Can you plan an itinerary to ride every western long distance train in at least one direction

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AutoTrDvr

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In my case, I'd fly to ORD, and then SWC --> CS -->EB back to chicago. If I were doing the entire US, I'd fly to NYC then Crescent --> SLtd. --> CS --> EB --> LSL.

However, I'd more than likely break things up, fly to ORD and then do CZ, get off in Reno, fly to Las Vegas, spend a night or two there, then fly to LAX and then on the CS --> EB.
 

zephyr17

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Rules? End up back at origin? Same train more than once? Layovers, as mentioned?

I can think of several itineraries, but if you have to end up at your origin without taking the same train more than once it becomes more challenging.
 

Steve4031

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I would be starting in Chicago. Just fooling around. Not that serious about rules. But yes to overnights to avoid tight connections.
 

AutoTrDvr

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I would be starting in Chicago. Just fooling around. Not that serious about rules. But yes to overnights to avoid tight connections.
It depends on what you want to see and at what time of day. If you want to do complete routes and see all you can from them, then I'd recommend SWC-->CS-->EB.
If, for example, you want to see the California Coast one would see south of EMY on the CS, then I'd take the SWC from CHI, or I'd take the CZ (which is the train I'd prefer to take) to Reno and then Fly to LAX and then take the CS the full route - or maybe fly from Reno to Bob Hope Airport (Burbank) and the catch the CS there. I'd be able to see much of the coast line. I'd prefer the CZ as having the better scenery going westbound than the SWC. But that's just me.
 

F900ElCapitan

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Picking up all of the CONO, TE, and SL are difficult without riding a couple of stretches twice. But here’s my thought,

CONO (CHI-NOL), SL (TO LAX), CS (TO SEA), EB (TO CHI), CZ (TO EMY), CS (TO LAX), SWC (TO CHI)

Then if you want to ride the TE add,

EB (TO PDX), CS (TO LAX) TE (TO CHI)

I think that minimizes how many same direction legs are duplicated.
 

MARC Rider

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EB (CHI-SEA)-CS (SEA-EMY)-CZ-SWC-TE-CONO-SL-CS (LAX-PDX)-EB (PDX-CHI)
If you want to ride the entire routes of each train:

CHI TO PDX
PDX TO SPOKANE
SPOKANE TO SEA
SEA TO LAUS
LAUS TO CHI VIA SAN ANTONIO
CHI TO LAUS VIA ABQ
LAUS TO EMERYVILLE
EMERYVILLE TO CHI VIA DENVER

The only backtracking you do is from LAUS to Emeryville. You might have to stay overnight somewhre to make some of the connections.
 

dogbert617

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In my case, I'd fly to ORD, and then SWC --> CS -->EB back to chicago. If I were doing the entire US, I'd fly to NYC then Crescent --> SLtd. --> CS --> EB --> LSL.

However, I'd more than likely break things up, fly to ORD and then do CZ, get off in Reno, fly to Las Vegas, spend a night or two there, then fly to LAX and then on the CS --> EB.
Chicago to LA via the SWC, then CS north from LA to Seattle, and EB east from Seattle to Chicago, is what I've quietly considered doing via getting a USA Rail Pass. With some sort of brief side trip on the west coast, either the Pacific Surfliner to San Diego, or Cascades north to Vancouver, BC. Though I didn't go through with doing such a trip a few years ago, maybe someday I'll finally do this?

Are you confident on the CZ/SWC connection?
I would not hold my breath making that CZ to SWC connection on the same day in Chicago, that's for sure. I'd even be worried if you could pull that off, if one got off at Galesburg instead of Chicago on the same day. Would overnight in Chicago instead and then take the SWC the next day, but that's just me.

It depends on what you want to see and at what time of day. If you want to do complete routes and see all you can from them, then I'd recommend SWC-->CS-->EB.
If, for example, you want to see the California Coast one would see south of EMY on the CS, then I'd take the SWC from CHI, or I'd take the CZ (which is the train I'd prefer to take) to Reno and then Fly to LAX and then take the CS the full route - or maybe fly from Reno to Bob Hope Airport (Burbank) and the catch the CS there. I'd be able to see much of the coast line. I'd prefer the CZ as having the better scenery going westbound than the SWC. But that's just me.
Interesting idea, to fly from Reno to LAX. I was thinking if I did a CZ to CS to EB trip starting from Chicago, I'd do a side stop in Truckee. Then go west to Sacramento (as I've already been to San Francisco), take CS north to do a side stop in either Portland or Seattle, then go east to Chicago. Another idea if I ditched doing a city stop in Portland or Seattle would be to get off in Klamath Falls, and take the shuttle north from there to Crater Lake National Park and back. And afterward, I'd do the connection to the EB in Portland, then back to Chicago. This is something I'd have to do more thinking on how to do such a trip, that's for sure!
 

Ryan

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If you want to ride the entire routes of each train:

CHI TO PDX
PDX TO SPOKANE
SPOKANE TO SEA
SEA TO LAUS
LAUS TO CHI VIA SAN ANTONIO
CHI TO LAUS VIA ABQ
LAUS TO EMERYVILLE
EMERYVILLE TO CHI VIA DENVER

The only backtracking you do is from LAUS to Emeryville. You might have to stay overnight somewhre to make some of the connections.
You also backtrack PDX to Spokane.

Still, this seems the most efficient way of getting every mile.
 

MARC Rider

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You also backtrack PDX to Spokane.

Still, this seems the most efficient way of getting every mile.
No, PDX to Spokane is a different route than Spokane to Seattle. Of course I don't have a timetable in hand, so I don't know what kind of connection the is btwee the eastbound Builder and the westbound. It might require spening a night in Spokane.
 

AmtrakBlue

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No, PDX to Spokane is a different route than Spokane to Seattle. Of course I don't have a timetable in hand, so I don't know what kind of connection the is btwee the eastbound Builder and the westbound. It might require spening a night in Spokane.
You said
CHI TO PDX
PDX TO SPOKANE

CHI to PDX passes through Spokane
 

dogbert617

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Yep, I have ridden that part. Once you get to PDX, you have to turn around and backtrack to get to Spokane.
The funny thing is that if one was trying to ride the whole Builder train route(and hit both branches) as quickly as possible, doing Chicago-Portland-Spokane-Seattle would be THE quickest way to do so.

And looking at the schedule, one could potentially pull off a turnaround #28 to #7 connection in Spokane during the same overnight, as long as #28 was on time into Spokane. Also, this'd involve the least backtracking, and ONLY doing so between Portland and Spokane. I'd probably try to sleep going east from Portland to Spokane after one saw that stretch going west on #27, and then stay awake for the westbound Spokane to Seattle trip. Or of course, one could stay a day or 2 in Spokane, then head west to Seattle. :)
 

troo troo tcrane

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SL - Nola to LA
SWC - LA to Chicago
EB - Chicago to Seattle
CS - Seattle to Emy
CZ - EMY to Chicago
TE - Chicago to LA
CS - LA to Emy

Almost everything but no repeat! :cool:
 

Skyline

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If you want to ride the entire routes of each train:

CHI TO PDX
PDX TO SPOKANE
SPOKANE TO SEA
SEA TO LAUS
LAUS TO CHI VIA SAN ANTONIO
CHI TO LAUS VIA ABQ
LAUS TO EMERYVILLE
EMERYVILLE TO CHI VIA DENVER

The only backtracking you do is from LAUS to Emeryville. You might have to stay overnight somewhre to make some of the connections.


This reminds me of some of the itineraries I composed during Amtrak's first decade (1970s) using the 14 day Railpass ($150!!!!). Of course that was all-coach, but when upgrades were possible 30 minutes prior to departure I took advantage. And, there were more routes then so the possibilities for a more intense journey were possible.
 
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