13 Tips For Travelling By Train In The USA

1. Research routes

Amtrak’s interactive route planner will help you choose a route - checking out this tool is definitely one of our most useful tips of USA train travel.

2. Research rail passes

If, having done your route research, you decide to take a seriously long-distance trip, it will be worth looking into booking a USA Rail Pass.

3. Book ahead

Once you know where you want to go, you'll want to book tickets well in advance.

4. Relish road-trip reads

You might not be on the actual road, but reading novels about adventures across the US will do wonders to fire up your pre-trip excitement.

5. Pack like a pro

Keep a cardie or jumper to hand - the temperature in Amtrak's coaches is uniformly regulated year-round.

6. Consider kipping options

If travelling overnight, you have a few accommodation options to consider - either book a roomette or bedroom, or rough it in coach.

7. Plan for delays

When visiting the USA while travelling by train, it's worth knowing that Amtrak trains often share their tracks with massive, mile-long freight trains that are given priority.

8. Safety first

Statistically speaking, rail travel is still one of the safest modes of transport, and providing you take all the usual common-sense precautions.

9. Check in your bags

Stations vary in size from huge complexes with multiple bars, shops and cafés to a single platform with a station sign and a bench.

10. Chow down and chat

Feasting on a whole lot of food is an essential experience of travel to the USA, so it goes without saying that when travelling in the USA by train.

11. Chill in the Bar Car

Most trains will have a Bar Car. They’re usually next to the dining car, with tables and comfy leather booths.

12. Discover the Dome Car

Some of the more scenic routes will also have a Dome Car, with seats facing out with views through panoramic windows designed to make the most of the sublime scenery you'll be passing through.

13. Stretch without stress

Not all stops are created equal. If you're a smoker, or just fancy stretching your legs and sampling the air outside on longer journeys.

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