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Need Cross-Country Advice!


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#21 KmH

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 11:52 PM

Once the CZ gets on the west side of the Continental Divide the population density starts dropping off.

Gore Canyon starts about 2.5 miles past Kremmling, and for the next 60 or so rail miles the CZ route goes through a part of the Western Slope that has very few roads and very little population. That's when the CZ rejoins I-70 at Dotsero.


California Zephyr • Coast Starlight  • Southwest Chief • Sunset Limited • Texas Eagle • Illinois Zephyr • Capitol Corridor

. . . . Amtrak miles - 23,703, so far.


#22 KleShreen

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 01:51 PM

Thanks for the advice everyone!

 

I think we're going to go in to Emeryville Tuesday evening in a bedroom, take the bus to SF and stay there Tuesday night, take the Ferry back across to Jack London on Wednesday night and stay the night there (since it looks like the Ferry only runs in the early evening?), get on the Starlight there Thursday morning in a roomette, head to Union Station in LA for Thursday night and spend Friday and Saturday in LA before flying out Sunday. =)


First train trips in the books!

 

August 19, 2018: Pere Marquette from Grand Rapids to Chicago

August 19-21, 2018: California Zephyr from Chicago to Emeryville

August 23, 2018: Coast Stralight from Oakland to Los Angeles


#23 Bob Dylan

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 02:19 PM

Nice plan, y'all will Love it!😎😍

FYI:

You can also ride an Ambus from SF to Oakland Amtrak since you have Rail to LAX or:

There is a 900am Ferry from SF to Oakland,arrives @ 915am with a Stop in Alameda.
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#24 KleShreen

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 11:46 AM

Hey do any of you know if there is free baggage storage in Chicago if you have a ticket for a bedroom? I thought I saw that somewhere but I can't find it now. We'd have about a 5-hour layover in Chicago and we wanted to go exploring during that time, and I thought we'd be able to put our bags in to storage for free.


First train trips in the books!

 

August 19, 2018: Pere Marquette from Grand Rapids to Chicago

August 19-21, 2018: California Zephyr from Chicago to Emeryville

August 23, 2018: Coast Stralight from Oakland to Los Angeles


#25 AmtrakBlue

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 12:00 PM

Hey do any of you know if there is free baggage storage in Chicago if you have a ticket for a bedroom? I thought I saw that somewhere but I can't find it now. We'd have about a 5-hour layover in Chicago and we wanted to go exploring during that time, and I thought we'd be able to put our bags in to storage for free.

Yes, in the Metropolitan Lounge.


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#26 the_traveler

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 01:20 PM

Since you have a room, you can use the Metropolitan Lounge and store your luggage there free of charge.
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#27 Woodcut60

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 06:46 AM

I totally agree with Bob Dylan: The California Zephyr has stunning views and when I rode this train back in May 2012 I was in Bedroom E which was excellent.


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, Maple Leaf, Adirondack, Ethan Allen Express, Keystone, Carolinian, Piedmont.
Other Routes in North America: Denali Star (Anchorage-Fairbanks, Alaska Railroad), The Ocean (Halifax-Montréal), Corridor (Montréal-Toronto), The Canadian (Toronto-Vancouver).
Amtrak: approx. 29,000 miles and 47 states; VIA Rail Canada: approx. 4,300 miles and eight provinces.

#28 KleShreen

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 02:06 PM

Has anyone used the Amtrak Vacations thing to put together their trips? I called them today and they quoted me the rail portions of the trip as well as some hotel stays and it seemed way more expensive than what you can get just doing it on your own. Maybe the "packages" just aren't as big of discounts as it seems like they should be. Haha.


First train trips in the books!

 

August 19, 2018: Pere Marquette from Grand Rapids to Chicago

August 19-21, 2018: California Zephyr from Chicago to Emeryville

August 23, 2018: Coast Stralight from Oakland to Los Angeles


#29 Rail Freak

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 02:22 PM

Has anyone used the Amtrak Vacations thing to put together their trips? I called them today and they quoted me the rail portions of the trip as well as some hotel stays and it seemed way more expensive than what you can get just doing it on your own. Maybe the "packages" just aren't as big of discounts as it seems like they should be. Haha.

Over the years, I've looked into them &,like yourself, I think I'll do it myself!!!


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Silver Meteor #97(6) & #98 (4), Silver Star #91 (2), Capitol Limited #29 & #30(6), Empire Builder #7,#8,#27(2) &#28(4) Coast Starlight #11 (6) & #14(5), California Zephyr #5 (2) & #6 (5), Cascades #506, City of New Orleans #58, #59 (2), South West Chief #3 (4), Lake Shore Limited #49, Maple Leaf #63, San Joaquin #714, Pacific Surfliner #774, Texas Eagle #422 (2), Cardinal #50, Crescent #19, Sunset Limited #1. Approx. 60,169 miles & 41 states!

 


#30 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 04:44 PM

Has anyone used the Amtrak Vacations thing to put together their trips? I called them today and they quoted me the rail portions of the trip as well as some hotel stays and it seemed way more expensive than what you can get just doing it on your own. Maybe the "packages" just aren't as big of discounts as it seems like they should be. Haha.

 

So far as I can tell there's no "discount" at all.  You're paying a premium to cover the cost of having a travel agent book it for you.


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#31 the_traveler

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 06:41 PM

That is how I look at it also.

If you (and your spouse say) both work 12 hours a day, and then you have to go home and take care of the kids, it may be worth it to pay someone else to do the grunt work. But if you know how to find the lowest fares, the lowest hotels (or want to stay with a specific brand), etc... and you want to do it yourself and have the time, you probably will find it less.

I myself would rather do it myself.
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#32 KmH

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 07:51 PM

I seem to remember someone saying Amtrak Vacations isn't actually Amtrak.

 

From the Amtrak Vacations web site:

 

 

Amtrak Vacations is operated by Yankee Leisure Group, Inc.

Edited by KmH, 03 January 2018 - 07:51 PM.

California Zephyr • Coast Starlight  • Southwest Chief • Sunset Limited • Texas Eagle • Illinois Zephyr • Capitol Corridor

. . . . Amtrak miles - 23,703, so far.


#33 KleShreen

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 12:18 AM

Welp! We ordered our tickets! And we got bedroom E, so I didn't even have to ask!  :)


First train trips in the books!

 

August 19, 2018: Pere Marquette from Grand Rapids to Chicago

August 19-21, 2018: California Zephyr from Chicago to Emeryville

August 23, 2018: Coast Stralight from Oakland to Los Angeles


#34 KleShreen

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 12:58 PM

What is security like compared to airports? Like our first train on our trip leaves at 6 A.M. from a small station near us. I know the website says to arrive at least a half hour prior to departure time, but that seems like it is cutting it pretty close. Is there going to be like a security line or scanners or anything?


First train trips in the books!

 

August 19, 2018: Pere Marquette from Grand Rapids to Chicago

August 19-21, 2018: California Zephyr from Chicago to Emeryville

August 23, 2018: Coast Stralight from Oakland to Los Angeles


#35 ehbowen

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 01:08 PM

If you see any kind of a security screening at all, don't bother buying a lottery ticket for the next full year. You're that unlucky!

 

If you're not checking baggage (when you have to have the baggage IN THE AGENT'S HAND 45 minutes prior to departure), you just have to be on the platform before the train is...particularly at the small stations. And while a train may arrive early, it will never leave before posted departure time (exception: stations coded "D" [discharge only] or "L" [limited stop] in the timetable). Even at a flag stop, which the train may bypass if no passengers are scheduled to board or detrain, the engineer is supposed to slow down enough to check the platform and stop if a last-minute passenger is waiting...and to not leave the station until posted boarding time. (Key word: supposed!)

 

Thirty minutes is generous. If there's a coffee shop or similar within sight of the station, I'd willingly cut it to fifteen.


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#36 KleShreen

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 02:59 PM

If you see any kind of a security screening at all, don't bother buying a lottery ticket for the next full year. You're that unlucky!

 

If you're not checking baggage (when you have to have the baggage IN THE AGENT'S HAND 45 minutes prior to departure), you just have to be on the platform before the train is...particularly at the small stations. And while a train may arrive early, it will never leave before posted departure time (exception: stations coded "D" [discharge only] or "L" [limited stop] in the timetable). Even at a flag stop, which the train may bypass if no passengers are scheduled to board or detrain, the engineer is supposed to slow down enough to check the platform and stop if a last-minute passenger is waiting...and to not leave the station until posted boarding time. (Key word: supposed!)

 

Thirty minutes is generous. If there's a coffee shop or similar within sight of the station, I'd willingly cut it to fifteen.

 

Thanks! We'll just stick to the half hour then. So it is pretty much carte blanche for what you can bring on the train? That's a little unsettling. Haha. Well, at least I don't have to explain a box of diabetic needles to anyone. We're just going to be utilizing one carry-on and one personal size bag each since we don't want to pay for anything extra on the airplane on the way back. Amtrak allowing TWO carry-ons (which are the size of most airplane checked bags) and TWO personal bags PER PERSON is ridiculous!


Edited by KleShreen, 09 January 2018 - 03:00 PM.

First train trips in the books!

 

August 19, 2018: Pere Marquette from Grand Rapids to Chicago

August 19-21, 2018: California Zephyr from Chicago to Emeryville

August 23, 2018: Coast Stralight from Oakland to Los Angeles


#37 ehbowen

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 03:15 PM

Amtrak allowing TWO carry-ons (which are the size of most airplane checked bags) and TWO personal bags PER PERSON is ridiculous!

 
Ridiculous? I think it's great!

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Visit Streamliner Schedules - Historic timetables from the Streamliner era.


#38 Tennessee Traveler

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 03:17 PM

 

If you see any kind of a security screening at all, don't bother buying a lottery ticket for the next full year. You're that unlucky!

 

If you're not checking baggage (when you have to have the baggage IN THE AGENT'S HAND 45 minutes prior to departure), you just have to be on the platform before the train is...particularly at the small stations. And while a train may arrive early, it will never leave before posted departure time (exception: stations coded "D" [discharge only] or "L" [limited stop] in the timetable). Even at a flag stop, which the train may bypass if no passengers are scheduled to board or detrain, the engineer is supposed to slow down enough to check the platform and stop if a last-minute passenger is waiting...and to not leave the station until posted boarding time. (Key word: supposed!)

 

Thirty minutes is generous. If there's a coffee shop or similar within sight of the station, I'd willingly cut it to fifteen.

 

Thanks! We'll just stick to the half hour then. So it is pretty much carte blanche for what you can bring on the train? That's a little unsettling. Haha. Well, at least I don't have to explain a box of diabetic needles to anyone. We're just going to be utilizing one carry-on and one personal size bag each since we don't want to pay for anything extra on the airplane on the way back. Amtrak allowing TWO carry-ons (which are the size of most airplane checked bags) and TWO personal bags PER PERSON is ridiculous!

 

 No problem with diabetic needles. I've been doing a nightly injection for two years now and absolutely no problem bringing my insulin pens and needles aboard.  One word of caution if you are traveling LD overnight -- Don't do the injection while the train is in motion.  I did it once and needle bounce in and out. After that I plan my injection when I know the train is stopping for a station stop or better yet a fresh air break stop.



#39 KmH

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 03:46 PM

So it is pretty much carte blanche for what you can bring on the train?

No.
https://assistive.am...ited-items.html

California Zephyr • Coast Starlight  • Southwest Chief • Sunset Limited • Texas Eagle • Illinois Zephyr • Capitol Corridor

. . . . Amtrak miles - 23,703, so far.


#40 ehbowen

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 03:49 PM

So it is pretty much carte blanche for what you can bring on the train?

No.
https://assistive.am...ited-items.html


Very true. While there is seldom formal screening (although spot checks are occasionally conducted; hence my comment about being 'unlucky'), if it comes to the attention of the train crew that you have one or more of these prohibited items with you then you could be in Big Trouble.

broadside-1.jpg 16 inch Armor Piercing...When you care enough to send the very, VERY best!
Visit Streamliner Schedules - Historic timetables from the Streamliner era.




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