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An Epic Rail Journey: 9357 miles aboard Amtrak.


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#1 Adrouault

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 06:15 PM

An Epic Rail Journey: 9357 miles aboard Amtrak.

Preface Post.

This trip report will cover roughy 3.5 weeks of rail travel, including travel on the Northeast Regional from Stamford to Penn Station and returning,, Silver Meteor from New York Penn to Miami, and back. Lake Shore Limited from Croton on Hudson to Chicago, and then the return 11 days later, from Chicago to Rochester, the Southwest Chief, from Chicago to Los Angeles, and last but not least the Texas Eagle/Sunset Limited from Los Angeles to Chicago via San Antonio.

For the Florida trip, I’ll be traveling with my girlfriend, and for the western adventure, I’ll be going solo.

 

 

The schedule is as follows:

12/25, STM-NYP-MIA(+1)

01/3: MIA-NYP-STM (+1)

01/6: CRT-CHI (+1)

1/7: CHI-LAX (+2)

01/14: LAX-CHI (+3)

01/17: CHI-ROC (+1)\

 

All of this travel will be done in roomettes.

 

I guess the most apparent question is: why the train for a journey of this size?

Well, for the Florida leg, it was actually cheaper for 2 tickets and a roomette, round trip, than it would have been to get two coach plane tickets, round trip. And for the Los Angeles portion of the trip, I figured it would be fun to see some more scenery. I’ve done the SWC from LAX to CHI in June with my girlfriend, and we enjoyed it. Haven’t done the SWC westbound before, so that’ll be something different. Then, to avoid too much repetition, I’ll be taking the TE/SL back to Chicago.

I’ll be bringing along a DSLR, and updating this post as the trip goes on. So get excited for this report!

I’m looking forward to doing a (relatively) live report.

Posting this in advance, to see if anyone has any particular recommendations/suggestions/tips for the trip, and also to get everyone excited!


 



#2 oregon pioneer

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 06:27 PM

I'll let others do the recommendations, I'm just along for the ride (and the photos).

:giggle: 

 

It sounds like a wonderful trip, and I am sure you will have fun!


Jennifer

 

I'm a "little Old Lady in Tennis Shoes" (LOLITS) from Eastern Oregon. I love to travel by train, though I live way out in the toolies, far from the nearest Amtrak station (Chemult). My station would have been Baker City, but they cancelled the Oregon Pioneer just before I took my first long-distance train trip as an adult. I've taken most trains in the West, but I'm still exploring new routes in the east.


#3 Bob Dylan

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 07:09 PM

Ditto,I too look forward to reading your trip report for this Wonderful Adventure!

You're a Vet of LD Travel so no tips are needed. I suggest you read the Trip reports and threads here on AU that cover these Routes and,Trains!

Have a ball!😎
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#4 Adrouault

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 09:36 PM

I am looking forward to this. As I've said, my only experience before was a 3 day jaunt on the 4 and 48 from LAX to ROC. This will be a very different type of trip.

Hahaha. 



#5 Woodcut60

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 06:35 AM

Looking forward to your trip report. I've been on all those trains myself and know that you're in for a treat. Have a wonderful trip.


Amtrak Routes Traveled: Lake Shore Limited, California Zephyr, San Joaquin, Pacific Surfliner, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Cardinal, Crescent, Sunset Limited, Southwest Chief, Hiawatha, City of New Orleans, Texas Eagle, Heartland Flyer, Missouri River Runner, Lincoln, Wolverine, Northeast Regional, Acela Express, Downeaster, Vermonter, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Capitol Limited, Pennsylvanian, Amtrak Cascades.

Other Routes in North America: Denali Star (Anchorage-Fairbanks, Alaska Railroad), The Ocean (Halifax-Montréal), Corridor (Montréal-Toronto), The Canadian (Toronto-Vancouver).

Amtrak: approx. 25,000 miles and 47 states.

VIA Rail Canada: approx. 4,300 miles and eight provinces.


#6 Adrouault

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 10:24 PM

Thank you all for the enthusiasm. The trip starts in a week from today!



#7 JRR

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 10:40 AM

Have a great trip. Too bad our paths won’t cross!


Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

#8 Adrouault

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 08:43 AM

Enjoy yours, JRR! How was the ride down on 97?



#9 Adrouault

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Posted 25 December 2017 - 08:40 PM

Good evening from onboard the Silver Meteor, 97 to Miami.Currently 10 miles north of FBG, going at around 65 MPH.

Today's travels included a ride on the Northeast Regional 157, from STM to NYP, which was practically empty. After dropping our bags off, it was time for lunch with friends. 

Then back to the ClubAcela, where we enjoyed the free wifi, and had some nice conversations with others on our route. Boarding began at 3pm for the 3:15 departure, and we were soon on our way out of Penn Station. 

When Newark rolled around, our SCA came by introducing himself. He's extremely professional, and unfailingly polite. Given that I took a nasty fall on snow this morning, we decided to have dinner in the roomette. My girlfriend had the AmSteak, and I had the land and sea.

Both of us greatly enjoyed the steak. I thought the fish-cake was decent.

Had the beds made up early. Now sitting in the top berth, watching the Christmas lights pass my window. 

More tomorrow! 



#10 Adrouault

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Posted 25 December 2017 - 08:43 PM

OMG. I forgot the most exciting part of the day. In ClubAcela, I met Wolf Blitzer! 



#11 trainman74

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 01:38 PM

In ClubAcela, I met Wolf Blitzer!


So ClubAcela became the Situation Room for a while?

#12 Adrouault

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 03:37 PM

Indeed it did.'

 

The rest of the ride has been great.

 

Slept from Richmond VA to Jesup GA, and then had a good breakfast on pancakes in dining car. It's a brand new viewliner dining car, with sets of windows above the tables as well.

 

Then back to the rom to hang out a bit, followed by lunch. The burger was, as always, pretty decent. 

 

Currently running 45 late just before Sebring.

 

I don't want to be redundant, and I know I mentioned the SCA before, but he's exceptional. Polite, friendly, and goes out of his way to make everything great. Wanted to take a shower this afternoon before arrival in Miami, so before I went in, he folded towels, put them around the drain outside the shower, and inside, so I could have a place to stand. He did this without asking.

Just exceptional.



#13 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 04:59 PM

What was the name of your SCA on the Meteor? (Just wondering if any of us know him--many of us have had exceptional SCAs on that train!)


Edited by Mystic River Dragon, 26 December 2017 - 04:59 PM.


#14 Adrouault

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 06:04 PM

Patrick. He's usually in the cafe car, he said. He's chipper, very enthusiastic, with a southern drawl.



#15 Adrouault

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 11:43 AM

And my 9357 journey just got even longer.

I got a call this AM that the TE is cancelled on the day I'm travelling. 

I was able to rebook on the SL/CZ combo, with a one night layover in EMY.

 

This will add to the mileage of this trip.

2438 on the CZ, 469 on the CS

 

2907 miles, 179 miles more than planned before. 

New total mileage is 9536.



#16 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 11:24 AM

I haven't met Patrick--he sounds very nice.

 

Sorry about your TE being cancelled--actually, there are people on AU who go out of their way to get more mileage by traveling the longest route possible wherever they are going! :) ("The traveler" is our champion expert at this!)



#17 Medic981

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 01:38 PM

I enjoy time on the train which is why I ride for no particular reason other than to ride the rails. I traveled the TE once last year from LAX to CHI. This March I am traveling CHI to LAX on the TE. I am planning a trip on the CZ and EB for 2019. 

 

I hope you are enjoying your time on the train. I am looking forward to my trip in March. BWI to WAS on the NE WAS to CHI on CL CHI to LAX on the TE and LAX to SEA on the CS. 



#18 Adrouault

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 07:03 PM

Thanks. Going back to NY in 5 days, LSL in 8 days!



#19 Adrouault

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 09:03 PM

Revised train times, reflecting the recent changes.

Assuming on time performance is good.

27h24m going to Miami

26:50 going back to New York

18h 19 minutes from CRT to CHI

5 H 15 layover

43 hour 15 minute on the SWC to LAX

11h44 LAX to EMY

52h40 EMY to CHI

6h40 min Layover

11 hour 20 minutes CHI to ROC.

 

7 days and 23 hours on the rails.

191 hours.

13 hours layover in Chicago round trip.

9 nights.

 

9 Breakfasts

6 Lunches

8 Dinners

23 meals on amtrak



#20 Woodcut60

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 06:53 AM

Most of the Sleeping Car Attendants I met were very good, polite and professional. Only good memories for me. I think it has a lot to do with your own attitude and friendly behavior.


Amtrak Routes Traveled: Lake Shore Limited, California Zephyr, San Joaquin, Pacific Surfliner, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Cardinal, Crescent, Sunset Limited, Southwest Chief, Hiawatha, City of New Orleans, Texas Eagle, Heartland Flyer, Missouri River Runner, Lincoln, Wolverine, Northeast Regional, Acela Express, Downeaster, Vermonter, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Capitol Limited, Pennsylvanian, Amtrak Cascades.

Other Routes in North America: Denali Star (Anchorage-Fairbanks, Alaska Railroad), The Ocean (Halifax-Montréal), Corridor (Montréal-Toronto), The Canadian (Toronto-Vancouver).

Amtrak: approx. 25,000 miles and 47 states.

VIA Rail Canada: approx. 4,300 miles and eight provinces.





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