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Our Bucket List Train Trip Across America

Spectacular Views and Friendly Old School Service

by Judy Cohen

Waterford, Michigan

My husband and I just returned from a "rails across America" trip on the Southwest Chief and Pacific Surfliner. If you have any inclination to travel by train, we say go for it. This trip had been on my "bucket list" since I traveled Eurail in 1972, and it did not disappoint. It was absolutely wonderful.

The staff was friendly and efficient in all phases: planning, boarding, hauling/storing luggage, servicing during travel. At every point they went the extra mile to make sure passengers were taken care of. It is definitely "old school service." Newer companies could learn many lessons from their philosophy.

The Sleeping Car very comfortable for us (we are small to average size adults) and our attendant Simon was the best. The Dining Car ran efficiently and the food more than exceeded expectations. The views spectacular; there is no better way to see America.

We began in Chicago and our 13-day itinerary included Grand Canyon, San Diego/Coronado, Santa Fe back to Chicago. So many unique landscapes across our country. So many wonderful spontaneous conversations. We are already thinking about our next trip; possibly the Empire Builder.