Train Trip

So my dad thinks it would be fun to take a scenic train trip here in the US (and maybe into Canada). Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions? What train? What route? And here’s a sort of silly question — I was looking at Amtrak routes and they go through some really wonderful cities. But do you stop long enough to look around? Whenever I take an east-coast train (Boston-DC) we’re only in each station for a few minutes. I don’t know that it matters THAT much. I think we’d be content just sitting in an observation car drinking lemonade and watching lovely landscapes go by.

Advertisements

36 responses to this post.

  1. Several years ago, a friend and I decided that we needed to take a train trip while we were still young.
    I’m glad we did it, but never again.
    It costs as much as flying and takes as long as driving, and once you get to the stops, you don’t have a lot of control over how long you can stay and look around.
    I’d be more inclined to hire a big-ass Lincoln or a Cadillac that rides like an expensive pram and a driver to drive me on a journey, m’self. Unless you’d want to rent something like that and drive yourselves.

    Reply

  2. Several years ago, a friend and I decided that we needed to take a train trip while we were still young.
    I’m glad we did it, but never again.
    It costs as much as flying and takes as long as driving, and once you get to the stops, you don’t have a lot of control over how long you can stay and look around.
    I’d be more inclined to hire a big-ass Lincoln or a Cadillac that rides like an expensive pram and a driver to drive me on a journey, m’self. Unless you’d want to rent something like that and drive yourselves.

    Reply

  3. Several years ago, a friend and I decided that we needed to take a train trip while we were still young.
    I’m glad we did it, but never again.
    It costs as much as flying and takes as long as driving, and once you get to the stops, you don’t have a lot of control over how long you can stay and look around.
    I’d be more inclined to hire a big-ass Lincoln or a Cadillac that rides like an expensive pram and a driver to drive me on a journey, m’self. Unless you’d want to rent something like that and drive yourselves.

    Reply

  4. Several years ago, a friend and I decided that we needed to take a train trip while we were still young.
    I’m glad we did it, but never again.
    It costs as much as flying and takes as long as driving, and once you get to the stops, you don’t have a lot of control over how long you can stay and look around.
    I’d be more inclined to hire a big-ass Lincoln or a Cadillac that rides like an expensive pram and a driver to drive me on a journey, m’self. Unless you’d want to rent something like that and drive yourselves.

    Reply

  5. I love train trips, but they’re definitely not for everyone. My favorite routes are those between Chicago and the west coast — the “Southwest Chief” to Los Angeles, the “California Zephyr” to the Bay Area, and the “Empire Builder” to Seattle/Portland. Each of those is two nights and either one or two days. The Builder has the best onboard service. Not really time to look around at intermediate stops. For a longer trip, a sleeping car room is essential.
    Feel free to give me a yell if you decide to pursue this, and have questions!

    Reply

  6. I love train trips, but they’re definitely not for everyone. My favorite routes are those between Chicago and the west coast — the “Southwest Chief” to Los Angeles, the “California Zephyr” to the Bay Area, and the “Empire Builder” to Seattle/Portland. Each of those is two nights and either one or two days. The Builder has the best onboard service. Not really time to look around at intermediate stops. For a longer trip, a sleeping car room is essential.
    Feel free to give me a yell if you decide to pursue this, and have questions!

    Reply

    • The last time I checked, you could go from chicago to seattle(i think) and you could get a special kind of open ended ticket that allowed you to get off and get back on at your leisure so long as you finished the journey within two weeks. This was pre9-11 but it is still worth looking into.

      Reply

      • also…
        a short trip that is just gorgeous is the trip from seattle to vancouver. its just like 3 hours but its breathtaking and business class is cheap.

      • also…
        a short trip that is just gorgeous is the trip from seattle to vancouver. its just like 3 hours but its breathtaking and business class is cheap.

      • also…
        a short trip that is just gorgeous is the trip from seattle to vancouver. its just like 3 hours but its breathtaking and business class is cheap.

    • The last time I checked, you could go from chicago to seattle(i think) and you could get a special kind of open ended ticket that allowed you to get off and get back on at your leisure so long as you finished the journey within two weeks. This was pre9-11 but it is still worth looking into.

      Reply

    • The last time I checked, you could go from chicago to seattle(i think) and you could get a special kind of open ended ticket that allowed you to get off and get back on at your leisure so long as you finished the journey within two weeks. This was pre9-11 but it is still worth looking into.

      Reply

    • Thanks so much! We’re in the weird position of trying to find a leisurely train trip that will take something like a week. I think there are a few private lines that do that. If you know anything about those, please fill me in.

      Reply

      • Well, there are a handful of Orient Express-type things out there, but they’re mostly very pricey … I’m talking thousands and thousands of dollars. And they usually overnight in hotels rather than on the train, which I think takes some of the fun out of it. One site you could look at is http://www.rockymountaineer.com, which offers pretty good rail-based tours of the Canadian Rockies.
        Personally, I’d rather ride Amtrak — the level of service is considerably lower, but the cost is much less and I think the experience is more interesting. And the scenery is just as good! You could fly out to the west, ride a couple of trains, and then fly home.

      • Well, there are a handful of Orient Express-type things out there, but they’re mostly very pricey … I’m talking thousands and thousands of dollars. And they usually overnight in hotels rather than on the train, which I think takes some of the fun out of it. One site you could look at is http://www.rockymountaineer.com, which offers pretty good rail-based tours of the Canadian Rockies.
        Personally, I’d rather ride Amtrak — the level of service is considerably lower, but the cost is much less and I think the experience is more interesting. And the scenery is just as good! You could fly out to the west, ride a couple of trains, and then fly home.

      • Well, there are a handful of Orient Express-type things out there, but they’re mostly very pricey … I’m talking thousands and thousands of dollars. And they usually overnight in hotels rather than on the train, which I think takes some of the fun out of it. One site you could look at is http://www.rockymountaineer.com, which offers pretty good rail-based tours of the Canadian Rockies.
        Personally, I’d rather ride Amtrak — the level of service is considerably lower, but the cost is much less and I think the experience is more interesting. And the scenery is just as good! You could fly out to the west, ride a couple of trains, and then fly home.

    • Thanks so much! We’re in the weird position of trying to find a leisurely train trip that will take something like a week. I think there are a few private lines that do that. If you know anything about those, please fill me in.

      Reply

    • Thanks so much! We’re in the weird position of trying to find a leisurely train trip that will take something like a week. I think there are a few private lines that do that. If you know anything about those, please fill me in.

      Reply

  7. I love train trips, but they’re definitely not for everyone. My favorite routes are those between Chicago and the west coast — the “Southwest Chief” to Los Angeles, the “California Zephyr” to the Bay Area, and the “Empire Builder” to Seattle/Portland. Each of those is two nights and either one or two days. The Builder has the best onboard service. Not really time to look around at intermediate stops. For a longer trip, a sleeping car room is essential.
    Feel free to give me a yell if you decide to pursue this, and have questions!

    Reply

  8. I love train trips, but they’re definitely not for everyone. My favorite routes are those between Chicago and the west coast — the “Southwest Chief” to Los Angeles, the “California Zephyr” to the Bay Area, and the “Empire Builder” to Seattle/Portland. Each of those is two nights and either one or two days. The Builder has the best onboard service. Not really time to look around at intermediate stops. For a longer trip, a sleeping car room is essential.
    Feel free to give me a yell if you decide to pursue this, and have questions!

    Reply

  9. The last time I checked, you could go from chicago to seattle(i think) and you could get a special kind of open ended ticket that allowed you to get off and get back on at your leisure so long as you finished the journey within two weeks. This was pre9-11 but it is still worth looking into.

    Reply

  10. I was watching some on the Discovery channel (or TLC, or one of those informative channels) last week, and they were talking about a “new Orient Express” that runs through the National Parks out west. I believe it starts in Salt Lake City and goes… somewhere else. Sorry I don’t have more details, but I was playing Morrowind while T. watched it in the background.

    Reply

  11. I was watching some on the Discovery channel (or TLC, or one of those informative channels) last week, and they were talking about a “new Orient Express” that runs through the National Parks out west. I believe it starts in Salt Lake City and goes… somewhere else. Sorry I don’t have more details, but I was playing Morrowind while T. watched it in the background.

    Reply

    • Oh, and no help from personal experience, I’m afraid. I’ve never been on a passenger train, and I think your Dad would rather not run after a freight while it’s pulling out and spend his trip perched atop a cattle car.

      Reply

    • Oh, and no help from personal experience, I’m afraid. I’ve never been on a passenger train, and I think your Dad would rather not run after a freight while it’s pulling out and spend his trip perched atop a cattle car.

      Reply

    • Oh, and no help from personal experience, I’m afraid. I’ve never been on a passenger train, and I think your Dad would rather not run after a freight while it’s pulling out and spend his trip perched atop a cattle car.

      Reply

  12. I was watching some on the Discovery channel (or TLC, or one of those informative channels) last week, and they were talking about a “new Orient Express” that runs through the National Parks out west. I believe it starts in Salt Lake City and goes… somewhere else. Sorry I don’t have more details, but I was playing Morrowind while T. watched it in the background.

    Reply

  13. I was watching some on the Discovery channel (or TLC, or one of those informative channels) last week, and they were talking about a “new Orient Express” that runs through the National Parks out west. I believe it starts in Salt Lake City and goes… somewhere else. Sorry I don’t have more details, but I was playing Morrowind while T. watched it in the background.

    Reply

  14. Oh, and no help from personal experience, I’m afraid. I’ve never been on a passenger train, and I think your Dad would rather not run after a freight while it’s pulling out and spend his trip perched atop a cattle car.

    Reply

  15. also…
    a short trip that is just gorgeous is the trip from seattle to vancouver. its just like 3 hours but its breathtaking and business class is cheap.

    Reply

  16. I’ll cast a third vote for Portland to Vancouver. I’ve actually never been past Seattle on that train, but I know it doesn’t exactly get ugly as you go north. The Portland to Seattle ride was just beautiful.

    Reply

  17. I’ll cast a third vote for Portland to Vancouver. I’ve actually never been past Seattle on that train, but I know it doesn’t exactly get ugly as you go north. The Portland to Seattle ride was just beautiful.

    Reply

  18. I’ll cast a third vote for Portland to Vancouver. I’ve actually never been past Seattle on that train, but I know it doesn’t exactly get ugly as you go north. The Portland to Seattle ride was just beautiful.

    Reply

  19. I’ll cast a third vote for Portland to Vancouver. I’ve actually never been past Seattle on that train, but I know it doesn’t exactly get ugly as you go north. The Portland to Seattle ride was just beautiful.

    Reply

  20. Thanks so much! We’re in the weird position of trying to find a leisurely train trip that will take something like a week. I think there are a few private lines that do that. If you know anything about those, please fill me in.

    Reply

  21. Well, there are a handful of Orient Express-type things out there, but they’re mostly very pricey … I’m talking thousands and thousands of dollars. And they usually overnight in hotels rather than on the train, which I think takes some of the fun out of it. One site you could look at is http://www.rockymountaineer.com, which offers pretty good rail-based tours of the Canadian Rockies.
    Personally, I’d rather ride Amtrak — the level of service is considerably lower, but the cost is much less and I think the experience is more interesting. And the scenery is just as good! You could fly out to the west, ride a couple of trains, and then fly home.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: