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Old 04-29-2019, 10:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Amtrak / train travel

Anyone else enjoy/have good experiences with Amtrak?

In the last year I've done:

- NY to Boston (Acela Express, twice)
- NY to Richmond
- NY to Niagara Falls

This Sunday I'll be taking it from NY to Pittsburgh for a trade show; the train station is ~200 ft from the hotel and convention center.

Compared to flying or driving to each place, it's always been way more relaxing and worked out well...wifi on board, restaurant/bar car, big seats, no security screening, carry-on luggage included. In most cases it's equal or a little longer than driving, but if you don't need a car at the destination, not a big deal. Definitely way cheaper than flying (which my company appreciates).

A lot of people I talk to have no idea these routes exist, or ever think of taking the train to far places. I kinda dig the whole thing, mechanically and scenically...this upcoming one to Pittsburgh has some cool stuff it goes through, and the one to Niagara Falls paralleled the Hudson all the way up to Albany. Just curious if my experience is an outlier or if there are other train nerds on here and hopefully I didn't just jinx my trip next week...
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Old 04-29-2019, 10:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Years back, my parents took us Bos to NY on the train and it wa sgreat. We have driven too and it seemed long. Years later I’ve driven and recently took the train, and the train was 110% better.
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Old 04-29-2019, 10:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would stay out of the Tacoma area with Amtrak. It can get ugly when it crosses I-5. All I got.


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Old 04-29-2019, 10:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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We use it between Orange County and San Diego often. Way better to have a beer and relax and beat the traffic. Train is always faster.
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Old 04-29-2019, 10:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I thought Amtrak went out of business in the 80s.

edit..

I looked it up.. Seattle to Boston is about $400. Not bad, last time I flew to Boston (granted from Anchorage) was about $1800.

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Old 04-29-2019, 10:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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i run AT up and down cali/oregon/nevada occasionally when I have to carry more than a backpack or dont feel like hanging onto a superbike for several hours on end. As long as I don't have to go more than 250mi., it suits my purposes. Otherwise, that shit takes way too long.
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Old 04-29-2019, 11:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Did the Seattle to Los Angeles run couple years ago. It was a nice experience and very scenic.
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Old 04-29-2019, 11:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I take a train almost every day to work. It really opened my eyes to alot of options. For train travel. I have to say: it works out really great for me.
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Old 04-29-2019, 11:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Did Seattle to Vancouver two years ago, it was nice. Goes right along the coast.

Done the commute from Sac to Fresno a few times.
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Old 04-30-2019, 03:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I take a train almost every day to work. It really opened my eyes to alot of options. For train travel. I have to say: it works out really great for me.
By 'options', you mean all the crazy chicks on the train, right?


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Old 04-30-2019, 03:45 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Seattle to Boston is about $400.
And how many days?
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Old 04-30-2019, 04:55 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I enjoyed riding Amtrak from Chicago to SLC. But it's not for everyone. That trip was something like 32 hours straight and I didn't spring the extra for a sleeping car seat. I'd rather sit on a train for 2 days than fly out if I have the extra time. The east-coast routes are more advantageous because they have more trains and more amenities on them and get you around a lot more crappy traffic.
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Old 04-30-2019, 05:16 AM   #13 (permalink)
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boston to syracuse sucks, 6 hr layover in albany.
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Old 04-30-2019, 07:40 AM   #14 (permalink)
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years ago I used to ride it between Stamford Ct and Boston often. Always enjoyed it
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Old 04-30-2019, 08:04 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I have gone from Minneapolis to Minot once when the truck broke down and I needed to get home. It was supposed to leave around 10pm and get in at 8:30am. I can make the drive in 8 hours so the 2.5 hour difference wasn't bad because I could sleep. The train didn't show up until 12:30 and got in at noon. It cost less than the fuel in my truck and was comfortable. But wouldn't rely on it for anything important out in this part of the country.

I know guys that ride it every two weeks and they agree it is relaxing and comfortable but not reliable for time out here.
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Old 04-30-2019, 08:11 AM   #16 (permalink)
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My wife and I got a roomette from NYC to Raleigh a couple years ago. It was a fun trip.
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Old 04-30-2019, 08:29 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Years ago Mom and I took the train from Alb. to LA then up to Seattle and back. Other than having to go to sidings to let longer freight trains which caused us to never be on time, it was fun.
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Old 04-30-2019, 09:08 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Love it. So mush more relaxed than flying. Plus I love looking out at the backyard of America the whole way.

I remember our first trip. By the time we got to the platform I'm like, 'That's all? That's way too easy.' Red cap helped us load, told us how to get good seats for the three of us, super helpful.

An hour later we're doing 100 mph, sipping whiskey and eating cheese and crackers. We had always driven to my folks, so I told my wife, 'If we were driving right now we'd be arrested.'

Pro-tip: If your kid is under 2 he is not considered a human to Amtrak. We did a roomette once when The Boy was about 18 months. It was such an awesome trip.
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Old 04-30-2019, 10:08 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I've been on Amtrak a few times. Meh!
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Old 04-30-2019, 12:15 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Did it once Denver to Chicago and back. Took longer then driving but was nice to just kind of sit back and relax. Mine had a viewing car or whatever it was called that had windows all over the top deck was overall a cool experience. Great to just chill out with a drink and watch the world go by.

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Old 04-30-2019, 01:52 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I've done a few bits...
- Montreal from NY area (for some reason, the price from Newark, requiring you to take a 10 min hop into NYC and change - but closer to home too, is considerably less than the NYC price). Time is similar to driving, and I needed to be downtown so it worked out. Border crossing wasn't great, they stop at the border and have 2 CBP (well, Canuck equivalents then) agents go through the whole train. European trains at real borders, the agents get on at the stop before the border, process the train while in motion, and get off again at the 1st stop after the border, much more efficient.
- San Diego from LA - bit slow at 3 hours, but better than in traffic. Main issue I have with that is getting to Union station in LA is awful from LAX. Like going past San Onofre nuclear plant.
- Richmond, VA from NJ. Fine as far as DC, then you're off the Amtrak owned lines and everything almost grinds to a halt.
- Boston to NYC. Bit slow really. 3rd world infrastructure.
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Old 04-30-2019, 02:04 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I thought Amtrak went out of business in the 80s.

edit..

I looked it up.. Seattle to Boston is about $400. Not bad, last time I flew to Boston (granted from Anchorage) was about $1800.
I can fly from Seattle to Boston for $387.00 leave in the morning and be there for dinner.

Ya,,,,, I'm good.
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Old 04-30-2019, 02:18 PM   #23 (permalink)
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- Boston to NYC. Bit slow really. 3rd world infrastructure.
?????


I believe average time between Boston and NY is 4 hours, faster than car.

Also they have the Acela express on that route which is about 30 minutes quicker.

DC to Boston is pretty much the best operating section of rail that Amtrak has
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Old 04-30-2019, 08:56 PM   #24 (permalink)
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And how many days?
It said 104hrs, so I'd guess around 4.5 days.
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Old 04-30-2019, 09:16 PM   #25 (permalink)
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?????


I believe average time between Boston and NY is 4 hours, faster than car.

Also they have the Acela express on that route which is about 30 minutes quicker.

DC to Boston is pretty much the best operating section of rail that Amtrak has
And the only profitable section too if I remember right.
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