this catches on since it sounds like it could be a good time for you guys traveling up on the train for a couple of days

    Oh my goodness
    Oh my Dayum
    Oh my goodness
    They goin' Ham
  • ginsusamuraiginsusamurai Registered User regular
    It sounds like our numbers are few this year compared to the last. Its not likely we will hog the Obs car, or clean out the snack shop on the first day.

    In any case, Chee-Kay Echs, I don't suppose you've already given them the heads up that PAXers are invading the Coast Startlight to Seattle August 27th?


    Hello all.

    So this year I again will be on vacation, so I won't be the Red Cap at your final destination. I WILL be going to PAX (which is why I am not working) and will very likely be taking the train to PDX in the morning to meet up with the Coast Starlight to come back to Seattle.

    Since I work for Amtrak, I can try my best to answer questions related to the service, or about Seattle in general, since some things have changed in the last year. (Particularly with certain substances now being legal in Washington state.) I also officially know NOTHING about things like personal supplies of alcohol being brought on board. But I DO know that in general OBS (on board services) tend to not look too hard for such things if passengers are well behaved and not making asses of themselves...


  • Chee-Kay EchsChee-Kay Echs Registered User regular
    Hello.

    They know at the Seattle station. I'll spread the word to the rest...

  • SanDogWepsSanDogWeps Limerick Monger San DiegoRegistered User regular
    Hopefully this doesn't derail the thread but if anyone is taking the train from Vancouver on the morning of the 27th (I think it departs at 6am) me & a friend will be there and we are casual mtg players (meaning we don't have net decks nor tournament decks we generally use a good portion of the cards in standard rotation but are pretty flexible (ie don't care too much if you run the odd card from m10 - on ward))

    I hope this catches on since it sounds like it could be a good time for you guys traveling up on the train for a couple of days

    I see what you did there... right there... in the first sentence...

    keyanEQ2_100x400.gif
  • minisplatminisplat Registered User regular
    I have to fly up this year because of my schedule, but I'm taking the train home. Will anyone else be leaving via the Tuesday morning Coast Starlight departure?

    passes - flight - hotel - anticipation

    Don't Panic.
  • MidnightJesterMidnightJester Jester Extraordinaire Los AngelesRegistered User regular
    Yup, my crew and I will be taking that home. 3 of us total.

  • minisplatminisplat Registered User regular
    Yup, my crew and I will be taking that home. 3 of us total.

    Awesome! I'll be bringing a few card games along if y'all get bored.

    passes - flight - hotel - anticipation

    Don't Panic.
  • minisplatminisplat Registered User regular
    Right! Info

    - minisplat
    - coach
    - Banangrams, Monty Python Fluxx, Set, and Aye Dark Overlord (all card-based games)
    - I'm down for pen-and-paper rpgs and board games, though games with screens and controllers are not my forte.

    passes - flight - hotel - anticipation

    Don't Panic.
  • RomosomeRomosome Registered User new member
    First time going to PAX, me and some friends will be meeting up on the train. Never really been on the forums here before, so hey all you other nerds.

    How exactly does the console setup work on the train? There's a TV somehow?

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