The gentle sway of train travel evokes feelings of nostalgia and romance as you glide past miles of majestic scenery, from oceans to vineyards to mountains.
Passengers on U.S. overnight trains will find some new services and routes to add to the appeal of rail travel this year. Also noteworthy: Amtrak is accelerating plans to modernize and replace its entire fleet of overnight trains across the country for the first time in 40 years. The railway says the new overnight trains are still in the works, but plans include improving accessibility and efficiency for the long-distance network.
Canadian company VIA Rail is on a similar track. In January, the railway announced plans to renew its existing long-distance fleet. The company is looking for a supplier to design and manufacture new cars, and the project will hopefully start this year.
Currently, Amtrak provides coach seats, private rooms and dining options on its 14 overnight trains. The Rocky Mountaineer (listed below) offers similar services. Of course, accommodations vary by train, and fares vary by season and time of booking.
Here are three overnight train journeys to consider (all prices are one way).
Train: Rocky Mountaineer
Route: Between Denver and Moab, Utah
The Canadian company’s newest train route in the U.S. travels through the Southwest from April through October. Passengers don’t sleep aboard the train, but in a hotel in the hot-springs town of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, before reaching Moab. Daylight travel includes crossing the Continental Divide and riding alongside the Colorado River, snowcapped peaks and red-rock canyons while sipping signature cocktails.
Cost: Prices start at $1,456 for one person including hotel room and some meals. Note: Rocky Mountaineer does not offer senior rates, but check the website for promotions.
Train: City of New Orleans, Amtrak
Route: Between Chicago and New Orleans