Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Travel To The Gun Blogger Rendezvous On The Amtrak Zephyr!

Silver Legacy and Reno Amtrak Station (Click photo to enlarge.)

I'm not going to attend the Rendezvous this year, but looking ahead to future years, I think I know how I am going to travel to Reno.  One way from Chicago to Reno on the California Zephyr costs only $140 dollars, which is a substantial savings over airline travel, and I don't think you have to be groped by the TSA to travel by train.  The trip takes a lot more time on the train, so you have to block out more days on the calendar, and you have to carefully choose which station you will use to board.  Checked baggage on the Zephyr is available at Chicago, Omaha, Lincoln, Hastings, Denver, Glenwood Springs, Grand Jucnction, Salt Lake City, and Reno.  You must check your bags if you are traveling with firearms and ammo to the Rendezvous, so you must plan your trip around one of these stations.  You can also check baggage at four stations in California if you are coming from the west;  Emeryville, Martinez, Davis, and Sacramento.

I am going to stick my neck out and recommend that you do not try to check firearms and ammo at Union Station in Chicago.  Union Station is in the 'Belly of the Beast" of unfriendly gun laws, and I don't know what type of scrutiny travellers might have to endure from Chicago police.  Chicago laws can be looked up on the internet, and what I have read makes me very wary of having unknown people inspecting my cargo. 

If you live in Iowa, Nebraska, Northern Missouri, Colorado, or Utah, Amtrak may be the way to go for you to get to Reno.  Go to the Amtrak website to make reservations and read all the rules.  You must call ahead before you travel with firearms, but the process appears to be relatively easy.

The Rendezvous is only six weeks away, so get busy.  You need to register with Mr. Completely, make your hotel reservations,  and travel plans, and start packing.

UPDATE: Please note that you MUST call Amtrak more than 24 hours before you travel to make a reservation for each firearm, and the ammunition you are taking,, From the Amtrak site: "Notification that the passenger will be checking firearms/ammunition must be made no later than 24 hours before train departure by calling Amtrak at 800-USA-RAIL. Online reservations for firearms/ammunition are not accepted."  Your firearm reservations are handled separately from your personal reservations, and cannot be done at the same time.  Some travellers have found out the hard way that they cannot check firearms for their trip if they have missed the firearm reservation deadline.  Amtrak's website recommends that you arrive 1/2 hour early, but travellers have shared online that you should allow at least an hour, and carry a printed copy of Amtrak's firearm policy with you.


Anonymous said...

I had no idea the Amtrak was so close to the Silver Legacy. It's barely 2 blocks, and if you enter the complex through the El Dorado, it's only a little over a block outside, and the rest inside.

Mr. Completely

TrueBlueSam said...

It sure looks like a good option for Midwesterners; and who doesn't enjoy a train ride?