Tag Archives: AC power on Amtrak

Blogging on Amtrak

I boarded the Amtrak Empire Builder passenger train in Spokane, Washington, 1 a.m. Tuesday morning headed for Kalamazoo, Michigan, arriving 9 p.m. Tuesday evening. The one-way air fare was over $600. The train ticket was $157.

After finding a seat on the upper level of double level coach car, I began looking for AC outlets. I travel with an IBM ThinkPad that rips through a full charged battery in about 20 minutes, helped along by a full sized keyboard, optical mouse, and a Sprint digital cellular USB modem. Sprint provide me unlimited connection to the Internet anywhere in the USA for $59 per month. I am curious how much coverage I will get with my Sprint service as the train crosses Idaho, Montana, and North Dakota.

There are two AC outlets in the coach area of each car on this train. In the dark I can not find them. I certainly would not wake a sleeping person to ask them to move if I found one. The upper level of the observation car has three outlets, none close enough to a seat.

One of the passengers that travels this route once a month tells me there are outlets in the lower level of the lounge car but that has been blocked off with a trash bin. Never deterred by a waste bin, I did find an outlet near enough to a table. So I am now sitting at a well light table zooming through Idaho.

I check my Sprint Internet signal…full strength. I will post this quickly and attempt more posts as we move along.