June 27, 2022



Train through Houston makes the list for most scenic Amtrak route

2 min read

With more than 20,000 miles of rail and hundreds of trains operating daily, Amtrak connects cities across the U.S. and Canada, offering travelers views across 46 states and three Canadian provinces. That said, a new report ranks the most scenic Amtrak routes in the U.S. and a stretch of railway traversing the Lone Star State made the cut.

Most scenic Amtrak routes in U.S.

On Tuesday, the finance website FinanceBuzz published a roundup highlighting 10 “incredibly scenic” Amtrak routes in the U.S. Overall, the Adirondack route claimed the top spot. The line starts in New York City, runs through the Hudson Valley and ends in Montreal, Canada. California’s Pacific Surfliner is listed at No. 2. The route offers views of the Pacific Ocean as it shuttles riders from San Luis Obispo to San Diego and vice versa.

The California Zephyr comes in at No. 3 and runs from San Francisco en route to Chicago with stops in Reno, Salt Lake City, Denver and throughout the Great Plains.

The roundup lists the City of New Orleans route at No. 4 and highlights the historical views of this particular journey as the trip runs from Chicago and then follows the Mississippi River through Memphis into the Big Easy in Louisiana. The Southwest Chief route comes in at No. 5 and runs from Chicago to Los Angeles with stops in Kansas City, Albuquerque and Flagstaff.

As for Texas routes, the Sunset Limited is listed at No. 9. The route starts in New Orleans en route to Los Angeles. In Texas, the line includes stops in Beaumont, Houston, San Antonio, Del Rio, Sanderson, Alpine and El Paso.

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“Instead of waterfalls and forests, this is the train ride for desert and mountain aficionados. Starting in New Orleans the Sunset Limited cuts west, out of the Gulf and into Houston and San Antonio, mixing both historic sites with modern attractions,” reads a portion of the report. “Then it’s into the desert, moving through the valleys of the Southwest and into the Rocky Mountains.”

On the westward journey, other major stops include Tucson and Phoenix before the end of the line in the City of Angels.

“While onboard the Sunset Limited, settle back and watch the Bayou Country, Mexican border, southwestern deserts and California mountains pass by your window,” reads a portion of the Amtrak page describing the route.

Sunset Limited trains depart three times each week in either direction. Learn more about the route here.

Full list of the most scenic Amtrak routes

  1. Adirondack
  2. Pacific Surfliner
  3. The California Zephyr
  4. City of New Orleans
  5. Southwest Chief
  6. Vermonter
  7. Amtrak Cascades
  8. Empire Service
  9. Sunset Limited
  10. Acela

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