US Railroads

US Railroad Map
US Railroad Map

US railroads crisscross the country blanketing it in a dense network of both freight and passenger service. Amtrak is the top carrier in the United States for intercity passenger service for both short and long-haul trips. American railroads are the number one way to travel for many U.S. citizens looking to save money, lessen their environmental impacts, or just to more thoroughly interact with the world during their travels. Although train travel via Amtrak is a popular way to travel, its age-old method is still far outweighed by those commuting and traveling by car, bus, and plane.

Historic US railroads are incredibly popular and there are literally dozens upon dozens of them operating in the country. Some offer short-distance US rail travel to several points of interests where tourist can debark and stay overnight, including the Alaska Railroad where Denali Park, Fairbanks, and Anchorage are the most popular destinations. There are several excellently valued Alaska Railroad packages available with the longest hauls traveling from coast to coast.

Reaching for the sky has always been a predominant characteristic for US railroads, especially historic ones. More frequent improvements and vintage equipment is often purchased and restored by top historic railways aiming to preserve and maintain the history of such iconic rail lines as the Grand Canyon Railway and the Great Smoky Mountains Railway. The Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway is another of the top scenic train rides in the country. Founded in the late 1800s to ship gold and silver from the mountains, the route along the Animas River is a gem of a ride. It is one of the most spectacular, and oldest of all American railroads existing today.

Though you might think there are many choices for US high speed rail, much like popular bullet trains in Japan, there is only one option and that is called the Acela Express offered by Amtrak. The route includes passage through America’s Northeast Corridor which encompasses destinations like New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and Baltimore and traveling at speeds that reach more than 145 miles per hour. Currently, there are ambitious plans for creating high speed American railroads across the country. US rail travel might then become much more popular with abundant route extensions and higher speeds offering more value, flexibility, and convenience to passengers. There are currently plans to implement more than ten high speed US railroads with routes such as San Francisco to San Diego and Chicago to St Louis. Though yet to be seen, high speed US railroads may be fitted into areas like Texas, Florida, the Northeast, and the Midwest.

US rail travel into America’s northern neighbor, Canada, is always in demand. The route from Seattle to Vancouver is an especially popular and dramatic one. Anyone traveling from Chicago to Seattle to begin their trip north has the added advantage of jumping aboard the famous California Zephyr and traveling by striking scenery complements of the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains. Traveling from Chicago to Seattle is a long journey that spans two nights but, on the other hand, it is one of the top-rated train trips in the country for scenery. Onward from Seattle along the American railroads and into Canada, passengers arrive after roughly five hours into Vancouver and complete one of the best train tours from the U.S. to Canada.

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