Those Beautiful Colorado Canyons
11.30am: Now it gets even better. The California Zephyr snakes for hours through beautiful Colorado canyons, right alongside the river and its many swirling rapids. This is where you start to realise that Americans who fly across the States and never take the train are quite possibly insane.
Yet more Colorado scenery. Mile after mile, it just keeps on coming…
After lunch, retire to the Sightseer observation-lounge car and put those wrap-around sightseeing windows to good use!
And yet more Colorado scenery. The landscape changes as the day progresses, as you can see from the rock colour…
Where Is The Train Station In Denver
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Denverâs Union Station first opened in 1881, and houses some of the cityâs best shops, bars, and restaurants, making it a popular destination for locals and travelers alike. There is even a seasonal farmers market at the station! But first and foremost, Union Station is the primary transport hub for Denver. The station is served by Amtrak trains, and intercity buses operated by Greyhound, Burlington Trailways, Jefferson Lines and Express Arrow. From Union Station, travelers can also easily access Denver International Airport on the A Line commuter rail.
All train stations in Denver:
Union Station – 1701 Wynkoop Street
Glenwood Canyon & Glenwood Springs
2.00pm: Glenwood Springs… The California Zephyr snakes through the 12-mile-long Glenwood Canyon, shared on the opposite bank with an interstate Highway, and arrives at Glenwood Springs. A major recreational centre where the Colorado & Roaring Fork rivers meet, Doc Holliday of Gunfight at the OK Corral fame spent the last years of his life here.
The many Amish people travelling on our train get off at Glenwood Springs, see the bottom left corner of this photo. Just for the record, the Amish people we talked to on the train were friendly, very real & down-to-Earth. The photo shows the Sightseer Lounge car, with a cafe downstairs, an observation lounge above.
4.20pm: Crossings the Colorado-Utah State Line. After calling at Grand Junction, the train enters Utah, marked with white letters on the sandstone cliffs in Ruby Canyon. These also feature steps carved by early native Americans…
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The Broadmoor Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway
Reopening in May 2021 after a swanky upgrade, the worlds highest cog railway takes you to its dynamic new visitor center on the summit of Pikes Peak thats 14,115 feet! Along the 9-mile journey, youll be treated to spectacular 360-degree views of the Pikes Peak region, from the sweeping plains to the Continental Divide and snow-capped Rockies. Keep an eye out: You may very well spot foxes, bighorn sheep and whistling yellow-bellied marmots or on the clearest of days the historic mining camp of Cripple Creek.Start and End Points: Manitou SpringsBonus Tracks: You can hike up Pikes Peak and ride the railway back down or take the train to the summit and bike down along the twisting Pikes Peak Highway.
Amtrak Accommodations And Amenities
Amtrak uses either two-level Superliner or one-level Viewliner train cars that include sleeping accommodations, which are offered on most long-distance routes. Each kind is configured according to individual needs.
Superliner trains have 5 accommodation types, namely Roomette, Bedroom, Bedroom Suite, Family Bedroom and Accessible Bedroom. Both Bedroom and Bedroom Suite have in-room showers and toilets. Viewliner trains on the other hand have 4 accommodation types, namely Roomette, Bedroom, Bedroom Suite and Accessible Room. Except Roomette, Viewliner accommodations have in-room toilets and showers.
Roomettes in general are perfect for solo or duo travelers. Each Roomette includes two seats, two beds, outlets and a fold-down table reading lights, climate control, garment track, fresh towels/linens and bottles of water are also provided.
Bedrooms in general are spacey and great for bigger groups of travelers. Bedrooms offer everything a Roomette does, only with the addition of a sofa bed, an armchair, big window, an in-room toilet and an in-room shower.
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Traveling By Train In Colorado
There are faster ways to get around in Colorado, but sometimes the journey itself is more important than the destination. It wasnt so long ago that trains were the primary form of long-distance travel. They were widely used for shipping and commercial purposes. In Colorado, trains presented the most effective way of traversing the steep mountainsides and hairpin turns of the Rockies, especially for mining communities that had little other access to the outside world. Today, most of these railways are defunct, but many of them are still in use, whether for travel or for recreation.
North By Northwest: Along The Hudson River Valley
The Lake Shore Limited heads out of New York’s Penn Station and soon emerges into the daylight alongside the Hudson River. It passes non-stop through suburban stations including Ossining, fictional home to Mad Men’s Don & Betty Draper and the home to infamous Sing Sing prison. The train then follows the scenic Hudson River Valley all the way to Albany in up-state New York, with the rails often right next to the river. Wonderful! Pictured above, Storm King Mountain.
Film fans may recognise the scenery from the train scenes with Cary Grant & Eva Marie Saint in Hitchcock’s North by Northwest. Those scenes are set on the famous Twentieth Century Limited over this very route…Above right, Bannerman’s Island with its ruined house is another local landmark.
5.00pm: West Point Military Academy can be seen on the far bank of the Hudson…
You’ll see a series of huge road bridges spanning the Hudson as the Lake Shore Limited heads along the river to Albany. You’ll also see small commuter towns, marinas, marshland and countryside…
6.45pm: Crossing the Hudson. The Lake Shore Limited crosses the Hudson at Albany, with great views of Albany to the left.
Dinner in the dining car… Salad, main course and dessert.
7.00pm, Albany: At Albany Rensselaer, a chance to stretch your legs. The Boston-Chicago portion is attached here…
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About The California Zephyr Line
Experienced travelers say the California Zephyr is one of the most beautiful train trips in all of North America. As you climb through the heart of the Rockies, and further west through the snow-capped Sierra Nevadas, you may find it hard to disagree. The Zephyr runs daily between Chicago and San Francisco, coursing through the plains of Nebraska to Denver, across the Rockies to Salt Lake City, and then through Reno and Sacramento into Emeryville/San Francisco. Connections in to San Francisco and Oakland stations via Thruway Bus Service at Emeryville, California.
Arrive at least 60 minutes prior to departure if youre checking baggage or need ticketing/passenger assistanceArrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure if youre not checking baggage or dont need assistance
Which Stations Can I Use On The Chicago Il To Denver Co Route
There are different options to choose from when traveling between Chicago, IL and Denver, CO. You can start your journey in Chicago, IL at stations such as Chicago Union Station, Chicago, IL and Chicago, IL – Union Station. These connect to stations including Denver Union Station and Denver, CO in Denver, CO. There may not be a direct connection between all the stations in the two locations. Some providers will only serve a selection of the stations, and you may have to travel from one station to another in the same city after arrival to reach your ultimate destination. Virail will show you both all direct routes and any connecting services which you can take to get from Chicago, IL to Denver, CO.
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When Do The First And Last Departures From Chicago Il To Denver Co Leave
The first journey of the day departs from Chicago, IL at 14:00. If you prefer to travel later in the day, the last departure will leave at 14:00. Remember, these are the general times of journeys between Chicago, IL and Denver, CO. However, they are somewhat changeable as they may be affected by local events or holidays, peak seasons, or other factors. Always check your travel dates in advance to be on the safe side.
Milwaukee To Chicago In 90 Minutes
As Colorado looks elsewhere for inspiration, the 86-mile Hiawatha line stands out as a well-established yardstick.
It costs $25 for the full trip from downtown Milwaukees Intermodal Station to Union Station in Chicago, a journey that includes three brief stops in between and takes just under 90 minutes often faster than driving. Wireless internet is available and electrical outlets are at each seat. In Wisconsin, Amtrak Thruway-branded buses have connected several other cities to the Milwaukee station for two years.
The Hiawatha can reach speeds up to 79 mph in some sections, helping it to grow into Amtraks highest-ridership Midwest train prior to the pandemic, carrying nearly 880,000 riders in 2019. Its recent on-time rating was 95%, according to Amtrak data.
Ridership has been recovering gradually since pandemic service cuts were reversed in May, though the early August trains still included three passenger cars instead of the usual six.
As a train pulled out of Union Station just after 5 p.m. on a recent weekday, workers who commute from Wisconsin to downtown Chicago opened their laptops. Other riders sat with shopping bags from downtown stores at their feet.
For the first 10 minutes, the three-year-old Siemens locomotive pulled three older Amtrak coach cars slowly past warehouses and redeveloping westside neighborhoods. Then it accelerated, a change noticed by a 5-year-old boy with curly blond hair as he looked out the window.
The trains going fast! he said.
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Amtraks Connecting Local Services To Denver
The California Zephyr route allows easy transfer to the Regional Transportation District via Denver Union Station. RTD offers frequent light rail and bus service in Colorado through the following:
Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad
This ideal route for seeing Colorado in its autumn-color glory reaches up into the Continental Divide through hairpin turns along the upper Arkansas River Valley. Keep an eye out for Mount Elbert and Mount Massive, the states two tallest peaks. Start and End Points: Leadville and ClimaxBonus Tracks: Photography and nature buffs will adore the colorful wildflower and fall foliage trains.
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Cripple Creek And Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad
This steam engine train ride located in Cripple Creek is only 45 minutes long, which means its much less of a commitment than some of the other train rides on this list, perfect for families with small children who might not have big attention spans. The ride will take you through beautiful mountain scenery and past the sites of old mines, with guided tour information from knowledgeable conductors.
Things To Do In Chicago:
Shoreline Sightseeings architectural boat tour is a great way to get the lay of the land and instill a sense of pride about Americas favorite inland port city. Youll learn where the name Chicago originated and that we actually had the first skyscraper in the world. Youll see where the great Chicago fire started, learn where the nickname Second City came from, and get a lesson on the symbolism in the Chicago flag. Landmarks youll pass include the old headquarters of catalog king Montgomery Ward, the original Marshall Fields department store, a building so big it has its own zip code, and architectural examples from just about every decade. As an interesting tie back to the train, most of the riverfront property is actually owned by the railroad, the downtown buildings just lease the land.
Other things to do in Chicago: Indulge in deep dish pizza, Italian beef, Chicago-style hot dogs, or one of the many Michelin-star restaurants, walk or bike the lakefront path, Riverwalk or the new 606 trail, explore the free Lincoln Park Zoo or one of the many world-class museums like the new American Writers Museum, which is the first of its kind in the U.S. Here are some additional winter suggestions.
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Can You Sleep On An Amtrak Train
For a truly unique experience when traveling by train , Amtrak offers private room accommodations on many routes across the country. Located in the Sleeping Car, a private room is the perfect option for customers seeking privacy and space on a short trip and added comfort and amenities when traveling overnight.
Was It A Perfect Travel Experience
No, but what is? The toilets werent working in our car and there was no Wi-Fi , which seemed crazy for that long of a ride. People were asking for healthier food options that seemed like a no-brainer to offer a fruit plate for breakfast. But it was a heck of a lot less stressful than flying during the holidays and a unique experience if you have the time. Would I do it again? Absolutely. Would I pay more than I would for a flight to get there slower? No, but they often have deals and special offers.
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Is Amtrak Cheaper Than Flying
Amtrak tickets tend to be higher than air fares if you book a roomette or bedroom as the price includes meals and private accommodations. However, Amtrak coach seats are often cheaper than coach seats on a plane, especially if you purchase tickets in advance.
The First Denver Zephyrs
The first Zephyr service to Denver began May 31, 1936, with the trainsets of the Pioneer Zephyr and the , trains 9900 and 9903. This new service was known as the Advance Denver Zephyr and operated on a 16-hour schedule. The trains did not have sleepers, but introduced hostesses called “Zephyrettes“.
In the meantime, after the success of the 3-car and 4-car Pioneer Zephyr, Twin Zephyrs, and s, the Burlington had ordered two pairs of longer stainless steel streamliners from the Budd Company. One pair was fully articulated 6-car trainsets used to replace the 3-car Twin Cities Zephyrs. The other pair were 10-car trainsets, partly articulated, which became the Chicago-Denver Denver Zephyr. Accommodations on these trains included coaches, sections, single and double rooms, and dining and lounge facilities. The observation cars carried parlor seats for local travel.
Power for the new trainsets came from the General Motors’ Electro-Motive Division. Each was led by a twin-engine forerunner to the E series featuring two Winton V-12 201-A diesels of 900 horsepower each, articulated to a booster with one V-16 of 1,200 horsepower for a total rating of 3000. These were bodied by Budd in shotwelded stainless steel, and designated 9906A/B “Silver King and Silver Queen” and 9907A/B “Silver Knight/Silver Princess”.
The train ran 1,034 miles between Denver and Chicago overnight in 16 to 16½ hours. Within two years a dinette coach and an all-room sleeper were added.
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