National Train Day: Best Railway Journeys in America

Published on : Friday, May 13, 2022

National Train Day is organised by Amtrak, US, passenger railroad service that provides medium and long-distance inter-city rail service in the contiguous United States. This article gives you a guide regarding the best train journeys in America.

Coast Starlight

Route: Seattle – Portland – Los Angeles

Travel time: 36 hours

The international and domestic travellers around the world can experience this gorgeous West Coast train journey. This is the most popular long-distance route and widely regarded as the most stunning, Coast Starlight welcomed more than 455,000 passengers last year.

Coast Starlight leads to you explore the beauty of waterfalls, lush forests, snowy Cascade Mountains and the Puget Sound. To see long stretches of Pacific shoreline — views you won’t get from the highway — book a seat on the west side of the train. If you upgrade from coach to a small private room with beds you’ll have upgraded dining and access to the Pacific Parlour Car with its dome windows and evening wine and cheese parties. Want to extend your trip to San Diego.

Empire Builder

Route: Chicago – St. Paul/Minneapolis – Spokane – Portland/Seattle

Travel time: 46 hours

Empire Builder is another most important railway point tracing the portions of the Lewis & Clark Trail from America’s heartland to the Pacific Northwest. Empire Builder is a great way to see the United States. You’ll cross the Mississippi River, venture into Montana’s Big Sky country and pass Glacier National Park. From Spokane, a traveller can either head south along the Columbia River Gorge to Portland or cut through the Cascade Mountains north to Seattle’s Puget Sound. Along the way, mountain passes are marked with lofty trestles and long tunnels, while rivers feature hydroelectric dams and salmon fish ladders.

California Zephyr

Route: Chicago – Denver – Reno – Sacramento – Emeryville (San Francisco)

Travel time: 52 hours

California Zephyr leads you to see the spectacular sights of the attractive lush green vegetation and the 19th century architectural delights, as they rode the first transcontinental railroad line west to San Francisco and dreamed of striking it rich. This historic line takes you through the heart of Gold Rush country’s mining and ghost towns to old stagecoach stations that became stops on the original railroad.

The train leads you to the Rocky Mountain tunnels carry you across the Continental Divide, while aspens and evergreens dot the steep cliffs of Glenwood Canyon on the Colorado River.

Southwest Chief

Route: Chicago – Albuquerque – Los Angeles

Travel time: 40+ hours

The Southwest Chief follows that same route between Los Angeles and Chicago. Here you have to book a sleeping car and enjoy the thrilling curves and switchbacks that lead to some of America’s most iconic sights: the Santa Fe Trail, Sedona’s red cliffs, pueblos and missions, the Grand Canyon, and the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains.

Tucked among the grandeur of the American West you’ll find beauty in modest, everyday living, too. Watch farmers harvesting expansive wheat fields and dogs playing in back yards. From the window of a train it’s fascinating to see how different people live in different parts of the country.

Grand Canyon Railway

Route: Williams, Ariz. – South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park – Williams, Ariz.

Travel time: 8.25 hours

Here you are arriving at Grand Canyon National Park on this rail line. It helps you imagine what a remote, inaccessible wonder the canyon once was. You can still ride in the Grand Canyon Railway’s historical cars pulled along by the “French Fry Express,”

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

Route: Durango, Colo. – Silverton, Colo.

Travel time: 3.5 hours

Here this train journey set nearly two feet closer together than standard rail lines, this historic narrow-gauge railroad was built during the silver mining boom specifically so it could hang onto sharper curves and clear tighter spaces on mountainsides. No doubt, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is a thrill to ride along the Animas River.

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

Route: Chama, N.M. – Osier, Colo. – Antonito, Colo.

Travel time: 6.5 hours

It is the longest (64 miles) and highest (10,015 feet) steam railroad in America, Cumbres & Toltec originally served southwest Colorado’s silver mining district. This train journey leads you to San Juan Mountains and edges narrow gorge ledges with views 800 feet straight down.

Passengers can experience history from a parlor car, coach car or the open-air gondolas, which are especially popular in the fall when the aspens shimmer their golden glow. The train runs Memorial Day through October.

Alaska Railroad’s Coastal Classic

Route: Anchorage – Girdwood – Seward

Travel time: 1.25 hours

From mid-May to mid-September, Alaska’s days are long, plants are blooming, wildlife is on the move, and the Coastal Classic offers daily departures so you can experience it all. The route, from Anchorage to Seward, follows the shoreline of the Turnagain Arm, where 3,000-foot mountains plunge straight into the ocean. Watch for beluga whales in the inlet and, farther along on the journey, Dall sheep on cliffsides and bear and moose in the backcountry wilderness.

Adirondack

Route: New York – Saratoga Springs – Montreal

Travel time: 10 hours (one way)

Here in train journey you have to leave New York City in the morning and Amtrak’s Adirondack. This train journey takes you through charming towns and along the beautiful Hudson River Valley, delivering you to Montreal by dinnertime.

Cass Scenic Railroad

Route: Cass, W.Va. – Whittaker Station – Bald Knob – Cass

Travel time: 4.5 hours

Cass Scenic Railroad gives you a descriptive view of the mountains of West Virginia, steam-driven Shay locomotives still run on the same line once used to haul lumber to the mill in Cass in 1901. The old logging flat cars have since been refurbished to carry passengers from May through October.

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