Travels with Bob

Riding the Rails



The Rocky Mountaineer rolling through the mountains of Western Canada.

Train travel was the best way to get around North America for more than a century. But, in recent decades, the advent of the Interstate highway system and relatively low-cost air travel relegated railroads primarily to hauling freight and other commodity products.

Today, however, more and more American’s are rediscovering railroads as a desirable way to see the continent, while adding a little romance and adventure to their leisure travels. In addition to a growing number of short-run rail excursions on antique rolling stock, there are many opportunities to ride the rails during your next vacation.

Here are a few recommendations:

• Amtrak Vacations offers some of the most popular and beautiful locations through hundreds of train trips to many of North America’s top destinations coast to coast. Such vacations range from simple rail getaways and independent rail journeys to escorted rail vacations and cross-country trips.

• Rocky Mountaineer delivers a high-end travel experience touring the Canadian Rocky Mountains in comfort and style, coupled with hotel overnights in iconic hotels along the route. More than 65 itineraries are available this year during Canada’s 150th anniversary celebration.

• The Alaska Railroad represents a terrific way to explore the interior of America’s 49th state with seven-day itineraries that include hotels in each city or village visited. Travel is available year-round unlike the relatively short cruise season.

• Rail travel may also represent a viable option for independent travelers and families desiring to visit Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago or smaller cities along various rail routes.

• Then there’s Europe where the extensive rail network is the best option for getting from place to place across the continent. Rail passes good for travel in multiple countries for up to two months are available for North American residents. Yet, individual tickets may be less expensive depending upon your itinerary.

In an era when many leisure travelers are seeking a slower pace, riding the rails may be just the right ticket for your next vacation!