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Dutchess_III's avatar

Can you still take a trip on a passenger train?

Asked by Dutchess_III (26537 points ) July 12th, 2010

I’d like to travel across the country on a passenger train. Do they even still run? Have you ever ridden and slept and ate on a train for several days in a row? Is it as cool as it seems like it would be, or am I just being romantic?

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23 Answers

whatnot's avatar

Amtrak! Yes! Haven’t done it, but it looks like an amazing trip to take cross country! (I have driven and taken Grayhound, but not as romantic.)

Dutchess_III's avatar

@whatnot Bus rides can be horribly miserable. I took a bus from Wichita to Manhattan once, a 3 hour drive by car. The bus took 8 or 9 hours. Twas awful!

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

It is a great way to travel. Much more restful and you get to see the regions through which you pass.
You can even get a pass that covers unlimited travel for a fixed period of time. Sleeping in the sleeping cars is a great experience although it is costly compared to coach. Amtrak coach seats are pretty comfortable and the company staff are mostly good natured and helpful.

Go ahead and ride the rails and explore the country. It will change your life!

wundayatta's avatar

Check out the Amtrak route atlas. It shows a variety of ways for getting across the US. For even more fun, try the Canadian rail vacations. Here’s their coast to coast vacation package.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You guys are soooo awesome!!

wundayatta's avatar

@Dutchess_III Will you please, please, please take me with you if you go on the Canadian trip? OMG!!!!

whatnot's avatar

I just remembered! Years ago I took the auto-train (Amtrak) from Florida to Washington D.C. It was an incredible trip! Loved sitting in the observation deck and watching the world go by as we trekked up North. Loved eating dinner with other passengers in the dining car! Waiters served dinner and passengers sat together – fancy table settings! Loved watching a movie (Maverick) after sunset. It was a very romantic trip, in the sentimental sense!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Holy crap! $6000 a person????

Dutchess_III's avatar

@wundayatta You bet! If you pay for it!

wundayatta's avatar

@Dutchess_III Why do you think I asked you? I don’t have that kind of dough. Just sorta hoping you might. Oh well.

Dutchess_III's avatar

LOL!! @wundayatta Tell you what…if I win the lottery I’ll ring you up!

jrpowell's avatar

I just took the train from Portland to Eugene. I love taking the train. It is 10X better than taking the bus. And our train had free wifi.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@johnpowell How much was it? I’m thinking from Hutchinson to Seattle….

Mtl_zack's avatar

I ride on Via Rail (in Canada) all the time. I go from Montreal to Ottawa (and vice versa). It’s only two hours and it’s soooooo worth spending 20$ more than the bus.

jrpowell's avatar

@Dutchess_III :: I paid $28 for a ticket right before the train left. Greyhound wanted $22.50. It was well worth paying the little extra.

lillycoyote's avatar

Yes, of course you can. Here’s Amtrak’s site so you can plan and schedule your trip. I love traveling by train. Took the train cross country once, from Portland to Wilmington, DE and back. It was a wonderful trip. Edit: Oops, someone already posted the Amtrak link. Sorry, I need to pay attention. :-)

perspicacious's avatar

Yes. Just like everyone else said, it’s called Amtrak. Many cities also have train systems.

lillycoyote's avatar

How can you not want to hop on and ride trains with names like:

The California Zephyr
The City of New Orleans
The Coast Starlight
The Empire Builder
The Heartland Flyer
The Pacific Surfliner
The Sunset Unlimited
The Texas Eagle

Don’t you want to be a part of this?? Here are some songs, just a handful of the great songs about trains, to get you in the mood, to prepare you for your travels. Trains, the railroad, train travel certainly isn’t what it used to be here, but wouldn’t you like to be a part of this legacy?

Desperados Waiting for a Train

Canadian Railroad Trilogy

Choo Choo Ch’Boogie

Dixie Flyer

Wabash Cannonball

Take the A-Train

And just in case you haven’t noticed:

I’ve Got a Thing About Trains

I, like many people along Amtrak’s “Eastern Corridor” travel by train more than a lot of people in this country do because it is just a lot more common, a lot more convenient and a lot more pleasant than traveling by car sometimes so often I will take the train when I go to NYC or to Connecticut to visit friends.

shego's avatar

I have traveled from Colorado to Illinois, it’s a really relaxing beautiful ride. You take the California zephyr, and there is a section of track that you are on that the Harvey Girls movie was recorded featuring Judy Garland, and Angela Lansbury.

If you have the time I say go for it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@lillycoyote but your link was so much better! O. Wait. It’s the exact same link!

I can’t wait!!

jazmina88's avatar

I went from boston to memphis one summer, with a layover in chicago when the best man ever!!! It was an incredible trip.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wow you guys….the prices are very comparable to an airline ticket! This is seriously doable! Looks like I’ll need about $1000 for the tickets. Time to start saving for next summer. I’ll let you guys know of the literary so that if I pass through your town you can wave and honk! And I’ll frow flowers out the window at you!!

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