Here’s a Strong Case for Transcontinental Train Travel

Total price? $213. But that's only part of it.

January 3, 2017 9:00 am

Fact: The superior way to cross America is by train. 

There’s no magic quite like getting on a train in the middle of Manhattan and getting off in California (with a change in Chicago, naturally.) 

All This is borne out by our personal experience — nothing says “moving to the Best Coast” quite like booking an Amtrak ticket from New York to San Francisco (actually, Emeryville, across the bay — the trains don’t cross the water) with a single duffel bag and a graduation present in your checking account, getting a room at Berkeley, and spending the summer helping Irish guest workers figure out how to book appointments for emergency family planning. 

That’s the kind of random thing that happens as a result of Amtrak trips. If you don’t believe us, check out this inspirational account from Derek Low — who crossed the country for just $213 and enjoyed one of his trainside dinners with a stranger who was subsequently pulled off the trip on suspicion of carrying weapons. 

Crazy people aside: The views, especially west of the Mississippi, are spectacular, and every American should make the trip at least once.  As Low describes: “At its peak, it was the most luxurious mode of transportation that money could buy. Alas, the golden age of American railroads came to an end.” But it needn’t be so!

Wanna get serious about planning your own transconitinental trip? Low can help you out for $49 — put it on your 2017 bucket list, we say. 

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