TRAVELLING IN THE UNITED STATES
If you are going further than New York, your railroad
ticket should be bought either in Europe or at Ellis Island, because the
special tariff for immigrants who come third class on the steamer, does
not apply to those who have already entered the United States. Besides
this, there is always a reduction from the regular rate for groups of ten
or more who are travelling together to the same destination. The amount of
the reduction varies according to the railway line and the distance to be
travelled. The average rate on the railways is about 2½ per mile;
in groups of ten or more, 2c.
The American railroad and steamship companies make no
charge for children under five years of age. For those between five and
twelve years they charge half price. Those above twelve years pay full
price, as if they were adults. All American railroads and steamships
publish time-tables and maps which may be had freely for the asking.
The American railroads and steamships give free
transportation to all baggage that does not weigh more than 150 pounds for
each ticket. This is about equal to 70 kilograms. There is a moderate
charge for excess weight.
For every trunk or valise that you deliver to the
baggage office for transportation upon the same train with you, you will
receive a brass or paper check on which is stamped a number corresponding
to that on the check which is placed upon your trunk or valise. When you
reach your destination you can only get possession of your baggage again
by presenting this check. In case of loss, the railway company's liability
is limited by law in some states to $100.00, in other states $150.00, for
the baggage carried upon each ticket.
Most American railway stations are divided into two
parts, one for men and one for women. The men always have the privilege of
sitting in the women's waiting room, when this is not private, provided
they do not smoke and do not spit. The women's waiting room is more
desirable because it is much cleaner and more attractive.
The American railway carriage is not composed of
separate compartments, but of double seats arranged on either side of a
long aisle. They are all of one class, except the Pullmans, which are cars
of special luxury and expensive. To travel in these an extra ticket must
be bought. All American railway trains carry drinking water, and each
railway coach is provided with separate toilet rooms for the two sexes,
labelled respectively, "Men", "Women."
Every train is provided with a smoking car. In all
other cars, as well as in the trolleys, subways and elevated railways,
smoking is absolutely forbidden.
In travelling long distances in the United States the
railroads have immigrant trains and tourists' sleeping cars. In these last
the seats are made into beds at night. The dining-cars that sometimes
accompany these trains are expensive, and you should buy the food you need
for your journey before starting. There are frequently restaurants at the
stations at which you stop. Yet you can never know how long the train will
remain at each station, so that if you are not used to travelling in
America, you will often be in danger of being left behind. Coffee, tea,
and milk can always be had on the dining-cars at moderate cost, and each
tourists' car contains a small stove at which these may be heated.
Until you are used to travelling in America you will
need to be very careful about changing trains. Always be sure that you are
in the right one, and do not be afraid of asking questions.
In travelling in the United States, always take a
steamer where you can, for they are much cheaper than the railroads,
provided that travelling by sea does not too greatly prolong your journey.
Trolley-cars, stages and omnibuses are always cheap. Cabs and carriages
are always expensive. Never use them unless you have to, and then never
unless a distinct bargain has been made with the driver.
WARNING.- When you arrive in a railroad station in a
large city, you will be surrounded by men, often wearing badges, who offer
to carry your baggage or conduct you to your destination. You may believe
these men to be officials of the railroad company. They are not. They are
generally agents of carriage and express companies, who often make heavy
charges for small services.
If you need to know how to find some street, go to a
policeman. If you do not speak English, show him the address of the place
to which you wish to be directed. Such addresses, those who travel in
America, and who do not know English, should always carry with them,
clearly and exactly written.