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cpotisch

Trip Advice Needed

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I think I've done New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington D.C, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, California, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont. I'm trying to figure out what combination of routes that would allow me to get as many of the remaining states as possible without breaking the bank.

Edited by cpotisch

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Wyoming and South Dakota are the only contiguous states without Amtrak service, right? If so, I guess these are the states I have left:

 

Alabama

Idaho

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Montana

North Dakota

Oklahoma

Oregon

Tennessee

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Edited by cpotisch

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This was just a couple posts in one of the "Member Trips" forums and I guess the mods turned it into a whole new topic here. I appreciate any advice, but this was more of a hypothetical question than actual intent to plan a trip and tally off those remaining states.

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Where are you starting from?

Again, this was just a hypothetical question, but likely New York.

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Wyoming and South Dakota are the only contiguous states without Amtrak service, right? If so, I guess these are the states I have left:

 

Alabama

Idaho

Indiana

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Montana

North Dakota

Oklahoma

Oregon

Tennessee

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

 

No LD trains service Michigan, so here (I live in Michigan) you would have a choice of the Wolverine, Blue Water or Pere Marquette out of CUS. The other state you'd have that situation with is Oklahoma. The Heartland Flyer is the only train that services that state. I'm actually attempting to reach the goal of riding through every state Amtrak serves and will have my mission (or obsession) complete probably next year. All I need are the states in the deep south. For me, that's going to take two more trips, one already scheduled for December, then all that's left is Florida. Also, off the top of my head, your list should be completed by riding the SWC, Crescent, Empire Builder and the trains I mentioned above.

Edited by tim49424

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Crescent, City of New Orleans, and Empire Builder would cover most of it.

 

If you spent a day or two in Chicago, you could do a Michigan turn.

 

If you’ve been on a Chicago-East Coast train, you’ve already been to Indiana.

 

Then you’d need some kind of combination Cardinal, SW Chief and Heartland Flyer to get the rest (unless I’ve missed something).

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Nice to see that there are more AU members trying to cover the whole network and/or all of the US states. I've done all of them, including Alaska on the Alaska Railroad, except of course Wyoming and South Dakota. I know that there sometimes are detours through the state of Wyoming but for me that is almost impossible to do on short notice, because I don't live in the US. Envious of you guys living there. For me it is always a big undertaking to plan my trips, but you could basically just hop on a train.

 

@tim49424: I'll be visiting the state of Michigan again in May next year, on Amtrak's Michigan Service. I'm looking forward to seeing Detroit, Port Huron, and Grand Rapids, among others.

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@tim49424: I'll be visiting the state of Michigan again in May next year, on Amtrak's Michigan Service. I'm looking forward to seeing Detroit, Port Huron, and Grand Rapids, among others.

 

I'm sorry to inform you but you cannot do all three in one trip by train. Here, I've provided a link to the Michigan Services trains (Wolverine, Blue Water and Pere Marquette) for your perusal.

 

https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/projects/dotcom/english/public/documents/timetables/Michigan-Services-Schedule-071618.pdf

 

I live along the Pere Marquette line, which terminates in Grand Rapids. It is the only of the three that you get a Michigan view of Lake Michigan (in and just south of St. Joseph-Benton Harbor.)

Edited by tim49424

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@tim49424: Oh, no, I'm fully aware of that. I'm riding the Wolverine from Chicago to Pontiac, the Blue Water from Port Huron to Kalamazoo, and the Pere Marquette from Grand Rapids back to Chicago. And thanks for your information about the Michigan view of Lake Michigan. I will definitely sit on the right hand side of the train.

By the way, do you by any chance have Dutch ancestry?

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So, "states" is a pretty odd bucket list, given that eastern and western Tennessee don't look much alike.

 

I'd say you need to take the Empire Builder, the Cardinal, the Crescent, the CONO, and the SWC. That just leaves Michigan and Oklahoma.

 

A "Southern loop" would be Crescent/CONO/Cardinal. A "Western Loop" starting in Chicago could be Empire Builder/Cascades/Empire Builder or Empire Builder/Coast Starlight/Southwest Chief. Doing the "southern loop" and the bigger "western loop" would get you everything but Michigan and Oklahoma. Oklahoma is officially Not Convenient.

Edited by neroden

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@tim49424: Oh, no, I'm fully aware of that. I'm riding the Wolverine from Chicago to Pontiac, the Blue Water from Port Huron to Kalamazoo, and the Pere Marquette from Grand Rapids back to Chicago. And thanks for your information about the Michigan view of Lake Michigan. I will definitely sit on the right hand side of the train.

By the way, do you by any chance have Dutch ancestry?

I’m adopted, born in southern Ohio, so not likely Dutch myself, but my mom (adoptive) was. My grandfather spoke fluent Dutch and English and his parents came over from the Netherlands in the late 1800s.

 

While on the Pere Marquette, as I said before, when you stop at St. Joe, you’ll get a good view of the lake as you’ll be at the beach, what I didn’t say is that as you approach you’ll cross the St. Joseph river that you’ll see it emptying into the lake. Then about 5 minutes south, before the track heads inland, you’ll get the other good view. The next time you see the lake is in Hammond where you’ll see the skyline of Chicago. The same is true on The Wolverine as all three Michigan Services trains use that same track in Northern Indiana.

 

I’ve ridden the PM so many times (nearly 70) I can see the route from Holland to Chicago in my sleep. I am familiar with most of the crew and former crew. I’ll be riding again a week from Tuesday when I head for Seattle. If schedule holds, my good friend who worked on the PM a few years back will be conductor on the Empire Builder!

Edited by tim49424

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While on the Pere Marquette, as I said before, when you stop at St. Joe, you’ll get a good view of the lake as you’ll be at the beach, what I didn’t say is that as you approach you’ll cross the St. Joseph river that you’ll see it emptying into the lake. Then about 5 minutes south, before the track heads inland, you’ll get the other good view. The next time you see the lake is in Hammond where you’ll see the skyline of Chicago. The same is true on The Wolverine as all three Michigan Services trains use that same track in Northern Indiana.

 

I’ve ridden the PM so many times (nearly 70) I can see the route from Holland to Chicago in my sleep. I am familiar with most of the crew and former crew. I’ll be riding again a week from Tuesday when I head for Seattle. If schedule holds, my good friend who worked on the PM a few years back will be conductor on the Empire Builder!

Tim, while you are giving trip advice, I will ask my question. Riding a train in Michigan is on my bucket list. Although I have been to Michigan, I have not been on a train in that State. I had planned to visit Joe Hess in Grand Rapids in the next year or so. He convinced me that Grand Rapids was the craft beer capitol of the country, and as such, was the best city in Michigan. Unfortunately, AU's good friend Joe passed away not too long ago. I still want to ride a train to visit somewhere in Michigan, have a local beer, maybe spend the night, then leave. I have looked at day trips from Chicago and nothing really interesting and easy jumped out at me.

 

Do you have a suggestion for an interesting and fairly easy (with decent departure/arrival times) trip on one or two of the Michigan trains? Thanks.

 

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While on the Pere Marquette, as I said before, when you stop at St. Joe, you’ll get a good view of the lake as you’ll be at the beach, what I didn’t say is that as you approach you’ll cross the St. Joseph river that you’ll see it emptying into the lake. Then about 5 minutes south, before the track heads inland, you’ll get the other good view. The next time you see the lake is in Hammond where you’ll see the skyline of Chicago. The same is true on The Wolverine as all three Michigan Services trains use that same track in Northern Indiana.

 

I’ve ridden the PM so many times (nearly 70) I can see the route from Holland to Chicago in my sleep. I am familiar with most of the crew and former crew. I’ll be riding again a week from Tuesday when I head for Seattle. If schedule holds, my good friend who worked on the PM a few years back will be conductor on the Empire Builder!

Tim, while you are giving trip advice, I will ask my question. Riding a train in Michigan is on my bucket list. Although I have been to Michigan, I have not been on a train in that State. I had planned to visit Joe Hess in Grand Rapids in the next year or so. He convinced me that Grand Rapids was the craft beer capitol of the country, and as such, was the best city in Michigan. Unfortunately, AU's good friend Joe passed away not too long ago. I still want to ride a train to visit somewhere in Michigan, have a local beer, maybe spend the night, then leave. I have looked at day trips from Chicago and nothing really interesting and easy jumped out at me.

 

Do you have a suggestion for an interesting and fairly easy (with decent departure/arrival times) trip on one or two of the Michigan trains? Thanks.

SarahZ would probably be a better one to ask on that subject. The train I’m most familiar with is the PM, which runs one time daily in each direction and the times aren’t very convenient in Michigan. I’ve ridden the Wolverine but only between Kalamazoo and Chicago and vice versa only a few times and never have used the Blue Water at all. I know she’s utilized those two trains many times so I’ll defer to her. I can tell you that yes, GR has good craft beer as does Holland and their markets are always expanding. New Holland Beer just announced they’re opening a second microbrewery in Holland. Also, I’ve seen these beers sold in Ann Arbor, so they’re quite famous throughout the state. It’s an exploding industry in our state, for sure!

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I agree that Sarah is your "go to guide" on things Michigan Penny!

 

I too, had planned to visit our friend Joe in Grand Rapids, he convinced me that the Ribs and Craft Beer in GR, and the various Festivals in Michigan, were the Best thing going!

Edited by Bob Dylan

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I agree that Sarah is your "go to guide" on things Michigan Penny!

 

I too, had planned to visit our friend Joe in Grand Rapids, he convinced me that the Ribs and Craft Beer in GR, and the various Festivals in Michigan, were the Best thing going!

There are plenty of festivals to attend in the area, that’s for sure....starting with the Tulip Festival in early May and pretty much ending with Art Prize which is going on currently and ends in October. Not only are there festivals but places of interest, many museums, a botanical garden, a pretty nice zoo, minor league sports, concerts, amongst other things. I lived in GR for nearly 15 years and kept quite busy. Holland also has quite a bit to offer as well and is only a few miles from Lake Michigan. We’re about 25 miles west of GR and the final intermediate stop on the PM before it terminates in Grand Rapids.

 

It sounds like Joe was quite the good guy. Too bad I didn’t have the opportunity to know him.

Edited by tim49424

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While on the Pere Marquette, as I said before, when you stop at St. Joe, you’ll get a good view of the lake as you’ll be at the beach, what I didn’t say is that as you approach you’ll cross the St. Joseph river that you’ll see it emptying into the lake. Then about 5 minutes south, before the track heads inland, you’ll get the other good view. The next time you see the lake is in Hammond where you’ll see the skyline of Chicago. The same is true on The Wolverine as all three Michigan Services trains use that same track in Northern Indiana.

 

I’ve ridden the PM so many times (nearly 70) I can see the route from Holland to Chicago in my sleep. I am familiar with most of the crew and former crew. I’ll be riding again a week from Tuesday when I head for Seattle. If schedule holds, my good friend who worked on the PM a few years back will be conductor on the Empire Builder!

Tim, while you are giving trip advice, I will ask my question. Riding a train in Michigan is on my bucket list. Although I have been to Michigan, I have not been on a train in that State. I had planned to visit Joe Hess in Grand Rapids in the next year or so. He convinced me that Grand Rapids was the craft beer capitol of the country, and as such, was the best city in Michigan. Unfortunately, AU's good friend Joe passed away not too long ago. I still want to ride a train to visit somewhere in Michigan, have a local beer, maybe spend the night, then leave. I have looked at day trips from Chicago and nothing really interesting and easy jumped out at me.

 

Do you have a suggestion for an interesting and fairly easy (with decent departure/arrival times) trip on one or two of the Michigan trains? Thanks.

 

 

 

I would take the southern route out to Dearborn and spend the day (and night) at Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum. If I could swing it, I'd stay two nights. It's that good.

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While on the Pere Marquette, as I said before, when you stop at St. Joe, youll get a good view of the lake as youll be at the beach, what I didnt say is that as you approach youll cross the St. Joseph river that youll see it emptying into the lake. Then about 5 minutes south, before the track heads inland, youll get the other good view. The next time you see the lake is in Hammond where youll see the skyline of Chicago. The same is true on The Wolverine as all three Michigan Services trains use that same track in Northern Indiana.

 

Ive ridden the PM so many times (nearly 70) I can see the route from Holland to Chicago in my sleep. I am familiar with most of the crew and former crew. Ill be riding again a week from Tuesday when I head for Seattle. If schedule holds, my good friend who worked on the PM a few years back will be conductor on the Empire Builder!

Tim, while you are giving trip advice, I will ask my question. Riding a train in Michigan is on my bucket list. Although I have been to Michigan, I have not been on a train in that State. I had planned to visit Joe Hess in Grand Rapids in the next year or so. He convinced me that Grand Rapids was the craft beer capitol of the country, and as such, was the best city in Michigan. Unfortunately, AU's good friend Joe passed away not too long ago. I still want to ride a train to visit somewhere in Michigan, have a local beer, maybe spend the night, then leave. I have looked at day trips from Chicago and nothing really interesting and easy jumped out at me.

 

Do you have a suggestion for an interesting and fairly easy (with decent departure/arrival times) trip on one or two of the Michigan trains? Thanks.

 

I would take the southern route out to Dearborn and spend the day (and night) at Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum. If I could swing it, I'd stay two nights. It's that good.

It is that good. I was there last month, Michigan being the 50th and last state I'd been to, and was there one day. When I scheduled the trip I thought that would be plenty of time. Wrong answer. I never did get to the Henry Ford Museum and didn't get half of Greenfield Village explored. A return trip may be in order!

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While on the Pere Marquette, as I said before, when you stop at St. Joe, you’ll get a good view of the lake as you’ll be at the beach, what I didn’t say is that as you approach you’ll cross the St. Joseph river that you’ll see it emptying into the lake. Then about 5 minutes south, before the track heads inland, you’ll get the other good view. The next time you see the lake is in Hammond where you’ll see the skyline of Chicago. The same is true on The Wolverine as all three Michigan Services trains use that same track in Northern Indiana.

 

I’ve ridden the PM so many times (nearly 70) I can see the route from Holland to Chicago in my sleep. I am familiar with most of the crew and former crew. I’ll be riding again a week from Tuesday when I head for Seattle. If schedule holds, my good friend who worked on the PM a few years back will be conductor on the Empire Builder!

Tim, while you are giving trip advice, I will ask my question. Riding a train in Michigan is on my bucket list. Although I have been to Michigan, I have not been on a train in that State. I had planned to visit Joe Hess in Grand Rapids in the next year or so. He convinced me that Grand Rapids was the craft beer capitol of the country, and as such, was the best city in Michigan. Unfortunately, AU's good friend Joe passed away not too long ago. I still want to ride a train to visit somewhere in Michigan, have a local beer, maybe spend the night, then leave. I have looked at day trips from Chicago and nothing really interesting and easy jumped out at me.

 

Do you have a suggestion for an interesting and fairly easy (with decent departure/arrival times) trip on one or two of the Michigan trains? Thanks.

 

I would take the southern route out to Dearborn and spend the day (and night) at Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum. If I could swing it, I'd stay two nights. It's that good.

 

Just to be semantically correct, the complex is now called The Henry Ford....no Greenfield Village anymore, it’s all one entity. That being said, it’s worth the trip there. Last time I went was about 30 years ago. I take my nephew’s fiancé to Henry Ford Hospital every so often to see her transport coordinator at Henry Ford Hospital, that’s as close as I get to returning there. I’m not sure how close the Amtrak station is to there but there are plenty of hotels in the area.

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This is one case where I'll take tradition over semantics.

 

While it has been fourteen years since I stayed there, we (father, #2 niece, #1 nephew, and myself) had a wonderful stay at what was then the Holiday Inn Fairlane. It's since been rebranded as the DoubleTree Detroit, but it looks as if it has been renovated and still looks to be a fine hotel. They advertise shuttle service in the local area, so if they fit within your budget I'd advise you to call the front desk and inquire about the availability of a lift to and from the Amtrak station and the Henry Ford complex. Back in 2004 they offered a package which included park tickets and a breakfast buffet; you might check to see if they're still offering anything similar.

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I stayed at the Comfort Inn at Dearborn, and there is literally one building (a doctor's office) between the motel and the Amtrak station. Doesn't get much closer than that. :) The Henry Ford is right there too; perhaps a 10 minute walk. The Comfort Inn also offers shuttle service.

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I stayed at the Comfort Inn at Dearborn, and there is literally one building (a doctor's office) between the motel and the Amtrak station. Doesn't get much closer than that. :) The Henry Ford is right there too; perhaps a 10 minute walk. The Comfort Inn also offers shuttle service.

This would be perfect for anyone who would want to visit The Henry Ford! It’s great to know all that is right within walking distance. Not too many times do things line up like that regarding attractions and Amtrak.

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