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I'm going to USA on a business/pleasure travel for 1 week in mid-September, and booked open-jaw flight to Indianapolis and then flying home from Washington DC. Since this is would be my first time in the US, I was hoping I could spend a few days on the East Coast after I finish business in Indianapolis.

I am a big fan of overland travel, particularly trains, and thought I might get the train from Chicago to DC instead of flying so that I can sit back and gaze at the Midwest from the comfort of my seat instead of hauling butt through airports. Travel time seems to be around 18 hours.

Does it make sense to take the train instead of flying? Cost is not an issue, but rather comfort on the train, including amenities (such as Internet access and proper meals) and whether there's stuff to see through the window (and by stuff I mean mostly nature and not urban landscape).

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This is one of the rare occasions where taking a train might actually be a good mode of transportation. Having lived in Indianapolis for close to 10 years and having gone through the new airport I can tell you that getting through it will be a breeze.

Nontheless. Cardinal might be one of the few routes where it might be worth taking just for the views starting in Kentucky and going all the way through the Appalachia. The worst of the views you would probably sleep through, if you can given stops at best every hour.

If you are taking the train from Chicago I don't think that it would be of any advantage to you given that most of the traveling time would be during the night and Chicago to South Bend, IN isn't really pretty for most of that stretch.

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I intended to get the train from Indianapolis, but was under the impression that I have to get to Chicago first by bus. It seems that this line doesn't run every day, so that's why I didn't find it. Great info, thanks! –  mindcorrosive Jun 11 '12 at 14:43

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