The idea of taking an overnight train ride is usually met with “I’ve always wanted to do that!”…without actually planning a time to do it. But it’s much easier than you might think.
Did you know there are four different train routes you can take from NYC Penn Station on Amtrak that have sleeper and dining cars? The railway adventure of a lifetime doesn’t have to wait until you’re in another country, or even state!
You’ll have to look on the web pages (which you’ll see linked in each number) to see specific features of the routes, but most sleeper cars include the choice of a Viewliner Roomette (two beds, one toilet), a Viewliner Bedroom (two beds, one toilet, one shower, and chair) or a Viewliner Bedroom Suite (two rooms combined with two toilets, showers, four beds, and two chairs).*See all of Amtrak’s COVID-19 standards and procedures here*
The dining car and meal options vary as well, but most include a Flexible Dining plan, which features:
- A menu with hot, ready-to-serve choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner
- A wide selection wine, beer and spirits (the first one is on them), plus unlimited soft drinks throughout the journey
- Complimentary room service provided by the Sleeping Car attendant
- Exclusive onboard lounge space for Sleeping Car customers to dine and socialize 24/7
- Flexible dining times without the need for reservations
Time to get planning! Here are all your options:
1. The Cardinal Line: New York to Chicago (or Charleston, Cincinnati)
The Cardinal Line travels from New York to Chicago, through D.C. to Charlottesville, Charleston, Cincinnati and Indianapolis, operating three days a week. The trip from one end to the other is 26 hours. You’ll pass through the breathtaking the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains, the Shenandoah Valley, and the white-water rivers of West Virginia.
Then, you’ll go west past the Ohio River and see the skyline of Cincinnati, then head through Indianapolis and north to Chicago.
2. Silver Service/Palmetto Lines: New York to Tampa/Miami (or Charleston, Savannah)
The Silver Service/Palmetto Line travels from New York to Miami, by way of D.C., Charleston, Savannah, Jacksonville and Orlando. The full trip takes over 28 hours. In May 2020 the services are getting really fancy: on the Silver Star train, each room will offer linens, towels, pillows, temperature controls, electrical outlets and access to a private restroom and shower. And you’ll also have a dedicated sleeping car attendant on hand to “assist with meals and luggage, provide turndown service, and share great stories of life on the rails.”
3. The Crescent Line: New York to New Orleans (or Atlanta)
The Crescent Line travels from New York to New Orleans, with a mid-journey stop in Atlanta. It offers a chance to see the beauty of the South, with highlights being Charlottesville, Virginia and Greenville, South Carolina.
4. Lake Shore Limited: New York to Chicago, Alongside Bodies of Water
The Cardinal Line travels from New York or Boston to Albany to Chicago daily. The full trip takes 19 hours. It will pass some of the most gorgeous shorelines in the country: from the south shore of Lake Michigan, past the Mohawk River and the Erie Canal, following a famous Native American Highway.
featured image source: Instagram / @amtrak