Saturday, February 28, 2009

Train Ride

Living on the West Coast, there's not much opportunity to take the train for travel. I have taken Metrolink to work before but that's only ~30 minutes. I don't think I've been on a long train ride ever. Since cities are so far apart, everyone either drives for short trips or fly for longer trips. I did check with Amtrak for trains from Los Angeles to Portland, The entire trip takes ~30 hours and the fare is ~$100 for a single seat; for an additional $200, you can get a roomette that seats up to 2 people. So if I'm traveling with someone, it costs ~$200/person (one-way) for sleeper seats. I think it takes so long to travel the ~900 miles because there are 22 stops from Los Angeles Union Station to Portland.

Looking online, I found some train schedules for China. Specifically, train number T8 which departs Chengdu and arrives in Beijing after ~25 hours; total distance traveled is ~2000 km or about 1200 miles. Fares for the soft sleeper (4 to a room) is ~$100. A flight back to Chengdu from Beijing only takes <3 hours and costs $150. That sounds like an interesting trip and a good way to see the Chinese countryside. Maybe I'll plan that into my next trip to China.

I'll need to make sure that I have a reserved seat.

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