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Trains in the United States

A trip through the United States by train is an adventure through metropolises, national parks, historical sites, vast landscapes, plains, and mountains. Traveling by train is also a chance to appreciate the diversity and the vastness of the United States of America. The railroad network is extensive and you have plenty of choices.

Amtrak's Empire Builder is a popular train route in the Pacific Northwest. The trip takes an estimated 46 hours and trails the Lewis & Clark trail from Chicago to Seattle or Portland. The train snakes its way through Mississippi, Minneapolis, the North Dakota Plains, and the Glacier National Park.

The trip between Seattle and Los Angeles is also popular among travelers. The Coast Starlight takes passengers through a Grand West Coast adventure, winding through Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Portland. The landscape comprises of the Pacific Ocean shoreline, snow-covered peaks of the Cascade Range and fertile forest cover.

Away from the lush landscapes is the Grand Canyon Railway. On the way, travelers encounter sprawling prairies, pine forests, and sometimes wild horses. Grab a cowboy hat to remember the cowboys and bandits that once roamed the tracks.

Book train tickets in the United States with Omio

Travelers can rely on Omio to book trains in United States. First, access the website and key in your pickup point, destination, and travel date. Omio redirects you to a website showing available trains in the United States, including ticket prices and the location of the stations. You can use offers and discounts to lower the cost of your ticket. For alerts on prices, it is wise to switch on notifications on the Omio app and stay vigilant until the date of your trip. Once booked, Omio sends the tickets to your mobile phone for quick access.

Train companies in the United States

Amtrak is the largest passenger train company in the United States. It services over 22,000 miles (35,000 km) in 46 states and Canada. Passengers generally have to choose between couch, business and sleeper classes when booking a ticket. Some of the most famous train rides including the Coast Starlight, the Empire Builder, California Zephyr, and the Grand Canyon Railway, are all part of Amtrak's extensive train network.

Alaska Railroad connects the southcentral and interior parts of Alaska. The rail runs from Seward, through Anchorage, Denali, Fairbanks to the North Pole. There's a stretch between Talkeetna and Denali that operates a flag stop train. Passengers can alight anywhere as long as they notify the conductor.

Different companies operate intercity trains in the United States. The Metro-North Commuter Railroad serves New York and surrounding areas while Massachusetts has the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. In the Washington DC area, there is the Maryland Area Regional Commuter while the California Area has more than five (5) operators. When using Omio, travelers can compare routes and prices between different operators before booking tickets.

Popular international routes by train in the United States

There are several popular routes to explore via trains in the United States. Amtrak operates trains to Canada. The Maple Leaf connects New York in the United States to Toronto in Canada. Along the way, the train passes through Hudson River Valley, the hills in New York's wine regions, Finger Lakes and the magnificent Niagara Falls.

The alternative route is onboard the Empire Builder, from Chicago to Vancouver. The train moves through spectacular Glacier National Park, Granville Island, Stanley Park, and the magnificent Canadian Rockies. For this trip, Amtrak works with Canada's VIA Rail.

Other popular routes to explore within the United States include Amtrak's Southwest Chief. The train explores the American West through Chicago, Albuquerque, to Los Angeles. The thrilling curves go through the Santa Fe Trail, the Grand Canyon, and the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains.

For a ride along the Animas River, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is an ideal trip. The rail runs on thin sections, and sometimes, only the canyon below is visible. The train has open-air gondolas for passengers to stand in as they watch the canyon. For classic steam-operated locomotives, travelers can take the Cass Scenic Railroad through West Virginia.

When arriving

For passengers planning long-distance travel by train in the United States, an Amtrak Rail Pass is advisable. The pass has packages for 15, 30 and 45 travel days covering different segments. For convenience and lower prices, book your tickets early.

Research the amenities available on the trains before your trip. Most long-distance trains in the United States have sleeping options such as couch, roomettes and bedrooms. Other amenities to look for include Wi-Fi, bathrooms and cafes. Have your card on standby for purchases at the stops.

Arrive at the station early, especially if you are traveling to Canada. Ensure that you have all the necessary identification documents and update them to avoid lengthy verification procedures. For notifications and details on trains in the U.S., use the Omio app.