If you have a week or two to travel, use a possibility to enjoy the US train travel in one of "all-inclusive hotels on rails". The metaphor is quite suitable to describe US trains with convenient twin-decked coaches, air conditioning and uniformed attendants or with "home-like" sleeping cars with cozy bedrooms, ranging from single "apartments" to family size "suites".
The national rail system, Amtrak, provides a well-developed route network, connecting all major cities and embracing about five hundred destinations. Americans themselves daily use a major Amtrak line that is the Northeast Corridor line, running between Boston and Washington. The line is electrical and the top speeds of Amtrak trains are around one hundred and fifty miles per hour. The fastest trains are the Metroliner and the Acela Express, the trains of the first class service.
Although the speeds of the trains are incomparable to Japanese Shinkansen, they are perfect for sightseeing and an exclusive opportunity to explore the national landscape. The Amtrak network provides an access to such essential spots to see as the Rocky Mountains, the Grand Canyon and the Great Plains.
The US train travel accommodation commonly includes breakfast, lunch and dinner in the dining car, complementary tea or coffee and a newspaper each morning. Therefore, the US train travel is perfect to save on the hotel, while having an access to US most appealing natural attractions and the possibility to reveal America's sheer size and diversity, observing many small towns and large cities along the way.
Medium-distant lines do not require advance reservations, but the premium trains do. During holiday periods and in summer, long-distant trains are reserved well in advance, so it is worth booking early if you plan to use long-distant trains.
The US train travel by Amtrak and on major routes is relatively expensive, but there are national rail passes, allowing passengers to take any Amtrak train at reduced rates for fifteen or thirty days; students and seniors' discounts are also available.
Amtrak also concentrates on scenic train tours. One major scenic long-distance train route, the California Zephyr, runs from Emeryville in the Bay Area of California to Chicago, via Reno, Salt Lake City and Denver. The full trip takes around sixty hours, but it provides one-of-the-kind views of the Western deserts, the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains. Things that you can see here are simply inaccessible to cars and certainly to planes. The tickets for these trains are often sold in advance.
The US train travel is the finest way to explore diverse America. Indeed, there were no John Pitt's comprehensive guidebook USA by rail, which includes complete route guides, a description of trains in Canada and other important information for a train traveler. John Pitt, having traveled over seventy thousand miles by train in the USA and Canada, offers readers to get acquainted with ultimate pleasures of the US train travel with Amtrak and VIA Rail. The guide can help you define whether the US train travel is suitable to your personal needs and desires, as well as to learn in details about stations, tickets, train services and more.