railroad train tracks
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

In Memoriam: AlanB

“You can certainly call and ask that a note be put on the reservation; but don’t be shocked if the sliding door isn’t open when you board. But without regard to whether you call or not, the attendant can open the door for you. So as you board, make sure that you chat with them about it.”

What you just read was what FlyerTalk member AlanB posted in the Amtrak | Guest Rewards forum — in which he was a moderator — on Monday, June 11, 2018 at 8:20 in the evening Eastern Daylight Time. That became the last time he posted on FlyerTalk, which was fitting, as he enjoyed helping other members of FlyerTalk whenever possible — especially with domestic train travel within the United States.

In Memoriam: AlanB

AlanB — whose real name was Alan Burden — was 57 years old when he passed away on Thursday, July 12, 2018; and the FlyerTalk community is not the only one mourning his passingPRR 60 is both a member and an administrator of the Amtrak Unlimited forum who posted the following information:

He was on the Crescent en route to New Orleans starting the summer OTOL RailFest — as he had done for countless years. He took ill early evening today (July 12) and was removed from the train by EMT’s in York AL, He died of an apparent heart attack a short time later with his mother Grace at his side.

Alan was an original administrator at Amtrak Unlimited when it was started in 2002 by Anthony Rizos. Much of what AU has become is because of Alan. He started the AU Gathering eleven years ago and was active at both On Track On Line and Flyertalk where he was the moderator of the Amtrak forum. A constant with Alan was his love of trains and riding trains and his willingness to provide help and knowledge whenever it was needed.

Having first joined FlyerTalk as a member on Thursday, March 25, 2004, AlanB posted content a total of 3,262 times and participated in a variety of forums — but he posted mainly in the Amtrak | Guest Rewards forum. The last time he logged into FlyerTalk was on Monday, July 11, 2018 at 9:55 in the morning Eastern Daylight Time — only a few days ago.


The loss of Alan Burden occurred only a couple of weeks after FlyerTalk member Pooch passed away. The loss of any FlyerTalk member remains sad for me every time, as I really dislike having to mourn the passing of another fellow frequent flier.

Thankfully, Alan died doing what he enjoyed doing the most: riding trains. He practiced what he preached, as he was true to his signature on FlyerTalk up until the moment he passed away: “Take care and take trains!”

In the meantime, my thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and colleagues of AlanB. May he rest in peace…

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

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