U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 08-03-2008, 05:47 PM
 
Location: in my mind
2,745 posts, read 13,117,204 times
Reputation: 1605

Advertisements

We are considering a pretty serious train trip... from Texas to Niagara Falls (Canada side), by way of Chicago and NY, within the next year or two.

The thing is, we wouldn't be able to afford this unless we go coach... but these are long trips. My question is, how uncomfortable do you think we'd be in coach seats for this kind of trip since we can't afford to upgrade to a "roomette" or sleeper car?

It would be 2 adults and 3 kids (currently 16, 10, and 5 so add a year or 2 to those ages)....

We really want the train trip to be a part of the whole vacation experience but I don't want to set us up for hours and hours of misery either. How awful are coach seats for sleeping?

We've only been on one Amtrak trip (aside from trips I don't remember from when I was a baby) and it was just San Antonio to Austin (about 60 miles) for a school field trip. So, our experience is very limited.

Thanks in advance for sharing your own experiences.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-03-2008, 06:50 PM
 
Location: In The Outland
6,023 posts, read 11,905,446 times
Reputation: 3535
Get a sleeper, the seats are awful. Then there is the problem of all the snoring and other noises coming from the other people. I will put up with a coach seat only if the trip isn't an overnight one.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-03-2008, 07:10 PM
 
28,241 posts, read 39,895,668 times
Reputation: 36747
We have friends that did the no sleeper train trip. Suffered the whole way. This was Iowa to Colorado. I can't imagine what yours would be like.

Hop on a Greyhound and take a trip of 400 miles over and 400 back. See what you think. It's fairly cheap and will give you an idea if you can take it or not.

We did a bus from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon. !6 hours. Never, ever will I do that again.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-03-2008, 07:15 PM
 
Location: in my mind
2,745 posts, read 13,117,204 times
Reputation: 1605
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tek_Freek View Post
We have friends that did the no sleeper train trip. Suffered the whole way. This was Iowa to Colorado. I can't imagine what yours would be like.

Hop on a Greyhound and take a trip of 400 miles over and 400 back. See what you think. It's fairly cheap and will give you an idea if you can take it or not.

We did a bus from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon. !6 hours. Never, ever will I do that again.
Maybe I should put off the trip for another year to afford the sleeper.

I have a bus phobia. Seriously. I ride the city bus and deal okay but that's 30 minutes max each trip. I have an irrational fear of the bus wrecking, flipping, tipping... especially the really tall ones! I know, it's silly, because I have no fears of flying or riding in taxis or any of that.. but the bus fear is pretty huge.

Maybe it was the bus trip I took as a kid of 11 or 12 when the bus driver (Greyhound) was s**tfaced drunk and I knew it. Or maybe it was the whole thing in high school when the guy from Metallica died in a bus accident. Regardless, I hate the bus.

I guess we should just save up for the sleeper? It's a LOT more... but I don't understand, is it XX dollars extra per person or just a total? For example if the fare is $250 per person and the sleeper car is "$550 extra" does that mean that if the sleeper car accommodates 4 people, it is a flat $550 extra total for however many are going to fit in the car?

(was that confusing to y'all? sorry!)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-03-2008, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Lakeland, Florida
6,972 posts, read 12,487,957 times
Reputation: 8718
I took Amtrak from Boston to here Portland, Oregon and back to Boston some years back, actually it was 1994 I think. I don't know what Amtrak is like now. Now granted this was an extremely long trip however I did not care for this trip, and would not recommend the train. I also did the coach thing all 4 days each way of this miserable trip. Perhaps my trip was unusual or not, I don't know. the train broke down several times, It got hit by lighting, and it hit a pickup truck in Ohio, and we waited some 6 hours before the investigators allowed the train to leave. I missed connections in Chicago, the train ran out of food somewhere. Worst of all amtrak travels on freight tracks and the freight trains have right of way, so Amtrak must stop and wait for these trains in the middle of no where. Sometimes they also stop at a stop that doesn't even look like a train station in the middle of nowwhere and the strangest people would board. Let me tell you there was some real characters on these coast to coast trains. Honestly the trip was so bad that I expected eventually the train would be attacked by train robbers or Indians. Do yourself a favor and find another way to travel unless Amtrak has greatly improved. Oh I forgot I was so fed up with the trip I had to get off in Denver for 2 days just to relax in a hotel and take a shower. Again forget the damn train, I think hitchhiking would probably be more comfortable.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-03-2008, 10:50 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,847 posts, read 30,360,608 times
Reputation: 22356
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimrob1 View Post
I took Amtrak from Boston to here Portland, Oregon and back to Boston some years back, actually it was 1994 I think. I don't know what Amtrak is like now. Now granted this was an extremely long trip however I did not care for this trip, and would not recommend the train. I also did the coach thing all 4 days each way of this miserable trip. Perhaps my trip was unusual or not, I don't know. the train broke down several times, It got hit by lighting, and it hit a pickup truck in Ohio, and we waited some 6 hours before the investigators allowed the train to leave. I missed connections in Chicago, the train ran out of food somewhere. Worst of all amtrak travels on freight tracks and the freight trains have right of way, so Amtrak must stop and wait for these trains in the middle of no where. Sometimes they also stop at a stop that doesn't even look like a train station in the middle of nowwhere and the strangest people would board. Let me tell you there was some real characters on these coast to coast trains. Honestly the trip was so bad that I expected eventually the train would be attacked by train robbers or Indians. Do yourself a favor and find another way to travel unless Amtrak has greatly improved. Oh I forgot I was so fed up with the trip I had to get off in Denver for 2 days just to relax in a hotel and take a shower. Again forget the damn train, I think hitchhiking would probably be more comfortable.
Wow your trip sounds like an awesome adventure to me! I'd love it. Funny how people look at things differently huh?

I've been on an Amtrak many years ago New York to North Carolina and back again. We went coach, it was dandy. Not NEARLY as interesting as your trip, unfortunately! LOL The only complaint I had was the quality of the food so I ended up eating "burgers" and chips most of the time. The best part is being able to see the countryside. Now we always drive for this reason, but I would not be opposed to takinig another train trip.

20yrsinBranson
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-04-2008, 08:56 AM
 
Location: In The Outland
6,023 posts, read 11,905,446 times
Reputation: 3535
The last time I was on an Amtrak train The food was very good. We did have two delays, once because the brakes were malfunctioning and the second time was because some kooks had piled a bunch of junk and branches on the tracks. I'm Glad they fixed the brakes before coming to the trash piled on the tracks ! One thing that I got a kick out of was there was some really really happy guy in a turban (from India i think), he spent the whole trip going from car to car and seat to seat chatting everybody up. He was a very happy and friendly guy, a little too happy and friendly !
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-04-2008, 02:55 PM
 
6,351 posts, read 19,349,725 times
Reputation: 9919
I, too, had a very positive experience on Amtrak in the coach section. Granted, I was almost 30 years younger and I was by myself. But I still got restful sleep on those reclining chairs. I also enjoyed the food and found my fellow passengers wonderful to talk with. Best of luck!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-04-2008, 05:16 PM
 
53 posts, read 288,337 times
Reputation: 31
Coach seats aren't bad at all in my view. I did an overnight trip and the seat reclined enough to get good sleep on. I don't remember noise being a huge issue either. Compared to busses, Amtrak felt very spacious. I'd give it a try. Sounds like an exciting trip!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-04-2008, 05:28 PM
 
Location: in my mind
2,745 posts, read 13,117,204 times
Reputation: 1605
Thanks for the replies!

I am wondering something else... are trains usually full, or is it more likely that there will be extra space and the train won't be totally booked?

Is the seating assigned or are you free to sit where ever within the coach seating? I'm just wondering if it's likely that we'd be able to find several seats, some unoccupied, to have more space. I remember situations like this on planes many times when flying.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top