Chicago to New Orleans

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Scotstraveller, May 9, 2019.

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  1. May 9, 2019 #1

    Scotstraveller

    S

    Scotstraveller

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2019
    Messages:
    1
    Hey folks,

    I’m lookzing for some advice about the above journey.

    I’m going to be spending a few days in Chicago and after spending an amazing few hours in the Pacific Surfliner last month, I thought I’d travel from Chicago to New Orleans by train.

    What’s the journey like?

    What room type is best?

    Anyone done this journey before? I’d love to hear your experiences.

    Regards

    Scotstraveller
     
  2. May 9, 2019 #2

    cubeguide

    cubeguide

    cubeguide

    Train Attendant

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2019
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    I haven’t been on the route from Chicago to New Orleans but you will most likely be taking the City of New Orleans.
    You should get a Roomette because you get privacy and dinner is included. The train departs 8:05 PM in Chicago so you should eat before you board.
     
  3. May 10, 2019 #3

    SarahZ

    SarahZ

    SarahZ

    Conductor

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Messages:
    7,816
    Location:
    KAL
    I traveled in July 2014 and really enjoyed my trip. I booked a roomette.

    They served dinner after leaving Chicago. They didn't take reservations on my train. They just made an announcement that people could come to the dining car for dinner. The dining car was pretty empty, as most people had eaten before departing Chicago. Plus, we'd gotten a late start, and it was nearly 9:00 Central time.

    I was in the transdorm, which is a car the crew uses as a dorm but also has some roomettes for passengers. The transdorm is right behind the locomotive, so the noise from the horn kept me up most of the night. I didn't really mind, though, since it's just one night and I didn't have big plans the next day.

    I woke up before we got to Memphis. The trip through Tennessee and Mississippi was nice, with lots of trees, flowers, and crops I don't see in the Midwest. Louisiana was definitely my favorite part. I loved the transition into swampland with Spanish Moss, and traveling along Lake Pontchartrain was the highlight of the trip. We passed more swamps and some shotgun cottages on the way into New Orleans proper. I spent the afternoon looking for alligators in the swampy areas, but a friend who grew up in New Orleans informed me they tend to be more nocturnal. :(

    New Orleans is HOT and HUMID. I thought I was prepared, having dealt with hot, humid summers in Michigan, but this was like humidity on crack. I knew it would be a gamble going in July, so I dressed and prepared like I would for a humid summer day up here. HA. I was not prepared. It was "only" 88 degrees, but the heat index was 107. I took a streetcar to the French Quarter, walked around for about an hour, tried some beignets, and then noped back to my air conditioned hotel room. I had to catch the Crescent early the next morning, so while I didn't get to do much during my stopover, I still enjoyed being in and seeing (a little bit of) New Orleans.

    I really can't wait to go back some day. There is so much more I want to see. New Orleans is absolutely gorgeous and has so much cool history. Next time, however, I'll travel in January. ;) Oh, and I would absolutely take the City of New Orleans again. Flights from here are pretty cheap, but that was such a fun, short train ride that it would be hard to pass it up.

    Here are some pictures from my trip:

    45.jpg 52.jpg 54.jpg 58.jpg 60.jpg 86.jpg 80.jpg

    "Haunted/Not Haunted" signs are common in the French Quarter. I got a kick out of them.

    Screen Shot 2019-05-09 at 7.45.06 PM.png

    These are beignets at Cafe Du Monde. I've had something similar, and while they're good, they're definitely overhyped. When in Rome, though...

    89.jpg
     
    Scotstraveller and Dan O like this.
  4. May 10, 2019 #4

    FrensicPic

    FrensicPic

    FrensicPic

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Messages:
    2,850
    Location:
    LAX
    Last October my wife and I traveled northbound on the City of New Orleans #58. Not a bad trip; dinner was ok, breakfast nothing to write home about. Our stay in New Orleans was fun. As Sarah noted above... hot and muggy!

    Here's several photos and some videos from the City of N.O.
    https://flic.kr/s/aHsmxagapd

    Here's some photos of New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal (NOUPT)
    https://flic.kr/s/aHsmwreZPL
     

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