I rode by myself coming back from Colorado, and while I was pretty prepared for the trip, the people who started out before me had to sit on the train an extra four hours due to a rockslide that had to be cleared off the tracks. In my vast experience of train travel (two trips in the past 20+ years), here’s what I know:
You’ll be out of phone service for either a little while or a long while. It’s ok – you’ll make it.
Dress in layers and bring a sweater/jacket. During the summer the air can be cranked up, but also be prepared if the a/c goes off like it did during the rockslide event. (I heard the lady in front of me complain about it.)
Bring snacks. It is possible that the club car might not even be open, and you might starve. I bought a frappacino in the train station gift shop then washed it out and filled it with water from the adorable drink station. (Otherwise you just use their little dentist dixie cups.)
Brink cash. It is possible that the credit card machine might be down and you can’t buy anything from the club car or the dining car.
Bring a pillow. They will give you a pillow, but it’s not very substantial at all. I also brought a travel blanket.
There is no wi-fi. Well, maybe there was supposed to be, but I didn’t have it. Have some books, music and/or games pre-loaded on your device if you bring it. (My iPad ran old articles in Flipbook, which was a nice surprise.)
Sleeping will be spotty. The chairs are great for napping, but an acutal good night’s sleep will not happen. I woke several times in the night with some cramping/backaches, and I had two seats to myself.
You might not get two seats to yourself. If you are sleeping during train stops, people might leave you alone, but if the train is full, you’ll be sharing your space.
Look around when it is light. You’re on a train, for cryin’ out loud! Put away the book or iPad! If you’re a social type, visit with people – but watch for the cues that they might be done talking. I witnessed an over-use of conversation for a bit.
What am I missing?