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Travel Tips

Last major update December 2012

On Track On Line - Amtrak Tips - Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous Tips

Notes From All Over: You may wish to take with you:

  • Some paper towels and window cleaner

  • Some Duct Tape to fasten a loose part or whatever

  • A small flashlight to help find your missing things that somehow have crawled under your seat.

  • One or two short lengths of 16 or 18 gauge wire may come in handy (e.g., to wire shut a broken sleeping compartment door lock at night).

  • A few large rubber bands and assorted safety pins which come in handy for all sorts of things

On some Superliner coaches the original leg rest supports have been replaced with a simple support that swings down underneath. Some find that this does not raise high enough at night. Carry something to put under the support to prop it up. A couple of thick paperbacks will do, and provide reading material too.

If you want to change clothes each day, pack a full change as a bundle that you can pull out together without needing to search for it.

Animals are not permitted on Amtrak trains, buses or in stations, with the exception of trained service animals accompanying passengers with disabilities. See Animals On board on the Amtrak web site.

Tips about Books: Here are some books with good information about traveling by Amtrak travel:

  • USA by Rail reveals in comprehensive and entertaining style the unique pleasures of North American passenger trains. The author traveled over 70,000 miles throughout the United States and Canada to cover every destination and route, and the book has all the practical information needed to make reservations, purchase tickets and find your way about train stations. It also contains invaluable advice for sightseeing, transport and accommodation in many major cities along the way. For purchase information see: USA by Rail.

  • Rail Ventures, The Comprehensive Guide to Train Travel in North America contains minute-by-minute route logs, maps and photos, station info, where to stay info, and many Traveler's Tips. The price will be about $14.95US or $19.95CAN if you can find it new, or less if used. This book is out of print but is occasionally available on

  • AMTRAKing-- A Guide to Enjoyable Train Travel, by Mauris L. Emeka, an Amtrak on-board service attendant from 1989 to 1998. It's very informative, with lots of good hints and tips, even for veteran Amtrak riders. Topics include trip planning, getting the best fare, group travel, eating on the train, keeping fit, sleeping, frequently asked questions, and many other hints to help you enjoy your trip. For how to order, see: AMTRAKing.

  • Heart and Soul of the Train, also by Mauris L. Emeka (see above). For how to order, see: Heart and Soul of the Train.

  • All Aboard by Jim Loomis. It's a guide to train travel in the U.S., containing many of the tips here, and much more info. For more about the book and how to order it, see: All Aboard

  • Railfan Timetables by Altamont Press. The concept behind the railfan timetable is to provide a single source of information needed for railfans to enjoy the covered area successfully. These Railfan Timetables provide all track detail for each major railroad, both mainline and branches. The detail includes the railroad radio frequencies, passenger trains on the line, speed limits, station names, mileposts, location of talking detectors, DTC blocks, siding lengths, helper districts, and other info. These timetables are indispensable for the serious railroad fan.

  • Canadian Trackside Guide from Bytown Railroad Society. This publication provides information similar to the Railfan Timetables above, but covers Canadian rail lines (including those used by Amtrak trains). It is available from Bytown Railway Society, PO Box 141, Station A, Ottawa ON K1A 8V1. US$24 postpaid to U.S. addresses. The 2001 edition is up-to-date as of February 18, 2001. For more information contact Paul Bown.

  • Trainweb has a list of other selected books about passenger rail travel, with ordering info and so on.

Web Links Links to other web sites with useful information about Amtrak, including organizations that support passenger rail travel.

Amtrak does not endorse this page and other associated On Track On Line pages, nor does it sponsor this or any other On Track On Line page. Amtrak sources were used to compile or confirm some of the information here, but this does not represent official Amtrak information, nor is this information endorsed by Amtrak.

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