What should we do on an 8-hour Amtrak ride with our train-loving kid?
February 18, 2014 10:12 AM Subscribe
My family is taking a trip this weekend up on Amtrak from Richmond, VA to New Haven, CT, on the Northeast Regional. My 9-year-old son loves trains, but has never been on Amtrak. How can I make this the Best Trip Ever for him?
posted by QuantumMeruit to Travel & Transportation (21 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I have taken the Northeast Regional many, many time between Richmond and DC, and several times up to Philly or New York. So it's all a bit of old hat to me, and I'm trying to figure out what to point out and do with my train-loving kid on the trip.
So I will definitely point out the switch from diesel to electric at DC, we'll check out the snack bar and hopefully the conductor will be friendly. (On our southbound return trip, we're booked on the Silver Star, just so we can get him to have a meal in a "better" dining car.)
But beyond that, what other railfan-type stuff should we try to do or spot on the trip? We'll have laptops and Internet access (beyond the onboard wifi), if that helps.
My nine-year-old was really into Thomas the Tank Engine as a little kid, but, unlike his older brother, he never outgrew it. He has been assembling a bunch of LEGO trains he received this past Christmas, and he's endlessly watched some train documentaries on TV. Rides on the DC Metro, the Chicagoland L and Metrarail, and even airport transit trans were lots of fun. But he currently doesn't express a lot of rail knowledge beyond "I like trains. Trains are cool. We don't use steam engines any more." (NTTAWWT.) Can you hope us and him on our journey?