What's the longest vacation you've taken by train?

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by mitako, May 13, 2019.

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  1. Jul 9, 2019 #76

    dogbert617

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    dogbert617

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    I once considered doing something similar for a longer train trip. But instead of connecting in DC, take the Cardinal east to Charlottesville, then Crescent south, then CONO back. Too bad I think the part between Jackson, MS and New Orleans is still being bussed, due to a spillway bridge somewhere in MS or LA still being closed due to high water levels. Correct me anyone on this board if I'm wrong, and Amtrak service south of Jackson has been restored on the CONO.

    With my just completed trip out to Glacier National Park(west to West Glacier, east and back from East Glacier Park), that now is my longest train trip I've done on Amtrak. I hope I get to see more of the EB train route, down the road. Maybe next time in the Glacier area, I'll at least do some sort of brief stop in Whitefish to check out that town? Whitefish really seems like it'd be an interesting enough town, to visit at least once. And of course, I'm sure the Seattle and Portland EB branches would have some interesting towns along the way(i.e. Leavenworth, WA on Seattle branch, Wishram on the Portland branch). And hey, maybe for all I know even Spokane and/or Sandpoint would be interesting places to visit?
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
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  2. Jul 11, 2019 #77

    DonNewcomb

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    One way? 2500 km Narvik to Oslo, via Stockholm, Kalmar and Helsinborg. Two overnights on the train separated by stays in hotels.
     
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  3. Jul 11, 2019 #78

    PerRock

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    I spent 3 months traveling around Europe by train back in 2008. The entire 3 months wasn't spent on a train as I'd stop and spend a few days in a city.

    peter
     
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  4. Jul 13, 2019 #79

    Noob76

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    Longest in the US is my current trip. NYC to NO to LAX. Visited my sister in LA. LA to SAC for a weekend in Tahoe with a long Lyft ride from SAC. Heading back tomorrow from Truckee via Zephyr with hopefully a few hours to chill in Chicago. Then on to the Lake Shore Limited.

    My longest train and boat journey was a cargo ship from the Port of Elizabeth in New Jersey to Rotterdam. Train to Amsterdam and then Berlin. Sleep from Berlin to Kiev. Visited Chernobyl. Back via the new Ukrainian trains (circa 2012) to visit a cousin in Lviv, Ukraine. Sleeper to Poland. Day trains to Prague. Bus to Nuremberg. Deutsche Bahn to Frankfurt and then on to Brussels. Euro Star the next day to London and then on to Wales with a Ferry to Ireland. Then back on the ferry to London and down to Southhampton. Hope on the Queen Mary 2 and arrived in NYC at the Brooklyn ferry terminal a week later. Whole trip was five weeks.

    My life goal is to go around the world by boat and train. On the cargo ship across the Atlantic one of the other passengers was finishing his residency in Chicago as a medical doctor, and was going back home to Thailand. Went the long way across the Atlantic, Europe, and down Asia back to Thailand. Took him five weeks and he got a bunch of touring done.
     
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  5. Jul 13, 2019 #80

    v v

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    Wow! Take my hat off to you, fabulous.

    Any chance you would write a trip report for that journey?
     
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  6. Jul 17, 2019 #81

    Noob76

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    Thought I already did that. :)

    In all seriousness, which trip would you like the report on?
     
  7. Jul 17, 2019 #82

    Noob76

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    I am typing this on my laptop as we have left Union Station in Chicago. So far the Wi-Fi seems pretty good on the Lake Shore Limited as well as the Crescent last week. Definitely needed on the west of Chicago trains in 2019. At the very least the LSL is so far cooler than the very terribly AC'ed car I endured from Truckee to Chicago.
     
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  8. Jul 17, 2019 #83

    troo troo tcrane

    troo troo tcrane

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    What is the longest 1 ticket train ride we can have in the world?
     
  9. Jul 17, 2019 #84

    Noob76

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    According to Wikipedia probably the bi-monthly Moscow to Pyongyang. Seem to recall someone who did a write-up once of it:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longest_train_services

    Realistically the Trans-Siberian (#2) and Trans-Manchurian (#3) are likely far more do-able than #1 on this list.

    My father took the Texas Eagle #18 on the list last year and I just did most of #30 the California Zephyr. Also did #43 the Southwest Chief in 2010.

    #17 on the list is the Canadian, which I'd like to take at some point soon. Anyone have any experience with it?
     
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  10. Jul 17, 2019 #85

    v v

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    The boat and train trip but as you write you have already done enough to excite me! I think there would be many who read the travelogue threads that would love to read about that. Thanks if you can.

    Not sure but the Trans Siberian from Moscow to Vladivostok is probably the only possible one at the moment. It's 6 1/2 days of continuous rail travel unless you make a break along the route.

    We did the continuous end to end version about 18 months ago during winter (February/March). After about day 3 you start to think you belong to that train's life and live on a train. On arrival in Vladivostok it's exciting to be in a remote Russian city but almost instantly you miss not being on the train. There was a recurring feeling that you are at one of the longer stops and soon you will soon be getting back onboard.
    The thing about the Moscow - Vladivostok journey is it is almost only Russians with some North Koreans in 3rd Class. Apart from the North Korean contract workers there were only 6 foreigners on the whole of this large train, 2 Chinese, 1 Taiwanese, 1 American lady travel writer travelling alone, and 2 Brits. The train was definitely used as a commuter train, just the commutes were longer than usual. The other 2 Trans Siberian routes are used by far more visitors/tourists and 'apparently' have a different feel with more luxury available.

    If I could only use two words to describe Moscow to Vladivostok in winter they would be 'fascinating' and 'exciting'.
     
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  11. Jul 18, 2019 #86

    dogbert617

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    Could you mention which European cities and towns you stopped in, for a day stop or more? And elaborate on what those cities and towns were like to visit? Thanks.
     
  12. Jul 18, 2019 #87

    Noob76

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    Impressed you did the whole Trans-Siberian. Who did you book visas with/tickets?
     
  13. Jul 18, 2019 #88

    v v

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    Visas were arranged by Real Russia in London, expensive but efficient. We only had a small window where we could attend the Russian Consulate in London (we move between the UK and France a bit for work) and had to pay for a guaranteed service (but again it worked like clockwork so worth every penny to us).

    I always try to buy train tickets myself, directly with each country's rail operator, it's a part of getting under the skin of a country. The idea is to take the time to learn how they operate and tend to buy direct. The RZD system is easy to learn but couldn't make the payment (due to Russian overseas money restrictions) and ended up using an agency who I think are based in St Petersburg although not 100% on that.

    We booked through this link https://www.transsiberianexpress.net/train/step-2.html?query=5pxmt5P1l_MSIbnetLXDbWebQfG9T2It&train=002лю and it all went well as we got exactly what we asked for for a much smaller fee than Real Russia or a few other better known agencies.

    We are off travelling again in a couple of hours but when we get back next week I'll look up a link to a blog on this forum in 'Travelogue' explaining what happened with the ticket purchases, it was written in 2017 and explains much of the situations we went through with buying all the tickets as the TransSib was only part of the journey. I think it was titled 'the accidental round the world journey' or something similar.

    Still very interested in your experiences if you find the time, any other questions you have just ask, happy to help.
     
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  14. Jul 19, 2019 #89

    dburden

    dburden

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    Back in the summer of 2000 my wife and I and our two kids (9 and 11) embarked on a 3 week clockwise trip of the US.

    ATL-NOL (overnight in hotel)
    NOL-LAX (2 nights on the train due to delays and hitting a car on the tracks in NM)
    2 days in LA including Disney, Santa Monica Pier and a few grave sites.
    LA-SEA (Family bedroom, lots of delays so 2 nights on board instead of 1. One delay involved police removing a passenger at San Jose. Having a scanner was very useful....)
    SEA-CHI (no delays, almost 'boring')
    1 night in Chi at a friends house, did Sears Tower and deep dish pizza.
    CHI-BOS (1 night on the train, then bused from ALB to BOS.
    Spent 5 days or so with relatives in the area.
    BOS-WAS
    4 days in DC taking in the sights. Check out the Hotel Harrington if you go there. We arranged to visit our Senator's office before we left, but we weren't aware he died while we were on our trip (Paul Coverdell). We still visited his office and got a White House tour.
    Final leg was WAS-ATL (1 night on the train.)
     
  15. Jul 19, 2019 #90

    dogbert617

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    I guess it's different by each person what one thinks of as boring for scenery, lol! But as I've only ridden the Empire Builder west to West Glacier(as of earlier this month), I'd have to disagree about the part between West Glacier and Williston as boring, especially the part through Glacier National Park to west of Shelby. And also some of the hilly parts through eastern Montana, seeing the Missouri River and the Fort Union Trading Post(just east of North Dakota/Montana border), the hilly portion on the west side of Minot, ND, and any of the scenery I saw between Wisconsin Dells to St. Paul(and especially along the Mississippi River) were interesting. And of course passing through the city of Milwaukee, plus some of the suburbs and towns west of there(i.e. Wauwatosa, Pewaukee, Oconomowoc). Or unless you mean by boring, that there weren't a lot of delays?

    Glad you did have a great trip, since I sadly still have yet to do one of this great of an extent! I wouldn't mind doing one, though. Had once investigated doing something like a Chicago-LA(via SW Chief)-Seattle(via Coast Starlight)-Chicago(via Empire Builder) trip, though. Also had once thought about doing something like a Chicago-Charlottesville(via Cardinal)-New Orleans(via Crescent)-Chicago(via City of New Orleans) trip, as well. It's such a bummer that Amtrak is being stupid, and wants to cut dining cars on all trains(Auto Train temporarily excluded, but only till mid-January) east of the Mississippi as of October 1st. :( Almost makes me want to do a Cardinal to Crescent trip(via transferring in Charlottesville), while I still can before October 1st. And after hitting Atlanta, flying back to Chicago. If I had more free time before October, I'd consider doing a Chicago-Charlottesville(more to transfer between Card and Crescent, but it'd be good to revisit Charlottesville for a few hours during that layover)-New Orleans-Chicago Amtrak trip myself.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
  16. Jul 20, 2019 #91

    dburden

    dburden

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    My 'boring' comment was not about the scenery, just the lack of incidents compared to the previous legs of the trip. Glacier National Park was great. We've done CHI-CVS too, the big gorge is cool.
     

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