06 Apr Amtrak from NOLA to Washington DC
Among travel options in the States, Amtrak is a personal favorite. I love trains for many reasons: the rhythm of the rails, the experience of the passing scenery, the slow but steady getting there. For me it’s a complete travel experience. Not to mention that Amtrak has a variety of other benefits, including a friendly and helpful staff, a cafe with simple food and a lounge from which I’m writing you right now.
Sean and I take the Crescent from New Orleans to Washington DC, a total of 26 hours, unfortunately no wifi, but I’m sure that’s only a matter of time. We don’t get a sleeper car because the seats themselves are ample and we can sleep there. Roundtrip NOLA to DC and back costs 588 USD, quite a good deal when compared to flying. We had to seek out the good deal though, choosing to travel on Monday and Tuesday, the cheapest days of the week. One day difference meant tickets between 800-1000 for the two of us, making it comparable to flying, just taking much more time.
As train lovers, budget travel is just an excuse to take one. There’s simply something romantic about train travel, perhaps because I don’t get car sick like on the bus, and perhaps because I can read and write, all the things that make overlanding fun. I dream of trains, the cadence of their movement and the feeling of walking down their aisles. Not even my Cuban train experience could make me shy away from them.
I’ve also ridden the Sunset Limited, another Amtrak line, across Texas. Their staff is consistently friendly, talkative, polite and kind. Truly, they are a pleasure to interact with and make you feel right at home. I enjoy sitting in the lounge with staff members and passengers alike, listening to their conversations as I write and watch the scenery roll by my window. It’s a complete experience and the length of time is immaterial, as far as I’m concerned. Their lovely attitudes, the ease of moving about on the train, the spaciousness and the simplicity of it all pleases me.
The train leaves New Orleans at 7 a.m. bound for New York. We’ll arrive at 9 a.m. in Washington D.C. and get off there. Conveniently, the train station (one of the most famous filmed and photographed stations in America) is also the metro station and we can make our way around the city easily and inexpensively from there. To return, we leave DC at 6:30 p.m. and arrive back in New Orleans at 7:30 p.m.