Traveling the United States by Train: Tips for the Best Travel in the USA!

train in usa

Travel by train in the USA seems a little old-fashioned, but it’s an old sure way to see beautiful America. Too often, we prefer to approach our destination by plane or hop in our vehicles when expecting a tried and true way of getting around. While some trains in the USA are primitive compared to modern standards (but super cool nonetheless), lines like Amtrak allow passengers to travel in luxury in trolleys with canopies, fine dining, and cozy accommodations. Imagine staying in a moving hotel when the environment is constantly changing.

Train transportation in the USA is carried out by the state-owned company Amtrak. It serves over 500 destinations in 46 states.

Since some major American cities do not have train stations, train passing in the USA often stops in the suburbs. In such cases, Amtrak provides a shuttle service from the main city to the train station with Thruway Motorcoach buses. Most trains operated by the American operator have free Wi-Fi and sockets near every passenger seat. Quite comfortable conditions to see the USA by train. Map with routes for train traveling in the USA, you can find on the official website.

The names of trains in the USA correspond to the names of their routes. The longest daily route is operated by Amtrak trains – California Zephyr. It runs between Chicago, Illinois, and Emeryville in the suburbs of San Francisco, California, via Omaha, Denver, Salt Lake City, and Reno. The train travels almost 4,000 km, in about 52 hours, passengers have one round trip a day.

One of the busiest rail routes in the United States is the Northeast Regional flight from Boston, Massachusetts to Washington, Columbia. There are ten flights every day in this direction, the fastest of which allows you to reach the capital in about 6.5 hours.

Do not forget about reservations for train USA tickets in advance. Since the earlier you book, the cheaper they will cost you. Train booking in the USA may not be very popular, as on the platform the staff will still provide you with seats. So it’s okay if you forgot or did not have time to do it.

Many travelers who want to see the United States from a new perspective are wondering: how to travel by train in the USA, to see all the sights and enjoy the incredible view?

We have found for you an incredible tour USA by train

Traveler and entrepreneur Derek Lowe invite everyone to travel by crossing the USA by train- from California to New York. The journey will take about four days, and if you sometimes make stops for excursions, then even longer. But then, according to Derek, you can fully appreciate the beauty of America!

Derek believes that you need to travel to America not by plane, but by train: firstly, you will see more, and secondly, the train traveling in the USA is cheaper.

A train traveling in the USA from San Francisco to Salt Lake City will take approximately 17 hours

Take in the beautiful panorama of the San Francisco Bay as you leave. The bay is almost 100 km long.

Soon after you leave the coast, you will be surrounded by the misty mountains of Sierra Nevada. The mountain range occupies 63,000 square kilometers, has a rich history, and is famous for its views.

This traveling train USA drives past three national parks in the Sierra Nevada – Yosemite, Sequoia Park, and Kings Canyon. The highest peak of the Sierra Nevada, Mount Whitney, 4418 meters high, is also nearby.

This traveling by train in the USA takes you past Donner Lake, which has a spooky history from the Gold Rush era

trains in the usa

The party of gold diggers was locked up by bad weather on its shores, out of 87 people, only 48 survived, who were kept alive by cannibalism – they ate their comrades.

After California, the train traveling in the USA will take you to Nevada

The mountainous landscape is replaced by mesmerizing desert views. Its area is over 35,000 square kilometers. Even though the soil here is not particularly fertile, and the weather conditions are not the most favorable, about 2000 plants grow on the territory of the desert. The fauna is less diverse, but this cannot be called a place where there are no living creatures. Here you can meet at least 1.5 dozen different animals, including snakes, iguanas, coyotes, lizards, foxes, scorpions, turtles, hares, goats, rams. Every year in the desert no more than 15 cm of precipitation falls, which is extremely small. although, in the nearby mountains, they already fall up to two meters per year.

The train on which Derek traveled in the USA does not pass through the gambling capital of the USA – Las Vegas. But it goes through Reno, which Lowe calls “the largest small city in the world.”

At night, the train crosses the border between Nevada and Utah, arriving in Salt Lake City at 3 am.

The next train will take you from Salt Lake City to Denver in 15 hours. According to Lowe, “the journey between Utah and Colorado is the most mesmerizing possible.” You will be surrounded by landscapes familiar from westerns.

The train is surrounded by magnificent canyons. Looking at them from the carriage window is convenient and comfortable – not like trudging over rocks in the heat.

For a while, the train travels along the Colorado River, allowing taking impressive photos. Rafters love Colorado, but keep in mind that in the old Julian tradition, they tend to “greet” passing trains by turning their backs to them and taking off their pants. Protect the morality of women and children!

Just before Denver, the mountains turn into a green plain. Denver is the capital of Colorado and one of the sunniest cities in America: the number of sunny days a year is about 300.

The next leg is from Denver to Chicago

Train travel in the USA will take place here in four states – Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois. It will take 19 hours, and you will cover more than half of the route at night.

Chicago is the third-most populous city in the United States with a rich history; one cannot but spend at least one day here.

The most famous architectural landmark in Chicago is Willis Tower, 442 meters high. And the most controversial is the sculpture by Anish Kapoor “Cloud Gate”, which locals simply call “bob” and regularly dedicate all-new Internet memes to it. The Cloud Gate is a frame covered with 168 sheets of stainless steel, welded together and carefully polished. The structure weighs 99.8 tons and is 10 meters high, 20 meters long, and 13 meters wide. It was planned that the cost of this project would amount to $ 6 million, but in reality, it took much more – $ 23 million.

The last leg between Chicago and New York will take about 20 hours

tour usa by train

According to Lowe, it is not as rich in views as the previous runs, but you will meet ahead of you with the greatest city in the United States.

So, one of the best train trips in the USA ends in New York!

A city that everyone on the planet seems to know about. If someone suddenly mentions the phrase “capital of the world”, then the first in the head of an educated person will probably pop up the name of this metropolis on the east coast of the United States.

Coming here by this train tour from Chicago, you will travel 5,466.9 kilometers, cross 11 states, and travel from the Pacific coast to the Atlantic coast without getting on a plane. “After my traveling by train in the USA, a lot of people told me that I know the country better than most Americans,” says Derek. Moreover, the entire trip cost him $ 429 – quite inexpensive. Will you try?

Traveling on the train in the USA: useful tips

Before traveling by train in the United States, it is advisable to take out health insurance and collect a first aid kit. It is customary in the United States to carry an identification card with you. If you are bringing cash with you, try to change the $ 100 bills in advance into smaller ones. Banknotes of this denomination are most often counterfeited, and the staff of various institutions and services treat them with suspicion and check them especially carefully.

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