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America by Amtrak, Coast-to-Coast and Border-to-Border

America by Amtrak, Coast-to-Coast and Border-to-Border

July 5 - 22, 2016

Photography and text by Carl Morrison

A dream train trip covering 25 states on 6 Amtrak Long Distance Trains with 7,638 rail miles by a 74 year old dad (below left) and 42 year old son, Matthew Morrison (below right) on which trip I took over 4,000 photos. You will be happy to know not all are in this report!

Author and son just off the Empire Builder from Seattle to Chicago.

Photo Credit:  Bob Williams  Location:  Chicago Union Station

Table of Contents

Each segment will become a hot link as it is completed.  Check back soon for the next section.

The Theme Song for this report, "America" by Ray Charles:

(Move to 1:30 on the counter for only the song.)
  1. Itinerary (or scroll below)
  2. Coast Starlight - Los Angeles to Seattle 1,403 miles
  3. Seattle
  4. Empire Builder - Seattle to Chicago  2,205 miles
  5. Chicago
  6. Capitol Limited - Chicago to Washington, DC  780 miles
  7. Washington, DC
  8. Carolinian - Washington, DC to Charlotte, North Carolina 479 miles
  9. Charlotte, North Carolina
  10. Crescent - Charlotte to New Orleans 776 miles*
  11. New Orleans
  12. Sunset Limited - New Orleans to Los Angeles 1,995 miles
  13. Tips and Tricks for Amtrak Travel
  14. Thank you to my Sponsors
Total Rail Miles:  7,638 

* This reservation was originally made for about $590.00, since we did not have enough AGR points for this segment.  After getting a new Amtrak credit card, I received 20,000 pts.  I asked if I could use those points and the agent said, "Yes, with a 10% deduction making the trip $59."  I made the change and received a $532 refund.  That gave me a bit more in the budget for rooms off the train.

Itinerary for

America by Amtrak  - Coast-to-Coast and Border-to-Border   

July, 2015  Amtrak Guest Rewards:  1-800-307-5000

Photography and Report by Carl Morrison -

Inside cover of the Winter-Spring 2016 Amtrak System Timetable
Dark background numbers represent page numbers for each route.
Rumor has it that this excellent 136-page document will no longer be published, so you may need to go to: for individual named train schedules.

Day 1 Tues. July 5

8:22 am Leave Fullerton, California, Amtrak Station to LA on SURFLINER No. 763

8:57 am Arrive LA

10:10 am Leave LA on COAST STARLIGHT 14 to Seattle  Room 4 Car 1430  (15,000 pts.)

Stay:  Onboard
Los Angeles (Fullerton) to Seattle - COAST STARLIGHT

Day 2 Wed. July 6

Midnight COAST STARLIGHT at Sacramento

8:12 pm Arrive Seattle (or 10:12 if trackwork delay in Klamath Falls)

Stay:     Courtyard Seattle Downtown/Pioneer Square
        612 2nd Avenue, Seattle, Washington

Check in 3 check out noon

Day 3 Thurs. July 7

July 7th. Shutter Tours Pick up at 10 AM at the Courtyard Pioneer Square.
Snoqualmie Falls and City Tour
- 2 Tours in One!
Terry Divyak
Owner, Shutter Tours
Phone: 425-516-8838
Personal website:

4:40 pm  EMPIRE BUILDER No. 8 to Chicago Room 7 Car 831 (20,000 pts. Total from me 35,000)


Midnight EMPIRE BUILDER Spokane, Washington

Seattle to Chicago - EMPIRE BUILDER

Day 4 Fri. July 8


Midnight Devils Lake, North Dakota


Day 5 Sat July 9

3:55 pm Arrive Chicago


Day 6 Bob’s   Sun July 10

Activity:  Bob Williams

Day 7   Mon. July 11

6:40 pm Capitol Limited Room 4 Car 3000  (20,000 pts.).

Midnight Capitol Limited

Stay:  On Capitol Limited
Chicago to Washington, DC - Capitol Limited
Day 8 Tuesday, July 12

Arrive Washington, DC 1:05 pm

Stay:  Stay:  Holiday Inn Express and Suites, Washington DC NE
    1917 Bladensburg Road NE
    Washington, DC 20002
    202-266 9000

Tour:  Gray Line   DC After Dark Tour on July 12th
 7 to 10 pm  Be present at our Union Station office by the time the tour is scheduled to depart to guarantee ridership on the tour.  50 Massachusetts Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20002, on the Bus Terminal Level.
Day 9 Wed. July 13  Washington, DC

Stay:  (Same as above)

Day 10  Thurs. July 14

10:53 am Leave Washington, DC  on CAROLINIAN 79  Coach (11,000 pts.)

8:12 pm Arrive Charlotte, NC

Station:  Charlotte, NC (CLT)
Station Building (with waiting room)
1914 North Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28206

Stay: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Charlotte
895 W. Trade Street
Charlotte, NC, 28202-1122, US
Washington, DC to Charlotte, North Carolina - CAROLINIAN
Day 11  Friday, July 15 Beth, Robbie and Keller with Don and Suzanne

Day 12  Saturday, July 16

Matt flys to Santa Ana LV. Charlotte 7:40 a.m. to preach at Glendora United Methodist Church in California.

See:  Beth and Robbie and Baby  (Leave for train station at night.)

Day 13  Sunday, July 17

2:45 a.m. Leave Charolette, NC on CRESCENT No. 19  Roomette 5  Car 1910

Stay:  Onboard CRESCENT

Noon:  Birmingham, AL

Arrive 7:32 pm New Orleans, LA

Stay:  Holiday Inn - Superdome
        330 Loyola Avenue  New Orleans,  Louisiana  70112  United States

        Book online or call: 1 800 315 2621
Charolotte, NC to New Orleans - CRESCENT
Day 14  Monday, July 18

Ride the St. Charles streetcars.

Matt AR. from Santa Ana at 8 p.m. where he preached and played the organ at Glendora United Methodist Church in California on the previous day.

Day 15 Tuesday, July 19

New Orleans

Possible Activities: Horse surrey tour of French Quarter, Cafe duMonde delicious beniets.

Stay: (Same as last 2 nights)

Day 16  Wednesday, July 20    Mon., Wed., or Sat.

9:00 am  Leave New Orleans, LA on SUNSET LIMITED No. 1 CAR 30 ROOM 7


Midnight, San Antonio
New Orleans to Los Angeles (Fullerton) - SUNSET LIMITED
Day 17 Thursday, July 21


Midnight: Yuma, AZ

Day 18 Friday, July 22

5:35 AM Arrive Los Angeles

6:44 am SURFLINER Business Class No. 562 to Fullerton

Reservations Agent at AGR Jeanine Holley, Empl. No. 5657



Table of Contents

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