General Question

hisaming's avatar

Is there a train from San Francisco to New York?

Asked by hisaming (4points) November 23rd, 2013

Train journey from SF to NYC

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11 Answers

Smitha's avatar

Yes. You can get the train schedules here.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Yes, although you you will have to change trains in Chicago.

Expect a 3½ day journey.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Taking Amtrak across the country can also get expensive unless you don’t mind spending a couple of days in a cramped coach seat. I’ve used Amtrak a lot, but I’m not sure that I’d take it for any trip longer than a few hours.

ibstubro's avatar

You can wend your way from San Fran to New York, but I would not recommend it.

I always thought that riding a train would be a great way to see new things and meet people. Once I needed to get from Kansas City, MO to St. Louis, MO, so I bought a train ticket. I saw two things: brushy fences and the underbelly of every small town along the route. Oh, then there was the lovely hour layover in freaking CHICAGO. ILLINOIS.

If you have a good driving record there’s a possibility of getting paid to drive someone’s car from Cali to NY.

Good luck!

LostInParadise's avatar

I took Amtrak cross-county. I had to attend a wedding of a relative in California and decided to turn the trip into a vacation. Amtrak offered a deal where you could stop at 3 cities along the way. I chose Chicago, Minneapolis and Seattle. It was a great vacation.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@ibstubro – not to argue with you, but…

Chicago is a wonderful town! I’ll grant you that an hour in the bowels of the train station is no great scenic vista, but please don’t indict the entire city on the basis of the basement of the train station.

ibstubro's avatar

@elbanditoroso The mention of Chicago was to point out that a train ride across the nation is hardly ‘as the crow flies’. How the hell someone designed a route from KC to St. Louis via Chicago I’ll never know. It’s a 4 hour drive or a day on the train.

I’ve been to Chicago more times than I can count…once just for Frank Lloyd Wright.

Darth_Algar's avatar

A lot of Amtrak’s routing has to do with Congressional oversight (and we all know how logical Congress can be) as well as the fact that they have to lease trackage rights from the commercial railroads (who may or may not be willing to share their tracks with Amtrak).

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

@ibstubro The trip between KC and St Louis goes the way it does, and as seldom as it does, because ticket sales were so very low.
Yes, Chicago is the main hub, and wow does it get crowded! There are guys driving little carts alongside the tracks constantly, but they will take only who needs them most. Handicapped and small kids apt to run about are first. If there is room, they’ll take anybody. There are LOTS of lockers so you canvisit a restaurant while you are there.
There are outlets on the train, so you can plug in your laptop, phone, etc, but threy aren’t always by every seat. If you are handicapped, or have other reasons you cannot go up the VERY narrow steps, and you don’t get a compartment, then when you purchase your ticket you must tell them you HAVE to be on the lower level. If you don’t make an issue of it, they will give you the wrong kind of ticket and you will be stuck. All the bathrooms are lower level, and they are AWFUL, but no worse than can be expected. The service people try very hard to keep the facilities the best they can. If something needs done in there, they want to know. The bathroom all the way at the end of the car has a small lounge, not the drinking kind. There is room enough to change clothes and clean teeth (Bring bottled water), with counter, bench seat.
My memory is fuzzy on the point of San Francisco, but I think you have to take a bus to another town then board the train there. When connections need to be set that way, it is all done through your scheduling and purchase at Amtrak. There is the California Zephyr, which goes through Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, etc. There is another line which goes north, doing Wyoming and such. You don’t want the south run, It requires going all the way to southern Cali before leaving the state.
If you call the AMTRAK toll free number, there is an automated teller which is actually able to do lots with scheduling and price info, and when I haven’t made u my mind about specific times, I can change my mind with her a billion times and she doesn’t get grumpy. I think her name is Julie.
It is a huge mistake to set something up at the last minute. If you want to make stops along the way to see different cities, either on the way there or back, ask about a rail pass. It isn’t much more than a round trip ticket, and allows for you to leave the train and get back on later in a number of locations of your choosing.
If you decide to go by train, and travel coach, it’s do-able, but send me a private message, and I can help you with a lot of clues to making it less than torture. If you go this time of year, you get to see Christmas lights in some funny places, and all across the country.
If you take an AMTRAK and you find a pair of crutches in the overhead with pink duct tape on them, I lost them a couple of years ago, and I still didn’t get them back. I still need them.

MellisaTurner's avatar

First, you have to get to Chicago. There are two options for this part of the journey.

(1) You can either go through the Ohio Valley – Indiana.
(2) Or you can use the Washington DC – West Virginia – Kentucky route.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@MellisaTurner You sure? Those routes seem a bit odd if you’re travelling west to east.

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