Crowd-funded epic journey across America by train

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13 Responses to “Crowd-funded epic journey across America by train”

  1. Bart says:

    In this case, is crowd sourcing actually getting other people to pay for your vacation?

  2. goldenearth says:

    Except for the train part, this sort of thing has been already done by famed writer JACK KEROUAC back in the late 1940s and 1950s, accompanied by (“the fastest man alive”) Neal Cassady, who would later in 1964 accompany Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters in a wild, psychedelic bus trip around and across America – all the while making movies and making audio tapes of their journey

    I’ve made a few cross country journeys by car, train and bus and they’ve always been full of fun and interesting people. I fully support “Skippy” in his exploration of America’s “infrastructure” (I think the actual infrastructure of the USA is located somewhere in Denver, Colorado) but also would like to warn him not to take the trip all that seriously. After all, it is a trip – and trips should be fun

    I’d like to add that though it’s an heroic idea to gather “every detail of this trip” this can really only be done from the traveler’s viewpoint. In other words, all informational input is filtered through the observer, in this case “Skippy” – even the greatest writers and documentarians have trouble delineating various human aspects of Time and Place

  3. Years ago, I traveled on the train with a school teacher from Louisiana who was traveling around the outside of the US on the train.  Sounds great to me.  We have been fighting for the return of the southern route in Montana because trains are efficient and fun!

  4. Conor Quinn says:

    I made the same journey twelve years ago. I watched the country turn from marshy bayous to stubble plain to rocky desert from the observation car over the course of three days of nonstop travel. I slept in the seats. The canteen car gave out free hot water which I used to make cup noodles. As we passed through Texas a local Native American cultural organisation got on board and spent a day with the passengers presenting and demonstrating old tools and artefacts they let us handle.

    At the time a thirty day ticket cost about three hundred dollars. The cup noodles cost nothing and the seats were gratis. It was a great journey I would recommend anyone to make. There weren’t many lines left then, only one going from New Orleans to LA as far as I remember. It’s a pity trains aren’t used much there anymore. They built the country after all.

    • TheMadLibrarian says:

      Try looking up AMTRAK or VIA (Canadian Rail) websites.  You might be pleasantly surprised at what’s available.  A sadness: AMTRAK used to operate a run from LA to Orlando via New Orleans, but Katrina destroyed the tracks past New Orleans, and they show no signs of restoring the route.

  5. Don says:

    Off the topic of travel:  Union Pacific has a couple of steam trains still operating.  You can check http://www.up.com/aboutup/special_trains/steam/trace.cfm to see their locations in real time, which would let you be waiting trackside to take pictures or just enjoy.

  6. Dan Allard says:

    Tangentially related: Anyone know how one might charter a train car? I’ve tried a few sites dedicated to train charters but none are here in North America AFAICT.

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