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My first AMTRAK trip, solo with a roomette .. suggestions?

Franklin, New Jersey
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My first AMTRAK trip, solo with a roomette .. suggestions?

I'll be leaving NYC on 2 December with a Viewliner Roomette changing in Chicago to the California Zepher with a Superliner Roomette to Denver. Following a visit with family I'll take the AMTRAK bus to Raton to connect with the Southwest Chief with a Superliner Roomette to Chicago. Then the Cardinal back to NYC with a Viewliner Roomette.

I have my reservations but haven't got my ticket yet. I'm guessing that a sleeper toward the center of the car and where possible on the upper deck would generally be preferable. Any thoughts on that?

I'm traveling by myself and packing light. Anything else I should be doing to make the trip as much fun as possible? I'm really looking forward to the adventure and will have a scanner (with earphone) and my camera at the ready.

Any input would be appreciated!

Preston

Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: My first AMTRAK trip, solo with a roomette .. suggestions?

Did you book on www.amtrak.com? If so, you were sent a confirmation email which has your e-ticket attached. Amtrak uses e-tickets as of two years ago. Your room will be shown as assigned on your e-ticket. If you have your email eticket on your cell phone, that is all you need. The conductor will laser scan your cell phone screen. Or you can print out a paper copy to take with you. You can't get a room in the center of the car. There is a staircase in the center of the car. 10 roomettes are on one side and 5 deluxe bedrooms are on the other side.

You want roomettes #1-10, upstairs. Roomettes 11-14 are downstairs for handicapped people who have trouble climbing the stairs every time they want to go to the observation car or the dining car. Movement between train cars is upstairs.

Franklin, New Jersey
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2. Re: My first AMTRAK trip, solo with a roomette .. suggestions?

Since I did everything on-line I received a confirmation for my reservation, but did not receive a "ticket." I have to go to an AMTRAK station or ticket kiosk to get that. I called AMTRAK today and the operator was able to tell me what cars and rooms I have on each train. On the first leg I have roomette #1 and on the other three trains I have #2. According to what I've read of others experiences it sounds like I'm in good shape.

Is it possible to determine where a particular car # is in the train and where it is in relation ship to the dining car, etc?

Decatur, GA
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3. Re: My first AMTRAK trip, solo with a roomette .. suggestions?

BTW, you can use the First Class Lounge in the various stations.

Franklin, New Jersey
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4. Re: My first AMTRAK trip, solo with a roomette .. suggestions?

Thanks for the info. I found the consist list for the trains that I'm taking as well as the other AMTRAK trains. The url is: discuss.amtraktrains.com/index.php…

Perhaps that will be of interest to someone else.

MaineUSA
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5. Re: My first AMTRAK trip, solo with a roomette .. suggestions?

One of the things we liked on our around the country trip was the ability to share a pre dinner drink in our roomette. You are allowed to bring your own beverages if they are consumed in your roomette. The attendent will provide ice. Nothing like sipping a G & T and watching the world pass by.

It's a great experience and between meals, time in the lounge car and relaxing in your roomette, the time really passes. We would do it again in a minute.

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: My first AMTRAK trip, solo with a roomette .. suggestions?

That gives a general idea of the consists. Since the Lakeshore Limited is a two part train (starting in NYC and Boston) the consist is not consistent. The Superliner trains are pretty standard. The only one that numbers it's cars backward is the California Zephyr.

You have your ticket if there is a bar code on your email. Whether you use a kiosk (which reads the bar code) or ticket office personel (who read the bar code) or just your bar coded email (scanned by the conductor at check-in) everything is now e-ticket on Amtrak. Do not lose or misplace that email information.

Washington State
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7. Re: My first AMTRAK trip, solo with a roomette .. suggestions?

Since there is a bus component to the trip, I am pretty sure the OP will get a old fashioned "value" ticket. Most Thruway services do not have eTicketing and if one part of the trip requires a paper "value" ticket, the whole itinerary will be ticketed that way.

Edited: 09 June 2014, 18:10
Franklin, New Jersey
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8. Re: My first AMTRAK trip, solo with a roomette .. suggestions?

Thanks for the input. This is my first AMTRAK trip and I'm looking forward to the experience. I've managed to schedule 4 trains/routes (or at least parts of them) for the 4 segments. Thanks to the internet, input from folks like you, and a couple of books that I purchased, I'm getting a better feel for the whole process which hopefully will result in an enjoyable 4 days of train travel. Time permitting I hope to be able to do a short video segment on each train and the route, to share with family and friends via the internet once I'm back home.

Chicago, Illinois
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9. Re: My first AMTRAK trip, solo with a roomette .. suggestions?

The continued use of "value ticket/paper ticket" is new to me. I've used eticket for two years on eight cross country round trips. I use my cell phone. Amtrak buses have scanners too.

Washington State
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10. Re: My first AMTRAK trip, solo with a roomette .. suggestions?

Depends on the bus. Amtrak California Thruway buses are equipped with scanners for the most part, so if you are on a bus in California most likely you will get an eTicket. Many other Thruway routes, especially those that are essentially Amtrak codeshares on Greyhound or other operator's routes not so much. Denver-Raton is a regular Greyhound run that Amtrak writes tickets for as a Thruway and I doubt they have the Amtrak scanners.