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Old 05-04-2014, 09:06 PM   #21
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Just curious, about what do these train trips cost? Never been on a train but always wondered about train travel after watching PBS train specials.
These are general figures as prices vary, and may have changed since my last train trip. I haven't looked at a current Amtrak price schedule.
For a full bedroom round trip from the mid west to central California coast, ~$2,300. For a roomette, ~$1,500.

Passengers on this route would spend two nights on the train, and be on three different lines. Parts of the Texas Eagle, Sunset Limited, and Coast Starlight.
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Old 05-04-2014, 11:16 PM   #22
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Old 05-11-2014, 11:35 AM   #23
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Hey all, new to the forum here and I posted to the Hi, I am forum. As stated in my thread there, I am thinking of rewarding my pending retirement with a long leisurely trip around the country by Amtrak. However, and since I am a bit of a light sleeper, does anyone here have any experience with the comfort level with the bunks/beds on the sleeper cars? I have a white noise sleep app on my iphone that should help some. Just wondering if the mattresses are hard as a rail, or what...

Thanks in advance,
John
This tripadvisor thread has many thorough reviews of the sleeper rooms on the Auto Train to Florida, I'm assuming their other sleeper trains are similar? Amtrak Auto Train(Orlando-Washington) - Orlando Forum - TripAdvisor I'm thinking about taking the auto train to Florida.

I'm a light sleeper too. My trick for sleeping anywhere with noise is earplugs with one of these soft headphones on top running white noise or the snoring app I have Amazon.com: soft headphones
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Old 05-11-2014, 01:57 PM   #24
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I'm a light sleeper too.
We took Amtrak in sleeper 2 years ago from the Midwest to Portland OR. We were really surprised as we expected it to be noisy, and it was really quiet.

LOVED having the privacy and comfort of a sleeper, a private shower and toilet for this distance and would do it again in a heartbeat.

We booked 11 months in advance, and the earlier the booking, the better the price.
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Old 05-11-2014, 04:58 PM   #25
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Or if you are extremely cheap, just ride coach. Find you an empty car, and take up two seats, the footrests flatten out giving you a nice comfy bed. Take a blankie, pillow and bottle of wine!
You can buy alcohol on the train but inexplicable Amtrak takes a very dim view of BYOB, especially in coach.

We took the larger sleeper from Whitefish to Grand Rapids and back again. Very enjoyable.

The meals are included with the fare for the sleeper. The dining car is top notch. What's especially fun is that they seat four diners per table so you always have someone interesting to dine with. Er, that didn't come exactly the way I intended -- dont tell my DW

Most interesting were the travelers going to the Bakken. It's the wild west out there.

We met my sister's childhood friend on the train who has been an Amtrak conductor her entire working career. Was impressed by her intelligence, positive work ethic and dedication to safety.

We pre-booked/paid early. When we showed up to get our tickets to board we were refunded several hundred dollars. Apparently the fare varies by the actual number of tickets sold
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Old 05-11-2014, 06:32 PM   #26
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If both trains and Africa are on your bucket list, consider travelling through Africa on trains. When I was in southern Africa for the Peace Corps 20 years ago, I travelled all over on trains. The first class sleeper cars were very comfortable and very cheap. I found it very easy to sleep on the trains, the motion seemed to help. All over Africa, they have these beautiful old trains. Back then, I think the cost for an overnight train trip in a first class sleeper car was about $2 US in places like Zimbabwe. I just checked and they are still quite cheap --- just $15 US for an overnight trip. It cost a bit more to take a train in South Africa from Joburg to Capetown, but still cheap and a great experience.
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Old 05-12-2014, 12:40 AM   #27
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I haven't done the Coastal Starlight but have done the Cascades. The Starlight as of 2013 was not wifi equipped vs the Cascades is wifi'd, more frequent, fast and runs special promotional pricing (funded by OR and WA transportation) If you do the Starlight running up the coast, go to Eugene then proceed by Cascades.
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:20 AM   #28
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You can buy alcohol on the train but inexplicable Amtrak takes a very dim view of BYOB, especially in coach.

We took the larger sleeper from Whitefish to Grand Rapids and back again. Very enjoyable.

The meals are included with the fare for the sleeper. The dining car is top notch. What's especially fun is that they seat four diners per table so you always have someone interesting to dine with. Er, that didn't come exactly the way I intended -- dont tell my DW

Most interesting were the travelers going to the Bakken. It's the wild west out there.

We met my sister's childhood friend on the train who has been an Amtrak conductor her entire working career. Was impressed by her intelligence, positive work ethic and dedication to safety.

We pre-booked/paid early. When we showed up to get our tickets to board we were refunded several hundred dollars. Apparently the fare varies by the actual number of tickets sold
Thanks for the info! Do you know if visits to the snack car are included as well? I'm thinking maybe they have punch cards, upc on the train tickets with an allotment or something to that effect...
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Old 05-12-2014, 12:46 PM   #29
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Thanks for the info! Do you know if visits to the snack car are included as well? I'm thinking maybe they have punch cards, upc on the train tickets with an allotment or something to that effect...
There was a snack car but no, it's extra.

FWIW There was a wine and cheese tasting daily (included with sleeper fare.) But I recall reading recently about some whiney-pants complaining about guv'mint waste on Amtrak so maybe they don't do that anymore.
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Old 05-12-2014, 09:08 PM   #30
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I checked the prices for sleepers in the US and I about fell out! My standard cost measuring stick is a cruise, and those US trains are like five or ten times as expensive. I could go double or triple, but geeze! Now looking at African trains...that sounds cheap, but much more of an adventure!
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Old 05-12-2014, 09:58 PM   #31
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I think you should consider African trains. About 20 years ago, I took 5 different overnight train trips in sleeper cars in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Tanzania and all trips were interesting. If you want less of an adventure look into South Africa and/or Botswana. The trip from Johannesburg to Cape Town is very modern. They have an ultra luxury train called the Blue Train, but I imagine that has US-like prices. The one train trip I really wanted to take was in Kenya from Nairobi to Mombasa. From Mombasa, you can go to Zanzibar which is cool. All the trains had great scenery and very fun, elegant dining cars. (I missed out on the Nairobi train because it fell off a mountain a few weeks before my planned trip.)
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:32 AM   #32
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I checked the prices for sleepers in the US and I about fell out! My standard cost measuring stick is a cruise, and those US trains are like five or ten times as expensive. I could go double or triple, but geeze! Now looking at African trains...that sounds cheap, but much more of an adventure!

Thanks for the tip. I might have to take my trip in increments...
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Old 05-13-2014, 04:18 PM   #33
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I hopped on board while finishing off my bowl of chili for lunch, nodded off a little after the Arna stop.

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