Pros: RELAXING!!!! Just a laid back way to travel!
Cons: Often late, but my last trip on Amtrak we arrived 10 minutes early!
I wished I would have found or used Amtrak earlier in my life. Flying has become just so much of a hassle. Both of my trips on Amtrak have gone well and they were very enjoyable.
My girlfriend and I took the California Zephyr from Lincoln NE to Emeryville CA. (San Fran) We enjoyed the trip all the way. Since it was our first trip on Amtrak, we decided to book an airline for our way home and we were kinda bummed we had done that. If you have the time, Amtrak is a very relaxing way to travel, get to know people, see great scenery and just generally "chill"! We liked riding the rails so much that we booked another trip on Amtrak 2 months after we returned. We went from Lincoln NE to Glenwood Springs CO in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. The town is small enough that you don't need a rental car and the train station is so convienent to everything you would like to do in a mountain resort town. Well...we liked the train again so much that we are returning to Glenwood Springs on Labor Day weekend with my girlfriends two children. We have ridden coach (the cheapest) and was quite comfortable. We have slept in a roomette (very small but an inexpensive bedroom aboard Amtrak) and been in the Bedroom to San Francisco. (quite pricey, but roomier than a roomette by alot and you have your own toilet and in room shower) The employees of Amtrak have for the most part been very good on the Zephyr. A couple stand out: Lester a conductor out of Denver that does the CZ from Denver to Omaha and back. He was great! Told us the week before our first Amtrak trip (we had gone down and hung out at the station to see what a Superliner looked like right up close)that to "expect not to be on time" and to "keep your expectations of Amtrak modest", he explained that the rail line is funded quite poorly and they do the beset they can with what little they have. He told us "if you keep your expectations modest of Amtrak, we will surely exceed your expectations and you will be riding with us soon!" He was so "right on the mark" with that comment. WE think Amtrak is kinda "punk rock!" Its not fancy looking, its low budget, its not the most popular way of transportation avenues, but it sure is fun!!!! Remember, The Ramones were "punk rock" and they were cool!!!!!