North America Rail Tour

In early 1998, VIA Rail Canada and Amtrak offered a joint North America Rail Pass for the first time, available to visitors from abroad and North Americans alike. It was the chance we had been waiting for. Discover America - Best By Train! For less than $30 a day!

Justin and Craig left Toronto on Saturday 18 April to explore the continent for 30 days. It would have be nice to hop from city to city on a whim, taking whichever train came along first - the way people do with a Eurailpass. But that's just not possible in North America. First, the continent is about four times bigger than western Europe, and we wanted to see as much of it as we could within a month. And the rail service really is very sparse. Miss a train? Come back tomorrow for the next one. On some lines, make that two or even three days later. This was, therefore, the most carefully planned trip either of us had ever taken.

  • Itinerary
  • The Canadian
  • Vancouver
  • Free Drinks on the Mount Baker
  • Seattle
  • The Coast Starlight
  • Salinas, Monterey, The Hearst Castle
  • San Francisco and Silicon Valley
  • Keep Away from Macarthur Park
  • Hollywood
  • Disneyland
  • San Diego
  • The Grand Canyon
  • The Southwest Chief
  • The Gateway Arch
  • Land of Lincoln
  • Amtrak Immobile, Amtrak Aloft
  • The Northeast Corridor
  • Williamsburg
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Kudzu Confederacy: The Crescent
  • New Orleans
  • Up the Mississippi on the City of New Orleans
  • Chicago
  • Oak Park and Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Return to Toronto


[places] 2000 02 20 Justin Bur