Riding Amtrak to Oregon...help

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  • The trains out of Chicago and the west coast are double decker Superliners.
    The bottom floor has seating for handicapped people , restrooms and luggage storage.

    The upper deck has passenger seating, lounge car, snack bar , dining car and sleeping cars.

    I have always travelled coach. The sleepers are terribly small and, though your meals are included with them, I think terribly expensive. I enjoy being in coach and chatting with other travellers.

    You will be assigned to a specific coach car, with other travelers getting off the train at or near the same distination. when you get a seat, a conductor will come by and take your tickets. A ticket will be place above your seat and this recerves you and Maggy's two seats for the duration of the trip. After your tickets are taken you are free to roam the train.
    I have NEVER had anything stolen form me but do please remember to carry your valuables ON your body. I travel with a money pouch around my waist, under my clothes. Everything else, you can leave at your seats when you go to the lounge or snack car.

    I carry my own food on the train, treating myself to a dinner each way.
    But you can certainly buy food on the train!
    The snack bar prices are not bad at all.............sandwiches, soups, yogurt, chips, sodas, juices, coffee, candy and breakfast sandwiches.
    The dining car is quite expensive but I think a fun thing to treat yourself too atleast one time while travelling each way!!

    In any case, do carry a lot of snacks with you! I like to bring fresh fruit, chips, cookies, peanuts, that sort of thing.
    You will find buying soda's for you and Maggy will add up fast. If I remember right, they are 1.50, so I like to bring a couple liter bottles of soda with me and just ask the snack attendant for a cup of ice.

    You can check in your big suitcases to your destination.
    On board I bring:
    COMFY clothes (ie sweats and fleecy stuff)
    comfortable shoes
    books and magazines
    my bible

    You and Maggy might enjoy small board games or cards to enjoy after the sun goes down.

    As well, movies are shown in the lounge car during the evenings.

    I will answer your specific questions on the next one.......

    hugs, train


  • Quote:
    Maggy is terrified and refuses to fly
    Tell Maggy I really think you will both enjoy the train. I have to tell you though, you have to be in the right mindset to enjoy the trip! If you can ENJOY the scenery and just relax, you will love the train. If youn are social and enjoy chatting with other travellers, you will enjoy the train. if you like meeting people form all over the world, you will enjoy the train! If you can enjoy the trip along the way, you will like the train

    IF you are concerned about ony getting frompoint A to point B in record time, you will NOT like the train.
    You WILL be late at times though the Coast Starlight and Zephyr are two that have pretty good track times.
    If you do not like being around other people and travelling with them , you will NOT like the train and in either of these cases, then I would drive............

    Any ideas on how to go more smoothly with the baby?
    My only advice here is to get a front seat as you will have more room to put the infant carrier. It can be hard to walk on a moving train until you get your balance so I would cary the baby in the carrier, don't try to carry him in your arms as you are trying to balance.

    What about heating food for the baby?
    I have seen young moms on the train with battery operated warmers that DeBora has mentioned. They used to give hot water at the snack bar but then so many people started bringing aboard cup a soups, hot chocolate etc and they were losing money........now they sell the cup a soup and hot chocolate!! LOL!)

    How long a drive to LA or california, never been there.
    If you have the time you will be about 8 to ten hours to San Francisco and the Northern coast of Monterey, Carmel and Big Sur. A beautiful drive to see the Pacific and San Francisco is a really, really fun city to explore.
    Take the I-5 , inland, down to San Francisco and then the coast Hwy out of San Francisco down to Monterey. BeAuTiFuL!!
    There is MUCH to see in California but those I have mentioned above are , in my opinion, the must see's!!

  • Pippe had some real good ideas, too!
    In my experience, the last two seats are usually reserved for the car attendants, but if they have saved those for passengers with babies, that is good, too! (I don't believe those have as much floor space as the front seat though)

    Are the showers only for those in sleeping cars?
    My advice, bring some of those thick, nice scented baby wipes because they clean EVERYWHERE!
    With these, shampoo and conditioner, towels and washcloths ,deodorant, toothpaste, mouthwash and pretty scented lotion, I am able to clean up quite nicely on the train.
    When you go to clean up, use the larger women's restrom. It has a little padded bench to put your clothes and toiletries on and two double sinks.
    My Advice................EVERYONE goes downstairs to "Clean up" when they wake up in the morning and you will have to get in line and wait your turn.
    I just comb my hair and brush my teeth but wait till the afternoon to go clean up and put fresh clothes on , you will have the bathroom all to yourself and not feel rushed.

    When is your trip, Cathy? I just know you are going to love seening the west coast!~

    hugs, train
  • If you already have your tickets and you want to change them for a different route each way, you can. Just call Amtrak.....1 800 USA RAIL. There will be a small charge, but , believe me, Cathy, you will SO enjoy the Coast Starlight and Zephyr trains!!

    hugs, train
  • train, I think you would make a great travel agaent for train travel.
  • Me too...LOL
    Ok what exactly is a "redcap"? Are they living breathing folks or otherwise
    What do the lockers run at Union Station? Where would we store the stroller, under the seat? I am really looking forward to this trip. I LOVE nature and scenery. I think this is also gonna be a great time to spend ALONE with Maggy, minus any drama!
    My brother IS taking us to Washington, hooray! ! I'm told you can see Mt. Hood out his back door!
    Who knows Train, when everything is said and done, perhaps I too will be a train addict....
    I have always wanted to go by train.
    I understand we can take two carry ons and the diaperbag, purses don't count. We should be set. Hoping to check suitcase with Memin on the plane.
    I was planning to take munchies and soda...but I am so hoping we have enough arms.
    Also, do you think rather that a stroller that the carrier ( on our chest) would work better?
    Where can we find a battery operated warmer?
    BTW, what is the Miracle Mile?

    Hugs gang
  • You could do a search online for the terms "battery bottle warmer" as many came up. Ask Donna aka Train if the train people would be able to warm up your bottles. You could also call the train station about whether or not they would warm them for you as well.

    Good luck and have fun on your trip.
  • thanks oodles
  • The largest lockers are 8 to 12 dollars depending how many hours you use them. 12 dollars max. You can use a credit card for the lockers.

    Michigan Avenue, where all the big department stores are is known as the "Miracle Mile."
    The L train will take you to Michigan Ave and you can catch it on Adams street, just three blocks from Union Station. You will walk right past the Sears Tower.
    Just head east, toward the skyline, or head straight down toward Lake Michigan!

    Redcaps are Amtrak porters who will help you carry all your luggage and stuff into Union Station. You arrive in an underground tunnel and walk into the station.

    The stroller would fit better in your overhead storage above your seat.

    I think the stroller will be good for Union Station and sightseeing. I would think an infant seat would be best for the baby to sleep in and carry while moving around on the train.

    Have a GREAT trip!
    When are you going?

    hugs, train
  • Maggers, the baby and I leave on the 29th out of Harrisburg. Memin, Delia and Angel will fly out of BWI on the 28th.
    Memin is going to have to take our suitcase with him, because we can't check baggage in Harrisburg from what the website and ticketing information says.
    Eh..its ok
    Memin and the kids will be with my brother and his family the 28-April 1st (my 15th wedding anniversary... seriously) before I get there.
    You have me so excited about this whole trip.
    I am looking forward to some quiet and relaxed down and ALONE time with Maggy and the baby.
    So, Maggy and I can walk down to Lake Michigan or is that too far to walk? I am really laid back and not into department stores. I want to see the Sears Tower, but from the ground. I am TERRIFIED of heights
    We plan on taking the baby's diaper bag and also using my lil' purse which I understand doesn't count toward our 2 carry ons. What about the stroller? She has a fold up full size stroller. Is that too big?
    This is Lord willing going to be an excellent trip. Maggy and I are to arrive with the baby in Portland at 10:20 am on my anniversary! The 5th of April is my nephew's 5th birthday, and then there is Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday! Plus all of the sight seeing.
    I plan to take OODLES of pictures!