All Aboard: The Complete North American Train Travel Guide


Riding the rails in style has never been easier! This is the definitive guide to North American train travel, complete with booking procedures, onboard etiquette, maps, floor plans for typical coach and sleeping cars and more. It reflects the recent, sweeping changes at Amtrak, North America's largest passenger rail system.
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Riding the rails in style has never been easier! This is the definitive guide to North American train travel, complete with booking procedures, onboard etiquette, maps, floor plans for typical coach and sleeping cars and more. It reflects the recent, sweeping changes at Amtrak, North America's largest passenger rail system.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Crammed with excellent ideas for booking, preparing for and enjoying your next rail journey.”  —Railfan & Railroad



“A plethora of information . . . a primer on railroading itself.”  —International Railway Traveler

"The freshest, most comprehensive, and frankly the best."  —TrainWeb

“A down-to-tacks how-to book that describes in detail just about everything you need to know to take a train trip in the United States and Canada.”  —Honolulu Advertiser

“This easy-to-read, lively book would make an excellent gift.”  —Passenger Train Journal

“With all my rail experience, I still found things in Loomis’ book that I didn’t know about train life.”  —Hawaii Sun Press

“This guide covers everything from booking a [train] trip to the various routes available to on-board etiquette.”  —Boston Sunday Globe, on a previous edition

“This comprehensive guide will assist the traveler in planning an excursion and executing it with minimum effort and maximum pleasure.”  —Library Journal, on a previous edition

Revision of the first edition of 1995. Loomis guides the first-time rider from boarding to tipping. He also covers trackside signs, signals, fault detectors, causes of delays. Routes & sights on Amtrak & Via Rail are brief. Appendices deal with hotels, excursions, competent travel agents, RR terms. A good primer, a solid reference. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569763094
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/24/2011
  • Edition description: Third edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 293,545
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Loomis writes frequent columns about train travel for Sunday newspaper travel sections and has ridden every one of Amtrak’s routes, including taking all their long-distance trains several times. He is a member of the National Association of Railroad Passengers and was elected to NARP's Council of Representatives, the governing body of the organization.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Rediscovering the Train xi
Rail Travel Information Sources xiv
Amtrak's Rail Passenger System xvi
1 Why Take a Train? 1
2 How It All Began 7
3 Amtrak to the Rescue 24
4 Planning Your Own Train Trip 36
5 Packing and Last-Minute Details 67
6 Life on Board 76
7 Who's in Charge Here? 105
8 When Things Go Wrong 131
9 Passenger Train Equipment 140
10 How It All Works 158
11 What About All Those Freight Trains? 192
12 Safety--Priority Number One 203
13 Taking the Train in Canada 214
14 Traveling by Train in Mexico 230
15 Now, Where Would You Like to 60? 248
16 Is There a Train in Our Future? 291
Appendix A A Few Suggested Itineraries 305
Appendix B Good Places to Stay 312
Appendix C Excursion Trains and Railroad Museums 326
Appendix D Golden Spike Travel Agents 357
Appendix E Pro-Rail Associations 377
Railroad Terms and Slang 383
More Information About Trains and Train Travel 399
Index 403
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 11, 2011

    Highly Recommended!!

    Great book for anyone contemplating a train journey. Interesting history of trains, the trials and tribulations of Amtrak and the hopes for the future. The book also has tips for high points of various trains, including which side of the train to sit on for the most scenic vistas. In addition, Mr. Loomis has included descriptions of the various crew member duties, how long they are on the trip with you as well as what to expect while on the train and even how much to tip the various crew members, both on the train and in the stations. The book has been revised in 2011 and updated to include the latest information. Thoroughly enjoyed it!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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