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Florida to California round trip


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#1 Guest_anonymous in fl_*

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 05:59 PM

Hello All,

I usually take the train from Jacksonville FL north to Washington DC for business.

This summer I would like to do something different and go coast to coast from FL

to CA on the Sunset Limited.

But I think it doesn't run from FL to New Orleans following hurrican katrina?

Any suggestions on how I might do this via train without going all the way around the US?

Thanks!

#2 jimhudson

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 06:09 PM

:hi: It will help if you give us more Information re How long do you have for the trip, what Cities do you desire to visit, do you want to do Stopovers, etc. Although it's heresy on this site, you could fly to New Orleans, spend the night and then catch the Sunset Ltd. to California remembering that it only runs three days a week in each direction between NOL and LAX. You could also ride the city of New Orleans to Chicago, then catch one of Three other trains to the West Coast, the SW Chief to LAX, the California Zephyr to the Bay Area or the empire Builder to Seattle or Portland, then fly home if short of time. The Coast Starlight between LAX and Seattle is a fantastic train also if you have time, you can ride it in either direction, spend some time in other cities since it is a Daily train. Please let us know more specifics, wehave lots of info on around the Country trips, our guru for Looooooooong trips is the_traveler, he lives on Trains when not in Rhode Island or Portland, Oregon!
 
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#3 Guest_anonymous in fl_*

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 06:16 PM

Thanks! I know so little, I didn't even think to mention details1
Excuse my ignorance, please!

I'd like the most direct, fastest route possible.

I'd be leaving the end of August, staying in San Diego for 3 or 4 days, and departing for my return trip on Monday Sept. 5th.

Any suggestions?

#4 the_traveler

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 06:42 PM

you could fly to New Orleans

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

Using that 3-letter word is grounds for dismissal from AU!

Please do tell us more, like how long you plan for this trip, and we can provide a better response.
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead!

#5 TransitGeek

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 06:54 PM

You could also take one of your usual Silver Service trains to DC and change there to the Crescent for NOL, or the Silver Star to RGH for the Carolinian, to CLT for the Crescent. I'm unaware of the fare/schedule implications of these choices. I know it's blasphemy, but you could also take the Silver Star to SAV and catch a Greyhound there for ATL, then the Crescent to NOL- however, you'd be responsible for your own transportation between the Amtrak and Greyhound stations, and from what I can find there is no public transport service to the SAV Amtrak.
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
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Posted Image


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#6 Trogdor

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 07:36 PM

You could also skip New Orleans, head into Chicago, then transfer to the Southwest Chief or California Zephyr to get to California.
Posted Image

#7 pennyk

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 08:08 PM

I went from Orlando to Seattle round-trip last August/September.

ORL-WAS: Silver Meteor
WAS-CHI: Cardinal
CHI-SAC: California Zephyr (if you wanted to go South, you could take CS South from SAC)
SAC-SEA: Coast Starlight
SEA-CHI: Empire Builder
CHI-WAS: Capitol Limited
WAS-ORL: Silver Meteor

I saw a lot of the country.

This October, I am taking the SM to NYP; Lakeshore Limited from NYP to CHI; then the Southwest Chief to LA.

There are many options to go across country, but if you want to do it soley by train, you pretty much need to go through WAS.

Amtrak miles: 138,614; Routes: Silver Meteor, Champion (1973), Silver Star, Auto Train, Capitol Limited, Empire Builder, Lakeshore Limited, Adirondack, Vermonter, Cardinal, California Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Texas Eagle, Missouri River Runner, Acela Express (FC), Southwest Chief, Cascades, Crescent, City of New Orleans, Hiawatha Service, Maple Leaf, Keystone Service, Northeast Regional, Downeaster, Piedmont, Carolinian, Lincoln Service, Autumn Express 2013, Empire Service, Sunset Limited, San Joaquin, Capitol Corridor.   VIA miles: 4,584; Routes: The Canadian (westbound), Ocean (eastbound/westbound).


#8 the_traveler

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 10:09 PM

There are many options to go across country, but if you want to do it soley by train, you pretty much need to go through WAS.

From Florida, you must (almost 100%) go thru Washington to go cross country. (Sure, it may be possible to go thru NC or VA, but that would require either a long layover or a long connecting bus ride.)
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead!

#9 Anderson

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 05:16 AM

On paper, you could probably go through NYP as well...if you're taking the Meteor, the WAS layover is long (i.e. 7 AM-4 PM) between the Meteor arriving and the CL departing.
Capitol Limited (7), CA Zephyr (4) Lake Shore Limited (1), Acela (2), NE Regional (2), Sliver Meteor (4)
Upcoming: Silver Meteor (1), Lake Shore Limited (1), SW Chief (2), MO River Runner (1), Texas Eagle (1)
Possibly Upcoming: Either Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (2) or Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (1)

#10 pennyk

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 05:40 AM


There are many options to go across country, but if you want to do it soley by train, you pretty much need to go through WAS.

From Florida, you must (almost 100%) go thru Washington to go cross country. (Sure, it may be possible to go thru NC or VA, but that would require either a long layover or a long connecting bus ride.)


:) Dave, I had thought about posting that you must go through WAS (you need to go through WAS to get to NYP), but I figured someone would challenge me by stating you could connect in Richmond or NC, so I said "pretty much." No matter how early I wake up, I cannot wake up early enough to fool you. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Amtrak miles: 138,614; Routes: Silver Meteor, Champion (1973), Silver Star, Auto Train, Capitol Limited, Empire Builder, Lakeshore Limited, Adirondack, Vermonter, Cardinal, California Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Texas Eagle, Missouri River Runner, Acela Express (FC), Southwest Chief, Cascades, Crescent, City of New Orleans, Hiawatha Service, Maple Leaf, Keystone Service, Northeast Regional, Downeaster, Piedmont, Carolinian, Lincoln Service, Autumn Express 2013, Empire Service, Sunset Limited, San Joaquin, Capitol Corridor.   VIA miles: 4,584; Routes: The Canadian (westbound), Ocean (eastbound/westbound).


#11 Ozark Southern

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 02:08 PM

Thanks! I know so little, I didn't even think to mention details1
Excuse my ignorance, please!

I'd like the most direct, fastest route possible.

I'd be leaving the end of August, staying in San Diego for 3 or 4 days, and departing for my return trip on Monday Sept. 5th.

Any suggestions?

The most direct route is as follows:
8/29 17:33 D JAX (Jacksonville, FL) on Silver Meteor #98
8/30 07:46 A WAS (Washington, DC)
Emjoy your day in the Capital!
8/30 16:05 D WAS on Capitol Limited #29
8/31 08:45 A CHI (Chicago, IL)
Enjoy your day in the Windy City!
8/31 14:45 D CHI on Southwest Chief #3
9/02 08:15 A LAX (Los Angeles, CA)
9/02 09:40 D LAX on Pacific Surfliner #768
9/02 12:25 A SAN (San Diego, CA)

9/05 15:00 D SAN on Pacific Surfliner #583
9/05 17:45 A LAX
9/05 18:15 D LAX on Southwest Chief #4
9/07 15:15 A CHI
9/07 18:40 D CHI on Capitol Limited #30
9/08 13:10 A WAS
Time to do whatever you missed westbound
9/08 19:30 D WAS on Silver Meteor #97
9/09 09:23 A JAX
Amtrak trains taken: Missouri River Runner (11/1), Lincoln Service (3/2), Texas Eagle (1)
Other trains taken: Berlin-Warsaw Express (Deutsch Bahn), Branson Scenic Railway (tourist route)
Commuter rail taken: Berlin U-Bahn, Boston 'T', Caracas Metro, Chicago CTA, Minneapolis LRT, Paris Metro, Paris RER, St. Louis Metrolink, Washington Metro

Blue indicates full length of the route.

#12 wayman

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 02:18 PM


Thanks! I know so little, I didn't even think to mention details1
Excuse my ignorance, please!

I'd like the most direct, fastest route possible.

I'd be leaving the end of August, staying in San Diego for 3 or 4 days, and departing for my return trip on Monday Sept. 5th.

Any suggestions?

The most direct route is as follows:
8/29 17:33 D JAX (Jacksonville, FL) on Silver Meteor #98
8/30 07:46 A WAS (Washington, DC)
Emjoy your day in the Capital!
8/30 16:05 D WAS on Capitol Limited #29
8/31 08:45 A CHI (Chicago, IL)
Enjoy your day in the Windy City!
8/31 14:45 D CHI on Southwest Chief #3
9/02 08:15 A LAX (Los Angeles, CA)
9/02 09:40 D LAX on Pacific Surfliner #768
9/02 12:25 A SAN (San Diego, CA)

9/05 15:00 D SAN on Pacific Surfliner #583
9/05 17:45 A LAX
9/05 18:15 D LAX on Southwest Chief #4
9/07 15:15 A CHI
9/07 18:40 D CHI on Capitol Limited #30
9/08 13:10 A WAS
Time to do whatever you missed westbound
9/08 19:30 D WAS on Silver Meteor #97
9/09 09:23 A JAX


More direct, but requiring some driving and at least two nights in hotels:

drive six hours from Jacksonville to Atlanta
find long-term parking and a hotel in Atlanta for the night
take the Crescent Atlanta-New Orleans (morning departure, evening arrival)
one or two nights in New Orleans, depending what day you arrive
take the Sunset Limited New Orleans-Los Angeles (morning departure)
--Will
"I don't care what train I'm on, just as long as it keeps rolling on..."

#13 Dovecote

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 02:54 PM

Hello All,

I usually take the train from Jacksonville FL north to Washington DC for business.

This summer I would like to do something different and go coast to coast from FL

to CA on the Sunset Limited.

But I think it doesn't run from FL to New Orleans following hurrican katrina?

Any suggestions on how I might do this via train without going all the way around the US?

Thanks!


I currently reside about forty minutes north of Tallahassee (TLH) and have the same problem you have going points west on Amtrak. Being retired, with no time restraints, makes it easy for me taking the train after I drive to the nearest Amtrak station. My train choices are either taking the Crescent from Atlanta (around a 4.5 hour drive from home) or on one the Silvers from Jacksonville (a three hour drive for me). Either of these trains will then take me north to WAS for a connecting train west.

If you want to make a beeline out west, my suggestion is taking Greyhound to New Orleans (NOL). There is a 11 hour "express" bus that leaves JAX at 9:45 PM and arrives in NOL the following morning at 8:05 AM. You then can catch the Sunset Limited to points west at 11:55 AM. I have taken this bus before from TLH and it not a bad route and generally not crowded. You would have only two stops, one in TLH (transfer buses) and one in Mobile (1 hour layover. The nice thing about this route it is at night and when you arrive the bus and train station is in the same location.
Amtrak Trains Traveled - Acela Express, Auto Train, Capitol Limited, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Kansas City Mule, Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf, Northeast Regional, Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited, and Vermonter.

#14 George Harris

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 04:23 PM

There is also the other three letter word: BUS. Greyhound and Amtrak are in the same building in New Orleans. You can take a bus from Jacksonville to New Orleans and catch the train there. This would minimize your time and keep you out of the air.

A quick check on the Greyhound web site shows two buses (only 2! there used to be two trains), both overnight. The one that meshes almost perfectly with your trip leaves Jacksonville at 9:45pm, with change in Tallahassee arrive 12:25midnight, leave 1:30am, and arriving in New Orleans at 8:05am. This is the faster schedule. The other one leaves Jacksonville at 1:30pm and does not arrive at New Orleans until 5:30am, with two changes, both having fairly long layovers, one at Tallahassee and the other at Mobile.

If you would be up to an overnight bus ride, the leave 9:45pm, arrive New Orleans at 8:05am, then catch the train at 11:55am would be the way to do it for minimum end to end time. The thing to not forget is that the Sunset runs three days per week, so you must be sure that you are leaving Jacksonville on the night before your train departure day. In other words, you must leave Jacksonville on either Sunday, Tuesday, or Thursday to make the MWF departure days for the train.

I did not check the bus for the return direction.

#15 henryj

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 07:29 PM

If you go to the Amtrak web site and select multi-city option and plug in the cities you want to travel through it gives you all the options. I assumed you wanted to go by train all the way and ride the Sunset Limited so I programed it that way by plugging in New Orleans in the middle. I also got you a roomette all the way. The fastest route is to take the Silver Star to DC, then the Crescent to NOL, stay overnight in New Orleans(party party party) then leave on the Sunset the next morning. The trip takes 5 days each way and costs $2,284 round trip including the room charges. Base fare coach is $730 for the round trip. I had you leaving JAX on Fri, Jul 29th late night, arriving in LAX on the following Wed morning, Aug 3rd. Coming back I had you leaving Sun afternoon, Aug 7th and arriving in JAX Fri, Aug 12 in the early morning. Would be a great trip. Wish I could take it. If you are pressed for time, just fly one way, that is what I usually do. There are many other routes and options as people have suggested above. If you want to save some money then just book the roomette on the Sunset as you are on that train for two nights. You have a stop over in NOL for the night where you can wash up and rest up.

http://tickets.amtrak.com/itd/amtrak
Henryj. Trains I have ridden: Sunbeam, Sam Houston Zephyr, Valley Eagle, Houstonian, Sunset Limited, Twin Star Rocket, Texas Eagle, Texas Zephyr, Texas Chief, California Zephyr, City of Portland, City of San Francisco, Coast Daylight, Canadian, Winnipeger, San Diegan, Flying Crow, Spirit of St. Louis, Pennsy NEC. Amtrak: Lone Star, Crescent, NEC, Broadway Ltd, LSL, Maple Leaf, The International, EB, CS, Sunset Limited, City of New Orleans, CZ, Cascade, Eagle, Cardinal, Meteor, Acela plus many excursions.  Latest, Alaska Railroad and White Pass & Yukon.



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