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Discussion in 'Orchestral Auditions [DB]' started by Peter Ferretti, Sep 30, 2008.
So what's the deal? Have people successfully taken basses on amtrak? Tricks?
I've taken my bass from Chicago to NY a few times, and you need to buy a seat for your bass if you do that. The conductor on the train is usually not too happy about having the bass in a seat & tries to stick it in baggage, so you just have to be very nice but firm with them and explain that it's well within the rules and regulations to have a bass in a seat if it has a ticket.
For shorter journeys, I think my Amtrak experience has been limited to LIRR which usually fine with just having a bass in a seat without a ticket.
I've taken my bass several times on Amtrak without any problems. I've only taken Amtrak in the northeast, so I don't know if it's any different in other parts of the country.
I've usually been able to stash the bass in the handicapped seating area, as long as it's not in use. I make sure to talk to the conductor and confirm my willingness to move it if necessary and pay for a seat if I have to. Be sure to have a selection of bungee cords with you, and be super polite and cooperative.
I have also been able to easily lay my bass down in the handicap section. I wouldn't pay for a ticket. There are usually many handicap cars. They have a handicap symbol on the outside of the car. It should be no problem. Its WAY easier than flying.
Cool, thanks for the replies guys. I would only be taking the rails in the northeast, so it doesn't look like it'll be a problem.
Why not just take the bus? JEEZ kid, AMTRAK? Do you want your bass destroyed or merely stolen while you ponder your audition on your 22 hour trip?
In the old days, I'd tip the conductor $100 to sneak me in a bottle of Jack from the dining car.
I have found Amtrak employees to be generally helpful when dealing with a bass. As I said before, a spirit of cooperation and a selection of bungee cords will go a long way in ensuring a painless trip. BTW, I don't lay the bass down; I bungee it in a standing position. If Acela is available to you and you can afford it, it's worth the extra bucks for the extra help you get with your stuff.
Take the bus? You've got to be kidding. I'd love to see THE SAW get a bass down the 24" wide aisle on a contemporary passenger bus.
The bass went under the bus, in those Williams/Kleptch trunks popular in the sixties-pretty small (for those days) and lightweight. I went from Kansas City to Las Vegas in 32 hours by train and bus back in 1970. Bass was OK, but I suffered from a certain bacterial infection that I never got rid of. (NO, not that one you punters!)
Don't ever take the bus was my point.
Sorry, Saw. I'm not about to trust my bass with any bus drivers driving that I have seen thus far in anything short of my flight case, which I am not about to deal with in the major cities that travel to/from. Plus I'd only be using the train along the NE corridor, which is an area that Amtrak does very well. Thanks everyone.