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BZGuy

Amtrak to Vegas!

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I'm going to Vegas in October and I'm thinking about doing a Amtrak out and Greyhound back.

 

Just wondering if anybody has taken Amtrak long distance and could recommend if I should spring for a sleeper or just keep a regular seat.

 

Any other recommendations about taking the train out there would be helpful!

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I'm going to Vegas in October and I'm thinking about doing a Amtrak out and Greyhound back.

 

Just wondering if anybody has taken Amtrak long distance and could recommend if I should spring for a sleeper or just keep a regular seat.

 

Any other recommendations about taking the train out there would be helpful!

 

You'll most likely be transferring through Chicago (for which I'd give ample time in the event one of your trains is delayed). Chi-town on west, I'd spring for the sleeper. Even if you end up getting the regular seat all the way through, Amtrak Coach is a lot more comfortable than flying coach (plus no one bitches if you get up to walk and stretch).

 

As for which lines, I personally like the Lake Shore Limited. Riding on the NEC is also nice.

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Las Vegas is not served by Amtrak! 2 options: bus from Salt Lake City or bus from Los Angeles.

 

I would go from LA for the much shorter bus ride. Amtrak wants you to take the Southwest Chief. Therefore, the only variable left is how to get from NYC to Chicago.

 

Options:

 

Lake Shore Limited: Fastest, no transfers, relatively scenic (Hudson R), relatively expensive, real dining car

Regional-Capitol Limited: Transfer in DC, cheapest, free business class on Regional if you get a sleeper, CCC instead of full diner

Pennsylvanian-Capitol Limited: Shortest distance, late night transfer in Pittsburgh, no sleepers west of PGH.

Cardinal: Longest distance and time, most expensive, most scenic, tri-weekly, 100% reheated food.

 

As for the Southwest Chief, it probably has the best OTP of any long distance train. There's been many cases of it arriving LAX 15 minutes to an hour early!

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I'm going to Vegas in October and I'm thinking about doing a Amtrak out and Greyhound back.

 

Just wondering if anybody has taken Amtrak long distance and could recommend if I should spring for a sleeper or just keep a regular seat.

 

Any other recommendations about taking the train out there would be helpful!

 

As someone who been to Vegas in 2002, If you only have a short amount of time i.e week vaction, I just say fly to Vegas or LA. I once did a trip on Greyound and was not great. Bus broke down in Texas and what was scheduled for a 2 1/2 day trip turned into a 3.5 day endless totuture.

If you take Greyhound keep in mind there are 'no direct trips' between NYC and Vegas. You will change buses either in Chicago or St Louis.

 

And when in Vegas staying in the 'strip' aka Downtown Vegas where most of the casinos are is very high.

 

I reccomend staying in a place like nearby Henderson, NV. East Las Vegas although filled with cheaper hotels/motels is a 'hood' in the crime ridden style such as Camden, NJ.

 

If anything else bro about Vegas please send me a PM.

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I'm going to Vegas in October and I'm thinking about doing a Amtrak out and Greyhound back.

 

Just wondering if anybody has taken Amtrak long distance and could recommend if I should spring for a sleeper or just keep a regular seat.

 

Any other recommendations about taking the train out there would be helpful!

 

Amtrak sucks. Any form of transportation is better than Amtrak. It is overpriced and trains are late on a regular basis. I'd rather take a Chinatown bus than Amtrak.

 

I realize that you're a railfan but a train is not a practical option in this scenario. Save yourself the trouble and take the plane. In fact, Vegas has a monorail.

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Amtrak sucks. Any form of transportation is better than Amtrak. It is overpriced and trains are late on a regular basis. I'd rather take a Chinatown bus than Amtrak.

 

I realize that you're a railfan but a train is not a practical option in this scenario. Save yourself the trouble and take the plane. In fact, Vegas has a monorail.

 

The Monorail only serves mainly the 'strip' aka Downtown Vegas.

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Thanks for all the replies guys!

 

I flew last year on Delta and while it was ok...I was pretty uncomfertable on the LAS-ATL sector. Full 753 plus being 6'3 does not equal a good time.

 

I was thinking of doing the Amtrak/GLI combo because it would be a great way to see a bit of the country,plus I would'nt have to pay for the GLI part of the trip.

 

IDK, maybe I should just spring for FC and take my rail/bus trip some other time.

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The strip is not downtown vegas. the strip isn't even IN Las Vegas

 

 

 

You right Kamen Rider to a point. The main 'strip' is just outside of the City of Las Vegas. However there are a few casinos in Downtown Vegas on Fremont Street. The 1x i went to Vegas was late evening/overnight so i was not really paying attention. Plus I stayed at a motel in Henderson. The rates for most of the hotel rooms in the strip can be as expensive as a place to stay in Midtown Manhattan.

 

 

Here link to info about the Vegas strip. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Vegas_Strip

 

FYI. The monorail does serve a small version of the "Strip" on the eastern end at the Vegas city line. Next time I am in Vegas I try to hop on it.

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If you have never traveled by Amtrak on a long distance train, I would suggest you check out this http://discuss.amtraktrains.com/index.php?act=idx site for a lot more information than you will likely find here.

 

Personally, I enjoy travelling by any means.... land, sea, or air.

 

If you can do it, spring for a sleeper. It includes all meals in the diner, the use of an on board shower, and other amenities. Plan your trip in advance, as the fares can vary greatly by travel date based on demand-pricing.

I would recommend traveling on the California Zephyr in one direction, and the Southwest Chief in the other. The ride through the Colorado Rockies and over Donner Pass is spectacular. There are Amtrak connecting buses from the closest rail points such as Bakersfield and Kingman. Check Amtraks website for detailed information.

 

There are many pluses and minuses for Amtrak, or long distance bus travel, as opinions expressed here will confirm. You may have an excellent trip, or one that is less than that.

I go with the attitude: "Have low expectations, and you won't be disappointed." And I seldom am.:P

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Long distance amtrak is VERY comfortable, has great food, and is quite cheap in coach. The sleeper upgrade is generally worth it, especially if you are traveling with someone else, but can get pricey if you do not book early.

 

The only problem is the tendency for delays to occur, but the BNSF lines such as the Southwest Chief tend to do fairly well.

 

As someone of a similar size, I find the amtrak coach seats and lower level beds to be quite comfortable. Upper bunk isnt that bad either, but there is not much headroom, particularly on a superliner.

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Amtrak sucks. Any form of transportation is better than Amtrak. It is overpriced and trains are late on a regular basis. I'd rather take a Chinatown bus than Amtrak.

 

 

Amtrak is not that bad, its still 1000X better than Greyhound. I've read countless horror stories about Greyhound, wheres most people's opinion about Amtrak is positive. I do agree that its too expensive, the late trains is not Amtrak's fault outside of the NEC. Besides, from what I read most of their major delays are their LD routes when they have to share tracks with freight trains.

Long distance amtrak is VERY comfortable, has great food, and is quite cheap in coach. The sleeper upgrade is generally worth it, especially if you are traveling with someone else, but can get pricey if you do not book early.

 

The only problem is the tendency for delays to occur, but the BNSF lines such as the Southwest Chief tend to do fairly well.

 

As someone of a similar size, I find the amtrak coach seats and lower level beds to be quite comfortable. Upper bunk isnt that bad either, but there is not much headroom, particularly on a superliner.

 

I rode the Lake Shore Limited in Coach a few years ago from NYC to Ohio and it VERY comfortable, coming back there was some kind of FUBAR in Chi town and we ended taking the Capital Limited? to DC to the classicist service on the NEC at the time (Acela didn't come into service yet). VERY pleasant ride, serving food and whatnot while barring down the NEC @ 100+ MPH. I would use Amtrak for long distance travel in a heartbeat!

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I've taken Greyhound every summer for the past 5 years along the Northeast, and it is not a pleasant experience. The bathrooms are plain disgusting. There's feces on the toilet seat and people sometimes have sex in the bathroom, so I would never trust using a Greyhound bathroom. If you do, never go in it during the day because you will be disgusted with what you see.

 

The midwest Greyhound buses don't offer what the newer Greyhound bus models have (the ones with larger seating and Wifi). The food that is offered in Greyhound is available at pit stops along the way. If you are not fond of fast food, don't take Greyhound. The meals you'll be eating for those couple of days will be any available McDonalds, Burger King, or whatever fast food chain is available there. Plus, there's no eating at restaurants, since the stops are for 10-25 minutes.

 

I've never taken Amtrak outside of the NE Corridor, but I've heard from friends that it is two completely different experiences. The NE was designed for speed and it is fast. However, the Midwest corridors run along railroad lines, and the railroads have the right of way. If you're trailing behind a locomotive, don't expect your train to be on-time.

 

I would definitely recommend one of the two if you are interested in scenery. After all, if that's what you want to do, they by all means do it. If you're under a time constraint or financial difficulties, then do it in a better time. I would personally invest in Amtrak because it is a nicer experience and I think they offer sight-seeing cars with large windows all over the car, and the extra money is definitely better than what you will see on Greyhound. Definitely sounds like fun, and that is something on my to-do list as well!

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I didn't say that I like Greyhound (in fact, I despise Greyhound-Megabus is better). The only thing I said is that Amtrak is mediocre and overpriced. An Amtrak Regional train is about 5 mph faster than a NJ Transit Trenton express. Amtrak stations are disgusting and the rolling stock is 40 years old.

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I didn't say that I like Greyhound (in fact, I despise Greyhound-Megabus is better). The only thing I said is that Amtrak is mediocre and overpriced. An Amtrak Regional train is about 5 mph faster than a NJ Transit Trenton express. Amtrak stations are disgusting and the rolling stock is 40 years old.

 

There are many things that are wrong with your statement. Don't take this negatively, I just want to let you know, so I've broken up your statement into pieces:

 

Amtrak is "mediocre and overpriced." I somewhat agree. The prices are a bit too high if you buy tickets the day before ect. But this is something that people need to learn from train traveling. I'm not saying that it's convenient to book X days in advanced, but it is something people need to do who are considering traveling on Amtrak.

 

"An Amtrak Regional train is about 5mph faster than a NJ Transit Trenton Express..." well of course. They run along the same tracks and they skip the same amount of stops, WITH THE SAME SPEED RESTRICTIONS. That's the equivalent of saying the (C) is faster than the (E) along 8th avenue (assuming no technicalities are brought up). They both run at the same average speeds on the same tracks and lets assume they both use R32s that are perfectly matched with T/Os who drive exactly the same. One train is not going to travel on an invisible track making it faster.

 

"Amtrak stations are disgusting and the rolling stock is 40 years old" If physical appearance is important, then I would assume you would despise bus service. Greyhound bus / Midwestern Bus companies build bus stops which look equally worse than railroad stops. Amtrak rolling stock is 40 years old, but it looks modern. The Amfleets look spanking new and Amtrak keeps them in beautiful conditions. I can't say the same for the Superliners as I haven't been on one for a long distance, but Amtrak takes good care of its trains. If you're talking about the engines, they're moderately new. The P42s are fairly recent and I really don't think the passengers would give two about what's pulling their cars. Unless the engine seriously looks like its about to burst into flames, the passengers would focus on the rolling stock not the engines.

 

Amtrak stations are not meant to be beautiful. Especially the ones in the middle of nowhere in the Midwest. If only a couple of trains pass through that station each day, then it wouldn't make financial sense to maintain the beauty of it. It's not like Amtrak runs trains every hour out there anyways, so people come to the station within 20 minutes when the train is expected to arrive.

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Amtrak fleet age by type:

Heritage: 64-46, to be replaced by new viewliners

Amfleet: 43-28

Surfliner/Superliner:33-8, proposals for additional new equipment.

Horizon 21-19

Viewliner 24-15, new cars On Order

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Thank You Ktrain for the facts:tup:. FG just being a 'drama queen' again and probably has never been on Amtrak outside of the Northeast US. My only question for (K)train is this? My brother once took amtrak from NYC-LA to visit my sister in San Diego and he complained of 'mice.' Does mice occasional occur on Amtrak out there?

 

 

Again for our friend BZGuy if he has a full '2' weeks of vaction, then the best option IMO could be to take Amtrak 1-way west and then fly home say on a discount airline like Jetblue or Southwest.

 

 

 

There are many things that are wrong with your statement. Don't take this negatively, I just want to let you know, so I've broken up your statement into pieces:

 

Amtrak is "mediocre and overpriced." I somewhat agree. The prices are a bit too high if you buy tickets the day before ect. But this is something that people need to learn from train traveling. I'm not saying that it's convenient to book X days in advanced, but it is something people need to do who are considering traveling on Amtrak.

 

"An Amtrak Regional train is about 5mph faster than a NJ Transit Trenton Express..." well of course. They run along the same tracks and they skip the same amount of stops, WITH THE SAME SPEED RESTRICTIONS. That's the equivalent of saying the (C) is faster than the (E) along 8th avenue (assuming no technicalities are brought up). They both run at the same average speeds on the same tracks and lets assume they both use R32s that are perfectly matched with T/Os who drive exactly the same. One train is not going to travel on an invisible track making it faster.

 

"Amtrak stations are disgusting and the rolling stock is 40 years old" If physical appearance is important, then I would assume you would despise bus service. Greyhound bus / Midwestern Bus companies build bus stops which look equally worse than railroad stops. Amtrak rolling stock is 40 years old, but it looks modern. The Amfleets look spanking new and Amtrak keeps them in beautiful conditions. I can't say the same for the Superliners as I haven't been on one for a long distance, but Amtrak takes good care of its trains. If you're talking about the engines, they're moderately new. The P42s are fairly recent and I really don't think the passengers would give two about what's pulling their cars. Unless the engine seriously looks like its about to burst into flames, the passengers would focus on the rolling stock not the engines.

 

Amtrak stations are not meant to be beautiful. Especially the ones in the middle of nowhere in the Midwest. If only a couple of trains pass through that station each day, then it wouldn't make financial sense to maintain the beauty of it. It's not like Amtrak runs trains every hour out there anyways, so people come to the station within 20 minutes when the train is expected to arrive.

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Thanks for all the replies guys!

 

I flew last year on Delta and while it was ok...I was pretty uncomfertable on the LAS-ATL sector. Full 753 plus being 6'3 does not equal a good time.

 

I was thinking of doing the Amtrak/GLI combo because it would be a great way to see a bit of the country,plus I would'nt have to pay for the GLI part of the trip.

 

IDK, maybe I should just spring for FC and take my rail/bus trip some other time.

 

I would suggest you fly or go Amtrak. I've never been on Amtrak, so I don't have an opinion about them, but it's always been something I've wanted to do. But I would advise against the Greyhound for that long of a distance. Personally, if I'm traveling more than 1,500 miles I have to fly. I can't stand the riding and driving for anything longer than that.

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Thank You Ktrain for the facts:tup:. FG just being a 'drama queen' again and probably has never been on Amtrak outside of the Northeast US. My only question for (K)train is this? My brother once took amtrak from NYC-LA to visit my sister in San Diego and he complained of 'mice.' Does mice occasional occur on Amtrak out there?

 

 

Again for our friend BZGuy if he has a full '2' weeks of vaction, then the best option IMO could be to take Amtrak 1-way west and then fly home say on a discount airline like Jetblue or Southwest.

 

I've never rode Amtrak along its Midwest routes, but I've known several people and I have never heard of this problem. It's possible for them to have 'hitched a ride' :P when the train is waiting in the terminals, but I don't think that this is a common problem.

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I've taken Greyhound every summer for the past 5 years along the Northeast, and it is not a pleasant experience. The bathrooms are plain disgusting. There's feces on the toilet seat and people sometimes have sex in the bathroom, so I would never trust using a Greyhound bathroom. If you do, never go in it during the day because you will be disgusted with what you see.

 

The midwest Greyhound buses don't offer what the newer Greyhound bus models have (the ones with larger seating and Wifi). The food that is offered in Greyhound is available at pit stops along the way. If you are not fond of fast food, don't take Greyhound. The meals you'll be eating for those couple of days will be any available McDonalds, Burger King, or whatever fast food chain is available there. Plus, there's no eating at restaurants, since the stops are for 10-25 minutes.

 

I've never taken Amtrak outside of the NE Corridor, but I've heard from friends that it is two completely different experiences. The NE was designed for speed and it is fast. However, the Midwest corridors run along railroad lines, and the railroads have the right of way. If you're trailing behind a locomotive, don't expect your train to be on-time.

 

I would definitely recommend one of the two if you are interested in scenery. After all, if that's what you want to do, they by all means do it. If you're under a time constraint or financial difficulties, then do it in a better time. I would personally invest in Amtrak because it is a nicer experience and I think they offer sight-seeing cars with large windows all over the car, and the extra money is definitely better than what you will see on Greyhound. Definitely sounds like fun, and that is something on my to-do list as well!

 

I heard that the new buses will come to midwest

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I would suggest you fly or go Amtrak. I've never been on Amtrak, so I don't have an opinion about them, but it's always been something I've wanted to do. But I would advise against the Greyhound for that long of a distance. Personally, if I'm traveling more than 1,500 miles I have to fly. I can't stand the riding and driving for anything longer than that.

 

Flying>Megabus>Amtrak>Greyhound

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Flying>Megabus>Amtrak>Greyhound

 

For the NEC: Bolt Bus>MegaBus>Amtrak>Car>Flying

For elsewhere: MegaBus (where it runs)>Amtrak>Flying>Car>Greyhound

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Flying>Megabus>Amtrak>Greyhound

 

FG you stubborn as hell. You love the 1)Yankees 2)megabus 3)Washington DC. Everything else you really dislike.:eek:

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FG you stubborn as hell. You love the 1)Yankees 2)megabus 3)Washington DC. Everything else you really dislike.:eek:

You forgot Path B)

lol, nailed it on the stubborn part. After that Megabus crash into that rail bridge, anyone that would pick it over greyhound must be nuts.

 

Greyhound is pure horror, I've read some crazy stories about them over the years. One story that sticks out is where a dude that was traveling on Greyhound got robbed as he was sleeping, woke up and his stuff was gone. The bus leaving people @ Rest stops, etc, I forgot what I googled and stumbled upon all kinds of hound horror stories lol.

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