Top 3 American travel routes to take by train
The United States is covered with 225,000 kilometres of rail track, so it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are three of Guru's favourite journeys.
Just take a look at a picture of the United States of America on a world map. The mainland section of it - that is, discounting Alaska and Hawaii - is roughly the same size as Australia, only, there isn't an enormous desert of nothingness right in the middle of it. Just think - that's one big country of sky-piercing mountains, crystal lakes, sprawling cities and near-endless verdant countryside to explore.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are over 225,000 kilometres of railway in the country - that's a lot of track, so deciding which train journeys to take could be quite a task. Luckily, Rail Guru is on hand to guide you through three of the best!
The Acela Express
Serving many of the major northeastern cities of the United States, the Acela Express will zip you between such world-famous destinations as Washington D.C., New York and Boston in record time. If you find yourself wandering around the Northeast Corridor, and are looking to explore as much of this extraordinary part of the country as possible, the Acela Express is your go-to train service - nothing else comes close.
Deciding which train journey to take can be quite a task. Luckily, Rail Guru is on hand to guide you through three of the best!
The word 'Acela' is a truncated portmanteau of 'acceleration' and 'excellence' and when you climb aboard, you'll see why. Alighting at 16 stops along the Northeast Corridor, this Amtrak train is the only high-speed rail service in the country, regularly exceeding speeds of 240 km/h.
Some 31.6 million passengers rode on this service during 2013 - surely, so many people can't be wrong? You can jump aboard the Acela Express with a USA Rail Pass - your one-stop ticket to exploring this great country by train.
As far as scenic American train journeys go, there is little to rival the Amtrak Cascades route. The northwestern equivalent of the Acela Express, the Amtrak Cascades stretches from Seattle to Vancouver, reaching through the states of Oregon and Washington, spilling over into Canada.
Not only will you pass through another collection of great American cities, including Portland and Eugene, but you'll also bear witness to scenery that will leave your mouth agape in wonder.
The active volcano of Mount St. Helens is one of Guru's favourites, and try to keep your vertigo at bay as you pass the Columbia River Gorge - all part of the package on the Amtrak Cascades service!
Never has a rail service been more aptly-named than the Coast Starlight. Running between the major American cities of Los Angeles and Seattle (that's a long way, even by American standards - over 1,600 kilometres!) it will take over a day to cover the entire distance, which is why the train runs as a sleeper service.
Not only does the train stop at many iconic destinations along the way, including San Francisco and Sacramento, but you'll also take in Mount Shasta, verdant forests and the western edges of the Pacific Ocean - pure bliss!
Why not get in touch with Rail Guru if you're looking to explore this extraordinary country by rail?