What you have never known I traveled to Seattle, WA all by my lonesome. I was nervous at first, sure, but once things got going I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. To make things even more exciting I traveled by train for the first time.
If you have never traveled by train I definitely recommend it! I also definitely recommend taking Amtrak’s Empire Builder. It was the most relaxing yet thrilling trip I have been on to date. I had the best car attendant, she was so always so helpful and you could tell she truly loved her job!
Traveling by train gives you so many advantages:
I opted to get a roomette for my first trip and I am so glad I did. I was able to close the doors and be by my lonesome or have them open and talk to those who walked by or who were in my car. My roomette as you can see by one of the picture up top consisted of two recliners that turned into a bed at night. A top bunk that was attached to the ceiling so you didn’t have to duck every time you walked into your roomette. Also included was the typical attendant call, reading lights, etc. I was given two bottles of water and reading material about Seattle (my final destination).
You get to see all the different cities/towns/villages and all the country-scape that you might not to if you chose to fly. I have never seen so much beautiful country. For the longest time it was all flat lands (thank you South Dakota), but every now and then you would see a mountain (see header of blog). My favorite portion of the trip was when we neared the Rocky Mountains and going through the Rocky Mountains at sunset!
You don’t have to stop for gas! You might actually, but they fill up at one of the different train stations you visit. Another plus that fits right along with this is that you don’t have to drive. No staring at the windshield. Don’t get me wrong I think that driving across country would be a ride of a lifetime, but not having to do it by myself or during my first time was a lifesaver! I could look at everything and enjoy the journey instead of having all the worries of driving. I could have meals, read a book, color, whatever and still be traveling down the rails.
That’s the other thing you stop at so many different place and a couple of them you get to go out and take a walk and get some fresh air (if you’re lucky) I actually heard most trains are behind schedule, but mine always seemed to be a head of schedule. I remember getting stuck in Minot, ND (which is a VERY common thing) as well as “small town Montana” which is home to only 3,000 people (this fact made me laugh).
The only thing I have to say negatively about train travel is if there is any natural disasters near or on your tracks they are most likely going to delay or cancel your trip. It happens and there is nothing you can do about it. When I was scheduled to go by train from Seattle, WA to Portland, OR there was a mudslide that went over the tracks. After it got cancelled they announced that it was going to be 24-48 hours before it was cleared and then they had to wait another 24 hours to make sure it wasn’t going to happen again. Just plan and be prepared.
Train travel is so amazing and I recommend it to anyone and everyone. It’s not as popular as the other choices of transportation. When you are planning your next trip I encourage you to add a few extra days and travel by train to get there. As I like to say the destination may be beautiful but the journey can be just as beautiful.
Have you ever traveled by train? If so, what was your experience like? Let me know in the comments!