The Amtrak Crescent Train Ride: My Journey from New York to Atlanta to New Orleans

There are few things in life as thrilling as an Amtrak train ride. 

My first time on the tracks was a 20-hour journey from New York to New Orleans, and it was nothing short of magical. 

Train travel is a classic experience packed with history, comfort, and style. 

There’s something so unique about watching the world go by through a window while sipping on complimentary drinks and nibbling on snacks. 

The sights, sounds, and smells are more intense than you can ever imagine! 

Although I had heard many stories about train travel, it wasn’t until I experienced it for myself that I truly understood its magic. 

If you’re curious about what an Amtrak train ride feels like, keep reading for my insider tips.

Whether you’re planning on visiting New Orleans or just a big fan of trains, read on for everything you need to know about taking an Amtrak Crescent Train ride!

What to Expect on Your First Amtrak Crescent Train Ride?

Amtrak is one of the most popular trains in the U.S, and the Crescent route is one of the most iconic. 

A ride on Amtrak’s Crescent train will take you from New York to New Orleans in just over two days. 

Your ride will get interrupted a few times to change trains and pass through different states, but it will be a smooth ride the entire way. 

Since there are no set departure or arrival times, you can plan your trip to match your schedule. 

The train ride itself will take about 40 hours, with the average passenger spending about six hours each day on the train. 

If you want to make your trip as smooth as possible, here are a few things you can do to get ready.

Tips for a Smooth Amtrak Crescent Train Ride

There are a few things you can do before you board the train to make your trip even better. 

Give yourself plenty of time. 

The train isn’t the type of vehicle that you can just rush onto. 

You’ll have to take your time, and if you don’t, you’ll probably miss the train. 

Amtrak trains often fill up quickly, especially if they are on a popular route. 

Make sure you give yourself enough time to purchase tickets, pass through security, and board your train. 

Know what you’re looking for. 

If this is your first time taking Amtrak, you’ll want to know what train car to look for. 

First of all, you want to get a seat near the center of the car so you can take in the views on both sides. 

You’ll also want to find a car that isn’t too loud or too quiet. Depending on your trip, you may want to sit near the bathroom or the snack bar. 

If you’re not sure where to sit on your first ride, just ask one of the attendants. 

Be prepared for delays. 

This is a given for any mode of transportation, but it’s something you need to be prepared for nonetheless. 

Amtrak riders can expect delays at any time, and since the trains aren’t exactly speedy, you can expect to sit around a lot. 

Depending on the type of train you’re riding on, you might even have to change trains midway through your journey.

Things to Know Before You Go on Amtrak Crescent

Each state has different rules. 

One of the few downsides of train travel is that every state has different rules. 

For example, one state may not allow you to bring your car on the train while another might not allow pets. 

Make sure you know the rules for the state you’re traveling to before you get on the train. 

Amtrak trains have various levels of service. 

Depending on the type of train you’re riding on and the type of ticket you have, your experience may vary. 

For example, the New York to New Orleans route has three tiers of service. 

If you want a more luxurious ride, you can pay a little more for Business Class. 

If you want to travel more affordably, you can choose to ride in coach. 

The onboard WiFi may not work. 

Since Amtrak is government-funded, it doesn’t always have the best technology. 

If you’re counting on WiFi to keep you entertained during the long train ride, you may be disappointed.

How’s the Inside Scoop on the Amtrak Crescent Train?

The Amtrak Crescent train goes from New York City to New Orleans with a few stops in between. 

There are several options for different train ride tickets, but the most popular is the regular one which costs $210. 

The ride takes around 40 hours and stops in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and several other cities. 

The Crescent train is a lot like a cruise ship when it comes to the lounges. 

There are several different lounges that you can visit during your ride, including the Café Car, Observation Car, and the Dining Car. 

The Café Car is a casual dining area where you can order snacks and light meals. 

The Observation Car is a casual space with a bar where you can enjoy a drink and look out the window. 

The Dining Car is a more formal dining room where you can get a full meal.

What are the Food and Drink Options on the Amtrak Crescent Train?

The Café Car and the Dining Car both offer light snacks and beverages. In the Café Car, you can order coffee, tea, smoothies, snacks, and desserts. 

In the Dining Car, you can order full meals. If you want something a little fancier, you can order room service. 

Keep in mind that you will have to pay extra for room service. 

The six-hour mark is a great time to order a snack, especially if you’re planning on taking a long nap during the ride.

How is the Experience by Train on Amtrak Crescent from New York to New Orleans?

My first journey by train was a long one. I traveled from New York to New Orleans, a journey that took me just over two days. 

The first leg of my trip was from Union Station in New York City to Washington, D.C. I had never been to D.C. before, so I found the experience to be quite fascinating. 

The Amtrak train ride from New York City to Washington, D.C. was about four hours, and though it was long, it was also very relaxing. 

The majority of the ride was spent looking out the window and taking in the sights. 

There were also a few breaks when we were permitted to get off the train and stretch our legs. 

The second leg of my trip took me from Washington, D.C. to New Orleans. 

This ride was a lot shorter than the first, lasting only around three and a half hours. 

I was disappointed when my train ride was over. I had enjoyed it so much that I had wished it had lasted a bit longer.

What’s so special about Amtrak Crescent?

Did you know that New Orleans is one of the few cities in the world where you can catch a train directly from the airport to the city center? 

Well, it’s true! 

The Amtrak Crescent Train runs from New York City all the way to New Orleans, stopping at several locations in between. 

Once I found out about this neat little service, I knew I had to take advantage of it and see what the train ride from NYC to NOLA was like. 

Today, the Amtrak Crescent train still whisks passengers between New York and New Orleans, though at a slower pace than before. 

In fact, the current version of this famous train is hardly recognizable from its original form. 

Once known for being one of the fastest trains in the country, the Crescent now trundles through small towns and rural landscapes instead of bustling metropolises. 

But it wasn’t always that way. 

The original Crescent Train was built in 1901 as an alternative to steamships that traveled up and down the Mississippi River. 

It was also a response to competition from the Great Northern Railway, which had begun offering direct services between New York and New Orleans via Richmond in 1900.

Conclusions on Amtrak Crescent

The train ride from New York City to New Orleans was one of my most memorable experiences. 

It was a journey filled with excitement and wonder. 

I loved getting the chance to see a part of the country I hadn’t been to before, and I loved the way the train ride allowed me to slow down and spend time with myself.

Brandon York
Brandon York
Articles: 28

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