Train Legs vs. Sea Legs.

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My EMY-ATL trip will cover 5 days and 4 nights, or approximately 120 hours, with about 8 hours total layover in two transfers. That assumes the best possible scenario - no delays. I/m not concerned about motion sickness while on the train (lifelong sailor) but am wondering how best to regain my walking stability after disembarking. Is the syndrome pretty much the same as getting off a boat? Most seasickness is caused by up and down motion with a bit of lateral rolling as well. I imagine train motion is more swinging from side to side and perhaps bumpiness. And I'm not as young as I used to be! :)
 

BCL

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Not really. It gets kind of bouncy at times, but of course not quite like a boat. Mostly it's pretty stable with some minor motions when the track is uneven. If anything, the most that you'll feel is when the train stops.
 

ScottR

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Hah I’m glad I’m not the only one! I spent 20 years in the Navy and have done a number of 2-3 day long distance Amtrak’s and I did indeed notice it. It’s not so bad as a six month deployment but you will feel the sway. Indeed maybe we are more susceptible to it than most. I notice it that first night in bed after disembarking from the train. It’s not unpleasant. and sometimes I‘ll play a YouTube video just to relive the sound of the hoooorrrnnn, which I consider the best sound on earth…not a popular opinion I know
 
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Hah I’m glad I’m not the only one! I spent 20 years in the Navy and have done a number of 2-3 day long distance Amtrak’s and I did indeed notice it. It’s not so bad as a six month deployment but you will feel the sway. Indeed maybe we are more susceptible to it than most. I notice it that first night in bed after disembarking from the train. It’s not unpleasant. and sometimes I‘ll play a YouTube video just to relive the sound of the hoooorrrnnn, which I consider the best sound on earth…not a popular opinion I know
I love the sound of the horn also, and I can sometimes hear it in my San Francisco home when the wind is right. And I remember the steam whistles from my childhood when we rode the CNR Transcontinental from Toronto to Vancouver in 1952. As for now, I'm not concerned about handling the motion while I'm on the train; it's more how I'll handle walking on solid, motionless ground when I disembark with my bags. I won't want my greeters to think I've had too much to drink LOL.
 

pennyk

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I have made many cross country trips and am fine on the train (but not on cruise ships). However, I am a bit wobbly when I disembark.
 

DonNewcomb

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I'd be more concerned about being tossed about, particularly when moving between cars. Those freight-grade tracks are none too smooth.
 
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I'd be more concerned about being tossed about, particularly when moving between cars. Those freight-grade tracks are none too smooth.
"Freight-grade tracks?" Come visit the NEC and pass between cars on a Northeast Regional. Especially if you're holding a box of food from the cafe car and only have use of one hand. The tracks might be in better shape than the freight tracks, but you are going 125 mph (200 km/hr).
 

jis

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I do get train, sea and air legs after a ride/flight longer than 12 or so hours. It stays a while and then goes away. If the journey is smooth it is much less, specially in case of train and air.

I never get train, sea or air legs on rides shorter than at least 12 hours. The longer the ride, the more likely the residual effect
 
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I have to say I've never noticed it after riding a train (maybe because I, back in the before times, ride every day), but not after a ship. I think some it may be that the train is typically already stopped when you get off while a boat/ship can still have a bit of motion while moored.
 
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My biggest adjustment is 'restoring' my 'train legs' while walking to the toilets, cafe, or diner while onboard.

As noted above, the NEC can be very rough in spots. Unlike 'consistent' waves, Amtrak is more jolt and bounce that one has to be 'loose enough' to absorb. Being able to grab a seat corner helps. I've even witnessed Acela First Class staff 'bounce' off a seat a couple times after hitting a rough patch.

Once on the ground, my legs are back to 'normal' within 1 car length of so of deboarding.
 

joelkfla

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My biggest adjustment is 'restoring' my 'train legs' while walking to the toilets, cafe, or diner while onboard.

As noted above, the NEC can be very rough in spots. Unlike 'consistent' waves, Amtrak is more jolt and bounce that one has to be 'loose enough' to absorb. Being able to grab a seat corner helps. I've even witnessed Acela First Class staff 'bounce' off a seat a couple times after hitting a rough patch.

Once on the ground, my legs are back to 'normal' within 1 car length of so of deboarding.
I'm always literally bouncing off the walls when walking down a sleeper corridor. 🙃
 

jis

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Keep you legs spread as you walk. You'll have better control against side sways.

I actually have no problem walking on a swaying Amtrak train or on a ship tossing around in medium sized waves. It is the continuing feeling of the motion after I get off doing such for many many hours that is interesting, though not in distracting in any big way.
 

Siegmund

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I've never had motion sickness aboard the train. When I was younger, I had no post-ride effects either.

As an adult, I can walk just fine when I disembark, and hardly notice anything weird if I am outside and moving --- but when sitting or lying, I have the mildly disorienting sensation that the room is moving for as much as 24 hours afterward.
 

AmtrakBlue

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Keep you legs spread as you walk. You'll have better control against side sways.

I actually have no problem walking on a swaying Amtrak train or on a ship tossing around in medium sized waves. It is the continuing feeling of the motion after I get off doing such for many many hours that is interesting, though not in distracting in any big way.
I remember my mom telling me that the house across the street from us was floating down the street. I don't remember if it was the same day or the day after my parents got back from a cruise.
For me, I remember swaying, or at least felt like I was, in church after having spent the night on my dad's small cabin cruiser.
 

tgstubbs1

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To restore the muscle tone in your legs after hours of sitting some kind of physical therapy or exercise could be useful. As an example squat thrusts don't require any equipment and not much floor space.
Probably two or three sets of five :
UP DOWN -
-then repeat after a rest period.

To help regain your balance one-legged squat thrusts will give you confidence while walking on land and improve your ankle strength.
Start by standing on one leg. If you find this part difficult practice until you feel comfortable enough to proceed.
Alternate legs after two squats.
LEFT - UP DOWN (repeat)
RIGHT- UP DOWN ( repeat)
 

S Unger

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I haven't experienced Train Legs" until my most recent trip on the Coast Starlight from Los Angeles to Seattle. It took a few hours to return to normal. My first long distance ride was from Elko to Pittsburgh in 2008. I had no problem then. I've been on several trips since 2008 The Crescent and City of New Orleans for example, no problem there. Maybe getting older has an affect?
 
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I've never had motion sickness aboard the train.

And at sea, neither have I. When my Brother was young, he did have some issues with potential motion sickness until my Mother realized that he kept looking at the ground rapidly passing outside the dining car's window and the water in the glass slightly sloushingly in the glass. "Keep your eyes" moving to different things" was what she told him and, then, he was OK.


Keep you legs spread as you walk. You'll have better control against side sways.

That is what I do as well at sea or on a train. The one time that I felt a bit "odd" was walking down a long passageway in the accommodations deck of a ship when the ship was pitching. My feet were either hitting the deck sooner or later than I expected and that did cause an "odd" feeling.
 

Cal

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I never get train-sick from the motion, I quite enjoy it, as it's part of the experience. Bumpy track, when not eating or trying to do something, is kind of fun. Now when I get off after a long ride I always seem to feel the motion of the train.
 
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