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Grey Hound/Amtrak/Car Rental

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Offline nopainnogain

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Grey Hound/Amtrak/Car Rental
« on: January 06, 2016, 09:14:41 AM »
Hi.
I'd like to do a 4 day backpacking trip in BBNP.
I need to carry a 70-Liter external frame backpack; it's a monster.

I plan to take Greyhound bus to San Antonio. Then Amtrak to Alphine.
Then rent a car and drive to BB.

I've never ridden a train or bus before.

Can anyone comment on what it's like riding a train and bus with a giant backpack?
What I need to know?
Is the train clean and safe for lone traveller?
My backpack is big but fragile...where will they put it?
Am I allowed to bring denatural alcohol fuel onboard (for my stove)?

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Offline Flash

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Re: Grey Hound/Amtrak/Car Rental
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2016, 09:27:54 AM »
Check the Amtrak schedules. Last I looked, the trip from Houston was mostly in the dark, which was not all that appealing to me.

Might be simpler and cheaper to rent a car for the entire trip...

-Flash

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Offline Talusman

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Re: Grey Hound/Amtrak/Car Rental
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2016, 09:45:49 AM »

Might be simpler and cheaper to rent a car for the entire trip...

-Flash

No doubt!!!
"To Think is easy. To Act is difficult. To Act as one Thinks is the most difficult!"

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Offline Homer Wilson

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Re: Grey Hound/Amtrak/Car Rental
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2016, 10:22:48 AM »
I remember checking train times from sa to alpine once and it wasn't very practical. Can you rent a car in alpine? Where are you coming from? Would it be easier to bus into el Paso or Midland and get a car there?

Trains are supposed to be nice rides. As for what you can take on a bus- I park right next to a greyhound station, and based on all the needles and other paraphernalia I see in the lot, pretty sure you can take whatever you want on a bus.

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Offline fartymarty

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Re: Grey Hound/Amtrak/Car Rental
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2016, 01:58:17 PM »
I too think it would be better to rent a car in SA (or elsewhare)  and drive rather than Amtrak. For many reasons. First off, there is no checked baggage service in Alpine. That means you'll have to leave your backpack on the luggage rack in the lower level of the train car. (I'm assuming here that it is too large to go into the overhead rack of your seat) It would be accessible to anyone headed down there to use the bathrooms or to those that ride down there in the handicapped seating. It could just end up leaving the train at one of the two stops before Alpine if you aren't down there watching for that. The rental car would be faster as well, Amtrak is not known for speed or on time performance. Because of track damage by a hurricane I was once forced to take Greyhound to Chicago from Fort Worth, the train would have been much more comfortable but it was 4 hours slower than the bus was. Current fuel prices also encourage driving.  As for clean and safe, I've found that cleanliness of the train is inversely proportional to the number of children aboard. I personally have never had anything stolen nor suffered any injury aboard a train. Several years ago there was a shooting aboard a train and last time I rode there was no screening of any kind for weapons or explosives.
Fort Worth

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Offline nopainnogain

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Re: Grey Hound/Amtrak/Car Rental
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2016, 02:05:24 PM »
Where are you coming from?

Oh...I forgot to say I'm coming from Houston...like 700 miles from BBNP.
So, if I drive all the way, I'd be so tired from driving that I'd need a extra day to recuperate.
I don't own a reliable car, so I am thinking of Greyhound'ing to San Antonio, then Amtrak'ing to Alphine, and then car rental'ing to BBNP.
Yeah...that'll cost a small fortune...but I'd arrive pretty fresh and relax.


Google says there's car rental companies in Alphine.

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Offline Talusman

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Re: Grey Hound/Amtrak/Car Rental
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2016, 02:47:28 PM »
Where are you coming from?


Yeah...that'll cost a small fortune...but I'd arrive pretty fresh and relax.


Google says there's car rental companies in Alphine.

I don't know what a small fortune is, but if you plan ahead you can get round trip tickets to Midland from Houston pretty cheap on American or Southwest. Many flights a day from Southwest. Rent a car at Midland Airport and you can hit Persimmon Gap in 3-1/2 hours. I live in Odessa and I can hit PJ station in 3-1/4. Then you have your own car. I make one day trips often just to get a quick fill in of needed nature.

When I was younger I would take a bus and ride a train. I don't ever remember feeling rested and relaxed on any of those journeys! What ever you decide I hope it works out well. Let us know!
« Last Edit: January 06, 2016, 08:40:32 PM by Talusman »
"To Think is easy. To Act is difficult. To Act as one Thinks is the most difficult!"

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Grey Hound/Amtrak/Car Rental
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2016, 04:10:27 PM »
Oh...I forgot to say I'm coming from Houston...like 700 miles from BBNP.
So, if I drive all the way, I'd be so tired from driving that I'd need a extra day to recuperate.
You might want to change your username with that attitude.  :icon_lol: Lots of us here in Houston make that drive and hit the trails as soon as we get there.

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I don't own a reliable car, so I am thinking of Greyhound'ing to San Antonio, then Amtrak'ing to Alphine, and then car rental'ing to BBNP.
Yeah...that'll cost a small fortune...but I'd arrive pretty fresh and relax.

Google says there's car rental companies in Alphine.
You might consider taking Amtrak from Houston to Alpine and forget the bus. Be sure and check rental car inventory in Alpine before you commit to the train/bus. I'd be surprised if any of the companies in Alpine have more than 10 cars in their livery.

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Offline nopainnogain

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Re: Grey Hound/Amtrak/Car Rental
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2016, 09:40:13 AM »
You might consider taking Amtrak from Houston to Alpine and forget the bus.

I didn't know there's a train from Houston to Alpine. I only knew about the line from Dallas to San Antonio to Alpine. Looks like you're right...there's a separate line between Lousiana and San Antonio called Sunset Limited.





« Last Edit: January 07, 2016, 10:10:08 AM by nopainnogain »

 


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