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Has Anyone Ridden the Entire Amtrak Network?

Margaret Lipman
By
Published Jan 21, 2024
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Nat Read has loved train travel for nearly his entire life, starting with a memorable journey he took with his mother and siblings at age 4 from Kentucky back home to Texas after saying goodbye to his WWII-bound father.

Read is certainly what you would describe as an adventurer, having completed trips that have taken him to every continent and the North and South Poles. His varied career has involved serving in the U.S. Navy and working in public relations for the U.S. High Speed Rail Corporation.

About five years ago, Read realized that he had traveled most of the routes of the Amtrak railway network. As a personal quest, he decided to complete the remaining journeys—around 10 segments. Though his project was delayed for a few years during the COVID-19 pandemic, he completed his last segment in July 2023, traveling from Boston, Massachusetts, to Brunswick, Maine. In total, Read’s journeys aboard Amtrak have traversed over 21,400 miles (34,000 km).

Hold that train:

  • When Read’s train to Brunswick pulled into the station, meaning he had completed his final “spoke” of the Amtrak map, a conductor announced his achievement to the entire train. Read took pictures with fellow passengers, including a teenage boy whose ambition is also to travel the entire Amtrak network.

  • Read speaks poetically about the beauty of train travel, which he prefers to traveling by car or airplane. “I sit on the top of a two-story magic carpet while watching a Technicolor diorama scrolling beside me,” he told NPR last year.

  • Amtrak is the only high-speed intercity passenger rail provider in the United States, serving over 500 destinations in 46 states and Washington, D.C. (and three Canadian provinces). The longest daily route is the California Zephyr from Chicago, Illinois, to Emeryville, California, which spans 2,438 miles (3,924 km) and takes over 51 hours.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Margaret Lipman
By Margaret Lipman
With years of experience as an educator, Margaret Lipman produces thoughtful and informative content across a wide range of topics. Her articles cover essential areas such as finance, parenting, health and wellness, nutrition, educational strategies. Margaret's writing is guided by her passion for enriching the lives of her readers through practical advice and well-researched information.
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Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman
With years of experience as an educator, Margaret Lipman produces thoughtful and informative content across a wide range...
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