Hello there, happy riders of America's rails!

This section has to do with my early adventures in taking Amtrak from middle America to the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

During the late 1980's I lived and worked in downtown Chicago and had litte use for a car. So, I didn't own one. Consequently, I didn't leave town much. It occured to me one day as I was walking down Michigan Avenue that I had been places in cars, and had flown here and there in planes, and had sailed the waters in boats, but I had never gone anywhere on a train. (I couldn't tell you now what started this line of thinking - perhaps a travel poster.)

So I thought to myself, "I've got to try this." "It sounds wonderful." And it was. Once I took my first trip on Amtrak, I was in love. A whole world of travel possibilities opened up before me. I could cruise to wonderful places, in the comfort and privacy of a spacious railway car. I would be in my own personal bubble, where no one outside of the train could reach me. (This was before cellphones.) It was heaven. It was relaxing. I could read, or dine, or converse, or look out the window for hours on end. Ahhhh.

1987: Philadelphia (PA) - 2 - Jacksonville (FL) - 2 - 3 - Amtrak (return)

1988: Pennsylvania

1989: California Zephyr - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - San Francisco (CA) - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - Coast Starlight - 2 - Los Angeles (CA) - Southwest Chief

1990: Southwest Chief - Los Angeles (CA) - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - Coast Starlight - San Francisco (CA) - 2 - California Zephyr

If you ever have the inclination and the opportunity, I strongly suggest a ride on the train. Just make sure you prepare for the trip. -- Tom