U.S., Oregon/California: I Took an Overnight Train During the Pandemic — Here’s What I Learned

By Katherine Alex Beaven, Travel + Leisure; October 29, 2020

As soon as I stepped into the boarding line at Portland’s Union Station, I noticed signs of the times: masks and markers on the floor, instructing people where to stand. Masks covering your nose and mouth are required by Amtrak in all stations, as is keeping proper social distance from others. The same goes while aboard their trains. Despite these rules, the woman directly behind me left her nose poking out over the top of her mask as she carried on an animated conversation with her traveler partner.

But I reminded myself that I was booked in one of Amtrak’s private bedrooms, a space where I’d have my own sitting area, en suite bathroom with a toilet and shower, a sink, and, when I was ready to call it a night, a bed. In other words, unless I chose to, I wouldn’t have to interact or share space with any other passengers on my 30-hour journey from Portland to Los Angeles. For someone like me with immune issues that put them in a higher-risk category for COVID-19, having this option offered an off-load of anxiety.

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