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Old 05-15-2014, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Chicago
3,275 posts, read 4,774,019 times
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I am planning a trip to Boston (from Chicago) and I was considering taking Amtrak since I'm just sick of flying and I have plenty of vacation time to allow for the longer travel time. But, then I checked the ticket prices and, holy cow... to get a "room" with a bed is $550+ each way! The trip takes 22 hours, so would have to sleep somehow.

Who in their right mind would pay that much when you can fly for about half of the one-way cost and be there in 4 hours? Honestly, it's no wonder Amtrak doesn't make any money...

I would still like to do it if there's a way to get a substantial discount, but I haven't found anything yet.
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Old 05-15-2014, 11:05 AM
 
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Amtrak is on my " bucket list" but cost is what never gets them off the list and onto the..........done......list.
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Old 05-15-2014, 11:34 AM
 
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The only time Amtrak makes sense in my book is if you are using it on the Northeast Corridor (Acela) or have a medical condition that precludes you from flying.
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Old 05-15-2014, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Chicago
3,275 posts, read 4,774,019 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teddy52 View Post
Amtrak is on my " bucket list" but cost is what never gets them off the list and onto the..........done......list.
I know, I have wanted to take a trip by train for a long time now, especially since I despise flying. I'm actually considering driving, but then, I don't know, that seems silly. I just wish I didn't have to fly since it's expensive and unpleasant. I would love for there to be a more pleasant way to travel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
The only time Amtrak makes sense in my book is if you are using it on the Northeast Corridor (Acela) or have a medical condition that precludes you from flying.
Yeah, that is probably true. I know it's good for getting between Milwaukee and Chicago, as well, since my MIL did that multiple times a week for years. I just cannot believe how expensive the sleeping rooms are!

If anyone knows of a way to get a good discount I would love to know.
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Old 05-15-2014, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Eureka CA
8,264 posts, read 11,130,236 times
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Their "senior" discounts are about 15%. For anything less than a 48 hour trip most people just sleep in their seats, which are quite comfortable. We're just starting to plan a trip to Canada in the Fall and may get a bedroom for the Vancouver-Montreal leg. Some people love trains enough to pay the fare.
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Old 05-15-2014, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Orlando
2,002 posts, read 2,644,275 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikitakolata View Post
I am planning a trip to Boston (from Chicago) and I was considering taking Amtrak since I'm just sick of flying and I have plenty of vacation time to allow for the longer travel time. But, then I checked the ticket prices and, holy cow... to get a "room" with a bed is $550+ each way! The trip takes 22 hours, so would have to sleep somehow.

Who in their right mind would pay that much when you can fly for about half of the one-way cost and be there in 4 hours? Honestly, it's no wonder Amtrak doesn't make any money...

I would still like to do it if there's a way to get a substantial discount, but I haven't found anything yet.
Don't forget that the cost is not just for the transportation from Chicago to Boston. It also includes a night that you would otherwise have to pay for a hotel if you were driving, and you get your meals included if you book a roomette on the train. When my husband and I got a roomette on the auto-train, they gave us a bottle of wine with the dinner. All things considered it's not *that* much more than flying.
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Old 05-15-2014, 01:16 PM
 
32,103 posts, read 33,017,270 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eureka1 View Post
Their "senior" discounts are about 15%. For anything less than a 48 hour trip most people just sleep in their seats, which are quite comfortable. We're just starting to plan a trip to Canada in the Fall and may get a bedroom for the Vancouver-Montreal leg. Some people love trains enough to pay the fare.
There is also lots of legroom between seats on the Amtrak trains.
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Old 05-15-2014, 02:28 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,627,330 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WellShoneMoon View Post
Don't forget that the cost is not just for the transportation from Chicago to Boston. It also includes a night that you would otherwise have to pay for a hotel if you were driving, and you get your meals included if you book a roomette on the train. When my husband and I got a roomette on the auto-train, they gave us a bottle of wine with the dinner. All things considered it's not *that* much more than flying.
I disagree. It's a 15 hour drive which can be done in a day, especially with two drivers. In a car that gets 20 mpg (most get more) it would take 50 gallons. At $4 a gallon, that's $200. Breakfast can be had at home, lunch can be packed along or even if you get Subway, that's $15 for two. Dinner again can be something along the way for $15 for two. So total cost to drive, including tolls, is under $300. Taking Amtrak is almost double. Even factoring in wear and tear, it's still cheaper to drive, especially if there are two or more.

PS: The bottle of wine they gave you they paid $4 for.

PPS: If you did decide to get a hotel room along the way, you can get something just off of I-90 for under $75 if you aren't terribly concerned about amenities.
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Old 05-15-2014, 02:31 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,627,330 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikitakolata View Post
Yeah, that is probably true. I know it's good for getting between Milwaukee and Chicago, as well, since my MIL did that multiple times a week for years. I just cannot believe how expensive the sleeping rooms are!

If anyone knows of a way to get a good discount I would love to know.
True, that would be another route that makes sense. There are a handful of others in the US as well--the Pacific Surfrider is another. The key is that those are all short routes that you wouldn't bother with a sleeping room for.
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Old 05-15-2014, 02:56 PM
 
1,186 posts, read 1,078,294 times
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The train is the best way to travel the Northeast corridor, but you have to have a severe phobia to not want to just fly from Boston-Chicago. It's a relatively short, inexpensive flight.
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