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The last time an Amtrak train ran between Vermont and Montreal was in 1995. Now, 20 years later, the whistle is a step closer to sounding off once again. According to reports, "a significant hurdle" was cleared Monday "when the United States and Canada signed an agreement allowing the creation of a U.S. Customs facility in Montreal."
Now, the agreement isn't specifically one made for Amtrak and the aforementioned route. The new customs procedures will make transporting anything - whether it's people or goods - more streamlined when it comes to crossing the border. That said, it will no doubt have a large impact on train travel and the services provided between the two countries.
Train Travel / Sedona Travel / Arizona Travel / Adventure Travel / Verde Canyon Railroad / → All Tags
The Verde Canyon Railroad reaches its turnaround point in Perkinsville
There are endless trails that will take you into the heart of Sedona's natural beauty, but there's only one set of tracks. The Verde Canyon Railroad's depot is located a half hour southwest of Sedona and takes a slow journey through limestone canyons, red rock buttes, and river-filled ravines, providing an alternative way to leisurely take in the unique scenery of central Arizona.
The trip softly narratives the historical ties back to the days of mining the canyons, and those interested in history can certainly dive in by chatting with the historians assigned to each car. For the general interest traveler, it will be the train's scenic journey through the canyon itself that does all the talking.
Four hours in length (two hours out, two hours back along the same path), it is a pleasant train to nowhere, with each ticket providing access to an interior cart with drink and food service as well as an open-aired viewing cart.
We're known for daydreaming of future travel concepts in this neck of the woods, and one particularly nice dream revolves around the idea of reducing the time it takes to travel from one place to the other. California has debated the idea of a high-speed train from Los Angeles to San Francisco for quite some time now, but now things look to really be progressing beyond political chatter.
Known as Hyperloop, the concept is tubular train travel that allows for speeds of up to 600 miles per hour. This is the type of speed that would really aid to connect cities across our own country, reducing travel times greatly. For example, San Fran to L.A. would take about 45 minutes. Things have come so far that the company that makes Hyperloop has now began testing its technology.
But before we get too excited, there are hurdles to overcome. Here's the latest that's coming out of camp Hyperloop:
Eurail, popular with travelers looking to bounce around to multiple countries in Europe, recently announced major additions to its pass plans for 2015.
The biggest news is the addition of four new countries - Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Poland, and Serbia - that can be explored using the rail pass, bringing the total to an impressive 28 countries. That in itself is a reason to pull out a map and start considering possibilities.
Train Travel / First Class Travel / Business Class Travel / Lounges / Train Stations / SpainTravel / Barcelona Travel / → All Tags
For all the travel we do, maybe because of it, we appreciate the little joys along the way and train or plane lounges rank right up there. When we come across a modern gem like the Renfe Club Lounge at Barcelona Sants Station our heart gives a little leap: it’s a seriously cool place to chill while waiting for your train.
Entry into the lounge, which reopened on April 2 of this year after a major overhaul, takes a Club, First-Class or Grand Comfort class ticket. Once you’re in you can choose from at least five different areas to park it, all with a different look and feel. There’s a self-serve drinks area with a few complimentary snacks as well – nothing spectacular, but enough to get you through until you board your train and can enjoy the first-class treatment on board.
(Want to see more? Check out the photo gallery!)
Train Travel / Amsterdam Travel / Paris Travel / Thalys / France Travel / Netherlands Travel / Europe Travel / → All Tags
The Eurostar and the French TGV may take up most of the spotlight of Europe’s high-speed rail network, but there are other options for zooming through the continent’s patchwork of countries, depending on where you go. There is the sleek, white, and German ICE and, if you’re looking to travel between Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris, the shiny, red Thalys.
Thalys reduces Amsterdam to Paris, a 316-mile, 5-hour drive, to almost three hours flat (ok, 3 hours and 14 minutes) of high-speed comfort. It runs between Amsterdam Central Station and Paris Gare du Nord, giving you the advantage of city center to city center travel too. Stops along the way include Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Brussels.
The train to plane options over at London-Gatwick are about to get much improved, as officials are spending big bucks to make the transition from rail to air that much better.
Work will be ongoing for quite some time, as the plan is get things done in time for 2020. The investment will upgrade and improve the airport’s train station, and that means way better public transportation options to and from the terminals and concourses.
Weird Travel / Train Travel / Santa Claus / Christmas Travel / Holiday Travel / Photoshop / CSX / → All Tags
Have you heard about the airplane atop a New York City skyscraper? It’s not going anywhere, and we’ve already detailed its whole story, but it seems as though that fun addition has inspired another rooftop runway on the other side of the country.
CSX Corporation, the rail-based transportation company based in Jacksonville, Florida, has supposedly painted a stubby runway on their roof. Runway “SC” (as in Santa Claus) is too short for any actual airplanes, but it's just right for a fat man in a red suit and sleigh. There’s even a faux conspiracy website propagating the CSX folklore that Santa actually delivers his gifts with the help of CSX trains.
Burma Field Trip / Myanmar Field Trip / Burma Travel / Myanmar Travel / Train Travel / Yangon Travel / Southeast Asia Travel / Travel Tips / → All Tags
A typical view
It seems like everyone and their moms are going to Burma. Or is it Myanmar? (For the answer, see here.) Thanks to political and humanitarian reforms of the last several years, this Southeast Asian country is more open than ever to tourism. Over the next week or so, Jaunted's Julia Buckley will be sharing her tips and experiences as a traveler in Burma without a tour group and without memorizing a guidebook, but with common sense and open eyes on a Burma Field Trip.
Yesterday we talked about how to get around Burma. You may have already decided, as so many people have done before you, that flying internally in Myanmar is dangerous, but the overnight train is intrepid and romantic.
You would be wrong.
You would be wrong.
Certain sections of the internet are aglow with fond accounts of train travel in Burma. It’s the only way to travel like a local, they say. Making the 16hr journey to Mandalay is the way to see the country and its people. Sure, it rocks and rolls a bit, on its tiny ancient narrow gauge railway, but that’s part of the fun.
They’re right on the first two. They’re wrong on the second. It doesn’t just rock and roll. It lurches, which isn’t so bad, it shrieks and screeches, which is atmospheric, but then it jumps. As in, actually jumps off the rails and bounces around. If you’re in a seat, then it’s just incredibly, worryingly painful. But if you’re in a sleeperwhich most tourists are advised to takeyou will find yourself, no exaggeration, airborne.
Travel Tech / WiFi / In-Flight WiFi / Gogo / TMobile / Train Travel / Amtrak / ICE / DeutscheBahn / On-Track WiFi / → All Tags
Did you know that today, October 29, is National Cat Day? Well it's also International Internet Day, which is a perfect coincidence if we don't say so ourselves. On this day in 1969, the first electronic message was sent over ARPANET. It's this network that developed into the internet we know and use today, no matter where we are traveling in the world.
As Ebola headlines dominate the mainstream news, Malaysia Airlines has been busier than ever. Still in the midst of a search-and-recovery operation for MH370, the airline is also going through a number of structural and ownership changes. To catch you up, here are the latest updates:
• After unveiling its new plan at the end of August, the airline's majority shareholder, Khazanah Nasional, is attempting to buy out all minority shareholders. If the offer is accepted, Malaysia Airlines would become privatized.
Train Travel / Fall Travel / New York State Travel / Amtrak / Trains / Fall Foliage Travel / → All Tags
In case you haven’t checked the calendar, today is the first day of October, and to us that means that the fall foliage season is officially underway. Sure the colors of autumn are just starting to show, but that hasn’t kept Amtrak from planning on how best to show passengers a good time.
Amtrak is bringing what they call the Great Dome Car to the upstate New York fleet which, as you can imagine, allows for greater viewing of the outdoors while comfortably seated indoors.