The Southwest Chief: Video Tour of an Overnight Train

Travel blogger Kelley Ferro recently trained on one of our awesome overnight trains. Check out her video tour above of the epic Southwest Chief which connects Chicago and Los Angeles!

If you don't know anything about the Southwest Chief, it's one of Amtrak's long-distance trains. In fact, it's an overnight train that crosses across the mighty Mississippi River, through eight states and past wheat fields, mountains and even deserts.

Some of the coolest parts about the trip are when the train goes through canyon passages only a few feet wider than the train itself.

For the best views (and Instagram pics), check out the observation car, also sometimes referred to as our sightseer lounge (ohhh, fancy). With their floor-to-ceiling windows, they bring daydreaming out the window to a whole new level … literally. That’s because when you’re in one you’re actually on the second floor of the train.

Want an insider tip that Kelley forgets to mention? If you have a lot of luggage you can check your heavy bags (first two for free) and bring a smaller carry-on into your sleeper car to save space. Uniformed Red Caps provide free baggage-handling assistance at many major stations and can help you when you board at your departure city.

Finally, you should know that all your meals are included. That’s breakfast, lunch and dinner when you book in a sleeper car. Your train attendant will make you a reservation for any or all of them during your journey. So what are you waiting for? ChicagoLos Angelesand hundreds of other destinations are calling your name. Grab your best buds and start your adventure today!


Have you ever taken an overnight train trip? Tell us about it in the comments below!


i took my trip in 2006 to seattle on the empire builder, round trip. very enjoyable.  the staff were very friendly and helpful. i had a roomette, my first time on amtrak. iam planning another trip soon.


My wife and I take a long distance trip each year. Last Sept we took what I call our land cruise. 

We left Chicago on Sunday on the Texas Eagle to LA. Up the coast to Portland then to Spokane and back to Chicago on Saturday on the Empire Builder. No better way to relax. This year we hope to go Portland Me on our trip. Best part using Amtrak points jens


I understand they are so expensive that you really want to push the idea of sleeper cars...but consider travel tips for traveling in coach as well. I'd be happy to make a video about family travel in coach if you want to put me on the train from NY to CA, haha! =)