Monday, July 09, 2007

Would I Do it Again? – Part I

Another 24 hours have gone by, so I best answer this question before other things interfere with my thinking.

The honest answer is yes maybe, I would do this again. But, if some things did not change or changed for the worse, I am not sure I would do it again. Here are the plusses and minuses.


  1. I got to see my sister.

  2. I got to see some incredibly beautiful parts of the country that cannot be seen any other way.

  3. I met some truly interesting, dare I say fascinating people.

  4. I got some great photos and videos,

  5. Relatively little, if any, “jet” lag.

  6. The amenities of traveling by train are far better than those in the air. They are better food, better service, more space, and places to stretch one’s legs.

  7. No anxiety. No sitting on runway for nine hours.

  8. Generally very good service from the Amtrak staff, and in some cases, excellent service.


  1. It was very expensive.

  2. This might partially because I waited so long to book the trip, and took the trip in summer, Amtrak’s busy season.

  3. It took a long time. I was actually on the train longer than my visit in OR.

  4. It was not possible to stop and spend more time in some of the locations along the way – at least not the way I booked the trip. This is possible, but I would have to see what the difference in pricing would be.

  5. “Sleeping” in the roomette is tight and bumpy. One does not really get a good sleep on the train.

  6. Restroom facilities on the train leave something to be desired.

  7. Dependable scheduling; we were off time more than we were on-time.

  8. Meeting “problem” people.

  9. Amtrak Elbow and Amtrak Legs.

Things I would do differently:

  1. Try to find a better fare by considering travel at a different time.

  2. Consider making some stops for several days along the way.

  3. Consider more time and the end destination.

  4. Consider moving up to a full size room instead of the roomette.

  5. Consider an alternate route so I can see more of the country. Several travelers I spoke to too the Zephyr to California, then took a train to Seattle and then Empire Builder back to Chicago.

  6. Bring less clothing and more pillows.

  7. Travel with others – but don’t try to share a room.

  8. Try the trip at a different time of the year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you can get some kind of train pass that allows you to get off at a station, stay however long, etc. I think they permit 3 stops or changeovers. Amtrak accepts AAA discount of 10%, more if you are disabled in some way. In addition to their web stuff, knowledgeable folks will talk to you and send free train tables if you call Amtrak. A complete room is worth the money if it has a bathroom inside it - they will deliver meals if youj want and you can avoid the "problem people" you alluded to. I LOVE trains!!!!