Texas to Hartford, CT questions

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by amtrak-rider, Jan 21, 2013.

Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

  1. Jan 21, 2013 #1

    amtrak-rider

    a

    amtrak-rider

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    Hello everyone

    We plan to take the Amtrak roundtrip from Texas to Hartford, CT in the summer 2013. We can drive to Austin, San Marcos, or San Antonio, any of the three (we live near Junction, TX). We will need to leave the car somewhere.

    We have two adults, two small children (age 5 and 7) and two grandparents, that will be going. I am thinking one Superliner Bedroom and one Family Bedroom.

    Looking for input/recommendations, etc

    Thank You
     
  2. Jan 21, 2013 #2

    sjgiss

    sjgiss

    sjgiss

    Train Attendant

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Remember the familyroom is on lower level and superliner rooms are upstairs
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2013
  3. Jan 21, 2013 #3

    Ryan

    Ryan

    Ryan

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Messages:
    16,840
    Location:
    OTN
    I'd consider the Family bedroom and then either roomette 13/14 so you'll be together.
     
  4. Jan 21, 2013 #4

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

    Conductor

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    Messages:
    18,167
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    The Family Room Sometimes is the Most Expensive Room on the Train! Google up amsnag.net (developed by one of our Members Paul M.)You can check out Fares an d Room Prices for up to 30 Days @ a Time for up to 11 Months in Advance, a Great Tool!

    I agree with Ryan that if you want the Family Room that Roomettes #11-#14 are downstairs so yall would be together! Just remember that the Kids beds are very Short, like 4 Feet Long so hopefully your Kids would be Comfortable! The luggage Rack, Shower and bathrooms are Steps Away and you have easier On/Off Access @ Rest Stops too! You also may want to look into Getting 2 Bedrooms (Depends on Prices!) that can be made into a Suite (ie B&C/D&E but A is a Single/Smaller Bedroom by itself!) If so, 2 Can Sleep on the Bottom Couch bed and One Up top, so perhaps One Ke\id could stay with each of the 2 Adult Couple and youd have 2 Restroom/Showers/Lots More Room etc. Check it out!

    As to Parking, there is No Parking Close to the Station in San Antonio, there are garages and Lots in Town towards the River Walk but they tend to be Pricey! San Marcos jhas parking but the station is not in the Best Part fo Town (I used to Live there).

    Austin has Lighted/Free parking that UP Workers, Amtrak Staff and Passengers use! Ive parked there as Long as 2 Weeks on LD Trips and havent had any Problems but yMMV! There are signs with a disclaimer that UP/Amtrak isnt Responsible for any Damage to Vehicles etc. The Area is Gentrifying Rapidly with lots of High End Condos around the station, a Busy YMCA Down the Hill from the station and the Police do Patrol the lot @ Night! Id consider using Austin for sure!

    I dont know if Mega Bus or the Long Dog runs from Junction to San Antonio (7AM Departure for the Texas Eagle #22/#422) or Austin (( 9:30AM Daily Departure North/7PMish Arrival of #21/#421 Southbound but if so maybe ridng a Bus would work for yall??? Google it up and see! Ive only be through Junction on I10 heading to El Paso, San Antonio and Austin (290 Cuts off to Fredriksburg, Johnson City North of Kerrville heading to Austin!) :unsure:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2013
  5. Jan 21, 2013 #5

    Swadian Hardcore

    Swadian Hardcore

    Swadian Hardcore

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    7,346
    Location:
    Streamliner, Reno, NV
    I suggest three Roomettes or two Roomettes and one Bedroom. The upper level should be more fun for the kids and provides easier access to the Diner and Lounge, as the vestibule doors are on the upper level. If the grandparents can't make it up then maybe not. The Family Bedroom has been reported with air-conditioning issues, and is argubly overpriced.

    Yes, Greyhound does run Junction-San Antonio, if you're willing to consider it. It's route 481 which runs through from El Paso. The bus is not bad but avoid the AAU buses as they are not Greyhound and usually much worse.

    Have a nice trip!
     
  6. Jan 21, 2013 #6

    henryj

    h

    henryj

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,589
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    You don't mention how you are getting from Chicago to Hartford, Ct. Amtrak lists two basic routes. The Capitol Ltd Chicago to Wash, DC with a northeast regional from there to Hartford. One change of trains and the Capitol is superliner equiped. The other is the Lake Shore Ltd to Springfield with a shuttle from there to Hartford. The Lake Shore is single level viewliner equiped. Either would work for me and both arrive in Hartford between 8:01pm and 9:21pm. I certainly would not take the change trains in Pittsburgh at 4:35am route. On the return, both routes arrive in Chicago within an hour of each other with plenty of time to connect with the Eagle. Take one route on the trip up and the other on the return. Have a fun trip.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2013
  7. Jan 21, 2013 #7

    SanAntonioClyde

    S

    SanAntonioClyde

    Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Messages:
    180
    Location:
    SAN ANTONIO, TX
    Appears you might have three choices for San Antonio and parking at Amtrak station is not one.

    1. city of San Antonio has some parking garages that could be use. Would suggest you call them to see what their policy is for long term. As I recall it is at least $15 per day.

    2. Bus would be a possible option as mentioned above.

    3. Rent a van/car from Kerrville and drop off at San Antonio

    Send me an email and we might be able to work out something else.
     
  8. Jan 21, 2013 #8

    OlympianHiawatha

    O

    OlympianHiawatha

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    Messages:
    4,247
    Location:
    Norman, OK
    I too would recommend the Austin parking option. At first glance that doesn't appear to be the happiest part of town but as other readers have said it is quickly becoming a desireable area; there are some condos right across from the station that literally step right onto the tracks.

    Junction has a great college football history as back in 1954 Texas A&M hired Head Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant and he immediately began to clean house and get the players in shape. To do this he ran a 10 day training camp in the dead heat of Summer at Junction to get the players in shape and weed out the dead wood. It worked as the brutal conditions forced many of the players to literally run off in the middle of the night. But the results showed otherwise as the Aggies went on to a 1-9 season in 1954, Bryant's only losing season.

    Welcome to AU!
     
  9. Jan 21, 2013 #9

    amtrak-rider

    a

    amtrak-rider

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    thanks for the info guys. Regarding Chicago to HFD, I am (or intend to....) riding Amtrak
     
  10. Jan 21, 2013 #10

    amtrak-rider

    a

    amtrak-rider

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    thanks for the expertise. This is exactly why I posted the question on this site. Thanks again
     
  11. Jan 21, 2013 #11

    amamba

    amamba

    amamba

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Messages:
    4,083
    Location:
    Providence
    If you take the LSL from Chicago to Springfield and then take the shuttle to Hartford, the train is all single level equipment so you wont' have the option of the family bedroom. You could try to book both bedrooms in the Boston sleeper, but there is only one Boston sleeper, so the rooms often sell quickly and are very expensive. It's probably more economical to take the Cap to Washington, DC and then switch to a northbound regional. Most of the regionals go to New Haven and then you have to switch again to the shuttle up to Hartford, which could be annoying, but there are a few trains that would be a one seat ride.

    Personally the last time I was headed to CT I opted to take the LSL to springfield but were late so we missed the connection. Amtrak offered to put us in a taxi all the way to Wallingford, CT which is south of Hartford.
     
  12. Jan 21, 2013 #12

    Swadian Hardcore

    Swadian Hardcore

    Swadian Hardcore

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    7,346
    Location:
    Streamliner, Reno, NV
    I suggest maybe all Roomettes on the BOS-LSL or maybe you could take the NYP-LSL then a quick ride to Hartford. I don't know if there is a bus from Albany to Hartford but that could be a nice quick connection, too.
     
  13. Jan 29, 2013 #13

    Ctim2

    C

    Ctim2

    Guest

    Regarding travel Chicago to Hartford.

    I live 7 miles from downtown Hartford and often use both of the suggested Chicago to Hartford routings as follows:

    If I am traveling alone (without wife and kids) to use the LSL, Why?

    1) The LSL has less capacity and both coach and especially sleepers fill up quicker resulting in higher fee buckets.

    2) The LSL has 3 sleepers with only one running Boston -Albany which means fewer amenities and less space (see #1) for family travel

    3) If alone any problems with the accommodations or the connection in Springfield impact only me and thus are resolved easier.

    4) The late departure from Chicago and meal service isn't a big deal to me but my kids love dinner in the diner which is not offered east-bound on the LSL.

    If I am traveling with wife and/or kids) I use the CL, Why?

    1) Superliner equipment (Chi to Was) provides more capacity resulting in lower fee buckets and more availability

    2) Better equipment (sightsee lounge, better diner equipment (and I think better food and crew) and with the superliner equipment we can go with a wider choice of sleeping accommodations.

    3) If there is any train issues (late, missed connections.etc) it’s not the last train east, and you have options.

    4) making the connection in DC allows time for sightseeing in our nation's capital (a bonus with kids) vs. the time spent in Albany during the train split and in Springfield waiting to connect (both are minimum) but not the best use of travel time

    5) The connecting ride up from DC allows some interesting views of all of the Major NE cities from your window including NYC from Hell’s Gate Bridge!

    That's how and why we have done it for years!

    Ctim
     
  14. Feb 2, 2013 #14

    Ctim2

    C

    Ctim2

    Guest

    Also the CL may just have better food and becasue of volume and diner size a chance to enjoy it at a more leasssurely pace
     
  15. Feb 3, 2013 #15

    Swadian Hardcore

    Swadian Hardcore

    Swadian Hardcore

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    7,346
    Location:
    Streamliner, Reno, NV
    But the Viewliner Sleepers are more comfortable than their Superliner counterparts, especially the upper berth.
     

Share This Page

arrow_white