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Article Teaser: When I was a child in the 1970's, my grandmother heard that Amtrak was coming to an end in our part of the country. So, she arranged with my parents to take us kids on a train ride one last time, before the end of an era. Amtrak has returned to offering nearly national service, and it serves to help move people nearly anywhere in the country. Read this article to learn more about the resurgence of Amtrak.

Keep reading below...

American Travel Ideas: Amtrak Will Take You Most Anywhere

Copyright (c) 2008-2017

When I was a child in the 1970's, my grandmother heard that Amtrak was coming to an end in our part of the country. So, she arranged with my parents to take us kids on a train ride one last time, before the end of an era. Fortunately, we were able to ride the train twice before the service ended in the Great Plains of the United States.

On our first trip, we rode the train an hour-and-a-half to Oklahoma City. On our second trip, we traveled much further, riding all the way to Fort Worth Texas. And then the Amtrak service ended its run from Chicago, Illinois to San Antonio, Texas. That was in the early 1970's, when I was about eight-years-old.

In the 1970's, Congress decided that in the era of air travel that the citizenry of the United States would not ride the train anymore. But in 1999, Amtrak brought its service back to Oklahoma. Now, if we are willing to change trains in our route, we can catch a train out of Oklahoma City and reach nearly every area of the nation in less than a day.

Traveling With Young Children

Given the challenges of arriving two hours early at the airport, toting young children through security, and keeping children calm during a long flight, a train ride may be much more attractive for most parents. With my children, we will not even consider flying with the kids, but we have taken the train to San Antonio to visit family.

With comfortable seating, great views of the Oklahoma and Texas countryside, and a dining car available to us, the twelve-hour ride to San Antonio and back again even beat putting the kids in the car for the long trip.

Don't get me wrong - if it were only my wife and myself, I would enjoy the long drive. But with three young children in tow, I would not consider making such a trip with the kids again. The last time we drove, we only had two kids, and that was very painful and frustrating, as the kids needed to get out and run about every hour. What is normally a 13-hour drive by car took two days and a hotel-overnight, when we took the kids with us for the trip.

Most Any Destination In The Country Is Served

When you visit the Amtrak.com website, you should click the tab at top labeled, "Routes". Once on that page, you should click the link for the "Interactive Route Atlas". Upon doing so, you will notice that Amtrak routes run through 47 of the 50 states in the United States. The only states not served by at least one stop are: Hawaii, Alaska and South Dakota.

No matter where you live or where you want to travel, you will find that the Amtrak service can get you pretty close to your intended destination. When we rode to San Antonio, we rented a car that helped us travel the last ten miles to our final destination.

The Amtrak website offers an interactive scheduling tool, to help you to find the right train to carry you to your target destination. It can also offer you an accurate tool to help you to determine the real costs of your journey.

Compared To Airfare

In the next couple months, I need to make a solo trip to Chicago, Illinois, so if I decide to Amtrak to Chicago, I can do a full round trip from Oklahoma City to Chicago for just about $263. The same trip will cost me anywhere from $271 to $490 by air, depending on which airline I get my tickets.

Cash-wise, Amtrak offers the better deal. Time-wise, I gain a little bit of time by using an airplane. The train ride will take 15 hours. The airplane ride will be five hours, but I need to buffer that by arriving at the airport at least two hours early, so my airplane commitment will be 7-8 hours.

If I were taking my kids with me to Chicago, Amtrak would be my only consideration. However, since my future travel plans are related to business, I might opt to fly, but I doubt it.

Fun For The Whole Family

Not only is a train ride less stressful than an airplane ride, on small children; it is also less stressful on parents who are tending to the children. But beyond the stress factor, a train ride can be fun for everyone in the family, since more than one of you will be able to see out the windows on the train.

I have to be honest. When I took my children on the Amtrak to San Antonio, not only did they have fun, but also I found the trip as exciting as I did when I was eight-years-old.




About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
Chuck Saddler has traveled America most of his life. As a writer, he has decided to share with his audience another a different view of the places and attractions he has visited and might like to visit in the future. With three young children, Chuck's view of travel has changed to reflect how to enjoy his travels with three young children in tow. Read more of Chuck's American Travel Ideas on the website: http://www.americantravelideas.com/blog

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Internal ID: #6382
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Total Views: 2479

Article Rating: 1.57 of 5
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