Advice for coach train travel.

July 17, 2012


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.

He either didn't want to eat or had no cash.

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.)

I read some old articles.

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.

Rather lovely.

What am I missing?

About Lauren

Lauren Sommerer is a preschool teacher who likes to build prototypes, grow cats, cook things once, save money, reduce, reuse and recycle.

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9 Responses to “Advice for coach train travel.”

  1. Brad Said on:

    Was there a time on the train ride when everyone danced? That would be fun.


  2. Lloyd Said on:

    Dang it. This is Lauren on Lloyd’s phone.


  3. Lauren's mom Said on:

    Not quite as relaxing as the sleeper car?

    Thanks for coming to see us! We missed you when you left.


    • Lauren Said on:

      Oh, the sleeper car -- where one is treated like royalty! I still had fun, though. 🙂

      It was great to see you, too! Tell Keren that they were not kidding about the amusement park in the canyon. (We were all sitting in the lounge car when the announcer guy started to say that they took a roller coaster from Branson and put it in the canyon. That’s when we suspected that they didn’t check his credentials, and he was pretty much making stuff up. He wasn’t.)


  4. michelle Said on:

    Here’s a don’t for you,
    Don’t take the train to Lincoln to help your daughter drive back to Colorado.
    She picked me up in the wee hours of the morning and we didn’t stop until Golden to
    visit the brother! LONG TRIP!!


  5. Marisa Said on:

    Hey! That’s my blog post pictured there on your iPad! How fun!


  6. Karla Said on:

    You should check out Pocket -- it’s a great app/website that you can send links to websites too. Then it stores them offline so you can read them later when you don’t have a signal. It’s crazy cool.


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