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Travelling by train across America

Travel Forums North America Travelling by train across America

1. Posted by CJane (Budding Member 3 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi, I have been considering travelling across America in the Summer by Amtrak. Has anyone ever toured America by train and would you recommend it? Can you recommend any routes? Is it safe for a female travelling alone for most of the way? I would be grateful of any advice, thank you!

2. Posted by MichaelW (Budding Member 37 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Is it safe? Yes

(FYI) However Amtrak train take 2nd priority to freight train on most tracks in the US. so they are more often than not behind schedule.

My friend did the same a few years ago it was Him and his girlfriend they had not trouble and a great time.

3. Posted by basanti (Budding Member 8 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Amtrak is very comfortable and safe, much better for long trips than greyhound and usually cost approx. the same. I have used a combination of both. There is a staff member on each coach and the seats are spacious. There is a dining coach, tuck shop and viewing coach. Just check what time the train is due in at your destination as a lot of times it is the middle of the night or the station is in the middle of nowhere. so sometimes the greyhound is better.

4. Posted by rbyslipahs (Respected Member 349 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I used to take the train all the time when I was in college. It was really the only way for me to get from school to home because my parents live so far from a major airport. I always took the line that goes from Chicago out to Los Angeles, which is a beautiful ride. There are two lines that leave from Chicago on this route, both winding up in Kansas City, and then just the one line from there. The northern route is nearly entirely rural. The southern route goes through St. Louis and the Missouri wine valley, which is a fun area. Very good white wines and a great port wine and cream sherry from a place in Hermann. From KC, the train goes across Kansas overnight and by about noon, it crosses into the Colorado Rockies and cuts south into New Mexico. It has a stop in Flagstaff, AZ, and a shuttle up to the Grand Canyon. While the line officially ends in LA, there are other lines connecting up to Washington state, which I am told by a friend who works for Amtrak are just gorgeous.

Train is one of my favorite ways to travel in the US because you have so much space! You can recline the seats quite far back, you often have two seats to yourself, you can get up and move about, but you still have the chance to see the country. The only drawback, really, is that our rail system is nowhere near as comprehensive as Europe's. It's very safe and comfortable, although at night it can be a bit chilly, so bring some warm clothing or a blanket. They do provide blankets on the train, but I always take my own. Compared to plane fares, it's also fairly inexpensive, too. I visit my friends in KC and my brother in Kansas on a regular basis, and it rarely costs me more than $30 for a one-way ticket.

I hope you have a great time!