About Jim Loomis

Jim Loomis is the author of All Aboard-The Complete North American Train Travel Guide, with a revised and updated 4th edition due out at the first of the year. He also blogs about travel, particularly train travel, at www.takeatrainride.blogspot.com.

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

The Cardinal is not a big train and it runs only three days a week between New York and Chicago. Between those frenetic metropolitan cities, the Cardinal rolls through some of the loveliest rural and wilderness areas in the eastern United States.

Why are they trying to kill Amtrak?

Passengers on Amtrak’s long-distance trains ride about 18 hours and that translates to four meals. Amtrak can’t simply stop having food for these paying customers.
By |November 29th, 2014|Getting there|17 Comments|

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 a 12-day, 4000-mile rail journey that will take us across Siberia and to Mongolia before heading south into China and, eventually, to Beijing.

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.
By |January 21st, 2012|Columns|6 Comments|