Silver Star – Amtrak

After flying east coast to west coast, and then north to south I had had enough of flying. And since the return ticket by air from Orlando to NY was expensive, I figured – why not pay that extra few dollars ($20) and experience the Amtrak ride that I had been daydreaming about for a long time.
So I booked a ticket with a private roomette in a sleeper car from Orlando to New York City, on the Silver Star – December 13, 2015. Total price was $375, $239 being the extra for the roomette.

LINXI took the LINX bus from Orlando (MCO) airport, to Downtown Orlando and walked the 10 minutes from the bus stop to the Amtrak Station. I arrived early, hoping I could find a restaurant or deli close by and stuck up on foods since the Silver Star for the time being doesn’t have a dining card in function. However, no such luck!

20151213_17054320151213_172010I sat at the waiting terminal for over an hour – was very fascinated with the old look and feel to it. The wooden benches and the old phone booths. It was really nice! A couple of hours of waiting while eaves dropped to the other people’s conversations. Nothing interesting, but it made time fly by fast.

20151213_17214520151213_17213820151213_190903Just 10-15 minutes before the arrival of the train we were asked to go outside an wait in line. I was first in line – super excited – and when the train rolled in at the station I felt like a kid in a candy store.

20151213_19112620151213_192417The attendant in my car, Doug, was very friendly and understood my excitement. After introducing me to the roomette and the amenities I was asked when I wanted the bed made. I told him in about half an hour. I enjoyed leaving the Orlando train station and off we went …. There wasn’t much to see out the windows as it was already dark, so I decided to call it an early night. 20151213_19261020151213_192621

It was hard to fall asleep. But eventually I did and sleep was relatively pleasant. I woke up a couple of times during the night to look out the windows but not seeing much. Early next morning I was up – ready to take in the sights! And also get some coffee – which was free!


20151214_091346It was a nice way of traveling especially after flying so much for days! It was relaxing and the many beautiful sights that flew by gave me great incentive to travel more by train… Though it was December, and therefore relatively grey weather I still got a peek at some of the wonderful nature and small towns occupying the east coast.

20151214_084457 20151214_083051 20151214_072933 20151214_103052 20151214_090515 20151214_130945 20151214_135509We were able to get out of the train a couple of times to stretch our legs and get some fresh air. Not that I felt like I really needed it but I did get out at Staples Mill Road station in Virginia, and again in Washington, DC.

20151214_084608 20151214_130704I ate a lot of the different “snacks” from the dining car which was a little costly and not very exciting but some well-known staples such as microwaveable cheeseburger and some cheese danishes, as well as a veggie tray with carrots and hummus.

Over all … I’d say that it was worth the price getting the roomette, it was a little dream come true and I can’t wait to ride the Southwest Chief one day …


Travel The USA with Rail

I have an amtrak-itch! For the last couple of years I’ve been reading blogs, watching YouTube videos and tested routes and pricing. I really want to travel cross country with train. I really, really, really want to!
Yes – train travel is much more costly than flying. And yes, it will take many hours to get to your destination. But I like the idea of taking my time to travel and enjoy the trip itself. Sometimes that’s satisfying enough!

But where will I start and where will I go? Will I do coach seat, business or sleeper car?

My research has brought me to this conclusion:

The first route that I’d like to take is the Southwest Chief from Chicago to Los Angeles in a Superliner Roomette. It’s the classic route and I think it’ll set the mood for any future Amtrak journeys should I continue to find the idea of it attractive. It’s a 45 hour ride so the idea of coach seems daunting! And I believe that the best way to truly enjoy the journey, would be from the comfort of my own little private space – e.g. the Superliner Roomette!

I’d have to pay at least $600+ but it would include three meals a day and the best views possible traveling cross country.

Follow along while I’m continuing to plan the trip, and when I finally carry it out … Go click “Like” on The Newyawkerr – On Tour!