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Spring Break Trip by Rail

San Jose, CA
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Spring Break Trip by Rail

We are flying into Denver, staying a couple days, taking train to Salt Lake City, staying a couple days and taking train back home to SF Bay Area. We are a family of 4 - mom, dad, and 2 girls ages 7 and 3 1/2. We've taken trips from home to Sacramento, and home to Disneyland. Looking forward to longer trip = new experience =).

Reserved Coach - Denver to SLC

Family Room - SLC to Emeryville

Never traveled by Family Room. Any advance tips on keeping kids entertained? Getting on train late in SLC (11 pm), arrive in Emeryville around 3pm. The thought of showering on a train intrigues me. Silly question but is this something not to miss?

New Hampshire
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1. Re: Spring Break Trip by Rail

I'll leave it to others about how to entertain kids on a train!!

I don't know whether you've traveled much on Amtrak, but...the trains can run late, so your 11pm SLC time might be much later.

On amtrak.com you can take a look at the on time average for trains somewhere.

I like to use the Status tab (just above the 'from and to' box) and check the recent history of the train. You just put in your train number to see how it's running into SLC and you can go back a few days.

I looked at your train -5- for the last few days and it was 20 minutes late one day and almost 2 hours late another couple of days. So you see you could be awhile at the station.

You can call into the toll free line and get a status update on the estimated time of arrival at your station, that might save you from a long wait in the middle of the night.

As for showering on a train, well you know you don't have a private shower in a family room. I have showered on a train, it's nothing good or bad...just a shower.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Spring Break Trip by Rail

The dates you travel will be important re on time performance. The host rail road has started track work east of Denver. There were six track crews and four cable crews working Nebraska yesterday. Amtrak is posting advisories on its website. Don't rely on yesterday's or last weeks times because Burlington Northern is also scheduling specific dates for rerouting the trains on their Iowa tracks between Chicago and Omaha. All this necessary track and signal work has to take place in the summer which is unfortunate. The upside is that the work has started months early this year so vacation trips in June-August will be less affected Having said that, the trip through the Rockies this week was beautiful. It's wise to have the family room getting on late in SLC. You sleep across the Great Salt Flats and Nevada Desert and have the next day in the sierras. You can find the room plan on Amtrak.com but it will be the best bet for your family. Yes, take a shower. It will be something to talk about There are three bathrooms and the shower/changing room on the same level as the family room accommodation.

Chicago, Illinois
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for Train Travel
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17,242 posts
119 reviews
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3. Re: Spring Break Trip by Rail

As to games for the kids, there are electrical outlets in the bedroom but I take a 12' extension cord because the sockets are inevitably in the wrong place. The best thing to do is to hide their electronic entertainment and take the kids to the observation car with floor to ceiling windows when you're traveling through the mountains.

Edited: 28 March 2012, 23:21
4. Re: Spring Break Trip by Rail

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