Cross country trip April 2022

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Joined
Apr 29, 2021
Messages
22
Location
Placentia, CA
Early Monday morning I will start a 3 week, 7 train, cross country trip. I will take the Coast Starlight from Fullerton, CA to Portland and visit family. From there I'll get on the Empire Builder to Chicago. From Chicago - the Lake Shore Limited to Utica. I will rent a car and spend 2 days in Cooperstown. From Utica to NYC via Empire Service and a Mets game then the Crescent to New Orleans for French Quarterfest then to Memphis on the City of New Orleans and an exploration of the Blues Trail. From Memphis to Chicago and then back home via the SW Chief.

This trip is the fulfillment of a long time dream. I will try and add to the thread during the trip but for sure when I get home - here and on my blog. Wish me luck!
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Messages
563
Location
Arlington, MA (near Boston)
Great itinerary! I'm guessing from the description that you are travelling solo. Did you get rooms for any part of your trip? Depending on your age and flexibility, nothing wrong with coach, I travelled all the way around the country in coach on Amtrak several times in my 20's and survived. And if you are in coach you can pretty much feed yourself or visit the cafe and not worry about the inconsistent first class food service. Do you have any tight connections (i.e. under about 6 hours for long distance trains)? The LD trains are often late, often very late, on rare occasion days late. Just roll with it and enjoy the adventure!
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2021
Messages
22
Location
Placentia, CA
Thanks for the positive vibes! Indeed, I am solo. My wife is still working and doesn't love trains quite as much as her old man. She does want to ride the California Zephyr when she retires in two years so I'll wait for her to do that. This trip is mostly in roomettes. I am a bit older (ahem) and so sleeping in a roomette is important. I have no tight connections - having coming in 12 hours late once (several years back) on the Sunset Limited I wanted to avoid the anxiety that tight connections might create. Each stop is at least a day. It cost me a bit more in hotel rooms but the peace of mind is worth it.

I also have learned a lot by reading this forum and believe it will certainly enhance the experience. Much gratitude here.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2021
Messages
22
Location
Placentia, CA
Well, it’s been an adventure so far - just missed the trestle fire on the starlight - went through the blizzard on the empire builder (see there’s a service disruption on the 27 and 28 again for today and tomorrow). Whew! On my way to upstate New York tonight…

and perhaps you‘ve seen the weather in Cooperstown and Utica?

yikes- left Utica yesterday and changed trains - whoever thought I’d be so happy to be in Poughkeepsie?
 

Alice

Conductor
Joined
Mar 6, 2007
Messages
1,098
Location
California
Just looked at SouthwestDude.com, lots of stunning photos and essays there. Can't wait for you to post the train trip. A lot of our road trips overlap, I was especially shocked and pleased to see Allensworth listed as it is has always been nearly empty when I stop there.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2021
Messages
22
Location
Placentia, CA
Just looked at SouthwestDude.com, lots of stunning photos and essays there. Can't wait for you to post the train trip. A lot of our road trips overlap, I was especially shocked and pleased to see Allensworth listed as it is has always been nearly empty when I stop there.

Love this. Thanks for checking out the website. Allensworth is wonderful - I love it so much I have even become a "Friend of Allensworth". I love how quiet it is except for the train!
 
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