Part 3 - The ultimate imagined NFL tour by rail
Updated: May 19, 2020
Just to add that the NFL fixtures for the 2020 season are out now. However, I don't think it has yet been decided which particular games have been assigned to the Monday and Friday night slots...
Monday 23rd September
Another day to spend in Kansas City, then re-board the South Western Chief to LA at 22:42, segment 7 of the rail pass. Here is the link to a great YouTube video covering the whole of this journey, featured at the end of part 2, in case you missed it. Probably worth paying the $300 for your own roomette again, as you are going to be on the train for two nights and various meals will also be included with this. For now, get some rest, tomorrow is a full day on the train.
Tuesday 24th September
Sit back and relax all day on the train as you roll West, on one of the epic train journeys across the North American continental divide.
Wednesday 25th September
You should be rolling into LA Union station at about 8 in the morning. Take a chance to look around this station as it is quite a spectacular building; as you booked a roomette you can also use the Amtrak Lounge as well. From here you can catch the Surfliner train right down to San Diego if you like, it takes about 2-3 hours. Since the 'San Diego' Chargers have relocated to LA a couple of years ago, not much point going there as far as seeing football goes. However, you might like to go on a day trip, as we are going to be in LA for a few days, I have put a YouTube link to the journey here; it is a very nice trip to look at anyhow. I have also put a speeded up drivers eye view of the trip here, if you want to see the trip in just a few minutes. There is is also a similar version of the Surfliner journey here on its route running South from San Luis Obispo to Los Angeles, which in reverse, forms part of the route we will be taking when we leave Los Angeles.
Thursday 26th September to Saturday 28th September
Three full days to spend in LA and surrounding area, don’t forget on a Saturday or Sunday you can ride the Metrolink local train services all day for just $10, a more limited service, but still great value.
Sunday 29th September
LA Rams v Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the LA Memorial Coliseum. The stadium comes with a lot of history; think 1932 and 1984 Olympics and is certainly interesting to visit. It does also have its detractors, as it perhaps feels somewhat dated as a 21st Century Football venue. Indeed from 2020 the Rams will be moving to the new purpose built $5Bn SoFi stadium in Inglewood, which they will be sharing with the Chargers; this is probably a last chance to see an NFL game in the great old stadium. That day you would have been rewarded with an absolute crazy points-fest of a game as the Buccaneers win 40 to 55. An sign early in the season that the Rams were probably not going to make it back to the Superbowl that season.
Monday 30th September
You would have probably been looking forward to this one, as we would have caught the 10:10 Coast Starlight for a day an a half trip right up the West Coast to Seattle. Video highlight link from YouTube here, so I will let that do the talking, but this is often ranked in the top 10 train rides in the world. I am going to baulk at the extra $600 it would be for a roomette for the night, but probably worth checking in your main baggage in the baggage car and paying what seems like the good value of $60 for a larger business seat. This would give you a bit more chance of some sleep overnight and also a few complementary snacks and drinks.
Tuesday October 1st
All day on the train, just taking in the views, overnight we would have passed by San Francisco and the Bay Area, but wake up in the morning with views of 14,179 ft Mount Shasta right in the North of California while you have breakfast. We then carry on through Oregon and Washington State during the day, arriving at Seattle just before 8 in the evening, where you can spend that $600 you saved on the roomette, on a decent hotel for your 4 nights in Seattle.
Wednesday and Thursday 2nd and 3rd of October
Friday 4th October
Into week 5 of the NFL season, game 6 for us. It is at CenturyLink Field to see the LA Rams come up to take on the Seattle Seahawks. This divisional encounter ends in a typically tight finish with a 30-29 win for the Seahawks.
Saturday 5th October
We have now used 8 of our 18 Amtrak segments so far and are 29 days into our 45 day pass. Today is segment 9 and we would have partially retraced our steps back down the West Coast to catch the Coast Starlight South to San Jose. Leaving at the agreeable time of 09:45 in the morning we are going to be on the train until 09:55 tomorrow morning. Again, I would probably forgo the $450 extra for a roomette and go for a business seat again, for a more modest $50 extra.
Sunday 6th October
We arrive into San Jose at around 10 in the morning. The point of all this would have been to attend Tuesday nights game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Cleveland Browns. The 49ers now play at Levi stadium in nearby Santa Clara.
Monday 7th October
Is a spare day; you are within striking distance of getting up to San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area for the day, on local transport.
Tuesday 8th October
A big game this evening but a free day to perhaps visit some of the various Giant Redwood preserves or parks nearby. In the evening you would have seen the 49ers relatively easily roll over the Browns 31 – 3, just another routine step for the 49ers on the way to the Superbowl that season.
So that is it for part 3, in the 4th and final part we will be heading back East in a round about way; stopping off in Denver, Green Bay, Chicago, and finally back to New York.