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Taking the Amtrak from Cleveland to Chicago in May 2014.

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Tarragona, Spain
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Taking the Amtrak from Cleveland to Chicago in May 2014.

Hi all, I am a foreigner and looking for a good way to get to Chicago alone after a fair.

wondering how it is and if you people recommend it. have seen some posts here about it but they are from 2009 or latest 2010.

I travel a lot by train in Europe so I like the view, the space etc compared to a plane or bus. but have never taken a train in the US.

Any tips or recommentdartions.. like ? do not do it, it is always late, or unsafe or whatever..

maybe on the contrary.. I hope you all say it is great :)

Thanks

Silicon Valley, Ca
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1. Re: Taking the Amtrak from Cleveland to Chicago in May 2014.

The biggest disadvantage is that it leaves in the middle of the night.

On a bus or plane, you can travel during the daytime or early evening.

Cleveland
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2. Re: Taking the Amtrak from Cleveland to Chicago in May 2014.

Check out Greyhound or Megabus schedules. Megabus uses double decker buses. Both likely are less expensive than Amtrak, especially if booked well in advance.

Cleveland, OH
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3. Re: Taking the Amtrak from Cleveland to Chicago in May 2014.

Being very familiar with European train systems, I suspect you will be very disappointed in the Amtrak services outside the NE corridor (Boston-New York City-Washington, DC), especially the high speed Acela trains. As mentioned above, the train times in Cleveland are horrible. The Capital Limited leaves Cleveland at 2:59 a.m., while the Lakeshore Limited departs Cleveland at 3:45 a.m. Furthermore, the Cleveland Amtrak station is in a rather obscure location downtown, and trains are often delayed because freight trains have the priority in the US. On the plus side, Amtrak is safe and much more comfortable than airplanes. I would highly recommend taking Megabus which currently has 3 direct buses a day from Cleveland to Chicago (7:00 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.) with fares as low as $5! The trip takes about 6.5 hours, a bit shorter than Amtrak (6.75 hours not including possible/likely delays). Hope this helps.

http://us.megabus.com/Default.aspx

Cleveland, Ohio
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4. Re: Taking the Amtrak from Cleveland to Chicago in May 2014.

I took the train from Cleveland to Chicago a few years back and was pleasantly surprised. We also ate breakfast in the dining car. The seats were very large, you can plug in your electronics, and they recline. I took the Megabus also, and didn't like it at all. Our bus actually ran out of gas in south Chicago and the company pretty much left all of us stranded at 11 PM...not fun especially in that area of Chicago! The bus driver didn't fuel up the bus in Toledo like he was supposed to do...then lied about not having a fleet card. When something is cheap like the Megabus, you wonder about how much they pay the drivers!

CLEVELAND
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5. Re: Taking the Amtrak from Cleveland to Chicago in May 2014.

I agree with the comment that US train travel is NOTHING like Europe. :( I would fly, it will probably be cheaper anyways.

Ohio
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6. Re: Taking the Amtrak from Cleveland to Chicago in May 2014.

The easiest and cheapest way for a single person to get to Chicago from Cleveland is Megabus, especially if you can be flexible on your departure date. I have taken it 3 times and have had no problems. The first seats sold, sell for $1 and then increase in price. Last trip, I paid $7.50 RT to go to Chicago--another time, $25 and I think the most I paid was $40 RT. The tolls between Cleveland and Chicago are $40.

7. Re: Taking the Amtrak from Cleveland to Chicago in May 2014.

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