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Guest DaveW

Christmas Train?

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Guest DaveW

Just watched The Christmas Train on the Hallmark Channel. Does Amtrak have a train excursion like this? Single man 65 asking.

 

Dave

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First, the movie is fictional. Second, the author of the story is describing how the train travel is romantic and interesting. The movie is about a 4000 mile coast to coast train, which there is none. Best is the Capitol Limited to Chicago and the Southwest Chief to LA. The rooms seen on the train are a fictional view by the director and set designer. They were about a 1/3 - 1/2 car in length, no bathrooms or showers, but very fancy. The Conductor was on duty the entire trip doing mostly OBS duties.

 

Bottom line, Amtrak does not have a coast to coast luxury train, but there are sleeping cars and dining cars with interesting people to talk too, beautiful scenery passing by, and the fun of leaving the rat race for a short time. Every trip I have made on Amtrak since the 1980's has been different.

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I would vote for the California Zephyr from Chicago to the east side of San Francisco bay over the Southwest Chief.

More scenic and a little bit longer trip, both distance and time wise.

 

In real life the Conductors (and Engineers) are limited by federal Hours-of-Service rules to approx 8 hours on the train. So those employees change as the train progresses along it's route.

On Board Staff (OBS) are not subject to HOS rules, and it's my understanding that on the Southwest Chief and California Zephyr routes OBS 'work' the entire route in both directions (6 days) and sleep/eat as station stops allow.

 

Some sleeper passengers decorate their rooms during the Christmas holidays.

Edited by KmH

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Just a note. The "Christmas Train" movie does not accurately represent an actual train nor the book. Read the book which follows the main character from Washington DC to Chicago and then to LA on the Southwest Chief. A good story and far more accurate than the movie but still fiction!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Amtrak Forum

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LOL I've been on the AT "Xmas Train" for the past 4 years! We have Christmas Eve ON the train. We and others do put up lights in the rooms. The most fun is I always bring a little tree w/lights...go to the lounge car w/the laptop and play "snow Snow SNOW" from White Christmas on it

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Guest DaveW

Thank you for the replies!! I understand the movie is a fictional setting .. I was just wanting something to experience. The trip out of Chicago sounds interesting though. Any idea on approximate cost? I understand there'll be options ... but just an idea.

 

I've tried to register through the app, but it won't let me!!!

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Cost of the California Zephyr depend on time of the year, how far in advance, Coach or Sleeper, stop offs, etc. You can use AMSNAG.com to see pricing and to get updates if the pricing goes down.

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California Zephyr departing Chicago on December 23, 2017 to Emeryville, CA, arrive December 25, 2017

Coach (3 days, 2 nights) - $279.65 Flexible fare w/Senior discount. No Value fare tickets left.

Roomette (just 1 left) - $681.35 (meals in dining car included) $145.35 rail fare (includes Senior discount) + $536 for the Roomette.

 

Book now to depart Chicago March 25, 2018

Coach - Saver fare $135 (less than Senior discount) • Value fare (Senior) $145.35

Roomette: $573.35 ($145.35 rail fare + $428)

 

If 2 people share the roomette the roomette charge stays the same, but add a 2nd rail fare.

So for 2 seniors departing Chicago March 25 in a roomette all the way it's $826.70 - 2 railfares @ $145.35 each (includes Senior discount) and the roomette at $428.

 

Or you can kind of mix your accommodation by booking a Multi-City ticket.

Ride Coach overnight from Chicago to Denver, and then move to a roomette in the morning when the train gets to Denver the rest of the way to Emeryville

Denver is a service stop so the train is there for about 50 minutes.

Departing CHI March 25 CHI - DEN Coach - $66.69

March 26 Roomette DEN to EMY $392.66 ($78.68 rail fare (includes Senior discount) + $314 for the roomette)

$459.39 total.

Edited by KmH

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Guest guest

Everybody who's even mildly interested should take at least one overnight long distance train trip!

 

The Zephyr is probably the most scenic but other long distance trains are fun, too, a unique experience.

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I have taken my children and now my grandchildren on the TE overnight for their first train trip. Some loved it, a few were extremely bored. Those who lovced it have traveled with me on multiple night trips like the CZ or EB

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Just watched The Christmas Train on the Hallmark Channel. Does Amtrak have a train excursion like this? Single man 65 asking.

 

Dave

If I may, why'd you mention that you're single for this question?

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