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Dallas to Los Angeles


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#1 Train Couple

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 11:28 AM

My husband and I want to take Amtrak from Dallas to Los Angeles. Can anyone offer any tips or hints or experiences? Has anyone done this trip before? What is the best train to take and route?

#2 NY Penn

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 12:23 PM

Well, there's only one real choice: the Texas Eagle (#422, NOT #22) directly from Dallas (DAL) to Los Angeles (LAX).
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#3 Pat Harper

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 12:38 PM

If you have the time and the funds, you could take the Texas Eagle from Dallas to Chicago, then the Californa Zephyr to LA, depending on whether or not the CZ is running at the time you're going. There have been lots of track work going on lately, and the CZ doesn't have the best OTP lately. On your return trip, you could take the Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle back to Dallas. Be advised the Sunset Limited runs only 3 days a week in each direction, whereas the Eagle is a daily ride.

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#4 MrFSS

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 12:52 PM

If you have the time and the funds, you could take the Texas Eagle from Dallas to Chicago, then the Californa Zephyr to LA, depending on whether or not the CZ is running at the time you're going. There have been lots of track work going on lately, and the CZ doesn't have the best OTP lately. On your return trip, you could take the Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle back to Dallas. Be advised the Sunset Limited runs only 3 days a week in each direction, whereas the Eagle is a daily ride.


You mean SWC? CZ doesn't go to LA.

#5 jimhudson

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 12:57 PM

My husband and I want to take Amtrak from Dallas to Los Angeles. Can anyone offer any tips or hints or experiences? Has anyone done this trip before? What is the best train to take and route?

As has been said, the Texas Eagle/Sunset Ltd. #422 is the "Direct" Train but the Sunset only runs Three Days a week from New Orleans to LAX and you have to spend the night on the Train in San Antonio (SAS). The other options are the Texas Eagle #22 from Dallas to St. Louis, then the Missouri River Runner from STL to Kansas City (KCY), connect with the Southwest Chief to LAX( a 3 night Trip). Otherwise as has been said , you can catch the Texas Eagle to Springfield,Ill, a thruway Van to Galesburg,Ill and connect with the California Zephyr to California, either Sacramento or Emeryville where youd have to spend the night before catching the Coast Starlight to LAX!

Other options are to ride the Eagle to Chicago, spend the night, catch the Chief to LA (3 nights on the Train/1 in Hotel), Zephyr to California or the Empire Builder to Portland,Oregon/connecting in Portland (PDX) to LAX, this is a 3 night trip on the Train afdter a night in Chicago! Depending on how much you want to spend, and how much time you have, Id suggest riding the Texas Eagle to LAX,(3 nights) then catch the Coast Starlight to Emeryville (Oakland/San Francisco), spend some time in the Bay Area, then ride the California Zephyr to Galesburg/Thruway Van to Springfield, Texas Eagle to Dallas!(3 nights on the Train). :blink: :help:

Edited by jimhudson, 30 August 2011 - 12:58 PM.

 
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#6 henryj

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 08:07 PM

LOL Jim, these people don't say if they are rail fans. Obviously the most direct and least painful way is to take the Eagle, trains 421 and 422 through cars direct from Dallas to LA. You do not have to get off in San Antonio even though there is a long layover, you can just sleep on the train. It's only offered three times a week. Other than that, the Amtrak routing site offers some of the other suggested routings which all take a day longer but are only offered in the westbound direction. If you are just looking for transportation and want to try the train stick with the Eagle. It's only a two night out routing in each direction with an early morning arrival in LA westbound and an afternoon arrival in Dallas eastbound.
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#7 amtkstn

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 12:21 PM

Another opition would to ride the TE to St Louis and ride the MRR to Kansas City. Then ride the SWC to LA.

#8 saxman

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 12:39 PM

I'm going to be simple.

Take the Texas Eagle from Dallas to LA. It leaves every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11:50 AM. Make sure you book train #421. You'll arrive in LA two mornings later at 8:30 AM. If you have a funds, booking a sleeping car is the best experience. You'll get all your meals included, a bed to lay in and a shower. Free coffee and juice is also available.

If you go coach, you'll get a comfortable seat with lots of legroom and leg rests. They are about the equivalent of an airlines first class seat. They recline quite a bit too for sleeping. Amenities are basic though. You'll be able to dine in the dining car for a full service meal for an extra charge. You may also enjoy the Sightseer Lounge Car, with large windows and this car also has a café on the lower level.

Hope you enjoy the trip, should you decide to go!

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#9 Train Couple

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 01:33 PM

Thank you Engineer.That is a great advice. Has anyone done this before is it a good way to travel?Any Pros and Cons? Is it usually late or on time in LA. We are going for a cruise and don't want to miss it.

#10 NY Penn

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 01:36 PM

On time performance is good for this route (92%).

Edited by NY Penn, 31 August 2011 - 01:37 PM.

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#11 the_traveler

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 02:27 PM

Even though the OTP lately has been good, anytime you have to be somewhere on a certain day or time (like to catch a cruise, attend a meeting, go to a family reunion, etc...) and are taking a train (or a plane for that matter), you should plan on arriving 1 day before (if at all possible).

There is nothing like hoping your train is on time, hoping your cab (or shuttle) does not get stuck in traffic - and then arrive at the port to see your ship pulling away!Posted Image Vacations are supposed to be stress free. (BTW: A plane could also have a delay due to weather. Or in the case of last weekend, flights were canceled around the world, because the airports on the US east coast were shut down!Posted Image)
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead!

#12 Pat Harper

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 04:09 PM


You mean SWC? CZ doesn't go to LA.


You are right. I got to thinking about that when I posted it. I knew something went from Chicago to LA, but wasn't sure which one. Texas Eagle all the way is better if they need to be there to board a cruise ship.

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#13 saxman

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 09:33 PM

Thank you Engineer.That is a great advice. Has anyone done this before is it a good way to travel?Any Pros and Cons? Is it usually late or on time in LA. We are going for a cruise and don't want to miss it.


Definitely plan to arrive in LA, the day before your cruise. Even if your cruise is scheduled to sail that afternoon, you should still arrive a day early. And it is the best way to travel in my opinion! On time performance has improved over the last couple years overall, but keep in mind that Amtrak operates over rail lines that are owned by the freight companies, such as Union Pacific. Therefore they operate, maintain, and dispatch all their trains including Amtrak trains. Laws are in place requiring the railroads to give Amtrak the priority, but sometimes, Amtrak may have to take a siding to allow another to pass. My advice is to put your watch in your suitcase and just enjoy the scenery, relax, and exchange stories with fellow passengers!

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