Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Would like to travel by train-having trouble finding info.

Would like to travel by train-having trouble finding info.

May 6th, 2002, 07:08 PM
  #1  
xx
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Would like to travel by train-having trouble finding info.

We would like to travel by train from Detroit or Chicago to Arizona, but am having trouble locating any info. Can anyone help get me on the right track?
 
May 6th, 2002, 07:12 PM
  #2  
Paul Rabe
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Only one place to look:

www.amtrak.com
 
May 6th, 2002, 07:28 PM
  #3  
xx
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I tried that first Paul, but they want to know specifically what day and time you want to leave, and exactly where you want to do it from. After entering about 20 combos and getting 20 replys that the schedule info I was intering brought no matches....I gave up on it. I was hoping to learn the ssecret from this board of knowledge!
 
May 6th, 2002, 07:29 PM
  #4  
xx
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
yes, I know how to spell entering...sorry
 
May 6th, 2002, 10:19 PM
  #5  
jerry
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Now you have discovered one of the reasons no one likes amtrak. I had a pass last year...30 days for $300+ dollars. Seemed like a great deal, but I got so tired of wrong, missing, or hidden info! They also have an 800 phone number. It is a bit easier, as you can force the person to answer all your questions but use a speaker phone and do something else while you wait, and wait, and....
 
May 7th, 2002, 03:46 AM
  #6  
gail
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I agree - the Amtrak website was designed by a very mean person. It is nearly impossible to extract info from it unless you get very lucky.
 
May 7th, 2002, 04:11 AM
  #7  
Paul Rabe
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Okay, try this (it took me three minutes).

Go to www.amtrak.com

Click on "Trains and Destinations"

Select "West"

Click on "Southwest Chief"

This will bring you to a page with a complete description of the train from Chicago to Arizona; where you can select a map, an Adobe schedule, and a description of all cities where it stops.
 
May 7th, 2002, 04:25 AM
  #8  
Jenny
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I've found that the schedule function can't handle train changes. I don't know about the Southwest, but for the Northeast if you want to go from Virginia to Montreal, you have to put in Virginia to NYC, then locate the train from NYC to Montreal, you can't just type Virginia to Montreal because they are two different trains and the system can't figure that out. So I would follow Paul's advice, find out which trains run where (beginning and end point), then try to get the schedule for each segment of the trip. I love train travel, but I agree that they make it less than easy to plan.
 
May 7th, 2002, 08:17 AM
  #9  
judith
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
if you can get to an amtrak train station, there are nice brochures about the trains, also schedules. or request them sent from amtrak via web or phone.
 
May 7th, 2002, 08:40 AM
  #10  
r-travels
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Jenny- I just tried Richmond to Montreal, and got schedules.

When I tried Williamsburg - MTR I did not .... the trains out of Wburg arrive in NY too late for any connection, I guess. Those that I did get from RVR-MTR were via St Albans VT w/ a bus from there to Montreal, as the Adirondack (NY to MTR) leaves NY before the earliest RVR-NYP train arrives in NY.

Also, when I checked Detroit (DET) to Flagstaff (FLG) I received Train #351 from Detroit (7:42am) to Chicago (12:15pm) changing to train # 3 leave Chicago (3:15pm) arrive Flagstaff (9:21pm next day). I used the trip planner on Amtrak's home page. Perhaps you're asking for too late a starting time? (remove x in my eddress to write me)

 
May 7th, 2002, 08:48 AM
  #11  
karen
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I have the phone number for Amtrak memorized. 800-872-7245. This comes from too many failed attempts to use the website and in the end I decided it was easier to deal directly with a person each time.
 
May 7th, 2002, 08:55 AM
  #12  
hobo
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
xx- the schedules will do you little good..the trains are ALWAYS late, especially at your destination. When friend come by train to visit us, we learned to tell them to call when then get into town. don't know how many wasted trip we took to pick them up before we learned that AMTRAK IS ALWAYS LATE!
 
May 8th, 2002, 04:53 AM
  #13  
jenny
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thanks, r-traveler. I don't need to go to Montreal, just trying to give an example of past experience, and we were leaving from even further south, Newport News, which only has two trains a day. To the above poster, Amtrak is late often, but they seem to be trying do something to accommodate their customers in a new customer satisfaction program. We had a train that was three hours late getting into NYC last summer. When I reported this, I got a $100 voucher for my next trip because the first one was late, which I subsequently used on a trip to Boston. I've certainly never had an airline compensate me for late planes. I support Amtrak and really wish we had more train travel opportunities in the US, so I wanted to give them a positive plug when I could.
 
May 8th, 2002, 06:55 AM
  #14  
r-travels
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I agree that Amtrak is often late. The further from the train's origin you get, the more likely it's going to be late. Often because Amtrak is running on tracks owned by freight lines, and the freight lines give preference to their own trains before Amtrak.

Jenny-I used WBG in my example because I often travel to/from there, it's only 1 stop for NN where it terminates ... I looked for the most "off-beat" VA location I could, since there's more trains thru Richmond. I've read where there will no longer be sleeper car service on the overnight trains between Boston & NN (#66/67) - what a shame - they're being moved to some other line later this month.

I love train travel, but if you take many Amtrak routes, you must be prepared to accept delays ... it's not for "Type A personalities", but as much as I like rail, it's hard to pass up deals like a recent $83 rt from Albany to Norfolk on Southwest. But I appreciate having travel options.
 
May 9th, 2002, 01:27 PM
  #15  
arjay
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Several years ago, looking for info on Amtrak's Coast Starlight, I did various searches and came up with a number of interesting sites - from veteran train travellers posting reports on their journeys, etc. I also came across a California-based travel agency that called itself an "Amtrak specialist." I've never used a travel agent, but succumbed to this one, and it paid off in spades. They handled everything, including getting my on-hold United flights for about $20 less. Do a little searching beyond just "Amtrak" and you may get lucky.
 
May 9th, 2002, 01:28 PM
  #16  
arjay
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I agree that trying to book Amtrak is an exercise in vexation. Several years ago, looking for info on Amtrak's Coast Starlight, I did various searches and came up with a number of interesting sites - from veteran train travellers posting reports on their journeys, etc. I also came across a California-based travel agency that called itself an "Amtrak specialist." I've never used a travel agent, but succumbed to this one, and it paid off in spades. They handled everything, including getting my on-hold United flights for about $20 less. Do a little searching beyond just "Amtrak" and you may get lucky.
 

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:01 AM.