Would You Take A Long Trip By Train? Check Out My New Guilty Pleasure...

OneEyedDiva

Well-known Member
Location
New Jersey
...Which is watching Amtrak train travel videos. I got into doing this because I wanted to see what to expect if I booked a roomette, which is a bit pricier than traveling in coach. I found several videos by a few different people. Some are short with explanations of the accommodations and amenities; others are actually over a hour long with edited versions of their cross country trips. I am definitely living vicariously through these people right now. Watching the videos on a larger screen almost feels like I'm traveling with them. In the first, the couple owns Grounded Life Travel and has posted several Amtrak videos on You Tube. They have videos and blogs on their website as well. In the second, the young man is so exuberant because he's loved trains since a child and it was his first trip. He's such a cutie and I love his energy. He also gives the train tour. I've found these videos to be quite informative.
From New York to Los Angeles:
From Atlanta to New Orleans:

In this video there is captioning only, which sometimes is a nice change. He's going from Cary, N.C. to West Palm Beach, Fla. in a bedroom.
I went from Newark, NJ to Tampa Florida in January 2019 to visit my Honorary Son and his fiancee. I loved it and was supposed to do it again this month but Omicron put a hold on those plans. I'd also love to do the Amtrak USA Rail Pass with 10 segments over 30 days. But that could get to be quite expensive and the rules could make planning complicated. Plus it would have to be in coach which I wouldn't travel in right now.

Would you take a long trip by train? Have you ever? If so, how did you like it? @Pecos @Pinky @feywon @dseag2 @Bretrick
 

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Pink Biz

SF VIP
Location
Chicago
After my mom moved to Florida, I would take Amtrak from Chicago to visit her in the winter. It was a two-part journey with a couple of hours layover in Washington DC. Each train ride was 20+ hours if I remember correctly!

Despite the long trip, I really enjoyed it. The atmosphere and sounds, especially at night, were soothing and relaxing.
 

OneEyedDiva

Well-known Member
Location
New Jersey
I did this one years ago. It was expensive but super awesome!
The scenery is gorgeous! I love those viewing cars but unfortunately the train I'd take to get to Florida doesn't have one. The hotel they stayed in is my kind of hotel. :love: Thanks for posting...I'll be enjoying this one on a larger screen also.
 
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OneEyedDiva

Well-known Member
Location
New Jersey
Fabulous! Talk about the lap of luxury. I'd do this if I had any interest in visiting Europe at all. Thank you for posting.

@Pink Biz so glad you had a good travel experience and a good time. I had the best seat mate when I went to Florida. Met her for the first time on the train. We had a blast. We took a picture together and I swear, people would think we were sisters.
 

OneEyedDiva

Well-known Member
Location
New Jersey
yes I love the train. we of course have commuter trains here . , and I;ve only been n a long distance train once but I keep promising myself I'll take a trip on the Orient Express.. it's very expensive tho'...
HD from looking at the video @horseless carriage posted, I'd say if you can somehow mange to take the trip..treat yourself. I'm assuming (would hope, anyway) that the meals are included like they are for Amtrak's roomette and bedroom passengers. The services of an attendant are also included, which of course means tipping at the end of the journey.
 

Lewkat

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey, USA
...Which is watching Amtrak train travel videos. I got into doing this because I wanted to see what to expect if I booked a roomette, which is a bit pricier than traveling in coach. I found several videos by a few different people. Some are short with explanations of the accommodations and amenities; others are actually over a hour long with edited versions of their cross country trips. I am definitely living vicariously through these people right now. Watching the videos on a larger screen almost feels like I'm traveling with them. In the first, the couple owns Grounded Life Travel and has posted several Amtrak videos on You Tube. They have videos and blogs on their website as well. In the second, the young man is so exuberant because he's loved trains since a child and it was his first trip. He's such a cutie and I love his energy. He also gives the train tour. I've found these videos to be quite informative.
From New York to Los Angeles:
From Atlanta to New Orleans:

In this video there is captioning only, which sometimes is a nice change. He's going from Cary, N.C. to West Palm Beach, Fla. in a bedroom.
I went from Newark, NJ to Tampa Florida in January 2019 to visit my Honorary Son and his fiancee. I loved it and was supposed to do it again this month but Omicron put a hold on those plans. I'd also love to do the Amtrak USA Rail Pass with 10 segments over 30 days. But that could get to be quite expensive and the rules could make planning complicated. Plus it would have to be in coach which I wouldn't travel in right now.

Would you take a long trip by train? Have you ever? If so, how did you like it? @Pecos @Pinky @feywon @dseag2 @Bretrick
I love trains and used to travel from Newark to Philadelphia on the Congressional Express when I was a kid. Mom's family was from Philly and I'd spend weekends there when the Dodgers played Phila. I also loved European trains. Different experience altogether and a great one.
 

hollydolly

SF VIP
Location
London England
HD from looking at the video @horseless carriage posted, I'd say if you can somehow mange to take the trip..treat yourself. I'm assuming (would hope, anyway) that the meals are included like they are for Amtrak's roomette and bedroom passengers. The services of an attendant are also included, which of course means tipping at the end of the journey.
yes I have been promising myself for years..I've watched and read everything there is about it over the years...
 

horseless carriage

Senior Member
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In the first photo you can see my wife in the dress that she made for the occasion, behind her is the jazz band that sees us off as the train departs. The stripes on the floor are colour coded instructions for passengers to follow to their departure platform. In the second photo my Zoot suit came in for much attention, especially when we walked across the concourse to our departure platform. There's that general hub-bub of noise that went totally silent as we walked by.

Our train was steam hauled and a lot of schoolboys aged 50+ 60+ & 70+ were taking a great deal of interest in it. All Pullman carriages are named, we travelled in Vera. Our host, or steward, was Michael, a most agreeable fellow.

You can peruse the photos and if you enjoy them let me know. The rule of five means that's all I can show you for now, but I'm allowed to post five more in the next post.
 
My dream is to take the train route across Canada. Wowza!

I love trains....it's in my blood as I have railroadmen for ancestors.

I've done a bit of train travel in the US but most of my train time was three months on a Eurail pass in Europe as a teenager. We hit every country ( except for Lichtenstein and Andorra) by train, including East Germany.) Often we'd sleep on a train to avoid the dollar or two for a youth hostel.

Yep, trains are the way to go!
 
I have taken a number of train trips, most were good.

On Amtrak I went from Utah to Seattle, about 18 hours just did it in a seat. I really enjoyed that one, however they have stopped doing that route. I went from Ohio to Washington DC and got a sleeper room, it was good but mostly in the dark. Then the bad one, I was traveling from Washington DC to Rhode Island and booked a sleeper, but at the last minute they pulled the sleeper car from the train and bumped me to a seat. It was an overnight and when I arrived I was far from rested or happy. Despite that if I am ever traveling one of the few routes Amtrak takes I will do it again.

I once got a Eurail pass and traveled around between Germany and Italy for a week or so great experience.

When in college I liked to travel in Mexico, at that time they had good and very inexpensive rail service. I got to see much of the country that way, it was good fun. Unfortunately they have stopped most of their rail service so what I did is no longer possible. One of the most memorable route through Copper Canyon still exists and I highly recommend it, I did it several times:
 

hollydolly

SF VIP
Location
London England
I enjoy watching the train journeys on tv, but don't enjoy long distance travel myself. The longest train journey I have taken was from Aberdeen to London.....same route as Hogwarts Express.....but that was in the days of separate carriages.
The longest route I've taken in the Uk is from Devon the SW of England to Glasgow Scotland.. on an overnight train.. had to change at Birmingham. had 10 minutes to get to to a whole different platform before my connecting train was leaving, so it was a mad rush .. I don't like that.. I want a train to be a continuous journey, so I can relax and just arrive at my destination without any stress

I've been on many trains on the Continent, I love the Spanish trains most, they're very cheap, always clean, and always on time ..I use them all the time when I'm in Spain ..
 
I think most people love trains. I have traveled on a few over the years. As a much younger man, I took the AmTrack Zeypher from Denver to Chicago. Met a lovely young lady in the bar car, and in the wee hours made love in the observation car. In the midst of our "activity" an old porter walked through. He just smiled and kept walking. A few years ago took the train from Paris to Switzerland, that was very nice also. Although I doubt I will ever top the Zeypher ride, hope springs eternal. Mike
 
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officerripley

Senior Member
Location
Porlock, Calif
Huzz and I took a trip on the Mt. Shasta Dinner Train (couldn't find a very good vid of it on YouTube; due to worsening track conditions they ended it in the early 2000s). I thought it was really nice, great scenery, a great meal, the interior of the train was nice, kind of a baroque style. I and the other couple we went with enjoyed it but Huzz hated it; said he was bored to tears. (If he's going somewhere by any kind of vehicle, he wants to be the one behind the wheel; I think it's a control issue.)
 

Packerjohn

Packerjohn
Location
Canada
I love trains. I have traveled from Poland all the way across Russia to Vladivostok on the Trans-Siberian. I have also traveled many long journeys across China and India. Oh yes, did the 1200 km travel from Dar es Salaam to Kilgoma in Tanzania in East Africa. You just sit and enjoy seeing the world go by. If you feel like it you can walk around.

However, I hate long bus trips. They either force you to listen to some god awful music or even worse some good awful movie on a screen just before your eyes. Pure torture for me! Train trips are classy! Bus trips, mostly speaking, are without any class! Tinted windows, sometimes very cold AC and maybe the person in front of you has his seat WAY back over you so he can really relax. I have been there and done it and sure don't want to do it ever again...... the buses, I mean.
 

Pinky

SF VIP
Location
Toronto
Way, way back, I took a 3,000 mile train trip - Vancouver, B.C. to Toronto, Ontario. It took 3 days/nights. Unfortunately, I was in coach, but since there were always empty seats, was able to sleep okay .. stretched out across two seats. A friendly young geologist who was traveling to meet his fiancee and her parents, was a good conversationalist over those 3 days.

In more recent years, I treated my daughter to an overnight train trip in Australia. Adelaide to Melbourne. We booked a bus trip to take us to clothing outlets, stayed in a hotel close to Chinatown, and had delicious Thai food. It was the first (and only) time I've had a shower on a moving train. I had the upper bunk, and felt like I was on the salt & pepper shaker ride at a fair, all night long.

When we lived in Niagara Falls, I preferred taking the train into Toronto, rather than the Greyhound bus. It was just so much more relaxing.

I love reading of other's train experiences here, and also have always dreamed of traveling on The Orient Express.
 

Pecos

Well-known Member
Location
South Carolina
...Which is watching Amtrak train travel videos. I got into doing this because I wanted to see what to expect if I booked a roomette, which is a bit pricier than traveling in coach. I found several videos by a few different people. Some are short with explanations of the accommodations and amenities; others are actually over a hour long with edited versions of their cross country trips. I am definitely living vicariously through these people right now. Watching the videos on a larger screen almost feels like I'm traveling with them. In the first, the couple owns Grounded Life Travel and has posted several Amtrak videos on You Tube. They have videos and blogs on their website as well. In the second, the young man is so exuberant because he's loved trains since a child and it was his first trip. He's such a cutie and I love his energy. He also gives the train tour. I've found these videos to be quite informative.
From New York to Los Angeles:
From Atlanta to New Orleans:

In this video there is captioning only, which sometimes is a nice change. He's going from Cary, N.C. to West Palm Beach, Fla. in a bedroom.
I went from Newark, NJ to Tampa Florida in January 2019 to visit my Honorary Son and his fiancee. I loved it and was supposed to do it again this month but Omicron put a hold on those plans. I'd also love to do the Amtrak USA Rail Pass with 10 segments over 30 days. But that could get to be quite expensive and the rules could make planning complicated. Plus it would have to be in coach which I wouldn't travel in right now.

Would you take a long trip by train? Have you ever? If so, how did you like it? @Pecos @Pinky @feywon @dseag2 @Bretrick
I have taken two long train trips.
The first was in 1960 when I travelled from El Paso to San Diego. On that trip, I had an individual sleeper compartment which was pretty nice on an overnight trip. I was able to sleep quite well, and it was a very well-designed little unit. Learning where everything was fairly easy. I remember that the food in the dining car was very good. During the daylight part of the trip, the view was pretty good, especially if one was fond of sand and dry mountains. I was only 17 ate the time, and I did get a bit lonesome until I went to the dining car and found a bunch of other guys all headed to Navy Boot Camp.

My second trip by train was from San Francisco, Ca. to Norfolk, Va. I stayed in a regular seat and had lots of people to talk to. I was able to sleep pretty well, that regular clicking of the tracks actually helped me doze off. As I recall, the trip took close to four days and the scenery was excellent. There were a lot of short stops on that trip. Again, the food in the elegant dining car was great. I was 18 on that trip and was blown away by the size of the huge train station in Chicago where I changed trains for one heading down to Norfolk.

In Chicago, we picked up about 30 sailors who had just been released from the big Navy Brig. They were just plain wild and drank everything on the train. Every time the train stopped, they would run into the station and buy more booze. The fool sitting next to me drank his aftershave when he ran out of liquor. When we finally got into Norfolk, they were in sad shape. We got into Norfolk around midnight on a hot humid day in July. That was the first time this Texas boy had ever been exposed to East Coast humidity and it was miserable to me. I had to carry my heavy seabag about 8 blocks to a YMCA where I spent the night.

I have also crossed the country by Greyhound Bus, and that was another four-day adventure all on its own. One of the lessons I learned is that the best people to sit next to are the grandmas. At 18, I was always hungry, and they always had a lot of food and thought that I was too skinny. They were also great story tellers. Helping them on and off the bus at different stops was an easy thing to do.
 

horseless carriage

Senior Member
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In the first photo you can see my wife in the dress that she made for the occasion, behind her is the jazz band that sees us off as the train departs. The stripes on the floor are colour coded instructions for passengers to follow to their departure platform. In the second photo my Zoot suit came in for much attention, especially when we walked across the concourse to our departure platform. There's that general hub-bub of noise that went totally silent as we walked by.

Our train was steam hauled and a lot of schoolboys aged 50+ 60+ & 70+ were taking a great deal of interest in it. All Pullman carriages are named, we travelled in Vera. Our host, or steward, was Michael, a most agreeable fellow.

You can peruse the photos and if you enjoy them let me know. The rule of five means that's all I can show you for now, but I'm allowed to post five more in the next post.
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Continuing on from the last post: Photo one is the small space that the is comically known as the kitchens. Two & three, toasting each other as we celebrate our wedding anniversary. The fourth is wonderful, how we both love it when others get into the spirit of the era.
Photo five, Michael is not the only Maitre D'.
 
In the past, I have taken several Amtrak auto train rides to Florida and back (Washington DC area). I'm a romantic, and tend to see things on the positive side, but life's experiences have tempered my view of Amtrak rides.
This is my experience:


1) Coach - sleeping in a chair overnight can be tiring on the legs, especially if you're tall, and we learned to take a blanket and pillow for the trip. That gave us more flexibility. If you plan way ahead, you can get good discounts, though.

Meals were the good part and were part of the price, but recently, they've changed. There used to be snacks of bananas and treats. They've cut back on that. Breakfast is very sugary. DO NOT DRINK the orange juice and eat all the sweet stuff during breakfast. By the time you get to your destination, you are drowsy and just want to sleep it off. I learned that the hard way. Started bringing my own food for breakfast. We were supposed to go on a trip in 2020, but due to the pandemic, postponed it. I honestly don't think I'll take another Amtrack train again.

2) Roomette - sleeping in a room with bunkbeds is ok, if there are NO bedbugs. When I woke up the next morning, my legs were riddled with bites. Even though I complained to the manager there, they did nothing. Never went back to a roomette again.

3) One year, at around 2-3am, the train stopped and I found out we had run over someone who had parked their car smack in the middle of the railroad. Everyone was shaken up, including me.

These are my thoughts. Just so you know from someone who has used the Amtrak auto train for several years. :)
 

bowmore

Senior Member
The longest trip I took was on the Trans Siberian Express from Moscow to Vladivostok. The distance is 9,259 km (5,752 mile). That did not include the side trip to Ulan Bator in Outer Mongolia, or a train ride along Lake Baikal, riding on the locomotive.
I have attached a copy of the trip story.
 

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