Back in the late '90s, my job involved an annual conference in Washington and I used the Capitol Limited that way from Chicago to DC and back. The conference began on Saturday afternoon, late enough for the other Chicago attendees to fly out that morning. But I didn't have to get up at 6am to shuffle off to Midway for a flight, I walked from my Loop office to Union Station after work on Friday and arrived at the conference about the same time as the fliers into BWI by merely getting off at Washington Union and riding the Red Line a few stops.Night trains are practical. And if you can reduce flight, hotel and rental car expenses while you are at it - they can be cost saving. I use the existing system like that where I can for business. Off the top of my head, I’ve used these city pairs:
I’ve always wanted to do Chicago to Denver that way, but for whatever reason never had any business in Denver.
- South Bend IN to Buffalo NY
- South Bend IN to Syracuse NY
- Bloomington IL to Marshall TX
- Chicago IL to Fargo ND
- Emeryville CA to Portland OR
It worked out the same way at the end of the conference: breaking in time for the fliers to get to BWI for a same-day homeward flight also got me onto the Cap Ltd., and I arrived the next morning at Chicago Union and walked to my office with the other commuters.
It was perfect, except I could expense only the rail fare portion of the ticket, but I considered "eating" the accommodation charge a small price to pay for traveling in a more civilized way.