Off the rails
Hitting the rails didn't go nearly as well as expected. I got on board in Albany, OR around 4:00pm. A few hours later I was enjoying the ride as the train was leaving civilization and climbing into the Cascades. Just before I went to the dining car for dinner around 6:30, the train came to a complete stop. This isn't unusual...sometimes the train has to wait for a freight train to pass. That usually takes 10 minutes or so. During dinner we overheard the crew saying that somwhere up ahead a freight train derailed. They were saying it was one car, it would be cleared, and we'd be on our way in about an hour. After dinner we still hadn't moved.
Next, an engineer let us know that four cars had derailed ahead, and that we would be turning around and heading back to Eugene. But first, we'd need to move the engines to the front of the train. This ordeal takes an hour or so, during which there is no power on the train. We eventually made it back to Eugene around midnight where they herded all of the passengers onto buses. So my trip ended up being by bus.
I normally love traveling by train, and this is the only problem I've ever had. But it's a big problem.