While this certainly looks like it's going to be an interesting article, I think I have some issues about using district style sub articles for the different train lines-- can we investigate other ways of doing this? Majnoona 15:51, 7 Apr 2005 (EDT)
Didn't even realize I was doing it. No prob consider it changed.
So I tried applying the attraction listing style to the routes and I think it works okay. There's a lot of inconsitency in describing the cities along the route, and we should make a standard format. How about:
and just mention the major stops along the way, and only mention transfers when they go to a nearby major destination from a non-intuitive station (e.g. San Francisco is a short bus trip from Emeryville station)?
Also, sometimes we mention the region (state or province) for a city, and sometimes we don't. Any opinions on which way we should go with this? Should large, obvious cities (New York) have their state ommitted? -- Colin 09:49, 13 Apr 2005 (EDT)
Thanks. After transfering to everything from the sub pages to the main page it was a little messy. I figured most of the time people would know where the larger cities were (state wise), but I think to play it on the safe side all cities should have state following it. - Sapphire 23:25, 15 Apr 2005 (EDT)
We probably should avoid using two-digit postal codes for states since they are meaningless to most non-Americans. Actually, many of them are meaningless to me... like which one is MI (Minnesota, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, arghhh) Colin
Oh, yeah. I didn't even think non-Americans wouldn't know the two letter system. Good insight. - Sapphire
I noticed your edit in the discount section. Which is: ISIC is the only accepted form of student ID for VIA Rail and usually brings a 35% discount. I only mention this, because I'm not positive that this is the only student id needed to get a discount. I'm not an expert on VIA Rail and only found about it while doing research for the article, so maybe my comments are completely unfounded, but if you have a Canadian ID that shows you are under 18 can you also get a student discount? I thought I read that, but I'm not positive. If you can check this out it would be appreciated. Thanks. -- Sapphire 14:04, 16 Apr 2005 (EDT)
You are correct. Proof of age also works. However, I wrote it the way I did because this is just that - proof of age - not proof of student status. But you're right that this needs to be more clear. I shall amend. Padraic 11:56, 17 Apr 2005 (EDT)
It's definitely a good article, but I still have a problem with the issue I raised in the VfD discussion for Tips for rail travel about the repeated content between that article, this article, and Rail travel in Europe. Copying the same text to three pages means that anyone who wants to edit it - or watch over it for bad edits - has to do that in three places... and odds are they won't, in which case they may even end up contradicting each other. What's wrong with having continent-specific information on their own pages and keeping the general information and universal "tips" on another? - Todd VerBeek 08:56, 5 April 2006 (EDT)
It's a very good article, but we haven't actually really decided yet how to rate "travel topic" type articles like this one, as the usual criteria of places to sleep and detailed maps kinda go out the window. I'd prefer to hold off on any ratings until this is sorted out on Wikitravel:Article status. Jpatokal 09:09, 5 April 2006 (EDT)
Like the other Wikitravellers above, I still find it difficult to apply article rating to travel topics. My vision of a star article is one that could be printed out and perfectly replace a LP or Frommer's in someone's backpack. I recognize that a lot of effort has been put into this article but I wouldn't say it's reached star quality yet as it still leaves a lot of room for improvement. For instance, instead of just the links to rail companies, we could have a review of each company, what are the trains and stations like, a summary of the company's operation, some comparative prices or any other relevant details. Also, a full rail map of North America would be useful, maybe some timetables too. What about connections from the US to Mexico, which is also in North America but where there is no relevant train travel? Anyway, these are just a few suggestions. Please don't take my words as criticism but I think that if we rate this article as usable or guide, we can expect to get more people working on it to eventually reach a quite complete article. Finally, congratulations for your work on this article. Cheers, Ricardo (Rmx) 09:16, 5 April 2006 (EDT)
First, you and I are in agreement as to what makes a "star", except also I think a "star" should follow our Manual of style very closely -- that is, it should be an integrated part of Wikitravel and an example for other articles.
Second, I think that Mexico does have non-trivial rail travel (I'm thinking of the Copper Canyon's great railroad, for instance) and that should either be integrated here or left out.
Hmm. Seems I forgot to hit "Save page." (Again. 4th time today) I removed the status because of Jpatokal's comment. I didn't even think that a consensus still hadn't been reached regarding travel topic ratings. Regarding copying information from the Tips article. I did copy some of the information, however, I did so in a very fine combed manner. I also added information that was not listed in the Tips article and that only applied to North American train passengers. The problem with Tips is that is that's kind of unorganized. It covers information for British, Dutch, and Indian trains in the same paragraph and in some instances it covers information that could only be used for travelers in China. I would be supportive of the Tips article if it was broken into regions and the "tips" were seperated into the respective regional sections.
As for Ricardo's idea about the map of the rail network. I tried to do this, however, I gave up, because I became frustrated while trying to make a map using the Mapmaking Expedition. Could anyone do this? Sapphire 09:35, 5 April 2006 (EDT)
I can take a stab at a routes overview map for North America. (Amtrak and VIA both have maps on their sites to use as reference, and yes there's rail travel in Mexico as well.) I'd like to see "Rail travel in *" articles focused on describing the rail systems in these places (routes, fares, trains, procedures, local issues, etc). Travelers familiar with rail travel elsewhere don't need us to tell them not to run on the train, but they do need that kind of "guide" information. Tips for rail travel should be more of a first-timer's introduction (and I agree that it needs work), with the applicable "Rail travel in *" as the next thing for them to read. - Todd VerBeek 10:16, 5 April 2006 (EDT)
I was unable to find any real information on rail travel in Mexico. I found one link which I added into the section above this one. I also checked with NARP  for more info, however, the site listed there seems to have been neglected and is useless. That's why I made the appeal above for information about Mexico's rail system. I'm still looking and will added that info when I find something reliable. Sapphire 10:44, 5 April 2006 (EDT)
So instead of having three overlapping and (to varying degrees) redundant articles, we now have five (Europe, US, Canada, North America, tips) with Mexico yet to come. Frankly, I didn't see that great a need to split between the U.S. and Canada; moving the "how to find a seat on a train" suggestions to the "tips" article would have brought the North America article down to a reasonable size. (Plus American Orient Express and one of the rail passes apply to both countries.) Any chance we can work out a consensus about how to handle this before putting too much more work into it? - Todd VerBeek 12:31, 5 April 2006 (EDT)
The reason North America was broken up is for the reason Evan cited as seeing this turn into various articles. "It seems like we've got one big page with two topics." I also cite Evan from an email he replied to "I could see it becoming an organizing page for Rail travel in Canada, Rail travel in the United States, and Rail travel in Mexico, possibly with other pan-continental information (like the North America pass, for example)."
Additionally, the reason I'm hostile towards Tips is because it isn't as user friendly as Rail travel in the United States or Rail travel in Canada, where the person using this information will know that the information provided in the US article know that the information is reliable for the rail travel in US. The problem with Tips is that it does offer some very good information, however, some (not all) of the information is useless to riders in Canada or the US, but the same information is useful to someone who is traveling in the UK. Sapphire 12:49, 5 April 2006 (EDT)
I don't want to do this without getting input from others, but if we arranged the tips in the Tips article into regions like ===Tips for North America=== or ===Tips for Asia=== the Tips article would be much more user friendly. We would be able to eliminate this information from the US and Canada articles, merge both articles into North America, again (North America would be a much more reasonable size than it was previously), add any information from Mexico in. Would that be an appealing compromise to everyone? Change the format of Tips and in place delete US and Canada a move everything back to North America? Sapphire 12:57, 5 April 2006 (EDT)
I don't think the US and Canadian rail systems are different enough, distinct enough, or complex enough to require separate pages. Sure they could be separated, but they'd end up including a lot of the same information (a shared railway, the shared railpass, commentary about common attributes like long travel time, spotty coverage, the tourism niche, etc.), which would require all future editors to know that they have to update both pages when any shared info changes, or they find a better way to phrase something, etc.
The fact that the "tips" articles isn't well written (yet) is no reason to delete it, and an article with helpful hints for new rail travelers - applicable on trains almost anywhere - is a worthwhile feature. Rather than reorganize it geographically, why not move any geographically-specific tips to the geo-specific articles (just like we do with geo-specific tips about anything else) and leave the main "tips" article as a generic one? - Todd VerBeek 13:57, 5 April 2006 (EDT)
Sapphire and I have been discussing how to approach this material, and we seem to have reached a consensus (at least between the two of us, and there seems to be support for it in the VfD discussion) to keep Tips for rail travel as a general guide, with more specific routes-and-ticketing info (without all the general "tips") in region-specific articles. The one unsettled question is whether to keep North America together or have a separate page for each country with the common info in a North America article. Because of the similarity between rail travel in the U.S. and Canada, because there's a rail service and a railpass that applies to both countries, and because I'm a border-dweller who'd consider them concurrently as possible travel destinations, I'm inclined to keep them together. The alternative would mean either fragmenting or duplicating info between three or four pages, which I as a traveler would find frustrating. - Todd VerBeek 10:14, 7 April 2006 (EDT)
A related question (which I'll also bring up in Talk:Japan) is whether it'd make sense to spin the fairly lengthy "By rail" section there into its own Rail travel in Japan article. - Todd VerBeek 11:27, 7 April 2006 (EDT)
My main concern is that we might be slowly leaving our geographical hierarchy behind and leaning towards other ways of seeing travel, which are much harder to organize. I'm keen on the idea of having the country articles as complete as possible and splitting them when they get too big. Articles such as this one should preferably cover aspects of international travel, so that we do not duplicate information unecessarily. Please note also that our article on North America includes the Caribbean and Central America too. -- Ricardo (Rmx) 21:52, 11 April 2006 (EDT)
I've commented on Talk:Travel topics about the general issue of topic articles and geographic hierarchy. As for the Carribean and Central America, they haven't come up in this conversation or article simply because there's no rail travel to speak of in those areas, and if it exists in some locale, it's easily covered in the correspondng article. - Todd VerBeek 11:16, 12 April 2006 (EDT)