The Plan, In Too Much Detail

Amtrak Adventure 3/31 (about October 2nd, 2021)

Since I published our initial plan, many people have reached out with something along the lines of “I’d love to meet up! Are you coming through my town?”

Yesterday, while riding through the mountains and plains of Montana and North Dakota, I compiled a list of all our planned stops. It’s included below; hopefully this can help to answer those questions once and for all!


The train’s going great so far. We acclimated pretty much instantly, and it’s much more comfortable and generally enjoyable than we expected!

The only issue we’ve encountered is that coach-riding plebeians like us aren’t allowed to eat in the dining car, so we have to subsist on our snack stash until Chicago.

We thought it’d be difficult to sleep at night in coach. Turns out, the hard part is actually not falling asleep in the dark, quiet evenings! We resisted for a bit, but ended up going to bed around 10 PM—two hours earlier than normal.

We spend most of our time sitting in the lounge car, which was attached to our train around midnight in Spokane. Waking up early enabled us to claim two prize seats right next to a big window!

In the background of that picture, you can see the plains of Eastern Montana. That was one of the two landscape themes we saw all day yesterday.

The other was the mountains and rivers of Glacier National Park, which our train went directly through during golden hour! We got some excellent photos; here’s my favorite:

Another fun tidbit, though less photogenic: since the start of our trip, we’ve now passed through the two longest tunnels in America (#1 in the Cascades of Washington, and #2 in the Rockies of Montana)!


Appendix A: Notes On Appendices B & C

All listed stops are tentative, taken from Amtrak’s website. Amtrak is not known for punctuality; trains frequently run more than an hour early or late. This means that the listed stops might be off in start time, duration, or both.

If you want to meet up at any of these stations, be sure to let Mattea or I know so that we get off to see you! I’d also recommend downloading the Amtrak app to check the train’s actual arrival time as it approaches.

I listed all stations where we’re scheduled to stop for 5+ minutes during waking hours. I expect each of these to be a “fresh air break,” where we’re allowed to get off the train for a few minutes; but I’m probably wrong about some, where we can’t actually disembark. Any 10+ minute stop should be safe!

All listed times are local.


Appendix B: Routes & Minor Stops (Chronologically)

Empire Builder (Eastbound)

  • (mostly done by the time you’re reading this, so there aren’t many left)

  • Milwaukee-Downtown, WI — 10/3 2:07p — 8 minutes

Lake Shore Limited (Eastbound)

  • Cleveland, OH — 10/4 5:38a — 12 minutes

  • Erie, PA — 10/4 7:15a — 5 minutes

  • Buffalo, NY — 10/4 8:46a — 8 minutes

  • Rochester, NY — 10/4 9:48a — 5 minutes

  • Syracuse, NY — 10/4 11:15a — 8 minutes

  • Utica, NY — 10/4 12:15p — 5 minutes

  • Schenectady, NY — 10/4 1:53p — 6 minutes

  • Albany-Rensselaer, NY — 10/4 2:31p — 1 hour, 39 minutes

Silver Star (Southbound)

  • Newark, NJ — 10/7 11:16a — 4 minutes

  • Philadelphia, PA — 10/7 12:28p — 5 minutes

  • Wilmington, DE — 10/7 12:56p — 4 minutes

  • Baltimore, MD — 10/7 1:48p — 5 minutes

  • Washington, DC — 10/7 2:33p — 31 minutes

  • Richmond, VA — 10/7 5:07p — 10 minutes

  • Cary, NC — 10/7 9:13p — 10 minutes

  • Savannah, GA — 10/8 4:13a — 5 minutes

  • Jacksonville, FL — 10/8 6:39a — 20 minutes

  • Winter Park, FL — 10/8 9:38a — 5 minutes

  • Orlando, FL — 10/8 10:06a — 14 minutes

  • Kissimmee, FL — 10/8 10:39a — 5 minutes

  • Tampa, FL — 10/8 12:23p — 14 minutes

California Zephyr (Westbound)

  • Omaha, NE — 10/10 10:55p — 10 minutes

  • Denver, CO — 10/11 7:15a — 50 minutes

  • Glenwood Springs, CO — 10/11 1:46p — 7 minutes

  • Grand Junction, CO — 10/11 3:57p — 13 minutes

  • Salt Lake City, UT — 10/11 11:05p — 25 minutes

  • Reno, NV — 10/12 8:25a — 11 minutes

  • Sacramento, CA — 10/12 2:13p — 12 minutes

  • Martinez, CA — 10/12 3:26p — 6 minutes

Texas Eagle (Eastbound)

  • Tucson, AZ — 10/16 7:28a — 47 minutes

  • El Paso, TX — 10/16 3:10p — 25 minutes

  • Alpine, TX — 10/16 8:35p — 10 minutes

  • San Antonio, TX — 10/17 4:50a — 2 hours, 10 minutes

  • Austin, TX — 10/17 9:23a — 8 minutes

  • Fort Worth, TX — 10/17 1:58p — 22 minutes

  • Dallas, TX — 10/17 3:20p — 20 minutes

  • Marshall, TX — 10/17 7:01p — 30 minutes

  • Little Rock, AR — 10/17 11:31p — 8 minutes

  • St. Louis, MO — 10/18 7:24a — 31 minutes

  • Springfield, IL — 10/18 9:50a — 5 minutes

  • Bloomington-Normal, IL — 10/18 11:01a — 7 minutes

Cardinal (Eastbound)

  • Indianapolis, IN — 10/19 11:39p — 20 minutes

  • Maysville, KY — 10/20 4:50a — 2 minutes

  • Huntington, WV — 10/20 7:09a — 7 minutes

  • Charleston, WV — 10/20 8:14a — 7 minutes

  • Charlottesville, VA — 10/20 3:10p — 9 minutes

Crescent (Westbound)

  • Charlottesville, VA — 10/23 8:47p — 5 minutes

  • Lynchburg, VA — 10/23 10:00p — 16 minutes

  • Greensboro, NC — 10/24 12:25a — 7 minutes

  • Charlotte, NC — 10/24 2:30a — 25 minutes

  • Greenville, SC — 10/24 5:24a — 7 minutes

  • Atlanta, GA — 10/24 8:43a — 25 minutes

  • Birmingham, AL — 10/24 12:45p — 18 minutes

  • Meridian, MS — 10/24 4:13p — 6 minutes

City of New Orleans (Northbound)

  • Jackson, MS — 10/26 5:28p — 16 minutes

  • Greenwood, MS — 10/26 7:32p — 5 minutes

  • Memphis, TN — 10/26 10:20p — 20 minutes

  • Champaign-Urbana, IL — 10/27 6:05a — 5 minutes

Southwest Chief (Westbound)

  • Fort Madison, IA — 10/27 6:25p — 5 minutes

  • Kansas City, MO — 10/27 10:00p — 42 minutes

  • Dodge City, KS — 10/28 5:13a — 6 minutes

  • La Junta, CO — 10/28 7:49a — 5 minutes

  • Raton, NM — 10/28 10:25a — 5 minutes

  • Albuquerque, NM — 10/28 3:29p — 50 minutes

  • Flagstaff, AZ — 10/28 8:32p — 6 minutes

  • San Bernardino, CA — 10/29 5:37a — 5 minutes

Coast Starlight (Northbound)

  • Santa Barbara, CA — 10/29 12:33p — 7 minutes

  • San Luis Obispo, CA — 10/29 3:22p — 13 minutes

  • San Jose, CA — 10/29 8:11p — 12 minutes

  • Oakland, CA — 10/29 9:24p — 15 minutes

  • Emeryville, CA — 10/29 9:54p — 10 minutes

  • Klamath Falls, OR — 10/30 8:07a — 10 minutes

  • Eugene, OR — 10/30 12:29p — 7 minutes

  • Portland, OR — 10/30 3:32p — 24 minutes

  • Tacoma, WA — 10/30 6:45p — 5 minutes


Appendix C: All Stops (Alphabetically)

  • AL (Birmingham) — 10/24 12:45p — 18 minutes

  • AR (Little Rock) — 10/17 11:31p — 8 minutes

  • AZ (Flagstaff) — 10/28 8:32p — 6 minutes

  • AZ (Tucson) — 10/16 7:28a — 47 minutes

  • CA (Emeryville) — 10/29 9:54p — 10 minutes

  • CA (Los Angeles) — 10/15 8:30a — 13 hours, 30 minutes

  • CA (Los Angeles) — 10/29 8:00a — 2 hours, 10 minutes

  • CA (Martinez) — 10/12 3:26p — 6 minutes

  • CA (Oakland) — 10/29 9:24p — 15 minutes

  • CA (Sacramento) — 10/12 2:13p — 12 minutes

  • CA (San Bernardino) — 10/29 5:37a — 5 minutes

  • CA (San Francisco) — 10/12 PM → 10/15 AM — 2 days; 3 nights

  • CA (San Jose) — 10/29 8:11p — 12 minutes

  • CA (San Luis Obispo) — 10/29 3:22p — 13 minutes

  • CA (Santa Barbara) — 10/29 12:33p — 7 minutes

  • CO (Denver) — 10/11 7:15a — 50 minutes

  • CO (Glenwood Springs) — 10/11 1:46p — 7 minutes

  • CO (Grand Junction) — 10/11 3:57p — 13 minutes

  • CO (La Junta) — 10/28 7:49a — 5 minutes

  • DC (Washington) — 10/7 2:33p — 31 minutes

  • DC (Washington) — 10/20 PM → 10/23 PM — 3 days; 3 nights

  • DE (Wilmington) — 10/7 12:56p — 4 minutes

  • FL (Jacksonville) — 10/8 6:39a — 20 minutes

  • FL (Kissimmee) — 10/8 10:39a — 5 minutes

  • FL (Miami) — 10/8 PM → 10/10 AM — 1 day; 2 nights

  • FL (Orlando) — 10/8 10:06a — 14 minutes

  • FL (Tampa) — 10/8 12:23p — 14 minutes

  • FL (Winter Park) — 10/8 9:38a — 5 minutes

  • GA (Atlanta) — 10/24 8:43a — 25 minutes

  • GA (Savannah) — 10/8 4:13a — 5 minutes

  • IA (Fort Madison) — 10/27 6:25p — 5 minutes

  • IL (Bloomington-Normal) — 10/18 11:01a — 7 minutes

  • IL (Champaign-Urbana) — 10/27 6:05a — 5 minutes

  • IL (Chicago) — 10/3 3:55p — 5 hours, 35 minutes

  • IL (Chicago) — 10/10 9:18a — 4 hours, 42 minutes

  • IL (Chicago) — 10/18 PM → 10/19 PM — 1 day; 1 night

  • IL (Chicago) — 10/27 9:15a — 5 hours, 35 minutes

  • IL (Springfield) — 10/18 9:50a — 5 minutes

  • IN (Indianapolis) — 10/19 11:39p — 20 minutes

  • KS (Dodge City) — 10/28 5:13a — 6 ga

  • KY (Maysville) — 10/20 4:50a — 2 minutes

  • LA (New Orleans) — 10/24 PM → 10/26 AM — 1 day; 2 nights

  • MD (Baltimore) — 10/7 1:48p — 5 minutes

  • MO (Kansas City) — 10/27 10:00p — 42 minutes

  • MO (St. Louis) — 10/18 7:24a — 31 minutes

  • MS (Greenwood) — 10/26 7:32p — 5 minutes

  • MS (Jackson) — 10/26 5:28p — 16 minutes

  • MS (Meridian) — 10/24 4:13p — 6 minutes

  • NC (Cary) — 10/7 9:13p — 10 minutes

  • NC (Charlotte) — 10/24 2:30a — 25 minutes

  • NC (Greensboro) — 10/24 12:25a — 7 minutes

  • NE (Omaha) — 10/10 10:55p — 10 minutes

  • NJ (Newark) — 10/7 11:16a — 4 minutes

  • NM (Albuquerque) — 10/28 3:29p — 50 minutes

  • NM (Raton) — 10/28 10:25a — 5 minutes

  • NV (Reno) — 10/12 8:25a — 11 minutes

  • NY (Albany-Rensselaer) — 10/4 2:31p — 1 hour, 39 minutes

  • NY (Buffalo) — 10/4 8:46a — 8 minutes

  • NY (New York) — 10/4 PM → 10/6 AM — 2 days; 3 nights

  • NY (Rochester) — 10/4 9:48a — 5 minutes

  • NY (Schenectady) — 10/4 1:53p — 6 minutes

  • NY (Syracuse) — 10/4 11:15a — 8 minutes

  • NY (Utica) — 10/4 12:15p — 5 minutes

  • OH (Cleveland) — 10/4 5:38a — 12 minutes

  • OR (Eugene) — 10/30 12:29p — 7 minutes

  • OR (Klamath Falls) — 10/30 8:07a — 10 minutes

  • OR (Portland) — 10/30 3:32p — 24 minutes

  • PA (Erie) — 10/4 7:15a — 5 minutes

  • PA (Philadelphia) — 10/7 12:28p — 5 minutes

  • SC (Greenville) — 10/24 5:24a — 7 minutes

  • TN (Memphis) — 10/26 10:20p — 20 minutes

  • TX (Alpine) — 10/16 8:35p — 10 minutes

  • TX (Austin) — 10/17 9:23a — 8 minutes

  • TX (Dallas) — 10/17 3:20p — 20 minutes

  • TX (El Paso) — 10/16 3:10p — 25 minutes

  • TX (Fort Worth) — 10/17 1:58p — 22 minutes

  • TX (Marshall) — 10/17 7:01p — 30 minutes

  • TX (San Antonio) — 10/17 4:50a — 2 hours, 10 minutes

  • UT (Salt Lake City) — 10/11 11:05p — 25 minutes

  • VA (Charlottesville) — 10/20 3:10p — 9 minutes

  • VA (Charlottesville) — 10/23 8:47p — 5 minutes

  • VA (Lynchburg) — 10/23 10:00p — 16 minutes

  • VA (Richmond) — 10/7 5:07p — 10 minutes

  • WA (Tacoma) — 10/30 6:45p — 5 minutes

  • WV (Charleston) — 10/20 8:14a — 7 minutes

  • WV (Huntington) — 10/20 7:09a — 7 minutes