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Las Vegas By Train?

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by luridludicloco, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. luridludicloco

    luridludicloco High-Roller

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    Eighty years or more ago people preferred to travel by train rather than by car or plane. Some famous movies illustrate this, for example, in “The Women” New York society ladies go by train to Reno to get divorced, and in “Some Like It Hot” a band of female musicians take the train from Chicago to Miami. Today trains are a bit faster and no doubt more comfortable than last century. Many people complain about the discomfort of traveling by plane, the security lines, the small space in the seats, the cancellations, the long hours in the tarmac, etc. In the “etc.” I include experiences like someone dying to use the bathroom at a time of turbulence and being told by the flight attendant, “stay in your seat and fasten your belt”. Many people do not drive, or do not like to travel by car as they may have a flat in the middle of dangerous surroundings, or hate to spend long hours without standing up and walking, etc. In the “etc.” I include running out of gas in the middle of the desert. The city of Las Vegas might be said to owe its existence to being a stop in the San Pedro Los Angeles Salt Lake Railroad. Thus I wonder if anyone today goes to Las Vegas by train. From a distant city, it definitely would take more time to go by train than to travel by car or plane, but it would be more relaxing, maybe some don’t mind the extra time. One could consider the extra time as time when you save money, as you would not be gambling in the train. Or perhaps in today’s trains, since there is online gambling, there is even an electronic casino car where you can practice for your Vegas gambling.

    I am curious to hear from people who have traveled to Las Vegas by train, the farthest from the better, how was the experience?, would they repeat it?, etc. Please post if inclined.
     
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  2. Pancakes

    Pancakes Low-Roller

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    I'd love to do this, but afaik there is no passenger railway station in Vegas, just freight.
     
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  3. stlguy197239

    stlguy197239 High-Roller

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    I looked at one point and I think the closest Amtrak gets is somewhere in Arizona and then you have to get there via car or bus.

    I used to work for Union Pacific Railroad and would get really cheap tickets on Amtrak. I took the train from Seattle to St Louis once and I loved it. I had a sleeping car and it was the most relaxing, if not the longest, trip I have ever taken. With all the cutback on Amtrak though (no more dining cars IIRC), I am not sure I would do it again.
     
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  4. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

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    Yeah, as far as I know the closest you’ll get to Las Vegas via passenger train is Kingman, AZ. I believe a bus ticket to Las Vegas is included in the Amtrak fare and that the buses depart shortly after the train arrives in Kingman.

    Las Vegas does not have passenger train service and at the moment doesn’t have anything serious in the making. The proposed High Speed Train between California and Las Vegas has been a political and financial boondoggle of epic proportions and won’t be happening. At least not any time in the near/mid/ever(?) future. (Virgin Trains USA is the latest group to say they’ll find a way to get this project completed. Not holding my breath on this latest iteration one bit.)

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelgoldstein/2019/10/31/billionaire-branson-gets-billions-in-bonds-to-launch-vegas-to-california-train-service/#4f7f8fa76604

    Its too bad because there are lots of folks, myself among them, who would love to extend their vacations by riding the rails to and from Vegas.
     
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  5. Glenn357M

    Glenn357M High-Roller

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  6. runningonthehub

    runningonthehub High-Roller

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    It would take me three or four days to get to Vegas from Chicago. Sorry, not going to happen. A short five hour trip by would be barely tolerable, four days?, No way in hell. Besides, if you get a sleeper, the train is damn near. as expensive as flying. Las Vegas does not have Amtrak passenger service so you would have to go to LA and take a five hour bus ride back the Vegas. I will put up with the hassles of flying before I ever think about a train.
     
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  7. Basil

    Basil VIP Whale

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    Took a look out of curiosity. Providence to Vegas, all coach seats would be just shy of 68 hours of travel and $370, roughly $50 and 2 1/2 days more than a flight even with connection. Or I could get a sleeper car for all but the northeast corridor for only $1300, twice as much as what I can get a first class seat for on a flight. And either way the train trips ends on a 3 hours bus trip.

    I get that time and money are not the reasons to go by train, but this is too much of both for me to ever really consider it. Maybe after retirement when my vacation time isn’t limited but still doubt I’d enjoy that long on a train. I take the Acela to NYC a few times a year and while it’s a nice way to travel for about 3 hours 68 hours is a very different story.
     
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  8. ken2v

    ken2v Wish I was in Bend

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    Train travel in America is quaint. It's neither efficient nor all that comfortable. Having said that, portions of certain routes are worth it for the scenery. So I guess, in sum, it's not really a point A to point B conveyance.

    We had a friend come up early summer "via" Amtrak. She took commuter rail from the Inland Empire to LA to hop on a bus to Bakersfield where she finally caught the train for the 110 mile run from Bakersfield to Fresno. I then picked her up and brought her down here.
     
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  9. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    We have done the northern Amtrak route from Seattle and this one. The Zephyr stops right in downtown Reno - walking distance to many casinos.

    Vegas - not so much.
     
  10. grosx2

    grosx2 Have fun storming the castle!

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    I've probably traveled long distances by train much more than most that are around my age. I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, and my mom's parents lived in a small town in Montana.

    You would have needed a flight, layover, flight, then a 3 hour drive from the airport to their house; basically a whole day (morning to evening) of travel.

    The Amtrak, on the other hand, left from Chicago and stopped right in their town about 24 hours later....much less stress and hassle.

    I've never looked into the option of taking a train to Vegas, though it sounds like that might not be a possibility from what others have said. Tough to see how it would be preferable to flying though, given the number of places that have nonstop flights to McCarran, which is just minutes away from all the major hotels.
     
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  11. Drewm1972

    Drewm1972 VIP Whale

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    About 3 years ago I did one of my bucket list, Troy Michigan to San Jose, California via Amtrak!! We started from Troy to Chicago then San Jose to visit my sister - we had 6 people total on my party so I reserved 1 family room, 2 roommate room it was costly but like “cruise on wheel” all inclusive ride was awesome took longer (usual via train) anyhow, we did make stop at Reno ( I was hoping it stopped at Vegas but I guess Amtrak doesn’t make stop there only way it’s via bus from other Amtrak station) anyhoo, it was just awesome trip had lots of fun saw our great nation (west) Rocky Mountain etc!!
     
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  12. booker

    booker VIP Whale

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    Ain't that the truth. I love the concept, the reality? Not so much.

    I've had a two experiences that were simply ghastly. Once I was stranded in a mountain pass for hours when a blanket of snow covered the tracks due to a small avalanche.

    Another time on the way to San Francisco by way of Oakland, a fire started under the car we were on. We were moved to the last, older car used for emergencies that was uncoupled and put on a siding around 10pm in the high desert then left there with no information until until around 4am. Upon arriving in Oakland, we missed the bus to San Francisco because there was no PA system in the last old car to notify that we had reached Oakland. It was a LONG train and we were just left out in the yard. Eventually, the group of us got our stuff and hiked into the station where we were told the we were on our own. Worst. Travel. Experience. Ever.
     
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  13. Ten_On_The_End

    Ten_On_The_End Low-Roller

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    My brother is a tour director for week long Amtrak train tours every month and he's always got stories about late trains and other screw ups on nearly every trip. I've ridden the bullet trains in Japan and they work well but if you look at a map of Japan it's a long, thin country perfectly suited for trains. The train used to go through Vegas right behind the Plaza but unless you get a room it's a pretty miserable way to travel in a seat with no shower for three days. I did Chicago to Seattle in coach once (and other trips) and it was not fun. I guess if you're afraid to fly and drugs don't help it makes sense. Otherwise, I'll pass.
     
  14. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    Yes, last I checked, train fare from OMA (the rail station has the same code as the airport) to that nearest station to Las Vegas was actually in the same order of magnitude as air fare direct to LAS.

    They also tell me (the ubiquitous "they") that the train to Arizona is very frequently late due to the fact that it is second priority to revenue freights on the {mumble} part of the route and often has to stop and hold.
     
  15. IxAccDnf

    IxAccDnf VIP Whale

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    The double-stack trains roll by one right after another in that part of the country
     
  16. eliza

    eliza VIP Whale

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    I've taken two cross-country train rides, a couple dozen Chicago to Erie, PA runs, and countless DC to NYC segments. Amtrak is fine and in some cases (Northwest corridor) may be more convenient/faster than flying. Anything longer distance and/or not NE corridor - I'm a train lover, but it's not fast, not reliable, not cheap, has infrequent service, and may or may not be more comfortable than flying. I'd recommend a long train trip for the journey, but not as transportation. If you can find availability and can afford it, sleeper is way more comfortable than coach, but coach can be fine too. As others have said, Amtrak has continued to make service cuts, so in the vast majority of cases there is nothing even approaching luxury train travel left in the US. And you can't really get to Las Vegas easily by train. But I suppose you could take the train to LA and then get a bus from there or attempt the Amtrak bus connection in Kingman.
     
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  17. DsqrdDGD909

    DsqrdDGD909 Tourist

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    My daughter (25 YO) absolutely refuses to take trains ever again.

    We live in Detroit and took 6 or 7 trips by train to Chicago. Convenient and relaxing we used to think. The last three trips we took as a family, there were 3 or 4 hour delays either to or from Chicago. Usually some sort of freight train conflict.

    I convinced her to try one last time. We had flown to Seattle and wanted to go to Vancouver, BC also. Everything I read said take the train - beautiful scenery (it was), almost as fast as driving, easier at customs. Some poor bicyclist got killed crossing the tracks ahead of us and we had a 5 hr. delay. Nothing compared to the loss of life but for my daughter that was the last straw.
     
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  18. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    One thing I wanna do, most likely after I eventually retire, is go on one of these excursions! :)

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. deansrobinson

    deansrobinson VIP Whale

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    I miss Europe.
    Back in the 00's we were thinking of taking a train to Vegas. Turns out it's more like a train to the Vegas timezone, then a bus. That killed the project.
     
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  20. AlwaysUpForFun

    AlwaysUpForFun Low-Roller

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    A friend was taking a trip to Alaska with her elderly Father a few years ago. He wanted to take a train trip, so the portion of their trip from Chicago to Seattle was via train. The scenery was beautiful, but they arrived in Seattle hours later than the scheduled arrival. When she booked the Amtrak portion she was warned that those routes are rarely on time and to schedule their flight out of Seattle with plenty of leeway. It made here Dad happy though. It was a trip of a lifetime for them. Late last year her Dad died, but she will always have the memories of that trip.
     
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