This has been the hardest thing to figure out.
I was going to make my first stop Chicago then head to the west coast on the California Zephyr. From there it was on to Portland, down to San Diego, over to Texas and New Orleans. From there up to Chicago then take a different route back to New York. I figured I’d do all the detail planning while I was on the way out west.
Not A Good Idea
Yesterday, I go the bright idea that I had better look over the train schedules to see if I could do what I had in mind so I’d be back by March 28. Turns out I would have been stranded in San Diego which is not a bad idea but I’m under orders to be back by the 28th.
With a little consultation from Amtrak (the folks I’ve spoken with have been fantastic so far) I decided to revers course and go south to New Orleans out of Chicago rather than head west. The problem was that the Sunset Limited, which runs along the southern border, is the only line I’m traveling on that does not run daily.
Here I Go
Assuming I can survive this and that I won’t need to change my schedule, here it is as of this morning:
|DATE||LINE||LEAVE / LOCATION||ARRIVE / LOCATION||OVERNIGHT|
|Sat Mar 10||Lake Shore Limited||3:40P/NYC||Train|
|Sun Mar 11||10:40A/Chi|
|City of New Orleans||8:05P/Chi||Train|
|Mon Mar 12||332/New Orleans||Hotel – New Orleans|
|Tue Mar 13||Hotel – New Orleans|
|Wed Mar 14||Sunset Limited||9:00A/New Orleans|
|Thu Mar 15||12:05A/San Antonio||Walk around – San Antonio|
|Texas Limited||7:00A/San Antonio||9:13A/Austin||Hotel – Austin|
|Fri Mar 16||Hotel – Austin|
|Sat Mar 17||Texas Limited||6:30P/Austin||9:55P/San Antonio||Station|
|Sun Mar 18||Sunset Limited||2:45A/San Antonio||Train|
|Mon Mar 18||5:35A/Los Angeles|
|6:30A/Los Angeles||8:30A/San Diego||Hotel – San Diego|
|Tue Mar 19||Hotel – San Diego|
|Wed Mar 20||Coast Starlight||5:55A/San Diego||Train|
|Thu Mar 21||3:32P/Portland||Hotel – Portland|
|Fri Mar 22||Hotel – Portland|
|Sat Mar 23||Empire Builder||4:45P/Portland||Train|
|Sun Mar 24||Train|
|Mon Mar 25||3:55P/Chicago||Hotel – Chicago|
|Tue Mar 27||Hotel – Chicago|
|Wed Mar 28||Lake Shore Limited||9:35P/Chicago||Train|
|Thu Mar 29||5:40P/NYC||Home|
That’s all and that’s enough. The hardest part will be Texas where I have some insane arrival and departure times in and out of San Antonio and Austin. At least I’ll spend 2 nites in Austin just to recover.
In case I need it, here are all the Amtrak schedules.