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Bus ride from Houston to Longview


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#1 reving19

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 12:07 PM

I am going to embark on my second Amtrak ride this year. Last time, I took the Texas Eagle from Austin to Chicago and had a wonderful time. This time, I am going from Houston to Chicago to Washington D.C. However, the first leg of the journey is on a bus from Houston to Longview. Has anyone ever rode a bus as part of their Amtrak journey and can you share what it was like and any tips? Thanks in advance.

#2 the_traveler

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 01:09 PM

I have ridden a bus in California. Those are dedicated Amtrak operated buses, and are (somewhat) comfortable. However the Texas bus I think is a regular Greyhound bus!Posted Image

But I look at it this way - there's a train at the other end to enjoy!Posted Image That's enough to get me thru a few hours of discomfort!

Another option (in the days the SL is running) is to take the SL west to San Antonio to connect to the Texas Eagle! The only bad thing is the layover from 2-3 AM until 7 AM!Posted Image
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead!

#3 GlobalistPotato

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 01:42 PM

Or, you can go on the eastbound SL and then transfer to the Cresent.

Most of Amtrak's thruway motorcoaches are buses charted by Amtrak. According to the Texas Eagle schedule book, the bus company is Southwestern Coaches. Should be better than Greyhound. Posted Image

Correction: The bus company is Lone Star Coaches for the Houston-Longview route. Southwestern coaches operates the bus from Temple to Fort Hood.

Edited by GlobalistPotato, 25 February 2011 - 01:45 PM.


#4 OlympianHiawatha

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 03:52 PM

I have seen the Lone Star Coaches several times on Longview stops. They are the typical long haul charter Motorcoach with fairly comfortable looking seats and swing down TV monitors. They will be much better than the Longdog.

#5 kal-tex

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 12:10 AM

I have frequently traveled the Houston to Longview segment. The busses are clean and comfortable - with usually a low number of passengers so that each person is able to have a double seat. The driver will play a movie(G-rated if there are children on board)on the screens (I think there are 7) throughout the coach. The bus will make a single stop enroute so that the passengers can can purchase a snack or use a "real" restroom (there is a restroom on the bus, but most folks prefer a "real" one) It's not my favorite part of the trip, but actually not bad!

#6 TransitGeek

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 12:13 AM

There is no love for the 'Hound on this forum. Typically, I've found Greyhound coaches to differ from other long-haul charter buses only in load factor, with the former typically a bit more crowded. It's a bus- they're really all roughly the same.
Traveled so far: Southwest Chief #4 LAX-VRV, Coast Starlight LAX-OKJ, Capitol Corridor RIC-SAC, Pacific Surfliner BUR-SNA, San Joaquins BFD-RIC over and over again
Non-Amtrak Rail: Metrolink, LA Metro, SD Trolley, SPRINTER, San Jose VTA, BART, SF Muni Metro, Sacramento RT, Vancouver SkyTrain, DC Metro, Baltimore LRT, NYC Subway, Las Vegas Monorail, Paris Metro, Barcelona Metro, TGV Paris-Biarritz

Epic Train Trip (this summer): LAX-PDX-(VAC-VBC-SEA)-CHI-(BUF-TWO-MTR)-NYP-BOS-POR-WAS-NOL-ONA w/segments in (parenthesis) by bus/ferry.


Posted Image


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#7 railiner

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 10:50 AM

A relatively short ride on a bus to connect with a train is not nearly as bad as some would make it out to be. The buses are fairly comfortable, although their seating is not nearly as roomy as on a train. And in general, reliability of bus schedules are far superior to Amtrak's.
Enjoy your trip and pleae let us know what you thought of your experience.
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#8 flowergirl

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 12:43 AM

We rode the bus from Boston to Portland, Me. The NEC we took out of NYC arrived shortly after the Downeaster departed, and to avoid a long wait at the station we took the bus offered by Amtrak for the two hour trip. It was nice, comfortable and clean. It wasn't crowded, and they let us take one that left an hour ahead of the one we were ticketed for. Kind of neat. We got to ride in the Dig. Only thing I didn't like was the driver made an announcement that cell phones should be turned off during the trip. On the trip back to Boston, a different driver didn't say anthing about cell phones. The bus ride worked out well for us, since we were staying overnight in Portland. As a family of four, we had several pieces of luggage and would have had to get a taxi from South Station to North for Downeaster. Next trip, we'll stay in Boston and do day trip to Portland, so we can ride Downeaster.

#9 OlympianHiawatha

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 10:28 AM

We rode the bus from Boston to Portland, Me. The NEC we took out of NYC arrived shortly after the Downeaster departed, and to avoid a long wait at the station we took the bus offered by Amtrak for the two hour trip. It was nice, comfortable and clean. It wasn't crowded, and they let us take one that left an hour ahead of the one we were ticketed for. Kind of neat. We got to ride in the Dig. Only thing I didn't like was the driver made an announcement that cell phones should be turned off during the trip. On the trip back to Boston, a different driver didn't say anthing about cell phones. The bus ride worked out well for us, since we were staying overnight in Portland. As a family of four, we had several pieces of luggage and would have had to get a taxi from South Station to North for Downeaster. Next trip, we'll stay in Boston and do day trip to Portland, so we can ride Downeaster.


Hats off to the driver who nixed the cell phones! I wish more public transportation would ban those altogether as the last thing many of us want to put up with while enjoying our trip is hearing people bluther on phones!

#10 fairviewroad

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 12:34 PM

Hats off to the driver who nixed the cell phones! I wish more public transportation would ban those altogether as the last thing many of us want to put up with while enjoying our trip is hearing people bluther on phones!


Not to divert this thread even further...

While I can understand the arguments both for and against cell phone usage on buses, I'm of the opinion that cell phone policy should be set by the corporate office, not by
individual bus drivers (or other front-line personnel). Customers need to know ahead of time what is expected of them on board, be it a plane, train, or bus.

#11 George Harris

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 04:48 PM

It is not the cell phone or even cell phone conversation as such that bugs me, and a lot of other people, but the cell phone loudmouth who does not know when or how to shut up. Reasonable phone conversations are no more bothersome than reasonable conversations between people sitting near each other. I really do not need to know about or care about your office and family issues, your sexual conquests, you personal problems, your problems with your car and those that work on them, your medical issues, etc., etc., etc.

#12 railiner

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 11:57 PM

Some of you might be interested in the unique service offered between NYC and Boston by a luxury bus service operator 'Limoliner'. They are targeting Amtrak Acela customers, and their coaches feature cellphone and wifi hotspots on the one hand, but a 'cellphone-free zone' on the other hand.
So you can have it either way, like Amtrak offers with their 'quiet-cars'.

Edited by railiner, 01 March 2011 - 11:58 PM.

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#13 rogers55

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 07:12 PM

We took the Amtrak bus from Indianapolis to Chicago. We had expected a bus with the Amtrak logo or at least identified as Amtrak. Couldn't find the bus, no Amtrak personnel at the station. I finally found a policeman at the station. He told me there would be no Amtrak people there until 11:00 PM. Finally, he lost his patience with me and said, Sir if you are leaving on a bus you have to see the people over there (pointing to the Greyhound counter). Sensing his frustration I went to the Greyhound counter. They told me it was actually a regular Trailways bus route and Amtrak just sells a few seats on it. After that everything was fine. The Amtrak passengers were boarded first and had a fine trip. The bus made an extra stop at Chicago Union Station.

#14 TransitGeek

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 07:47 PM


We rode the bus from Boston to Portland, Me. The NEC we took out of NYC arrived shortly after the Downeaster departed, and to avoid a long wait at the station we took the bus offered by Amtrak for the two hour trip. It was nice, comfortable and clean. It wasn't crowded, and they let us take one that left an hour ahead of the one we were ticketed for. Kind of neat. We got to ride in the Dig. Only thing I didn't like was the driver made an announcement that cell phones should be turned off during the trip. On the trip back to Boston, a different driver didn't say anthing about cell phones. The bus ride worked out well for us, since we were staying overnight in Portland. As a family of four, we had several pieces of luggage and would have had to get a taxi from South Station to North for Downeaster. Next trip, we'll stay in Boston and do day trip to Portland, so we can ride Downeaster.


Hats off to the driver who nixed the cell phones! I wish more public transportation would ban those altogether as the last thing many of us want to put up with while enjoying our trip is hearing people bluther on phones!


Ugh... while it's not so pronounced a phenomenon on the bus around here, the trains are intolerable for this. Every time I board Metrolink, there's some jerk in the car that WILL make a call and say some variant on this theme:

Yeah, I'm on the train... no, the train... Yeah, a train!... Yeah, it's the Metro...


First, holy crap it takes a long time to convince Angelenos that we have trains. Second, it's NOT the Metro, it's the MetroLINK, something entirely different.
Traveled so far: Southwest Chief #4 LAX-VRV, Coast Starlight LAX-OKJ, Capitol Corridor RIC-SAC, Pacific Surfliner BUR-SNA, San Joaquins BFD-RIC over and over again
Non-Amtrak Rail: Metrolink, LA Metro, SD Trolley, SPRINTER, San Jose VTA, BART, SF Muni Metro, Sacramento RT, Vancouver SkyTrain, DC Metro, Baltimore LRT, NYC Subway, Las Vegas Monorail, Paris Metro, Barcelona Metro, TGV Paris-Biarritz

Epic Train Trip (this summer): LAX-PDX-(VAC-VBC-SEA)-CHI-(BUF-TWO-MTR)-NYP-BOS-POR-WAS-NOL-ONA w/segments in (parenthesis) by bus/ferry.


Posted Image


If it has wheels, and I don't have to drive it, count me in!



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