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Boston to Seattle?


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#1 nr272

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 11:58 PM

I was thinking of taking a trip this summer (probably July or August) to Seattle to visit a good friend I haven't seen in forever. I was wondering if anybody has suggestions/warnings/advice/etc. for my journey. I'll probably be low on cash so I was thinking of doing coach the whole way. Would this be extremely unfomfortable and impractical? This is my first time traveling out west and my first long distance trip on Amtrak so I'm really lookng forward to this!

P.S. I looked on Amtrak's website and it looks like the Lake Shore Limited from Boston to Chicago then the Empire Builder from Chicago to Seattle will be the quickest and cheapest route.

#2 rmgreenesq

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 06:34 AM

Greetings and welcome aboard.

I've traveled across the country in coach before. Its not too bad. On Track On Line has lots of useful advice for train travel. You may find that web page here.

My wife, four year old daughter and I rode frm Worcester, MA to Fullerton, CA and enjoyed every minute or it. I'm planning to do it again over Christmas.. in coach again. If you want a feel for crossing the country in coach all about, you may read my travelogue here.

The seats do take some getting used to. A multi-day train trip in coach is kinda like camping. You really don't sleep well the first night becasue of your new surroundings. After spending my first full day on the train exhausted from lack of sleep, I have no problem sleeping on the train.

Boston to Seattle via Chicago on the Lakeshore and Empire builder would be the fastest way to do it. You also might want to try Providence to Seattle and see what you get. Amtrak.com may route you down to Washington and then onto Chicago via the Empire Builder. Check the price of this and compare it against Boston. It may or may not be cheaper. It is longer, but at least you'd have different scenery to look at.

Rick

Edited by rmgreenesq, 08 March 2007 - 06:38 AM.

The railway approach to New York is not one to lift the spirits. We disembark in subterranean gloom and trudge along the platform sustained only by an act of faith that New York really is up there above us, and that we haven't all died.

-Michael Palin

#3 nr272

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 08:24 PM

Greetings and welcome aboard.

I've traveled across the country in coach before. Its not too bad. On Track On Line has lots of useful advice for train travel. You may find that web page here.

My wife, four year old daughter and I rode frm Worcester, MA to Fullerton, CA and enjoyed every minute or it. I'm planning to do it again over Christmas.. in coach again. If you want a feel for crossing the country in coach all about, you may read my travelogue here.

The seats do take some getting used to. A multi-day train trip in coach is kinda like camping. You really don't sleep well the first night becasue of your new surroundings. After spending my first full day on the train exhausted from lack of sleep, I have no problem sleeping on the train.

Boston to Seattle via Chicago on the Lakeshore and Empire builder would be the fastest way to do it. You also might want to try Providence to Seattle and see what you get. Amtrak.com may route you down to Washington and then onto Chicago via the Empire Builder. Check the price of this and compare it against Boston. It may or may not be cheaper. It is longer, but at least you'd have different scenery to look at.

Rick


Thanks for the reply!

That was a great trip report you made - it is very reassuring. It sounds like I shouldn't have any issues with sleeping in coach. You are right that the other alternate route is down to Washington and then Chicago via the Capital Limited, but it seems to be more expensive.... though putting in different dates gives you slightly different prices.

I was thinking of taking a one day layover in Chicago to look around a bit. I've also heard that the Lake Shore Limited is frequently late, so I wouldn't want to miss my connection.

Edited by nr272, 08 March 2007 - 08:26 PM.


#4 AlanB

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 08:52 PM

I was thinking of taking a one day layover in Chicago to look around a bit. I've also heard that the Lake Shore Limited is frequently late, so I wouldn't want to miss my connection.


Adding a layover could increase your overall cost for the trip, as Amtrak will charge you a bit more. On the other hand if you really want to enjoy Chicago, then go for it.

As for missing your connection, that's Amtrak's problem to deal with. If the westbound Lake Shore fails to arrive in time to connect with the westbound from Chicago, they will either hold the other train, consider bussing you to catch up with the other train, or most likely getting you a hotel room and a meal allowance and then booking you on the next day's train at their expense.
Alan,

Take care and take trains!

#5 nr272

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 09:22 PM


I was thinking of taking a one day layover in Chicago to look around a bit. I've also heard that the Lake Shore Limited is frequently late, so I wouldn't want to miss my connection.


Adding a layover could increase your overall cost for the trip, as Amtrak will charge you a bit more. On the other hand if you really want to enjoy Chicago, then go for it.

As for missing your connection, that's Amtrak's problem to deal with. If the westbound Lake Shore fails to arrive in time to connect with the westbound from Chicago, they will either hold the other train, consider bussing you to catch up with the other train, or most likely getting you a hotel room and a meal allowance and then booking you on the next day's train at their expense.


Thanks for the info. I don't think a one night's stay would do justice for Chicago anyway.

#6 AmtrakFan

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 12:24 AM

nr272,
As a Chicago Area Resident, you would need more then one night in Chicago. Amtrak will ususally put you up in a Hotel either Downtown or by the Airport.
JOHN POSHEPNY BNSF CHICAGO SUB MP 21



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