Exploring our August vacation home (a.k.a. Amtrak's rolling stock)

-by Victoria Principato 

In preparing our trip, I’ve been focusing a lot lately on each destination, and what Cate and I will be doing in each place we visit. But it’s also important for me to remind myself how we’ll be getting there. This past week, Amtrak was kind enough to give us a tour of the equipment that will be our home for almost a full month in August.

Being from New Jersey, I’ve only ever traveled by train on the Northeast Corridor, and have mainly taken the Northeast Regional train. The Regionals are really comfortable for short trips -- definitely a lot better than the bus or plane -- but if you're going to spend a whole day traveling (or longer, even) than you need a whole different set of onboard facilities.

It was so exciting to finally get the chance to see the long-distance cars that Cate and I will be journeying across the country in. I was surprised at how spacious the cars are, and how comfortable the reclining seats are.

I was able to meet first hand with an Amtrak crew, see where meals are prepared, and how had the crew works to make sure passengers -- whether in sleeper compartments or coach -- are comfortable and safe. 

The coolest feature about these cars though is definitely the observation decks. These cars have windows for walls, that make the entire room have a view. I can only imagine what the Rocky Mountains or the Pacific Coast will look like from this perspective. All aboard!