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Old 07-19-2009, 09:17 PM   #1
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Train travel across america

Has anyone traveled across the US by train before? What's it like? Good/Bad experiences. My fiance and I are thinking of doing this next year and it sounds like fun.

I don't know how good this website is but this one would seem like a blast:

Las Vegas by Train :: Vacations By Rail ::

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Old 07-19-2009, 09:42 PM   #2
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A few years ago I took the Amtrak from Needles, CA to Syracuse, NY. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I traveled coach, none of that fancy sleeper crap. The train stopped in Albuquerque, NM and we were able to get off the train and do some shopping. We bought blankets for five dollars from the vendors there and they were much nicer than the ones on the train. We stopped again in Chicago and that was a much longer stop, eight or nine hours, maybe.

I spent most of my time on the train in the observation car. Seeing the country that way was incredible. We crossed the Mississippi, saw the arch in St. Louis, and watched a lot of corn go by. I was completely unplugged for three days. No cell phone, no laptop, no television. I wrote a lot and kept a journal of the trip. I ate in the dining car only once, just to experience it. The food was very good but the rest of the time I ate from the snack bar. At night I had some trouble sleeping. It isn't very comfortable to sleep in a sitting position and of course there are people who snore or kids who cry so a lot of times I would get a few small bottles of wine from the snack bar and that really helped. The only bad part of the trip was that by the second or third day, the restrooms were absolutely frightening.

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Old 07-19-2009, 10:04 PM   #3
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Thanks bg! That sounds amazing..except for the restroom part. lol
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:44 PM   #4
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hi there!

i've only traveled by train about from NYC to DC so that's not a long trip, really.

I have travelled by bus...across the country(USA) back then in '79 & 2/3rd across in '80 -
with a 2 week get off/on as much as you want pass!

I'd say except for the bathroom part () you'd have a great time because in general Trains are more comfy than Buses.

I watched the landscape go from the abundance of green and hills & valleys (in PA, Ohio, Missouri) to more flat by southern Missouri, Oklahoma & then pan handle of Texas (at night) to wake up to my first goal:
seeing the scrub, and amazing, sculptured rocks in beiges, tans, rust oranges, pale & medium grey-purples, etc lit reddish at sunset of New Mexico & Arizona- the High Desert! WOW!A Dream come true.

I met nice people on the bus.

With a bus we'd get off at the rest stops and usually the bathrooms in those places were better than the bus one. So we had that advantage.

I'd say definitley explore it....
and also see if they have a get on & off pakage that might be better than just sitting on nthe train thew whole time, if that can work for you.

The only time i stayed on the bus was going the long distances to get elsewhere (WHILE enjoying the changing scenery)
NYC - Flagstaff, Ariz to meet up w a friend/ then after we were done, I went on to San Francisco, & then back to LA (for instance) to visit a cousin, then back to the South West in several areas again, before heading home.

IT was incredible!!!
I'm very happy/blessed to have the memories, photos and yes I kept journals, too, with sketches (since I'm an artist) as well as my thoughts etc.

One reason I did this was back then there was concern on how industry etc was encroaching too closely to the National Parks etc SO i was like
'... I have to go NOW, before it's all gone [marred...] !'

With in say 3 -4 months I'd saved up enough, researched enough and went.

Plus I had become scared of flying, so Europe, and anywhere even further away was out of the question for me then.

I hope this INSPIRES you further!

Let us know what you end up doing!
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