Romancing the Rails: A Trip on the Empire Builder
Where to get onboard
Chicago's Union Station represents the center of Amtrak's national rail system. Short routes link multiple Midwest cities, and longer tours, including scenic journeys to the West Coast, connect the country. For Amtrak's schedules, rates and seating/lodging options, call (800) 872-7245 or visit amtrak.com.
Empire Builder travels through the Upper Midwest to Portland/Seattle. One-way tickets from Chicago to Seattle for two adults sharing a bedroom with in-room shower and toilet cost about $1,800. Coach seats from about $210 each.
California Zephyr ventures across Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska through the heart of the Rockies to Emeryville, near San Francisco.
Southwest Chief angles through Kansas City, the Kansas plains and the southern Rockies to Los Angeles.