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Boston to Los Angeles -- what would be the lowest altitude routes?


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#1 amtrak1222

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 02:24 PM

Hi everyone!

 

I currently have a collapsed lung and my doctor told me to avoid high altitude when traveling. I am currently trying to travel from Boston to Los Angeles, and what wondering what might be the most efficient route at the lowest altitude?

 

It seems that the Sunset Limited route has the lowest altitude, and was wondering what might be the best way to connect to that route from Boston in your opinion? Thanks in advance for any tips!



#2 Bob Dylan

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 02:32 PM

Yep, the Sunset Ltd between New Orleans and LA( note it only runs 3 days a week, but you want to spend some time in New Orleans for sure between the connection of the Crescent/ from New,York,or the City of New Orleans/from Chicago and the Sunset) !)is the way to go with the only real high altitude part of the route being around Alpine,Texas. (Crew change pount)

Between Alpine and Marfa( 20 miles apart), Paisano Pass,the highest point on this Route,has a Mile High Altitude like Denver, but it's a gentle climb with a Plateau ( ie Desert)stretching from Marfa clear to California where you can see Mountains in the distance as the Train rolls along!

Edited by Bob Dylan, 09 July 2018 - 02:46 PM.

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#3 cpotisch

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 02:34 PM

Take the Lake Shore Limited from Boston to Chicago. Then take the Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle to Los Angeles. In case you don't know, on the days that the Sunset Limited runs (it's thrice weekly), one sleeper and once coach from the Eagle to/from the Sunset Limited.


Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service
 
Wish List: Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome, Downeaster

#4 cpotisch

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 02:39 PM

There is the alternative of taking a Regional or Acela to the Crescent to the Sunset Limited, but that would mean transferring twice and spending an overnight in NOL, which isn't ideal.


Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service
 
Wish List: Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome, Downeaster

#5 buck1108

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 02:50 PM

I would take the Crescent down to New Orleans, as that's about the lowest altitude, then on to the Sunset Ltd. 

There are relative 'high altitudes,' perhaps, with Colorado being higher than the ones further south. 

 

If you should need to consider to travel with oxygen equipment, Amtrak has an info page about this:

https://www.amtrak.c...xygen-equipment

 

 

This site will provide altitude measurements at the click on the map.  It appears that the southern route is, on average, about 1000 ft lower than the Colorado route.

http://www.mapcoordinates.net/en

 

Best wishes for an enjoyable trip!


Edited by buck1108, 09 July 2018 - 03:07 PM.


#6 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 03:02 PM

If I ever go out west again, I too want to avoid mountains and high altitudes, but not for health reasons--just because those Glacier things scared me to death.

 

Jim, the highest point--that Paisano Pass--how bad is it? Are you looking over the edge at nothing? And how long is it to get through there? Other than that, it seems like the best route for me.



#7 cpotisch

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 03:22 PM

If the OP did take a Regional or Acela to the Crescent and Sunset Limited, would he/she transfer in NYP or WAS?


Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service
 
Wish List: Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome, Downeaster

#8 tricia

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 03:24 PM

If the OP did take a Regional or Acela to the Crescent and Sunset Limited, would he/she transfer in NYP or WAS?

 

You can do either, although online booking defaults to NY, IIRC. I've transferred from NE Regional to the Crescent in NY, Phila., and DC.



#9 cpotisch

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 03:28 PM

 

If the OP did take a Regional or Acela to the Crescent and Sunset Limited, would he/she transfer in NYP or WAS?

 

You can do either, although online booking defaults to NY, IIRC. I've transferred from NE Regional to the Crescent in NY, Phila., and DC.

 

Regionals have the exact same coach price buckets as the LD trains, so if he/she is going coach, would there be any price difference?


Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service
 
Wish List: Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome, Downeaster

#10 tricia

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 03:31 PM

 

 

If the OP did take a Regional or Acela to the Crescent and Sunset Limited, would he/she transfer in NYP or WAS?

 

You can do either, although online booking defaults to NY, IIRC. I've transferred from NE Regional to the Crescent in NY, Phila., and DC.

 

Regionals have the exact same coach price buckets as the LD trains, so if he/she is going coach, would there be any price difference?

 

 

I don't remember. You could go to amtrak.com and look it up.   ^_^


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#11 cpotisch

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 03:47 PM

 

 

 

If the OP did take a Regional or Acela to the Crescent and Sunset Limited, would he/she transfer in NYP or WAS?

 

You can do either, although online booking defaults to NY, IIRC. I've transferred from NE Regional to the Crescent in NY, Phila., and DC.

 

Regionals have the exact same coach price buckets as the LD trains, so if he/she is going coach, would there be any price difference?

 

 

I don't remember. You could go to amtrak.com and look it up.   ^_^

 

Done. The low bucket price for one coach ticket BOS-NOL via NYP is $173. Meanwhile, the price for BOS-NOL via WAS is...also $173. So I imagine it's the same, regardless of the city.


Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service
 
Wish List: Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome, Downeaster

#12 zephyr17

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 04:21 PM

If I ever go out west again, I too want to avoid mountains and high altitudes, but not for health reasons--just because those Glacier things scared me to death.

 

Jim, the highest point--that Paisano Pass--how bad is it? Are you looking over the edge at nothing? And how long is it to get through there? Other than that, it seems like the best route for me.

Paisano Pass is a gentle climb through a valley.  Nothing on a ledge at all.


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#13 Bob Dylan

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 05:09 PM


If I ever go out west again, I too want to avoid mountains and high altitudes, but not for health reasons--just because those Glacier things scared me to death.
 
Jim, the highest point--that Paisano Pass--how bad is it? Are you looking over the edge at nothing? And how long is it to get through there? Other than that, it seems like the best route for me.

Paisano Pass is a gentle climb through a valley.  Nothing on a ledge at all.
Yep!Easy climb from Alpine, you might even be having Lunch in the Diner as you roll through.

And it was my first home ( born in Alpine)as my Grandfather was the SP Section Foreman at Paisano. My Mom and I lived there while my Dad served in the South Pacific @ the end of WWII.

No trace of the RR compound is left @ the site, it was abandoned in 1946!
"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

#14 west point

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 05:15 PM

It might be wise to bring an oxygen concentrator.  They plug in and usually many models have a battery back up.  That way on the Eagle / Sunset you will have a good back up if you become short of breath .  HEP would power concentrator most of time but if HEP fails for any reason you will have the battery back up.  But of course check with reservation agent for carrying one !

FYI  The Train to Tibet uses a car concentrator instead of pressuring the cars.  

For the science minded what matters is the partial pressure of O-2 that determines breathing.    20% of O-2 at sea level means the O-2 is 3 PSI.  At Denver partial pressure is about 1.5 PSI  ?.   


Edited by west point, 09 July 2018 - 05:23 PM.

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#15 Ryan

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 04:15 AM

Close. Overall atmospheric pressure in Denver is 17% lower than at sea level, so the partial pressure (indicating how much O2 is available for absorption into the lungs) of O2 drops from 2.9 PSI to 2.44 PSI.
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#16 west point

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 10:05 AM

Ryan thanks for the correct figures.  Did not have my books available.



#17 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 10:25 AM

Thank you, zephyr17 and Bob D. for the information on Paisano Pass. That sounds like the best way for me to get out west again (probably not til the next western Gathering, though, so hopefully the trains will still be there).



#18 KmH

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 12:02 PM

The elevation at Paisano Pass is about 5100 feet. At the Continental Divide, between Deeming and Lordsburg, the elevation is about 4600 feet.

 

For comparison, on the SWC route the altitude high points are at Raton Pass & Glorietta Pass - about 7500 feet, Flagstaff about 6900 feet.

http://www.mytopo.com/maps/index.cfm?


Edited by KmH, 10 July 2018 - 12:04 PM.

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

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


#19 cpotisch

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 12:06 PM

Do you (the OP) know how high up you can safely (and comfortably) go?


Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service
 
Wish List: Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome, Downeaster

#20 chakk

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 12:23 PM

Commercial jets are typically pressurized to 7,000 feet inside, with the Boeing 787 somewhat lower (about 5,000 feet).




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