Train travel’s best-kept secret — Amtrak’s Cardinal

The Cardinal is not a big train – just one sleeping car, three coaches, and a diner – and it runs only three days a week over a meandering southerly route between New York and Chicago. But, in between those frenetic metropolitan centers, the Cardinal passes through some of the loveliest rural and wilderness areas […]

Siberia: In the Middle of Somewhere

I’m not sure what to expect from Siberia — pine and birch forests with an occasional gulag, perhaps — but I’ll soon be experiencing the real thing as my train rolls out of Moscow’s Kazan station and heads east, rattling through a series of switches and out onto the main line. It’s the start of […]

Riding the Rocky Mountaineer through the Canadian Rockies

A rail excursion through the mountains of Western Canada aboard the Rocky Mountaineer has long been on my list of to-do train rides. And this morning, here I am: in Vancouver watching a quarter-mile-long train in stunning blue and gold livery ease to a gentle stop at the platform right in front of me.

Riding in the Head End of the ‘Builder’

I submitted a request to ride in an Amtrak locomotive, but that is such a rarely-approved privilege I had little hope it would ever actually happen. Imagine my delight when I was told arrangements had been made for me to ride in the “head end” of Amtrak’s daily Empire Builder during a Chicago-to-Seattle trip.