Vacations by Rail's Rail Insider Podcast series explores exciting train vacation and train tour options available throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Beyond.
Rail Insider experts provide listeners with tips, tools, and unique insight gained over years of planning, booking and taking rail vacations and train tours.
With each episode, listeners will hear from seasoned train travelers, rail tour guides, train tour operators and more, so listeners can plan, book and experience the wonders and romance of rail travel.
Rail Insider, Episode I, walks listeners through planning a New York, New York to San Francisco, California rail itinerary while revealing the fundamentals of planning an independent rail vacation. Vacations by Rail's 5 basic questions, as outlined in the Podcast, can be used when planning virtually any rail journey. Coast to Coast in the United States utilizes supplemental materials, such as the Coast to Coast itinerary, Amtrak National Route Map and Route Guides, which can be downloaded at www.vacationsbyrail.com.
Rail Insider, Episode II, Seats and Sleepers on Amtrak takes listeners through 4 types of seating and sleeping accommodations offered on Amtrak long-distance trains:
- Coach Class Seating
- Roomette Sleepers
- Family Bedrooms
- Bedroom Sleepers
Episode II builds on the information provided in Episode I, Coast to Coast on Amtrak, educating listeners on the ins and outs of planning a long-distance rail vacation using Amtrak. Episode II, Seats and Sleepers includes supplemental materials with pictures and descriptions of the Amtrak accommodations. Rail Insider Episode II, Seats and Sleepers and supplemental materials can be downloaded at www.vacationsbyrail.com.
Rail Insider Episode III is the first in a series of interviews with rail experts, operators and guides. In this episode, the Rail Insider conducts a phone interview with Carl Fowler and learns more about the California Golden State Rails Tour. Carl discusses his motivation for designing and operating this new tour, as well as details some of the exciting experience that awaits tour participants. The California Golden State Rail Tour itinerary can be viewed at www.vacationsbyrail.com.
Rail Insider Episode IV is the second in a series of interviews with rail experts, operators and guides. In this episode, the Rail Insider continues a phone interview with Carl Fowler and discusses National Parks of the Rockies, also known as Winter Rails: Yellowstone and Rockies. Listeners will learn about the unique experience of traveling the National Parks in the winter and what makes this tour an exciting soft adventure. The National Parks of the Rockies itinerary can be viewed at www.vacationsbyrail.com.
Rail Insider Episode V is the third in a series of interviews with rail experts, operators and guides. In this episode, the Rail Insider interviews tour guide Tyson Verse and discuss New England Fall Foliage Express Tour. Listeners will learn about touring New England in autumn, including tourist trains, accommodations and packing tips. The complete New England Fall Foliage Express itinerary can be viewed at www.vacationsbyrail.com.
Rail Insider Episode VI is the fourth in a series of interviews with rail experts, operators and guides. In this episode, the Rail Insider talks to Matt Ginger about his recent trip to the Canadian Rockies and a journey on the Rocky Mountaineer. Listeners will hear about Matt’s experience in Rocky Mountaineer’s Red Leaf and Gold Leaf Services, his journey down the Icefields Parkway and his perspective on the historic Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Chateau Lake Louise and the Banff Springs Hotel. Matt’s route is very similar to the Northern Explorer itinerary, which can be viewed at www.vacationsbyrail.com.
Rail Insider Episode VII introduces listeners to VIA Rail’s famous Canadian service between Vancouver, British Columbia and Toronto Ontario. In this episode, the Rail Insider speaks with Ali Macaraeg of VIA Rail Canada about The Canadian’s 4 day/3night Trans-Canadian adventure, which has been designated by National Geographic as one of the great journeys of the World. Listeners will learn about The Canadian route, on board services, dome cars and sleeping accommodations. Maps and itineraries that include the Canadian, such as Canada by Rail and The Canadian, can be viewed at www.vacationsbyrail.com.
Rail Insider Episode VIII welcomes back Carl Fowler to discuss the 12 Day National Parks of the Southwest rail tour. Listeners will learn about the railways covered in the tour, including the Grand Canyon Railway, California Zephyr and Verde Canyon Railroad, as well as the National Parks visited during the tour. The National Parks of the Southwest itinerary can be viewed at www.vacationsbyrail.com.
Rail Insider Episode IX welcomes back Carl Fowler to discuss the brand new 13 Day Appalachian Autumn Tour. Listeners learn about Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian and the Horseshoe Curve, the Cass Scenic Rail and 6 other rail excursions, as well as the historic sites covered in the tour. The complete Appalachians Autumn Tour itinerary can be viewed at www.vacationsbyrail.com.
Rail Insider Episode X welcomes back Carl Fowler to discuss the Nevada and Utah Autumn Rail Tour. This unique tour not only appeals to rail enthusiast, with exciting steam trains, narrow gauge railroads and fabulous photo opportunities, but Carl discusses the allure of the landscape and history of this vast and mountainous region of the United States. From ghost towns and lonely roads to steam engines and mountain passes, the Nevada and Utah Autumn Rail Tour is rich in history, scenery and fall colors. The full Nevada and Utah Autumn Rail Tour itinerary is available at www.vacationsbyrail.com.
The Rail Insider interviews award winning producer/director Richard Luckin, creator of railroad documentaries broadcast on PBS and available on DVD. On May, 9, 2009, Vacations By Rail broadcast four of Luckin’s documentaries, including Super Chief: Speed – Style - Service, on vacationsbyrail.com in celebration of National Train Day. Episode XI – National Train Day 2009 is a companion podcast to the National Train Day celebration and broadcast. More information on National Train Day 2009 can be found at www.vacationsbyrail.com.
The Rail Insider discusses 5 Top Rail Journeys, the Coast Starlight, the California Zephyr and the Adirondack in the United States, the Canadian in Canada and the Bernina Express in Switzerland. Carl Fowler provides insight and commentary, including his recommended direction to travel each route. More information on the five routes can be found at www.vacationsbyrail.com.
The Rail Insider talks with Natalie McCall, Train Manager for the Rocky Mountaineer. Natalie discusses the award winning Rocky Mountaineer experience, including the highlights of each of the four routes, Red Leaf and Gold Leaf service and insider tips for getting the most out of the journey. With over 14 years of onboard experience, Natalie provides a unique insider prospective to the Rocky Mountaineer. More information on the Rocky Mountaineer can be found at www.vacationsbyrail.com.
The Rail Insider celebrates Amtrak’s 40th Anniversary with an episode dedicated to Amtrak’s Great Rail Journeys. The Rail Insider conducts a phone interview with Carl Fowler who rode Amtrak on May 1, 1971, its first day of operation. Carl gives his unique perspective on top Amtrak routes including the iconic California Zephyr, the Coast Starlight and 6 other “must do” Amtrak journeys.