Aug 22, 2009

New York to San Francisco by train

Hudson valley, taken from the train. The slanted tower is caused by the iPhone's rolling shutter.

I took the Amtrak train from NY to SF. Three days total on the train. And spectacular scenery - particularly after Chicago, when we reached Wyoming and Nevada. I went coach class for the first leg of the trip, from New York to Chicago. Then I splashed out on a sleeper room from Chicago through to SF. I'm glad I had a sleeper - the moment I settled into my little sleeper room, I shifted from travel mode (watch the bags, stay on alert) into vacation mode (relax, put my feet up, stop worrying, read a book...).

My general impressions: The people on the train were great, the views were amazing, service was generally good, the food was so/so, and the Amtrak carriages have seen better days - for example, the toilets broke in my carriage, which was no fun for anyone. That said, I would take the train again, if I had another space three days.

Click here to see more photos.


Nhat Vo said...

I found this incredibly fun. You make me want to do this right now.
I just have some questions. Did you buy two tickets and transfer at Chicago? And did you stay over night there?
Thank you for just reading this. Your blog just made my day.

Jon said...

I bought my ticket as a single ticket online for approx $550, which included coach class from NY to Chicago and Superliner Roomette from Chicago to SF. I changed trains in Chicago, staying in the city only for four or five hours, not overnight.

The prices vary according to time of week, season, and how far in advance you book. In that price, around $300 was to book the Superliner room, which could be shared by two... if two go and share a room, it is more economical. Also, the $300 room price included two days worth of meals.

Nhat Vo said...

Thank you so much for the information.
Coincidentally, I'm leaving New York to apply for CCA in San Francisco. A lot to do but I'm excited.
Once again, thank you