train rail in forest

Riding The Rails: Travel by Train

Traveling by train is a good way to take a vacation while leaving the driving to someone else. You have the freedom to enjoy the scenery, room to stretch your legs and when you arrive, you’ll be right in the center of your destination.

Whether you want to visit multiple places in the United States, Canada or Europe, your Travel Leaders travel advisor can put together a package that includes hotels, advice on what to see and do, and flights for the beginning and end of your journey.

For example, you can explore the Pacific Northwest by train, enjoying breathtaking mountains, rugged coastline and vibrant cities. Rail service between the U.S. and Canada is scheduled to resume this year. Once it does, you can start your trip in Vancouver, Canada, then travel to Seattle and Portland. Each city is about a four-hour train ride apart. Or, you can continue all the way to Los Angeles on the Coast Starlight, an overnight trip. The train has a glass-domed observation car with seats that face outward, making it easy to enjoy dramatic views of the Cascade Mountains and the Pacific Ocean.

Chicago is a great place to begin an Amtrak trip, with many cross-country routes to choose from. The City of New Orleans links three noteworthy musical cities — Chicago, Memphis and New Orleans. The Southwest Chief stops in Flagstaff, Arizona, where you can board a bus for the Grand Canyon Railway, which will take you to the canyon’s South Rim. On the Cardinal route from Chicago to New York City you’ll see the beautiful New River Gorge as you travel through West Virginia.

Europe’s high-speed trains make it easy to visit several countries in one trip. The 12-day Grand Tour from Railbookers starts in Berlin, followed by Amsterdam, Paris and Geneva. Then you’ll travel along one of Europe’s most scenic routes, with stunning views of the Alps, as you make your way to Venice. Your journey ends in Rome. On an eight-day trip to London and Edinburgh, you’ll spend 4½ hours enjoying the beautiful English countryside as you make your way by train from England to Scotland. Of course you’ll have time for sightseeing in each city. Railbookers also offers tours to see Alaska by train, like a 10-day journey that includes a trip aboard the Alaska Railroad, with a stop at Denali National Park.

Train buffs — and anyone who loves taking in spectacular scenery — will enjoy a trip through the Canadian Rockies aboard the luxurious Rocky Mountaineer. To take full advantage of daylight hours, the trains only run between April and October. You’ll travel in a domed coach with oversize windows for a better view. All travel is done during the day, with overnight stays in hotels along the way. You can choose from three western Canadian routes or a new route in the United States, from Moab, Utah, to Denver.