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1. Posted by Peaches (Budding Member 23 posts) 10y

I'm going over to the USA this summer to work at a camp then I'll be travelling for a few weeks or so. I was originally thinking off doing this by greyhound but now I'm thinking that would take forever! I want to visit both west and east coast and places in between. Do you think this would be the best way to do it? (I can't drive)
I know it's more expensive but I've seen that you can get 30 day rail passes on the STA travel website.
Travelling my bus just seems more scary and soooo long. But whats putting me off is that I heard the rails routes aren't that great (I'm planning on going to cities etc though not small random villages or anything) & also that you have to book ahead everytime you want to get on a train?
What does everyone else think?

2. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

Here is a link for the Amtrak USA Rail Pass that should answer most of your questions:

USA Rail Pass for Non-Residents

Looking at the information on the Amtrak site - yes, you will have to make reservation for each leg of your trip. But, they also have links for International Representative Agencies and they may be able to give you a better idea of what is required. There is also quite a bit of info on the site that will get you started. The Rail Pass entitles you to coach class travel - but upgrades to business class and/or sleeper car are available.

I live in the US and have always wanted to take a train trip around the country! I thought the idea of a train trip (sleeper car class, of course) would be really fun. It harkens back to the old black & white movies.

3. Posted by Peaches (Budding Member 23 posts) 10y

Thankyou isadora

4. Posted by Reece Sanford (Travel Guru 1368 posts) 10y

Quoting Isadora

It harkens back to the old black & white movies.

Did movies use to be in Black and White then

5. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

Quoting -reece-

Quoting Isadora

It harkens back to the old black & white movies.

Did movies use to be in Black and White then

Yeah - but you're too young to remember!!!!

(Had you come to visit us - you could have taken the Amtrak to St. Louis and been able to give Peaches a "heads up" on train travel - and black & white movies!)

6. Posted by Reece Sanford (Travel Guru 1368 posts) 10y

Yep i could off.
One thing i do know is Amtrak is a damn site cheaper than rip off British Rail thats for sure.

For instance the train from London Paddington to London Heathrow which is a 20 minute journey is costing me £14

7. Posted by Peter P. (Budding Member 35 posts) 10y

A quick suggestion, if I may, Peaches...

Since you're in the neighbourhood, you should definitely pop into Canada (maybe Montreal or Toronto, or the spectacular Canadian Rockies). VIA Rail also offers unlimited travel passes so you could go exploring relatively cheaply.

More info:
Canada Tourism
Montreal/Quebec tourism
Toronto tourism

8. Posted by Peaches (Budding Member 23 posts) 10y

Thanks for the suggestion Peter P, I'll check out the links, it would be great to visit Canada too

9. Posted by SeeTheSky (Respected Member 558 posts) 10y

i def say go to canada if you get the chance.. i've took a few trains about us in my day, they are really the way to go, if you are gonna go long distance transport. busses can get infuriating, planes are tedious and environmentally destructive, and trains have a really cool feelng to them, prolly becuase you can see the land your travelling through. id say go for it.

10. Posted by Ham Radio (Respected Member 284 posts) 10y

If you opt for Amtrak, take advantage of their connector bus service to locations outside the train station. (Reservations are required).

Consult the appropriate timetable for your route.

Best of luck.