Los Angeles to Chicago to Buffalo … all by Amtrak
“You get a real feeling of this country and the people in it when you’re on a train.” — Harry Truman
I’m traveling to Buffalo, New York, next week for a NARP* board meeting and, after my flight to Los Angeles on Hawaiian Airlines, it will be Amtrak all the way … two nights to Chicago on the Southwest Chief and another overnight ride on the Lake Shore Limited from there to Buffalo. There are friends and family who still shake their heads over that, but I’m retired … I have the time … and compared to the hassles of air travel these days, the train is a real pleasure.
There’s all that scenery, of course, but the fact is, the train is cheaper than flying when you ride in coach and often it’s not that much more if you’re traveling in a sleeping car, where you have a bed to sleep in and your dining car meals are included in your fare.
All that is well worth the price of admission as far as I’m concerned, but truth be told, on an overnight train ride, I enjoy getting to meet some of my fellow passengers just as much. Amtrak dining cars feature community seating and, if I’m traveling alone, that means I make three new friends three times a day. Conversation flows nicely over New York steaks and a couple of half-bottles of merlot. And all the while, America the Beautiful is passing by outside your window.
When’s the last time you had an experience like that on an airplane?
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* National Association of Railroad Passengers. NARP is a non-partisan, non-profit citizens organization promoting more and better and faster passenger trains. Please consider becoming a member. Go to www.narprail.org