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Old 10-29-2009, 01:47 PM
 
227 posts, read 520,058 times
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I've booked a 12 hour trip on Amtrak over the holidays. It is a reserved seat trip, but I don't think I am assigned a seat yet...do I need to show up early to get a good seat? What is a good seat? I am in coach. On planes I like the window. If I bring cards, do you think somebody would want to play me? I hope everyone isn't just keeping to themselves on such a long trip.
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Airports all over the world
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If you are riding coach on Amtrak, even thought you have a reserved seat, most likely you will not actually be assigned a certain seat. Once you board the train you grab a seat in one of the coach cars. Over the holidays the train can be quite full. The sooner you board the better the chances of getting a good seat. If you are boarding at an enroute stop the train may already quite full. A lot of passengers will put their bags on the seat next to them to discourage others from sitting next to them. If the train is full you might have to ask/tell someone to move their stuff so you can sit down. Most of the West Coast trains are double deckers. Some people will say the sway of the train is felt more upstairs. I really did not notice. The view is better from upstairs. Use to be most of the East Coast trains were not double deckers. Not sure if that still holds. If the trip is during the daytime you should not have any problem finding someone to talk to or play cards with. While there usually is both a snack car and a dining car, I have found neither to provide much worthy to eat. I would suggest you bring something to eat with you. There will be lots of stops along the way, but most are only for a minute or two. If you are a smoker that will be your only chance for a smoke. Unless your starting point is at one of the stops where they change out the crew, for a 12 hour trip you should have at least one stop where you can get outside for a while. Even then you need to stay near the train as the stop won't be that long.
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:31 AM
 
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What is considered a good seat on a long Amtrak trip?

A horizontal one.
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Old 11-02-2009, 01:31 AM
 
Location: Norcross GA
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In coach there isn't a good seat. You have window or aisle seats. The best part is being able to go to the viewing car (it had a movie playing) and I remember going downstairs to a bar to order wine. So it shouldn't be too bad for 12 hours. My trip was 2.5 days and I didn't book a sleeper car.
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Old 11-07-2009, 08:26 AM
 
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My tip would be to search out a seat in the middle of the car. If you ride at either end you will be riding over the "trucks" which are the wheels and braking apparatus. Additionally doors opening and closing and the drafts from that would keep me from the ends of the coach. Traffic in and out of the bathrooms in addition to what will probably end up being quite a strong smell on a long trip is another reason to try to stay in the center of the coach. Then depending on the direction of your travel and climate you may or may not want the solar gain of one window side vs. the other, sunny side of the train vs. shady side. Window seats are my preference either way as you can kind of lean into the window/wall for comfortable sleep. Best of luck on your trip.
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:51 PM
 
Location: Way up north :-)
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If there are sleeper cars available, and your budget allows for it, go for one of those, if it's an overnight trip. Otherwise, the middle of the car, as Joey said. (Our trip was 48 hours, and we had a 3 hour stop in San Antonio which was great!)

When we ate in the dining car, the porter checked beforehand so we had reservations. He then usually sat us with at least one other person, so we had a variety of interesting travelling companions to chat to. You shouldn't have problems finding company. The food is perhaps less than imaginative, but the scenery and people more than made up for that.
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Old 11-11-2009, 12:20 AM
 
Location: Airports all over the world
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacq63 View Post
If there are sleeper cars available, and your budget allows for it, go for one of those, if it's an overnight trip. Otherwise, the middle of the car, as Joey said. (Our trip was 48 hours, and we had a 3 hour stop in San Antonio which was great!)

When we ate in the dining car, the porter checked beforehand so we had reservations. He then usually sat us with at least one other person, so we had a variety of interesting travelling companions to chat to. You shouldn't have problems finding company. The food is perhaps less than imaginative, but the scenery and people more than made up for that.
The last time I rode Amtrak I had one of the roomettes in the sleeper car. It was perfect for one person. Meals were included in the price so actually it was not a bad deal. Each sleeper car had it's own attendent who did an excellent job keeping things clean.
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Old 11-15-2009, 03:13 PM
 
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A quick tip: NEVER open the top of the "Dutch doors" on the double decker cars while the train is in motion. Especially to take photos. I speak from experience...
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Old 04-29-2010, 04:00 AM
 
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I am travelling to Aspen Colorado from Bangkok Thailand. As I already have a long flight,from Bangkok to San Fransisco and hate domestic flights and having been sitting on an aeroplane for the last 16 hours I dont; relish the idea of more airports and flying. I thought it would be a cool option to take the train. I am staying in Colorado for 3 months so have plenty of time for travelling. I see on the website it takes about 28 hours.. from San Fransisco ,that seems along time. Would you recommend I take a sleeper, or just go for the regular coach seats... I am English, living in Thailand and have never been on Amtrak before!!! Will it be the adventure I am hoping for? Linda
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Old 04-29-2010, 12:35 PM
Status: ""Mony Mony " was the "B" side." (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Eureka CA
3,749 posts, read 4,770,380 times
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As long as there is a lounge car to take breaks in,play cards etc you could do 24 hours in a coach seat. The seats are wide and comfortable (or at least they were in October on the Empire Builder and City of New Orleans). Longer than that I'd consider a sleeper.
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