COL - perfect roundtrip route for viewing?

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:


Lead Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Sep 27, 2014
I watched an amateur video today from CHI to NOL. As I checked the schedule it occurred to me that northbound catches most of what southbound misses and vice versa; the exception being central IL, which TE gets both ways.

I know the schedule doesn't always work. I was once on a CZ that was so many hours late I saw most of Utah in daylight. I had driven through most of the US in my youth, but never Utah; I had no idea how beautiful that state is! I was so grateful the train was that late.

I'm thankful that I can accommodate Amtrak's scheduling squireliness. Retirement, most of the time, is wonderful. I'd like to get some feedback about roundtrip NOL-CHI or anyone who's done both.

I'm NOT concerned about the food. Being on a special diet, I usually bring my own even though I book a sleeper.


OBS Chief
Aug 7, 2004
Until last week, I hadn't ridden the City of New Orleans in about 15 years. After last weeks' ride, I am now a 'never again' passenger on the CONO. Between the only full sleeper (I was in roomette 14) being the 2nd car in the consist and resultant horn noise, and the unbelievably rough trackage for most of the route, falling asleep and staying asleep was close to impossible. I think I slept a total of 2-3 hours, in seemingly 5-10 minute increments.

This is a first for me. I've never been so negative about ANY Amtrak train, and I've been a regular passenger for 43 years!


Oct 21, 2015
City of New Orleans is a neat train. I've ridden it several times and one of my favorite parts of any railroad in the usa is leaving new orleans northbound on the city and passing along the swampy shores of Lake Ponchatrain. Herons and turtles at every turn! (For some crazy reason I've never spotted a gator, which seems odd).

Small Louisiana and Mississippi Towns, catfish farms, etc. Passing through Memphis TN late at night with a quick glimpse at the Pyramid and the neon lights of Beale Street. Then waking up on the farmlands of Illinois.

The track is quite rough in places, but the horn hasn't ever kept me from sleeping even when in the transition sleeper, but it is noticably louder than on a train with 2 locomotives and a baggage car as buffer.

It's a shame about the diner, the train is staffed from New Orleans and the diner staff back with the full diner were some of the best. There was one LSA I got a few times who was just the definition of New Orleans. Treated you like he knew you all his life.