Podcasts: The Soundtrack of Your Journey

Podcasts: The Soundtrack of Your Journey

There are many ways you can spend your time while riding Amtrak, but listening to podcasts enters that rarefied territory of being both productive and reflective. Whether you’re joining us for a quick trip or a longer journey, we’ve got podcast recommendations guaranteed to keep you engaged.

The Quick Commuter

If you use Amtrak for your regional commute, chances are you don’t have time to settle in for a long story. Here are two podcast series that clock in around 20 minutes or less.

99% Invisible

99% Invisible is a show about “the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world.” This podcast offers up history and context for some of the greatest and least noticed objects in modern history. In the episode “Mojave Phone Booth”, Roman Mars and his team tell the real-life story of how a mysterious phone booth situated in the middle of a desert became a popular point of connection.


ReplyAll explores how the Internet has changed, and sometimes intensified, human connection. Come to have the latest meme explained, stay for the fascinating stories that reside deep within the web. In the episode “Boy in the Photo” hosts Alex Goldman and PJ Vogt track down the subject of a popular Internet discussion thread.

The (Anti-) Road Warrior

If you’re commuting from city center to city center, it’s likely you’ll be on the train for an hour or more. These podcasts will keep you thinking all the way to your destination–and leave you looking forward to the next episode for the return trip.

This American Life

Considered the cultural juggernaut in professional podcasting, This American Life has more than 20 years of episodes for you to explore. In “Rest Stop,” the show’s hosts spend 24-hours at the Plattekill Travel Plaza in New York state, meeting an array of travelers and workers who just happen to be passing through.

Note to Self

With an ever increasing number of technologies vying for our attention, Note to Self explores how we maintain our humanity in the digital age. Check out Infomagical, an interactive five-part series aimed at finding ways to reduce our cognitive load.

The Long Distance Traveler

If you’re taking a cross-country or overnight trip on Amtrak, you probably have enough time to listen to an entire podcast series or season. The recommendations below will keep you tuned in hour after hour.

Radiolab Presents: More Perfect

This mini-series from Radiolab takes a fascinating look at how the U.S. Supreme Court was established, and how its decisions can often have far-reaching effects. In “Adoptive Couple vs. Baby Girl,” the Radiolab team follows the story of a young girl entangled in a contentious custody battle linked to an obscure law.


Beginning with George Washington and concluding with President-elect Donald Trump, the team at The Washington Post take listeners on a journey through presidential history. Across the 44 episodes of the Presidential podcast, some of the greatest historians and biographers of our time offer an examination into each administration. We recommend beginning with episode 1, George Washington, to understand how one man would set the stage for everything that followed.

Bonus: Amtrak Podcast Series

Heading west? Amtrak and the National Park Service have partnered on a Trails and Rails podcast series. The episodes sync with your journey, acting as your trip guide, and providing you with information about points of interest along the route.

Have a favorite podcast? In the comments below, tell us how audio helps power your business trip or cross-country adventure.