Runs from: Seattle to LA.
Trip time: 35 Hrs end to end
Major Stops: Seattle, Portland, Eugene-Springfield, Sacramento, Oakland, San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles
Scenic Highlights: Steep mountains, rolling valleys, and ride right along the coast and sandy beaches of the Pacific NW
Amenities: Dining Car and Lounge car. Sleeper Cars also have a first class parlor (with bar), movie theatre, (outdated) arcade, and wine/cheese tasting. This train does have WiFi (yay). The dining accommodations on this train are said to be the best in all of Amtrak’s historic routes.
Sample cost (one way, 2 Passangers in a Roomette): Seattle to LA – $507
My thoughts: This is tops on my list of trains I want to ride. I could see us taking this and making a stop in San Francisco along the way.
Pacific Parlor Car Source: sjb4photos on flickr
Bishops Peak Source: Loco Steve on Flickr
Runs from: Chicago to Emeryville, CA
Trip Time: 51 hrs
Major Stops: San Francisco, Sacramento, Reno, Salt Lake City, Denver, Omaha, Chicago
Scenic Highlights: The Rocky Mountains, Sierra Nevadas, Winter park, Moffat Tunnel, various canyons
Amenities: Dining Car, lounge/sight seeing car.
Sample Cost (one way, 2 Passangers in a Roomette):Chicago- Emeryville = $694 Denver to Emeryville=$532
Comments: This one is lower down on my list. Personally, I’d catch this one in Denver and take it to California. Eastern CO, NE, IA, and IL aren’t super exciting in my book, but CO, UT, NV, and CA are.
Rock Creek Trestle Source: Western Pacific Depots and Stations
The Sunset Limited
Runs from: Los Angeles to New Orleans
Trip Time: 48 hrs
Major Stops: LA, Tuscon, El Paso, San Antonio, Houston, New Orleans
Scenic Highlights: Big Bend National Park, Saguaro National Park, Desert, The French Quarter
Amenities: Dining Car, Lounge/Sightseeing Car
Sample Cost (one way, 2 Passangers in a Roomette): Maricopa, AZ to New Orleans $544 LA to New Orleans $744
Comments: This one would be fun to do with my Dad, from Maricopa to New Orleans. From what I understand the scenery isn’t too varied- perfect for a short trip.
Louisiana Source: 30 Days on Amtrak
Runs from: Los Angeles to Chicago
Trip Time: 40+ hrs
Major Stops: Los Angeles, Albuquerque, Kansas City, Chicago.
Scenic Highlights: Mojave Desert, Santa Fe, Red Rock Canyons, Painted Desert,
Amenities: Dining Car, Lounge, Cafe and Snack Car
Sample Cost(one way, 2 Passangers in a Roomette): Los Angeles to Chicago: $745; Los Angeles to Santa Fe: $424
Comments: I think this one would be fun to take to Santa Fe from LA (see a pattern here) it would be a relatively short trip- just an over night trip.
Apache Canyon: Source
Runs from: New York to Montreal
Trip Time: 11 hrs (due to freight traffic north of Albany)
Major Stops: New York, Albany, Montreal
Scenic Highlights: Hudson Valley, Adirondaks, Montreal (YAY)
Amenities: Snack Car
Sample Cost (one way, 2 Passengers in Coach): New York to Montreal: $140
Comments: So it isn’t the same experience with a sleeper car and dining car, but it is a beautiful way to see New York state and to get to one of my favorite cities in the world- Montreal.
While researching I stumbled upon the blog of a profession photographer who set out to document 30 days riding the rails all over the US. He stopped blogging halfway though, but I enjoyed the photos and stories nonetheless. If Matt and I could only take 30 days off from life and do something similar, would be amazing.