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Old 06-17-2008, 06:31 PM
Amanda's Avatar
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Location: southeast Wisconsin
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travel times

Hi Donna!

I have a friend who refuses to fly. He wants to go from Wisconsin to Vegas. I've heard it takes about the same amount of time to go via train as it would to drive there.

Any tips or suggestions for someone who has never ridden the train before?
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Old 06-18-2008, 09:00 AM
trainlady's Avatar
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Hi Amanda,
In the case of Wisconsin to Vegas there is no DIRECT Amtrak route so driving would be faster.
However, if your friend likes to travel just for travels sake (ie meet other travellers and enjoy the scenery) then he would enjoy the trip!
The route out of Chicago would go thru Albuquerque and Flagstaff and those cities are quite scenic! He would detrain in Kingman, Arizona and take the Amtrak bus on in to Vegas.

For first timers the main thing I would tell you is Amtrak does not own the tracks. The local railroaders in your area of the states do and so, freight trains have the right of way. Therefore Amtrak does not always run on time.
Us seasoned travelers know that and live with the fact of we will get there when we get there and enjoy the trip. (It's not THAT bad, typically a train is about an hour late but I have been up to 14 hours late)
If you enjoy travel for travels sake and have the time you will enjoy the train.
If you do not have the extra time and need to get from point A to point B at a very specific time, then I would advise driving.

That being said, I have ridden Amtrak since 1981 and am a devoted rider. I have met so many other travelers over the years and it is fun chatting on the train. I have seen all kinds of scenery out the window from big city lights and sky scrapers to covered bridges to rivers and lakes to mountains and desert and wide open praries for as far as the eye can see.
Depending on your personality you can chat with other travelers and play cards OR have quiet reflective time while looking out the window at the passing scenery.

I would tell a first time traveler to bring a light blanket, a few snacks and a small bag with reading material and music to listen to.

I would also tell a first time traveler to just go for it!
Who knows, you may fall in love with traveling down the tracks just the way I did back in 1981!!!

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"I'd rather be riding the train"
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Old 09-04-2010, 12:14 PM
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Location: virginia
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I would say that riding a train is a really great experience! I love the feel of the train, the scenery, i went with my 4 teen to young adult children, and it was a very good experience. They were able to talk with other passengers, it was good! And it's kind of an adventure, going from one train car to another... to get to the restaurant, or whatever.
Also, on another note.... I am very overweight, and the seats were very comfortable... not like on a plane, where you are all squeezed in together.
I say go for it, you'll be glad you did!
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Old 09-05-2010, 07:42 AM
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Location: Greensburg, PA
Posts: 8,381
I was going to send this link to Train, but I see she already answered. She's be the first one I"d talk to about train travel.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:36 PM
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During last winter vacation i have experienced to go with a trip to Newzeland such a beautiful country, Specially the people of Newzeland are very friendly and always welcomed the tourists with open heart. I never forget the taste of delicious and yummy dishes that i enjoyed there.
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