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    15 US Train Trips That'll Make You Swear Off Air Travel Forever

    The best way to travel the country.

    Hannah Wong / @emmaduehr / / Getty Images

    1. California Zephyr: Chicago to San Francisco

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    This train route travels through the heart of the country, crossing so many different terrains. The whole journey takes more than two days, though you always have the option to hop off for a day or two. You'll go through the peaks of the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevadas, as well as the flat plains further east. If you want to get a taste of the real heart of America, this is the journey for you. Turn it into a full cross-country trip by first taking the Lakeshore Limited route from NYC to Chicago.

    Duration: 51 hours

    Cost: $232

    2. Sunset Limited: New Orleans to Los Angeles

    3. Adirondack: New York City to Montreal

    4. Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

    5. Cascades: Oregon to Vancouver

    6. Pacific Surfliner: San Diego to Los Angeles

    7. White Pass & Yukon Route: Alaska and Canada

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    This Alaskan train route is made up of a bunch of different journeys, each more scenic than the last. The vintage train cars pass mountains, lakes, and glaciers, and have breathtaking panoramic views along the whole route. Trips can be combined with hikes or overnight camping to take it to the next level.

    Duration: 2–10 hours, depending on which journey you take

    Cost: from $129

    8. Grand Canyon Railway

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    This train journey is a great way to visit the Grand Canyon without having to worry about parking. It leaves from a station near Flagstaff, Arizona, and travels north to the rim of the canyon, passing through open plains and pine forests along the way. And if you go on the first Saturday of the month, the train is pulled by a vintage steam locomotive!

    Duration: 2 hours each way

    Cost: $82 round trip

    9. Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

    10. Coast Starlight: Los Angeles to Seattle

    11. Empire Builder: Chicago to Seattle

    12. Capitol Corridor: San Jose to Sacramento

    13. Alaska Coastal Classic: Anchorage to Seward

    14. Empire Service: New York City to Albany

    15. Lake Shore Limited: Boston to Chicago