June 19, 2013 |
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I've looked into it, makes Airfare look cheap.
In the '60s everyone knew passenger rail service was dying, so I wound up on two train trips, intended to make sure we had the experience of traveling by rail: Once with the scouts and once as a school field trip. both on the Union Pacific to Abilene, to visit the Eisenhower museum and library.
I want to and have thought about it. My cousin took her family on a vacation one year from OKC to Seaworld in Texas, so they could experience a train ride.
Lawrence to Chicago last year. Two of us (seniors) rode round trip for $160.00. Lot of fun. In 1966 wife and I took a honey moon trip to LA on the Santafe Chief. Was six hours late but we didnt care because we were in love.
Never have, but would love to.
I have traveled by train to New Mexico a couple of times. I highly recommend it - relaxing, beautiful view going through the Colorado mountains with the glass car and seeing thunderstorm overhead and mountains surrounding. Played some cribbage and met some new friends. I have also gone to and from Chicago via train. Many years ago for all of these trips and we need to do it more often.
Several times. Cost is annoying. And, the fact that you can't check or get checked luggage in Lawrence is a limiting factor. I've driven to KC and even Sedalia for a few Amtrak trips, too. On the cross-Missouri line, you're allowed to bring a bicycle on board (for $10, I think). Then get off at Hermann, and ride the Katy Trail back. If the train services connected reliably and I could take a bike on board from Lawrence, I would have gone from Lawrence instead.
My husband and I just took a train trip from Lawrence to Santa Fe, NM last week. It was fantastic! The scenery in CO and NM is great and during the day. Western KS is at night fortunately. It leaves Lawrence at 12:30am every night and when you return it arrives at 5:30am. The trip is 14 hours. We took movies to watch, cards, books and sat in the observation car most of the time. Coach seats aren't bad, very roomy unlike seats on a plane. You can bring your own food and drinks if you want (only your own liquor if you have a sleeper car) and the food isn't bad. We upgraded to a sleeper on the way back. Don't book a sleeper in advance. If you upgrade once on the train, you can save hundreds of dollars. We would recommend it to anyone unless you have motion sickness. Everyone looks like they have had too much to drink on the train even before hitting the bar car!
Every time I took the Southwest Chief, I had a pretty poor experience with the Amtrak employees -- especially the east bound train. I cannot recall many problems with the west bound personnel.If there are other modes of transportation available, I would recommend not taking Amtrack. For one thing, I was just trying to get to the other end of the state. Amtrak goes through Kansas during the night. So unless you want a night trip to get across the state, it is not a good way to travel. Unfortunately, there aren't air routes to western Kansas and the bus would probably take even longer. Also, as mentioned, the help is pretty rude on the east bound train. I don't know if it is because they are at the end of their shifts or not,. Anyway, if you are used to airline friendly attendants, forget it. I think some of these people were ex drill sergeants. It is too bad that the airlines cannot take over the rail transportation, they could probably make Amtrak a lot nicer to ride with.
When my wife was still going to school at UNL, I wanted to check out alternative modes of transportation to Lincoln besides driving. I worked nights in Emporia, so I would leave about 1 AM friday morning and return Sunday night or Monday morning. I checked out the train and to my chagrin, there was no direct service to Lincoln. The "shortest" route was from Lawrence to California, California to Washington, Washington to Minnesota, and Minnesota to either Lincoln or Omaha with travel time one way being 33 hours. I checked out the bus also, but laying over all night at Troost street in KC didn't appeal all that much to me either....so I just drove. And people wonder why we drive so much in this country. Why can't we build a good bullet train system like they have in Japan or France?
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