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Old 08-09-2015, 12:13 PM
 
1,143 posts, read 1,855,479 times
Reputation: 1131

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotHereQuickAsICould View Post
I've traveled cross country by train several times. The roomettes are cramped and not much more comfortable than a chair. The food in the train restaurant is unremarkable. I

I like to travel business class on routes they offer it. Much more comfortable seating, coffee, juice, newspapers... Well, worth the upgrade.
Well, I'm just under 5'7 and thin. I loved the roomette and I shared it w/ my seven year old son. I thought it was a like camping except on a train. If you're looking for a posh experience, this isn't it.

Think: camping.

My husband is 6' (and, um, not thin) and he shared another roomette w/ our other seven year old son. He seemed fine. But he's not a big complainer no matter what's happening. (Unless dinner isn't on time then he goes nuclear.)

So bottom line: the roomettes -- to me -- were a vast improvement over sleeping in coach. I don't know what business class is like.

Sleeping in coach meant that I slept all night -- on the return -- next to a very sweet friendly lady. I really liked her, but there's no arm rest between the two seats. It's just. . . not comfortable.

Plus I have a bad back and the coach chair wasn't so great for that.

But if you sleep coach: bring a neck pillow, an eye mask, and a blanket or sweatpants and/or sweatjacket. It gets chilly at night.

Alley
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Old 08-09-2015, 03:05 PM
 
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I can't imagine cross country via train.. 8 to 9 hours is about the max I could stand.

But, the cost difference doesn't make a whole lot of sense, either.. GSP to LAX, about $425 bought in advance.. Total travel time is about 7 hours.

Same route on train.. $570.. And takes 60 hours with a 13 hour layover in New Orleans.

Air travel wins from a cost standpoint.

That's the problem with Amtrak.. It's just not cost effective in most cases. Traveling with children can make it moreso, because they do half price tickets for kids under 13.. but, another example.. GSP to washington, DC.. $186 round trip, 22 hours total travel time. GSP to IAD, $265 3 hours total travel time.

Bus is more reasonable.. $115, but 13 hours.

Now.. If I was traveling TOMORROW.. Maybe that shifts a bit more towards rail. Meh.. $370 vs $292..


Admittedly, the train is normally a better experience.. Not as cramped, see the scenery.. But.. You're still dealing with TSA and security.
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Old 08-09-2015, 03:54 PM
 
1,143 posts, read 1,855,479 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Labonte18 View Post


Admittedly, the train is normally a better experience.. Not as cramped, see the scenery.. But.. You're still dealing with TSA and security.
Maybe some parts of Amtrak are doing TSA and security, but we didn't see/hear/deal w/ TSA at all. (On the Eastern corridor from 7/31/15 to 8/7/15.)

And our arrangement came in at 2/3 of what the plane costs would have been.

Still wouldn't sleep in coach again.

Alley
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Old 08-09-2015, 04:42 PM
 
9,426 posts, read 7,094,161 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alicia64 View Post
Maybe some parts of Amtrak are doing TSA and security, but we didn't see/hear/deal w/ TSA at all. (On the Eastern corridor from 7/31/15 to 8/7/15.)

And our arrangement came in at 2/3 of what the plane costs would have been.

Still wouldn't sleep in coach again.

Alley
Generally only the larger stations have a permanent TSA presence.. And.. Amtrak has its own police department that a few years ago, tossed TSA.. No kidding, a fascinating story.. Rail's handling of TSA should be a model - CNN.com

But, technically, you could be run into TSA anywhere.

Now.. I don't know your arrangement, but 2/3rds the cost isn't great. If you had it to do over again.. vs the, I think you mentioned about 9 hours on the train.. Would you save that money again, considering it probably would have taken you 3-4 hours via plane, including layovers?

They'd have to knock that down to about 1/3 the cost before I'd consider it worthwhile.
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Old 08-09-2015, 04:54 PM
 
1,143 posts, read 1,855,479 times
Reputation: 1131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Labonte18 View Post
Generally only the larger stations have a permanent TSA presence.. And.. Amtrak has its own police department that a few years ago, tossed TSA.. No kidding, a fascinating story.. Rail's handling of TSA should be a model - CNN.com

But, technically, you could be run into TSA anywhere.

Now.. I don't know your arrangement, but 2/3rds the cost isn't great. If you had it to do over again.. vs the, I think you mentioned about 9 hours on the train.. Would you save that money again, considering it probably would have taken you 3-4 hours via plane, including layovers?

They'd have to knock that down to about 1/3 the cost before I'd consider it worthwhile.

Well, I'll be honest, my friends think I'm nuts but I do count the nickels and dimes. And I don't really need to, but I think I don't really need to because I do count the nickels and dimes. . . if that makes sense.

No, we won't fly next time. I'll drive and the drive takes nine hours. I can't do nine straight so I have to stop in a large city and spend the night. (Still cheaper than taking Amtrak. Definitely cheaper than the plane.)

The plane plus a rental car plus hotel room is just too costly. Plus my husband doesn't like TSA anywhere near our kids. (He's probably being paranoid, but. . .I deal w/ it.)

Also, I was in a large city's Amtrak station and didn't see TSA. I applaud them for booting TSA and doing their own thing.

Alley
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Old 08-10-2015, 06:28 AM
 
38,228 posts, read 14,933,179 times
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I love traveling by train. It may be because I have trouble falling asleep just about anywhere but on a train.

Settled into a couch seat with my head snuggled against a pillow and I'm sound asleep before the conductor comes around. It's the steady rhythm, the rocking.

I don't know I could ever commute via train. I'd never be awake to get off.
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Old 08-10-2015, 07:04 AM
 
38,228 posts, read 14,933,179 times
Reputation: 24636
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alicia64 View Post
Well, I'm just under 5'7 and thin. I loved the roomette and I shared it w/ my seven year old son. I thought it was a like camping except on a train. If you're looking for a posh experience, this isn't it.

Think: camping.

My husband is 6' (and, um, not thin) and he shared another roomette w/ our other seven year old son. He seemed fine. But he's not a big complainer no matter what's happening. (Unless dinner isn't on time then he goes nuclear.)

So bottom line: the roomettes -- to me -- were a vast improvement over sleeping in coach. I don't know what business class is like.

Sleeping in coach meant that I slept all night -- on the return -- next to a very sweet friendly lady. I really liked her, but there's no arm rest between the two seats. It's just. . . not comfortable.

Plus I have a bad back and the coach chair wasn't so great for that.

But if you sleep coach: bring a neck pillow, an eye mask, and a blanket or sweatpants and/or sweatjacket. It gets chilly at night.

Alley
Many people love the roomettes bedrooms. Which is a good thing.

One the things I like best is that you can wait in a sleeper lounge at some stations. They are comfortable, with juice and so forth. On some trains, there are parlor cars just for the sleepers with WiFi etc.

I've made several trips with the bedroom as well as the roomette. I preferred the bedroom for sleeping as the beds are crossways to the train which seemed an easier motion to me than the roomettes' beds.

Still, I still get my best sleep and have my most enjoyable trip in coach seat. I have an insulated bag with sandwiches and water bottles, a beach bag with a pillow, blanket, books, a bag of toiletries and a rollaround with my clothes for when I get there.

I love changing trains at Union Station in Chicago. I go to the food court level and stock up on salads, croissants...
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