America’s Railroad. On Saturday we will be “riding the rails” from Benson, Arizona, to Boston, Massachusetts. It will be 3,135 miles, and should take four days on two separate trains: the Texas Eagle from Benson to Chicago, and Lake Shore Limited from Chicago to Boston.
I know, I know, you think we’re nuts, since Boston has been having record-breaking snowfalls and one blizzard after another, and it’s COLD up there. We saw the news reports!
But we have a brand new grandson to meet! Our first grandchild!
Hopefully, by the time we get there the weather will have settled down some. We’re packing our parkas! Our actual destination is to Concord, New Hampshire.
At this point we do not have any return trip reservations. If we decide that we LOVE the train we will try to secure tickets for a train ride back to Benson, perhaps a different route. Otherwise, we will fly back.
422 Texas Eagle/Sunset Limited: We have booked a bedroom in a 2-level Superliner Sleeping Car. There should also be a Dining Car serving fresh complete meals and a Sightseer Lounge Car. This train originates in Los Angeles; when it gets to San Antonio, Texas, it will divide and half will continue on to New Orleans and is named the 2 Sunset Limited. The remaining cars, the 22 Texas Eagle, will go north to Chicago. We will sleep Saturday and Sunday nights on this train.
48 Lake Shore Limited: When we get to Chicago we should have a few hours layover and then board the 48 Lake Shore Limited. This is a single level train, called a Viewliner, with a dining car and a lounge (not a Sightseer), and we have booked a roomette, which is a bedroom, just smaller. When it gets to Albany, New York, it will divide and the 48 LSL part will turn south to New York City, but we will stay on the 448 LSL going east to Boston. We will sleep Monday night on this train.
We will stay in Boston Tuesday night and then in the morning rent a car and drive to Concord, New Hampshire. We will stay there through the weekend and then find a way home.
Amtrak has to yield to freight trains and significant delays can happen, but we won’t worry about that and just roll with it.
Benson is a flag stop. If there is a reservation for a passenger boarding or detraining at Benson, the train will stop. If not, it simply continues through town. Passengers use a small shelter on a platform.
Since I have never been on an Amtrak Passenger Train before we stopped by the Benson train stop to witness the boarding procedure. Here’s a 2:25 minute video of that:
- Our train tickets cost: $1,469.55
- Hotel Room costs: $ 557.99 (1 night Boston, 4 nights Concord, for now)