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Ridden on Amtrak Lately

Updated on February 6, 2013

Have You Tried Amtrak Yet?

The one I used is the Central part of the United States from San Antonio, TX to Springfield, IL. This trip takes approximately 26.5 hours. You can either sleep in the seats or get yourself a sleeper. I prefer to just get the seats and hope that I can get 2 together. It isn't that comfortable but it is better than nothing. I have a choice, I can drive up to my Dad's from Freer, TX and take about 24 hours (not including the room I would have to get to sleep and rest for a while) OR I can take the train, letting them do the driving and arrive at my Dad's somewhat refreshed.

Have you tried the Amtrak yet? If not, I would suggest you do it. If you decide you want to try Amtrak, do not wait until the last minute to get your tickets. I got my ticket 1 way for $114 by buying it a little over a month ahead of time and another lady bought the ticket minutes before the train left and she paid $150. You get a savings by buying early.

Photo appears courtesy of Creative Commons by BuddahblessA

United States Map For Amtrak - Just take a look

Amtrak Map
Amtrak Map

Amtrak train routes are almost everywhere. There are a few areas where you will have to take a bus to get to the train route.

The line in red is the route I took. We started off in San Antonio and up through Dallas/Fort Worth, TX. Then we wound our way through the other states to get to Springfield, IL

Photo credit: Amtrak Public Domain

Amtrak Train
Amtrak Train

26.5 Hours On A Train

Good Way to Travel

Hubby and I didn't go to be Tuesday night. We were getting me prepared to go to San Antonio, TX to catch a train to Illinois to see my Dad. We were going to stop at a Denny's to have breakfast and then take me to the train. Hubby took a different route than usual so no breakfast. We ended up getting to the stations 1/2 hour before it was to take off. I checked my bags and rearranged all of my take on. Finally time to get into the train. I had purchases a lower level ticket so that I would not have to traverse the stairs at all. I was expecting a full train because when I bought my tickets a month before they had said only 4 tickets were left. Imagine my surprise when only 3 of us were on there. The lower level, usually used by the disabled, has 12 seats and only 8 seats were used at any one time. Our attendant was nice enough to bring us down goodies from the snack bar. I have ridden the Amtrak before but this is the first time it has been on time. I was pleasantly surprised that we were on time. Usually we have been between 1-4 hours late.These new cars are great. I would recommend that you try it some time.

Photo appears courtesy of Creative Commons by jpmueller99.

Some Wonderful Gift Items

Featuring Amtrak

Looking for a gift to give someone who is getting ready to go on their first Amtrak trip or someone who you want to remember a trip they already took. Here are some good ones for you.

Amtrak Train
Amtrak Train

Return Train Trip Back to San Antonio, TX

On the Amtrak Train

As I was leaving Springfield, IL, it was a cool 20 degrees with a wind chill of like 6. Brr! Guess what I found out? I didn't have a heavy coat with me or closed toed shoes. Double Brr! The Amtrak train took off on time. We got to St. Louis, MO with a little time to spare which the train members used to clean the train a little on the inside and out. I bet those window washers were really cold out there. I swear that the Amtrak car was a rocking and a rolling as we were in high speed most of the time except when we went through cities.

The first night, I found a lady to talk with for a while before we decided to go to sleep. I had to share my row with someone else until 3 am when a section of seating became available. Then I was able to stretch out as much as possible and get a little sleep. The train going so fast interrupted my sleep some.

The next day, I was talking with three different ladies. One was by herself and the other two were mother and daughter. We all traveled down to San Antonio, TX together and really enjoyed the day. I hope to hear from them in the future. I gave them some of my business cards so that they would have a way to get ahold of me. Believe it or not, we arrived an hour early to San Antonio. My husband was still quite a ways away from the Amtrak train station on his way to come and get me.

I noticed the mother and daughter we sitting waiting for a cab and there were plenty there. I thought they were not taking them because the mother was in a wheel chair. I learned something new. The cab company had a special cab that rolled her wheel chair and all up into the cab. I was glad to know that they were thinking about the comfort of their riders.

Hubby finally arrived and we went to spend the night in a motel as we planned to visit my granddaughter the next morning for the first time in about 10 years. Then we drove about 250 miles to go visit my son and another 250 miles to get home. Needless to say, we were extremely tired when we got home at 10 p.m. and went straight to bed. Hubby was feeling sick so called in to let them know he wasn't coming in. He had pneumonia.

Back to the Amtrak train, I was pleasantly surprised that we arrived on time in Springfield, IL at the start of my trip and arrived an hour early on the way back. I would highly recommend anyone to take the Amtrak train if they are traveling across the country.

Photo appears courtesy of Creative Commons by Slideshow Bruce.

Have You Ever Ridden On Amtrak? - I would love to hear of your experience.

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    • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

      Dancing Cowgirl Design 5 years ago from Texas

      I was so glad to find this. I have been thinking over taking a train trip for a long time

    • Grandma-Marilyn profile image
      Author

      Grandma-Marilyn 6 years ago

      @GramaBarb: I know. That is the only way I will travel. I might get a rental car at the other end if noone can pick me up but I love Amtrak.

    • GramaBarb profile image

      GramaBarb 6 years ago from Vancouver

      I've taken the Amtrak once and fell in love with it!

    • Grandma-Marilyn profile image
      Author

      Grandma-Marilyn 6 years ago

      @Virginia Allain: I agree with you that you shouldn't make the schedule too tight, especially if you are going to be taking another train on to another destination as they are sometimes rather late. I was rather surprised that the last trip I took was on time both ways. As a matter of fact, they were running early. I think they are trying to improve their reputation. I'm not sure but I think they made a couple of the cargo trains wait for us to pass.

      I have never had a sleeper but I would suggest that if you have a hard time sleeping in cramped places that you continue using the sleepers. I usually try to get into the handicapped area but even that is cramped.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      We took the east coast route a number of times from Orlando to New Hampshire. It's pleasant watching the countryside and we had the sleeper compartments which are tiny but comfortable. It is quite a bit more expensive, so maybe I should try the open seating sometime.

      We had delays, so don't plan the trip too tightly.

    • Grandma-Marilyn profile image
      Author

      Grandma-Marilyn 6 years ago

      Oops, didn't mean to leave you a novel, tvyps. LOL

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I have looked at booking a few times...way too expensive and the ride is pretty long. I always wanted to take it to New Orleans, but it takes about 24 hours from Tucson. Any routes that you know of that are cheap that would be a good experience? I used to ride the trains in Europe when I lived in Germany. They are everywhere, not near as expensive either.

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 6 years ago from California

      Not in years....I did ride so many trains in Europe that it kind of made me glad I had a car, but one day I will do the Amtrack route.

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 6 years ago

      I've never been on Amtrak. I once took a train from Illinois to California. Long trip; but I enjoyed it.

    • NanaPoppins LM profile image

      NanaPoppins LM 6 years ago

      I rode on a train from Atlanta to Washington DC years ago to see my grandma. We had a blast! Nice lens :)

    • LissaKlar LM profile image

      LissaKlar LM 6 years ago

      No, I haven't but I would love to!

    • hayleylou lm profile image

      hayleylou lm 6 years ago

      No, but it does look good fun and I know my boys would love it.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 6 years ago from California

      No, but I've always thought it would be fun way to see the country.