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Old 03-27-2019, 08:24 PM
 
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I've done it, too - New York to L.A.!


There Is No Reason to Cross the U.S. by Train. But I Did It
By Caity Weaver

A chance to look behind the American scrim: to learn where the nation makes and stores the hidden parts that run it, to find new places you wish you had been born, to spy on backyards and high school football fields whose possible existence had never occurred to you.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...ca-amtrak.html
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Old 03-27-2019, 11:58 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
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The downside to traveling cross country by train is that occasionally you catch a glimpse of a place you'd like to explore further.

However, not having to drive and waking up to whole new scenery in the morning is an incredible plus.

I'll continue to take Amtrak until I'm no longer able.
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:47 AM
 
Location: Tulsa
1,804 posts, read 806,686 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
The downside to traveling cross country by train is that occasionally you catch a glimpse of a place you'd like to explore further.

However, not having to drive and waking up to whole new scenery in the morning is an incredible plus.

I'll continue to take Amtrak until I'm no longer able.
The biggest downside is the price. If you want to travel comfortably, you have to get a sleeper which is very expensive.
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Old 03-28-2019, 04:52 AM
 
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A cousin of mine went one way by train from NYC to San Francisco several years ago. At time she was able to get a special deal where she flew from the West Coast to the East Coast and then returned by train after 6 months.
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Old 03-28-2019, 06:03 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,650 posts, read 4,699,473 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodHombre View Post
The biggest downside is the price. If you want to travel comfortably, you have to get a sleeper which is very expensive.

I don't find it that expensive, considering all that's included and the privacy afforded by a sleeping compartment. I'm just grateful we still have the option of taking Amtrak, otherwise I would have to drive everywhere. (Long-haul buses are not an option.)
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Eureka CA
8,249 posts, read 11,113,390 times
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The secret to enjoying AMTRAK is to get a roomette. Coach is bad.
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Old 03-28-2019, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Lakeland, Florida
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I did a Boston to Portland round trip in the 90s. The train broke down in CT. I had to then take commuter rail to NYC. Now I'm late for connections. Amtrak offered no info. Then a train to Philadelphia to catch a train to Chicago. The train hit a pickup truck in Ohio. 5 hour delay as truck occupants were killed. Made it to Chicago but missed connections. Stayed in hotel my expense..Then a train to Portland by way of Denver. I was exhausted and got off in Denver for 3 days. Contemplated ending the train trip in Denver, but my ticket was paid for. I didn't want big bills for plane tickets. Finally a train to Portland thru Salt Lake. Finally made it to Portland


2 weeks later teturn trip was less eventful thankfully. 3 days travel. We did run out of water in Nebraska so delay there, Some delays because Amtrak doesn't own the tracks. So freight trains have right of way.

I took this trip because it was $99 each way coach. I'd never done it before so an adventure. The trip obviously lived up to an adventure.

I have to add There are some colorful people travelling by train. I really learned alot about myself on this trip. I am a lot more tolerant of ignorant intolerant people, than I ever knew about myself. There are also some very nice interesting people on the trains. I especially enjoyed the Meals, observation Car, and Movies. Beautiful scenery in much of the West.

No I would never take Amtrak that distance again. A much shorter trip probably.
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Old 03-28-2019, 04:55 PM
 
9,426 posts, read 7,083,794 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimrob1 View Post
I did a Boston to Portland round trip in the 90s. The train broke down in CT. I had to then take commuter rail to NYC. Now I'm late for connections. Amtrak offered no info. Then a train to Philadelphia to catch a train to Chicago. The train hit a pickup truck in Ohio. 5 hour delay as truck occupants were killed. Made it to Chicago but missed connections. Stayed in hotel my expense..Then a train to Portland by way of Denver. I was exhausted and got off in Denver for 3 days. Contemplated ending the train trip in Denver, but my ticket was paid for. I didn't want big bills for plane tickets. Finally a train to Portland thru Salt Lake. Finally made it to Portland


2 weeks later teturn trip was less eventful thankfully. 3 days travel. We did run out of water in Nebraska so delay there, Some delays because Amtrak doesn't own the tracks. So freight trains have right of way.

I took this trip because it was $99 each way coach. I'd never done it before so an adventure. The trip obviously lived up to an adventure.

I have to add There are some colorful people travelling by train. I really learned alot about myself on this trip. I am a lot more tolerant of ignorant intolerant people, than I ever knew about myself. There are also some very nice interesting people on the trains. I especially enjoyed the Meals, observation Car, and Movies. Beautiful scenery in much of the West.

No I would never take Amtrak that distance again. A much shorter trip probably.

Trains certainly don't run on time in the US. Outside of the Northeast, where all the tracks are owned by Amtrak.


I put my 15 year old nephew on a train from outside Gadsden, AL up to Greenville, SC a few years back. It was supposed to leave Gadsden at 4pm and get into Greenville at 11pm


The train arrived in Gadsden (Anniston, actually) an hour late. Ok.. No huge deal. It pulled about 100 feet past the station and stayed there for 2 hours because there was a Southern Express or something engine broken down on the tracks in front of it.

He arrived here at 2:45am. Today.. Right now. That train, which, based on schedule, should be about 30 minutes from arriving in Atlanta, is just outside Leeds, AL.. 2 hours and 45 minutes behind schedule. Hasn't even arrived at Anniston yet.

The Crescent heading to New Orleans.. It's 3 hours late.

and.. Train tickets for longer routes.. Are about the same cost as a plane ticket.. Just take 10 times as long, so.. It doesn't make alot of sense anymore to take a train outside of the northeast.
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Old 03-28-2019, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,237 posts, read 44,903,829 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Labonte18 View Post
Trains certainly don't run on time in the US. Outside of the Northeast, where all the tracks are owned by Amtrak.


I put my 15 year old nephew on a train from outside Gadsden, AL up to Greenville, SC a few years back. It was supposed to leave Gadsden at 4pm and get into Greenville at 11pm


The train arrived in Gadsden (Anniston, actually) an hour late. Ok.. No huge deal. It pulled about 100 feet past the station and stayed there for 2 hours because there was a Southern Express or something engine broken down on the tracks in front of it.

He arrived here at 2:45am. Today.. Right now. That train, which, based on schedule, should be about 30 minutes from arriving in Atlanta, is just outside Leeds, AL.. 2 hours and 45 minutes behind schedule. Hasn't even arrived at Anniston yet.

The Crescent heading to New Orleans.. It's 3 hours late.

and.. Train tickets for longer routes.. Are about the same cost as a plane ticket.. Just take 10 times as long, so.. It doesn't make alot of sense anymore to take a train outside of the northeast.

Yeah, I thought about organizing a train sortie to Powell's Books and other Portland attractions, starting in the Tri-Cities. The expense of the trip for say 6 people, and the unreliable scheduling, plus starting off in Pasco at 0500 more or less, assuming the train was going to be on time, which it would only be if I were late getting to the station - it would be more practical to rent a van and just drive down. Which is a damn shame, but I have a hard time taking Amtrak seriously when apparently they don't take their own schedules seriously. Back in the 30's and 40's, I have read, that the trains took great pride in being on time and on schedule. Them days are gone, apparently.


That said, Amtrak does offer the chance to avoid the indignities of TSA, and the overall unpleasantness of air travel any more, and you can, I believe, bring ordinary personal items like pocket knives, etc. You just have to have considerable time to waste.
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Old 03-28-2019, 06:16 PM
 
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We had family friends for decades who refused to fly (they are in their mid- to late 80s now) and they did a round trip (one way across the US and one way across Canada, I believe) around 10 years ago. I think they had a pretty good time. I am guessing it was a little pricey, but it was something they wanted to do for a while and they probably saved up for it.
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