Established readers of this silly blog may remember my 2006 journey to Los Angeles via Amtrak. It took just over 50 hours to travel from Dallas to Los Angeles, but I enjoyed it so much that I've decided to take another rail trip.
Recently I booked a sleeper on Amtrak's Crescent service from New Orleans to New York. Getting a good price on Amtrak tends to be a chore, as the cheapest fares are to be had by logging into amtrak.com and booking/paying directly at the site. Generally, the further in advance you make your reservation, the cheaper your fare will be. But you can check fares for every day of a certain week and get different fares for almost every day, even if you're booking two months in advance. This is how I ended up with a departure in late October.
It's also why I decided to pick up the train in Houston instead of Dallas. There are several reasons, really: it provides an opportunity to rendezvous with Darren*, and I won't be stuck in a rail station in San Antonio for half a night waiting to pick up the New Orleans service. There are some comfy bus services between Dallas and Houston. And it made a bigger dent in the rail fare than I expected.
For those who have never taken a long-distance Amtrak route, this article is well worth a read. Even if you don't plan to ever do so, you may understand GERFs (glassy-eyed rail fanatics) like me a bit better. And the Crescent will get me from New Orleans to NYC in just 30 hours.
* See The Usual Suspects.