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Has anyone here ever traveled by train?

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Old 03-19-2012, 03:13 PM   #1
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Has anyone here ever traveled by train?

I'm asking for future reference. If you have ever traveled by train for a time period longer than 24 hours let's hear your about your experience.

I've been thinking about doing this for a while now, but would like to hear opinions from people with experience. Across the country, maybe cross country somewhere over seas.
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:26 PM   #2
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My dad has. He rode through the Canadian Rockies I think. He said it was beautiful. I'm sure the only attraction would be the scenery. Or if there's a Casino car or something.
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:47 PM   #3
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I've taken the Amtrak up to Canada (not 24 hrs long though), and it was quite comfortable. The seats were amazing. I'm really tall so I'm particularly sensitive to (lack of) leg room on airplanes. And you can meet some amazing people too. One of my friends took the overnight train to San Francisco and he really liked it.

As far as taking a train abroad, your experiences may vary. If you are in Western Europe (the train capital of the world), most train rides don't take longer than a day so there is no need to sleep. They have a really good high speed network and you get places quickly. I did take a night train from Spain that went around the perimeter of France and it was horrible (about 24 hours of hell). I was too cheap to buy a sleeper train and had to sit in the seats. I couldn't sleep for a minute and I could feel the blood clotting in my legs and congealing in my toes. And the train was crowded with hooligans, druggies, floaters, and lovebirds. Nothing wrong with that at all, you just aren't going to get any sleep. Next time I would spend the money and take the TGV.

There are some trains you can take in Eastern Europe (Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria) that go overnight, but it is not because the distances are great but rather due to the lack of infrastructure. I think the novelty of riding a train in this situation would wear off greatly, especially when dealing with border guards.

If I were you I would look into taking the trans-Siberian rail from St. Petersberg to Beijing. It would be a journey through history and time. You would get to see Imperial Russia, the remote outcountry, the work of the great 5 year plan, and then end in the capital of the emerging east. That would be the most epic train ride you could ever take.
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:14 PM   #4
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I spent about 60 days in Europe a few years ago and did most of my traveling my train. True most destinations are only a few hours unless your heading a few countries over. I went from Munich to Budapest and that was an overnight train. I never had a bad experience on any train. The biggest difference is that the more wealthy European countries will have nicer trains and facilities. I highly recommend the rail system in Europe. I saw so much of the countrysides and nifty lil towns and so on, it was a pleasure to just sit and relax and look. Ive also taken the train from Chicago to DC and that was maybe 16 hours or something, can't remember. That wasn't bad either but in that case i think a plane would be better. If you going to several locations, especially in Europe take the train and look into a Europass. Explore the different ones and plan your trip decently well and you'll find one that works. One or two stops check out Ryan Air, very cheap no frills plane ride.
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:19 PM   #5
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