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Timeshares via Amtrak

Suzy

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I have a dear friend who will not fly, but loves train travel. Has anyone visited a timeshare going on Amtrak? If so, where?

I was looking at the Amtrak site, and I was thinking of either Williamsburg, or a Colorado timeshare through the Aspen station. Can you rent a car at either of these train stations? I rented a car at the Philladelphia station, and that worked well. I suppose you can rent one through Enterprise since they have pick up/drop off, but it may depend on arrival/departure times.

We would be using the Amtrak in St. Louis, so some of the southern routes aren't very user friendly, unless we take it to New Orleans.
 

vacationhopeful

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Orlando is on a direct North/South Amtrak line as is Ft Lauderdale and Miami. Daytona Beach's station is DeLand Fl - about 25 miles inland. Daytona has lots of timeshares - many on the beach.

I went to (and graduated from) a university in DeLand (before the "rodent opened"). A lot fewer commerical airports and flights back then. And no car allowed by college students. And gas lines from the gas shortage.

Still 2 trains daily down the I-95 coast line thru DeLand.
 
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bobby

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I haven't timeshared by train, but Boston, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, NYC are on Amtrak lines. I would suspect that key eastern Canadian places like Toronto, etc are on lines. How about Chicago and Salt Lake City? There is a train that runs along the California coast near San Diego. We rode that while staying at Villa L'Auberge and went up to the monasteries where the swallows migrate through. I'd start with train schedules and work from there.
 

learnalot

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As has been pointed out, there are Amtrak lines closely aligned with the I-5 corridor on the West coast and the I-95 corridor on the East Coast. The east-west hubs are Chicago and New Orleans.
 

yumdrey

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When I go to Orlando area, I always use Amtrak, Autotrain. You bring your own car in the train (cargo area). They provide dinner and breakfast. Train leaves at 4pm and arrive at 9am next day. It is between Washington D.C and Orlando.
Also, Boston and NYC area have amtrak station near by or right in downtown.
Never tried colorado area but it sounds fun!
 

Passepartout

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Probably not necessary to have car rental at the train station. If you believe the 'Enterprise will pick you up' ads. Might not be as convenient as we've come to expect air travel to be, but whenever I deal with the hassle of flying, I sometimes wonder if it's worth it myself.

Most anywhere is accessible without flying. We cruised back from Europe a couple of months ago, and ran into a couple who had taken the Queen Mary II from New York then train from England to Rome where we departed. So most any trip is do-able without flying- if you have the time and money.

Jim
 
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kwilson

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There is a train that runs along the California coast near San Diego. We rode that while staying at Villa L'Auberge and went up to the monasteries where the swallows migrate through. I'd start with train schedules and work from there.

The swallows come back to Capistrano Mission every spring. There are timeshares in San Clemente, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Solana Beach, Del Mar, and San Diego. All SoCal coastal cities. All a short walk or a cheap cab ride from the train. We are staying now at the Wyndham Oceanside Pier Resort next to an Amtrak station. I really recommend you check them out.
 

Carolinian

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We did a timeshare by train once in the US, to a houseboat timeshare on the St. John's River just outside DeLand. Amtrak got us a lot closer to the timeshare than air travel would have, and since we would be on a houseboat, we did not need a car during the week. The resort provided free transfers if you called them to and from the train station, and also had a loaner car they would give you to drive in to buy groceries before you set out on the boat.

The other timeshare by train I did was involuntary. We had three weeks back to back in Austria, then the UK, then Ireland. While driving around in Austria, we heard on the radio a report in German on the Iceland volcano with the ominious words ''London flughaven gerschlossen'' or London airport closed. I got to an internet cafe and checked the news, confirming that and that experts expected a multi-day closure. RyanAir however did not show the flight to London cancelled yet, but I knew that was almost certainly coming. I arranged to check out of the timeshare a day early, drop the rental car in Salzburg instead of driving back to Vienna, and went to the Salzburg railway station. I won't go through the whole ordeal, but it was a near run thing to make it to England by rail given the travel madness that was then going on (starting with my initiail conversation with the ticket agent in Salzburg who told me trains were sold out and it was not possible), but I got off the Eurostar in London six hours before my scheduled flight would have landed. I missed a day of my timeshare in Austria but had an adverture I will always remember! By the time we needed to fly on to Ireland, the airports were back open. I remember going to Gatwick to pick up my rental car and seeing that vast terminal as a ghost town.

I have also done a partly by train timeshare trip returning from a summer DAE exchange on the Coast of Croatia. I got LCC flights connecting in Vienna that worked going there, but on the return, Split to Vienna did not fly on a schedule that would work, so I took the train on that leg.
 

Talent312

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With all due respect, Carolinian, train travel in Europe is a totally different head from travel via Amtrak (totally). AFAIK, Amtrak does not cross the pond. But I agree that, since European trains have these locals that stop in every produnk town, its far more do-able there.

As for Amtrak, I'd head for Whitefish, Montana.
 

Carolinian

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Although the station is a bit out of town, Charleston, SC, would also be reachable by Amtrak, as would Boston, New York, New Orleans, San Francsico, Alexandria, and San Diego. A number of Florida resort areas are reasonably close to Amtrak.

Connecting to VIA RAIL Canada can also add some further options.
 

hvsteve1

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Williamsbrg does have a stop on Amtrak.

I'm going to California next month and am researching public transit. I'll be staying in Escondido and find they have light rail service from there that meets up with commuter trains to San Diego and Los Angeles as well as Amtrak. The transit system in San Diego has bargain passes, especially for seniors, that give you unlimited used of trains, trolleys, busses, etc. We will have a rental car, but would love to avoid the infamous California freeways as we go to various tourist attractions, all of which are near public transit stops.
 

Timeshare Von

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<<snipped>>

As for Amtrak, I'd head for Whitefish, Montana.

I'm actually pondering Amtraking from Milwaukee to Glacier Nat'l Park. It looks doable and is something I think I would enjoy.

Has anyone ever done it? I wonder about the logistics once I/we arrive at the East Glacier, MT station . . . are rental cars available there . . . and how far to lodging? Ideally I'd like to timeshare there, but for this summer, it doesn't appear that there's anything available now. Maybe this will have to be a 2013 wish list trip.
 

Timeshare Von

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With all due respect, Carolinian, train travel in Europe is a totally different head from travel via Amtrak (totally). AFAIK, Amtrak does not cross the pond. But I agree that, since European trains have these locals that stop in every produnk town, its far more do-able there.

I did a TS holiday in Germany, flying into Munich and then using the rail to get to the TS (Oberstauffen) . . . and then toured that region on the rail. It was my sister & me and we had a great first time European adventure on the train!

In researching the Amtrak routes, Talent is right, there are a lot of places that "you can't get there from here" via the train.
 

vacationhopeful

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Although the station is a bit out of town, Charleston, SC, would also be reachable by Amtrak, as would Boston, New York, New Orleans, San Francsico, Alexandria, and San Diego. A number of Florida resort areas are reasonably close to Amtrak.

Connecting to VIA RAIL Canada can also add some further options.

Orlando has a station on RT 192.

Deland is 25 miles down RT17-92 to Main st and the beachfront resorts (like Wyndham Ocean Walk).

Ft Lauderdale also has a train station.

Jacksonville also has a train station.

All of these are part of the original Henry Flagler railroad - now part of Amtrak system coming from the NE (Boston or north) thru NYC, PHL, BWI, Washington, DC, Williamsburg, to Miami.
 

ronparise

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No rental cars needed either

From Washington DC's Union Station, take the metro to Old Town Alexandria...

From Penn Station in New York, The Manhattan Club

In New Orleans pack light and walk to one of several timeshare properties within a mile of the station (or a cab)
 

Superchief

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Even though I fly frequently for business, we enjoy taking trains at least one way to our timeshare destinations (chance to decompress to start a vacation). We have taken the following trips by train:
California Zephyr to Salt Lake City (45 minutes to Park City) take taxi to airport to pick up car rental
Note: This train travels on to Reno if you want to visit Lake Tahoe

Southwest Chief (Kansas City to Flagstaff) Visit Grand Canyon, Sedona, or Phoenix
Note: We have also taken this train to San Bernardino for Palm Desert timeshares, or to LA
You can take a train from STL to KCY to pick up the Southwest Chief

We will be taking the train back from Boston in May. (BOS-CHI-KCY). The station is about a mile from the Custom House

I highly recommend reserving a roomette for overnight travel. Although they are more expensive, all meals are included and you will have 'bunk beds' and privacy. The advantage of train travel is you can truly enjoy the scenery and relax.
 

Timeshare Von

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<<snipped>>
I highly recommend reserving a roomette for overnight travel. Although they are more expensive, all meals are included and you will have 'bunk beds' and privacy. The advantage of train travel is you can truly enjoy the scenery and relax.

I looked into the roomette from Milwaukee to Montana. It's sure hard to justify an additional $500 for a 30 hr trip.
 

Superchief

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I looked into the roomette from Milwaukee to Montana. It's sure hard to justify an additional $500 for a 30 hr trip.

Roomette and bedroom charges are similar to air fares. A certain number are sold at a lower price, and the price keeps going up as the rooms sell out. I have found a roomette for $120 on one day, and the next day it had gone up to $400. However, a week later it had dropped back to $120. Therefore, I suggest you keep checking or also consider modifying the dates slightly.

Amtrak reservations are available 11 months in advance. I haven't been able to figure out Amtrak's pricing patterns. Sometimes rooms are cheaper at 6 months than at 11 months in advance.
 

Timeshare Von

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Roomette and bedroom charges are similar to air fares. A certain number are sold at a lower price, and the price keeps going up as the rooms sell out. I have found a roomette for $120 on one day, and the next day it had gone up to $400. However, a week later it had dropped back to $120. Therefore, I suggest you keep checking or also consider modifying the dates slightly.

Amtrak reservations are available 11 months in advance. I haven't been able to figure out Amtrak's pricing patterns. Sometimes rooms are cheaper at 6 months than at 11 months in advance.

That's great info to have, thanks! I had no idea they played around with pricing like the airlines. I've never used Amtrak for any travel so this will be a real learning process for me, if I actually pull this off.
 

sun starved Gayle

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You should also Goggle Amtrak codes or coupons. I used to do this to bring my daughter home from college and sometimes was able to save quite a bit.
 

Carolinian

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Roomette and bedroom charges are similar to air fares. A certain number are sold at a lower price, and the price keeps going up as the rooms sell out. I have found a roomette for $120 on one day, and the next day it had gone up to $400. However, a week later it had dropped back to $120. Therefore, I suggest you keep checking or also consider modifying the dates slightly.

Amtrak reservations are available 11 months in advance. I haven't been able to figure out Amtrak's pricing patterns. Sometimes rooms are cheaper at 6 months than at 11 months in advance.

If there are last minute roomettes availible, Amtrak lets them go cheap.

In the old days, the roomettes were much cheaper. The best deal was on the Night Owl / Executive Sleeper from NYC to Washington, where a roomette was always $36, and they left cars on a siding at NYC where you could check in and go to sleep from 9 PM, then when the train came through from Boston about 2AM, they simply hooked them on and went.

Amtrak used to have a smaller private compartment called a ''slumbercoash'' with cheaper prices. Those ran about $68 between eastern North Carolina and Florida. Unfortunately, when Amtrak shed its ''herirtage fleet'' and designed new equipment, it did not invlude this class of service. Slumbercoach in those days ran about half of a regular roomette but did not include meals.
 

Timeshare Von

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More good info . . . thanks!
 

Timeshare Von

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I looked into the roomette from Milwaukee to Montana. It's sure hard to justify an additional $500 for a 30 hr trip.

OK so my trip is planned and confirmed for next week. My dates of travel changed and with that, better rates for the train ticket + roomette. The total ticket price worked out to right about $900 R/T including free meals with the roomette (private) sleeping accommodations.

I am really excited about this . . . even though the plan didn't work out exactly how I had envisioned. I will Amtrak from Milwaukee to Whitefish, MT . . . stay there for three nights/two days . . . and then hook up with my sister and nephew as they come back eastbound heading home to NoVA.

I will be writing about this adventure on IgoUgo.com and will post the link to the journal (plus photos) once I'm back.
 
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