The Longest Amtrak Routes You Can Book

A Train Coming Down The Tracks. Photo by Stephen Mease on Unsplash

A Train Coming Down The Tracks. Photo by Stephen Mease on Unsplash

Ever since I was a kid, I remember being fascinated by the hobos that would hop the railyard fences and ride a train off into the west. Due to the immense success that The Longest Greyhound Route post received, I figured it would be appropriate to cover the Longest Amtrak Routes.

Amtrak Route Map

Amtrak Route Map (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Similar to the Amtrak Post, I’m going to list out what appear to be the furthest route combinations based on their route map. From my observations, it appears that these are the longest routes, in time, that you can take.

Longest Amtrak Rides
Start End Time Cost
Vancouver New York 109h 28m $319.00
San Diego Boston 108h 58m $279.00
Vancouver New Orleans 104h 2m $338.00
Los Angeles Boston 102h 58m $242.00
Oklahoma City Vancouver 89h 50m $268.00
Montreal San Diego 77h 20m $310.00
Vancouver San Diego 43h 30m $156.00

Most of these grueling trips will route you thru Chicago. The California Zephyr (Chicago – San Francisco) is the longest, single continual route, checking in at an astonishing 2,438 miles. The most popular route from New York City is the Silver Star, traveling 1,522 miles to Miami, Florida.

I’d often dreamed of going West to see the country, always vaguely planning and never taking off. – On The Road by Jack Kerouac

Is Amtrak for everybody? Probably not. From what I’ve read there can be delays due to cargo trains getting priority for the rails, bad food, noisy neighbors, and much more. However, just think about all those ‘issues’ and how many times you’ve encountered them in air travel. Amtrak’s blog is super useful with what to bring in order to sleep comfortably in coach on these cross country trips.

Perhaps 2016 will be the year that I take an Amtrak across country from Pittsburgh to San Diego. Or possibly one of the longest Amtrak routes mentioned above.

Know any longer routes on Amtrak? Leave a comment below and we’ll update the post.


Life-Long Learner, Explorer, & Web Developer. Currently a Software Engineer at Jazz.

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