‘Nothing beats flying across the country in a train.’ – Homer Simpson
Amtrak trains will take you to most big cities in the United States as well as to Disney World, Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon. American trains have always had a strong hold on the popular imagination, inspiring countless railroad stories, songs, films and legends. A rugged charm sets a train apart from more mundane means of transport and ecological soundness means that USA train travel is again in vogue.
7 great trains
Amtrak trains travel to all major US cities and cross some of the country’s most spectacular landscapes. Explore inspiring trains in the United States, including the California Zephyr, Coast Starlight and Empire Builder.
Check out the excellent USA by Rail guide book for all USA and Canada train travel, including Amtrak and VIA Rail.
7 great stations
From impressive facades and church-like interiors to massive grand halls and iconic movie locations, here are some of most beautiful and iconic train stations in the United States.
Amtrak trains pollute less, rarely suffer from weather delays and won’t give you jet lag. On a rail holiday you can choose your companions, read a book, take a snooze or sleep horizontally, enjoying the comforts of home while on vacation. One reason for travelling the USA by rail is especially compelling – it’s much more fun.
Amtrak coaches have generous reclining seats, observation domes, air-conditioning and snug bunks. A train may not be the fastest way to travel but the pace is perfect for sightseeing. If the scenery palls you can go for a stroll, enjoy a meal in the dining car, make friends in the bar or watch a movie. At night, a gentle rocking and the steady rhythm of the wheels are sure to lull you to sleep. Not many people would mourn buses if they became obsolete, and few entertain fond thoughts about airports, but children still count freight cars and wave when a train goes by.
Instead of leaving you exhausted and surly, trains create a sense of adventure and romance. No wonder people still find the plaintive sound of a locomotive horn at midnight a sure signal that it’s time to move on. As the bell clangs and the conductor calls out ‘All aboard!’ you soon discover why Amtrak train travel remains so beguiling. Pampered by helpful attendants, you can travel by rail from coast to coast, explore the Rocky Mountains and ride directly alongside two oceans. You cross rivers, lakes and deserts and see places that can only be visited by train.
‘Nowhere can I think so happily as in a train.’ – A. A. Milne.
Less expensive than flying, more comfortable than the bus, US train travel keeps you relaxed and in touch with an ever-changing landscape. See some of Amtrak’s best routes with the USA by Rail guide book that has all you need for train travel with Amtrak, VIA Rail and tourist railroads in North America. This definitive rail touring guide includes details of all Amtrak train routes in the US and VIA trains in Canada, as well as steam railroads, railway museums and links to train travel websites in the United States, Canada and around the world.
The latest Ninth Edition of USA by Rail also has information about rail passes and cities and attractions across the US and Canada, plus advice for visitors from overseas. So whether you are planning a holiday vacation or a round the world trip, this is the complete guidebook for seeing North America by train. Find out more