I have one suggestion, fly, LA to NYC is super reasonable and you'll be there in hours.
Could do, but I've really been wanting to do a cross country train ride
This trip will take you days and days...albeit it is a great way to see the country ...!!!!
Try your question over on the Trip Advisor Train Travel Forum.
theres a train travel forum? :o
There's a train travel forum.
Yeah, the advice you'll get here is "don't do it." I would ask on the train travel forum.
How about renting a car and driving? At least you'd have more control over where you go and how long you stay.
I just couldn't see how sitting on a train for days would be enjoyable, but to each their own.
I would only consider doing this if you have enough time to make several 1 - 3 day stop overs along the way
Route map here: amtrak.com/ccurl/…0.pdf
My suggestion would be to look at the following places as possible stop overs:
1) Grand Canyon http://www.nps.gov/grca/index.htm
2) Santa Fe http://santafe.org/ for the Spanish and Native American heritage as well as beautiful landscape, vibrant art community and great food
3) Denver vicinity http://www.colorado.com/
4) Chicago http://www.choosechicago.com/
This is a LONG trip and, as much as I hate to admit it as a former mid-westerner, some if it is called "the flyover" for a reason.
I LOVE your dog (icon) photo!!!! I would only do part of the trip by train. Maybe consider LA to Chicago and then fly.