This Thanksgiving, Lewis and I headed to West Texas, a favorite destination of ours. My mother in law spearheaded this adventure, and Lewis and I ended up learning a few new variations on the journey. Mainly…train travel.
Here are some tips on train travel.
1) Get a sleeper car. Even if the trip is supposed to take place in daylight hours, get a sleeper car. We boarded the Sunset Express at 2:45 am at the station 4 min from our house. We tucked in an went right to sleep.
We woke up 5.5 hours later to see this.
A quick calculation showed that we had moved two blocks, approximately one more minute from our house. Two minutes, if you have to sit at the light because there’s a train crossing.
2) Another advantage of the sleeper car is that your meals are included, and the train food is surprisingly, not bad at all. Trains have that on planes, for sure.
3) On the way to your destination, if there’s daylight (thanks to a 5.5 hour delay), take advantage of the view car. West Texas is lovely when you are not behind the wheel! I enjoyed getting an upclose look at all the train bridges I usually admire from Hwy 90 as we pass over the Pecos River and Lake Amistad.
4) If you are pregnant, get a room with an en suite bathroom. Ignore the fact that there is a shower in there as well, and the thought of trying to shower on the moving train in a 3 sq.ft stall seems like the recipe for disaster. You will love not having to get up every two hours and walk down the hall with your maternity jeans on backwards, bouncing from wall to wall as you stumble toward the bathroom. Plus, you can reach the sink from the bed.
5) Here is a fun game. Train signage is the best. Few enough people travel by Amtrak, that they have not had the mountains of “What IS that?” feedback that have, over time, honed the signage on airplanes and highways. Thus…we have these gems. “Create your own captions” was our favorite train game. (ABC by the Roadside is not so much fun on Highway 90. If you have not gotten past Q by Del Rio, you’re not going to win).