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Abstract

  • Practice journey within the US will be aggressive with street journeys in price, particularly contemplating sleeper choices and gas costs.
  • Trains provide a nostalgic and stress-free technique to journey, whereas street journeys present extra versatile exploration alternatives.
  • Whereas a cross-country prepare journey could also be cheaper than a street journey, further prices for meals and lodging can add up quickly.


In comparison with a lot of the world, the price of gasoline in the US is comparatively low-cost, whereas the price of prepare journey is relatively costly. However does that imply that trains are all the time dearer than street journeys in the US? It seems that American prepare journeys can nonetheless be aggressive with street journeys (with just a few caveats).

The nationwide long-distance prepare operator in the US is Amtrak. Amtrak connects 46 states and three Canadian provinces and sooner or later, Amtrak will be offering a number of high-speed train routes. The sleeper accommodations onboard long-distance Amtrak trains could make it a soothing different to driving lengthy distances, however that does not essentially imply prepare journey is cheaper than a street journey.



Trains Vs Street Journeys An Different However Very Completely different Means To Journey

Trains provide a nostalgic and stress-free technique to journey, whereas street journeys are extra versatile

Road Trip sign with road background
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Street Journey signal with street background

In keeping with AAA Gasoline Costs, the average cost of gasoline per gallon was $3.63 for normal gasoline in April 2024. Which means that the direct gas prices of touring by street on some routes are just like prepare journey. For instance, a automobile that will get 27 miles per gallon will price round $24 to drive the 175 miles from Seattle to Portland, Oregon. The Amtrak ticket for a similar route is $27 for Coach Class.

  • Value of Gasoline: $3.63 per gallon (common)

Evaluating the price of a street journey with a prepare journey is a bit difficult. Some trains are in a single day trains, so passengers can select to sleep of their coach class seats or improve to a Roomette or Bed room for the evening. These going by automobile really want to get a lodge for the evening (though tenting and even free tenting could also be choices).


One of many largest limitations of prepare journey in the US is the comparative lack of handy and low-cost mass transit on the locations. These getting off a prepare will usually discover it troublesome to discover with out a automobile until they’re exploring the bigger cities like NYC, Chicago, and the Bay Space.

One choice is to get a tour, however this provides considerably to the expense.

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Here’s How Much A Scenic West Coast Train Trip Will Cost

Expertise one of the best of the West Coast on Amtrak’s West Coast Spectacular prepare journey down the Pacific Coast.

Maine To California Coast To Coast Street Journey

A ten-day Portland (ME) to LA street journey will price approx. $1,620 to $2,000 together with approx. $517 for gasoline

An epic coast-to-coast 10-day road trip from Portland, Maine to Los Angeles, California can count on to price round $1,620 to over $2,000 for gas, meals (budgeting on a meals allowance of $40 per day), and price range lodging. The direct price of gas is round $517.

Scenic highway in Monument Valley Tribal Park on the Arizona-Utah border
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Scenic freeway in Monument Valley Tribal Park on the Arizona-Utah border

Street Journey: Portland, ME to Los Angeles:

  • Gas: Approx. $517
  • Complete Prices: Approx. $1,600 to over $2,000 for a 10-day journey


Bills are estimated for single vacationers. The common price per traveler on a street journey drops when shared with different street trippers, however stays considerably fixed when touring by prepare.

A few of these bills will be diminished by spending extra time driving and due to this fact decreasing the estimated 11-day journey.

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Maine To California Coast To Coast Practice Journey

A 3-day nonstop prepare journey from Portland (ME) to LA will price from $274 plus meals and transfers

It’s attainable to guide an Amtrak ticket from Portland, Maine to Los Angeles, California. However strap in, that is going to be a protracted experience. The journey is cut up into three trains and takes some 77 hours and 43 minutes or over three days of nonstop prepare journey.

Skyline with Amtrak Midwest passenger train railway near Union Station in Chicago, United States.
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Skyline with Amtrak Midwest passenger prepare railway close to Union Station in Chicago, United States.

  • Length: 77 hours 43 minutes (3.5 days)

Amtrak: Portland, ME to Los Angeles:

  • Coach Class: From $274
  • Enterprise Class: From $286
  • Personal Room: From $1,587


This advised itinerary theoretically makes prepare journey cheaper than a street journey. The Amtrak Coach-class ticket begins at $274 — significantly under the anticipated $517 price of gasoline for a similar route. Amtrak Coach-class tickets don’t embody complimentary meals (though Private Rooms do include meals and other perks).

Passengers have the choice of packing their very own meals to cut back bills or buying their meals on Amtrak (or a combination of each).

Amtrak provides many
vacation packages
that embody excursions and lodge lodging, though these are usually dearer than a street journey.

Surprisingly, Amtrak lists Enterprise Class tickets for this route as ranging from $286.

Personal Rooms for the Portland, Maine to Los Angeles route begin at $1,587 — which is on the decrease finish of the anticipated price of the street journey. However that is nonetheless not corresponding to the street journey listed above (with its reckoned on a 10-day journey). On a street journey, individuals are free to discover and uncover numerous sights en route. This prepare journey is simply on the prepare with no exploring.


That being mentioned, it’s attainable to interrupt the prepare journey into segments and discover. However this won’t solely drive up the price of the prepare ticket, it would additionally add extra bills for motels and maybe the price of renting a automobile.

In relation to epic prepare journeys, the US has many coast-to-coast train journeys to select from plus many different scenic and worldwide journeys. However it would usually work out cheaper to have a street journey (particularly when the prices are shared with others within the automobile).

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