I want to know if it’s possible to travel from New York City to Berkeley, Calif. by train. I am a single senior female. How long would the trip take and what would it cost (roughly)? Thank you.
Taking the train across the United States is a trip of a lifetime, especially since the rails travel through stunning areas of the country where highways don’t reach. It is possible to travel on Amtrak (www.amtrak.com) from New York to Berkeley, going through Colorado and northern Utah, but you’ll need to change trains in Chicago and Sacramento, Cal.
The trip will take at least 74 hours, or three days straight, so I suggest getting a private sleeping berth for at least part of the trip. I took a three-day cross-county train trip from Washington, DC to Seattle with just a coach seat and only slept well when the seat next to me happened to be empty.
The cost depends on whether you get the room. A coach-only reservation for a mid-October trip can cost as little as $265.20, with a senior discount. But if you add a Superliner Roomette (holds two) for the two nights on the California Zephyr (the Chicago to Sacramento leg), the price of the same trip is $809.95.
Be sure to check out the Berkeley destination guide in nytimes.com/travel, which includes “36 Hours in Berkeley, Calif.” by Joshua Kurlantzick. And if you have time in Chicago or Sacramento, our archives include destination guides to those cities as well. - DAVID G. ALLAN