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Old 02-02-2018, 03:44 PM
 
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Has anyone done an Amtrak trip from Los Angeles to Portland?

What seat did you get? How was it?

For my next trip I'd love to check out Portland for a few days.

I was initially intrigued by Amtrak since I've never done an overnight trip, and it seems pretty cool with all the sights on the way there. However, I've also read mixed reviews, some people absolutely hating the trip and others loved it (with bad attitudes and service from staff seeming to be the number one gripe).

I also don't like how they group strangers together for dining in the eating area. There's four seats to a table so if someone travels solo, they're stuck with strangers. Some people love that, I definitely do not, though there is an option to have your food brought to your roomette.

Most likely I will just fly since it's only a few hours compared to 35 hours by train.

Just wondering if anyone's done this and their thoughts.
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Old 02-02-2018, 04:28 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
6,617 posts, read 3,687,027 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburban_Guy View Post
Has anyone done an Amtrak trip from Los Angeles to Portland?

I also don't like how they group strangers together for dining in the eating area. There's four seats to a table so if someone travels solo, they're stuck with strangers. Some people love that, I definitely do not, though there is an option to have your food brought to your roomette.
I have seen attendants bring meals to a sleeper compartment. In some cases I know it is because of a disability. I saw them bring what looked like sack lunches to a husband and wife who were not disabled but had unruly kids and I guess they didn't want to risk the dining car with them. Amtrak is a community on wheels and you meet some very interesting co-travelers if you open up to the experience. What's the worst that could happen? In all my many trips I've only had one grumpy train crew...but many grumpy co-travelers and crews whenever I flew.
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Old 02-02-2018, 06:31 PM
 
Location: SF, CA
1,524 posts, read 688,145 times
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Well, back in October I traveled from Emeryville (near SF) to Albany, Oregon on Amtrak, in a roomette. Some notes / impressions:

The train was over two hours late arriving at Emeryville, and the delay compounded until it arrived at Albany four hours late.

The small roomettes are snug, but comfortable. However, there's almost no space for luggage within the roomette.

I'm no extrovert, but dining with strangers was fine... I heard lots of interesting travel stories. If that doesn't appeal to you, you could get food from the cafe car and take it to your room.

The train crew members were very polite and helpful. The only problem with other travelers was a couple of fools talking in the corridor in the wee hours of the morning... but they went away when I complained.

Fares can vary a lot depending on when you travel.

The scenery was magnificent.... partly because it was October, and the leaves were changing color. Since the train ran so late, it passed through the Mt Shasta country in daylight (had it been on time, we'd have gone through there at night). And the climb over the Oregon Cascades was gorgeous.

The biggest problem I had was: I couldn't sleep. The bed was adequate, but with the bumping ride and the sounds, I wasn't able to doze off. If you're a sound sleeper, you might not have a problem.

I hope this is useful.
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Old 02-03-2018, 01:02 AM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
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Some people can sleep on a rail sleeper, and some can't. I never had any problem, but the only times I did it, I was traveling every day, and I always sleep well when traveling.

If the staff is grumpy, the worst you can do is ignore them and take care of your self, you know how to fluff a pillow.

Check the train schedule, as I recall you see the mountains only one way, the other way is at night, but I can't remember if the scenic trip is east or west bound.
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Old 02-03-2018, 05:37 AM
 
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I have taken Amtrak from Los Angeles as far as San Jose and back. The views of different types of terrain were great. The train tends to arrive a bit later than scheduled so one needs to take that into account if one is on a tight schedule. On the return trip, my dad (who I was traveling with on that trip) and I decided to try out the dining car for dinner. The prices were quite reasonable. We were seated with 2 older ladies and had a pleasant conversation with them. Due to the limited space in the dining car if one party's doesn't fill a table one will be seated with others and the meal is served in shifts. Therefore one needs to make a dining room reservation with the conductor who passes through the train especially for this purpose if one hasn't reserved an overnight sleeper bunk.
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Old 02-05-2018, 10:04 AM
Status: "0-0-2 Game On!" (set 9 days ago)
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,318 posts, read 15,371,647 times
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Cost-wise, once you spring for the tiny roomette, flying is cheaper. The experience often depends on the time of year and the size of the train.

As has been mentioned, the train's schedule can be erratic - when I was taking it regularly from Portland to Klamath Falls (300 miles, roughly 8-9 hours), it could be within the hour up to an entire day late. Usually it was within a couple of hours.

The portions through the Cascade mountains are very nice. Depending on direction (north-bound or south-bound) and season, a lot of the scenic mountain sections in California and Oregon are done around dusk or in the middle of the night. The observation car (lots of skylights) can have a docent talking about history, geology and botany through the Oregon mountains.
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Old 02-05-2018, 10:17 AM
 
1,191 posts, read 394,119 times
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Quote:
For my next trip I'd love to check out Portland for a few days.





Why?

Talk about a depressing/unfulfilling/draining trip. Skip Red Portland and go to Seattle instead. You're already over halfway there by that point so you may as well go all the way.

I've never taken the train from Vancouver (Washingtax) to California but I have gone Vancouver to Fargo albeit in coach. I don't remember much about it since it was almost 30 years ago but I remember it being very hard to sleep in those seats.
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Old 02-05-2018, 11:08 AM
Status: "Send HIM back- to Queens!" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Eureka CA
8,281 posts, read 11,136,078 times
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We've taken several trips on Amtrak including SF -Chicago and Chicago -NY. We LOVE sleeping on trains, not everyone does. The dining room staff will deliver food to your compartment. I will never take coach again except for day trips.
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Old 02-06-2018, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Franklin, TN
3,524 posts, read 5,686,073 times
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I went from Chicago to Seattle in one of the roomettes and love it! I had one dinner where I was pretty much ignored so I just ate and left but then I had a breakfast with two Australian guys and we had the BEST conversation for 3 hours until they had to set up for the lunch crowd!

You CAN get food delivered to your little cabin and I brought some snacks so I only had maybe 3 meals in the dining car. Food was decent. Believe it or not the STEAK is excellent and all the food is 'free' with the roomette.

If you can manage the time for the train, I think you should, because I don't think they will be around much longer.
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Old 02-11-2018, 06:03 PM
Status: "Re-edit status" (set 25 days ago)
 
Location: Was Midvalley Oregon; Now Eastside Seattle area
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You kinda need 2 peps to make it work. The second person pays the coach fare but get the dining car and wifi perks.
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