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a VirtualTourist member from Bury

Memphis

Travel between Memphis and New Orleans. Amtrak train versis Greyhound bus.

Hi all,

Travelling Friday 6th September from Memphis to New Orleans. The Amtrak train departs Memphis at 6:50 am and arrives New Orleans at 3:32 pm. It is an 8 hours 42 minutes journey and costs $58. The Greyhound bus departs Memphis at 9:30 am and arrives New Orleans at 8:30 pm. It is an 11 hours journey and costs $67.50. I'm undecided which one to go for, train leaves a bit early, but the bus gets there a bit late. Has anyone done this journey or can you give me the pros and cons for each? Where does the Greyhound bus leave from in Memphis and where does it arrive at in New Orleans. Similarly the Amtrak train, as I need to choose hotels that are fairly convenient.

Many thanks, Keith



16 Answers


answered by
a VirtualTourist member from New Jersey

I'd always prefer the train over the bus. You never know how traffic is going to be, if you're going to encounter any road word, accidents, etc. And don't forget waiting for people to get back on the bus during one of the many food/bathrooms stops. You're likely to arrive in New Orleans later than you plan.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Delaware

Agreed, the train is the way to go, particularly considering it is cheaper. The train is vastly more comfortable. One caveat about that 8 hours and 42 minutes--Amtrak trains (outside the northeast US) are frequently very delayed, so it might be considerably longer than the scheduled time. But I would still expect to get there faster than the bus.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Vancouver

Greyhound terminal in Memphis 3033 Airways Blvd. Amtrak station in Memphis 545 South Main Amtrak and Greyhound share the same address station/terminal in New Orleans 1001 Loyola Union Passenger Terminal




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Sacramento

The train is much more comfortable. You can get up and walk around and there is usually food available. For a trip of that length, you'd be better off on the train.




answered by
Mary Smith from Leicester

I'd vote for the train too, every time. Book your tickets as early as possible, because Amtrak fares can rise as departure nears and/or demand increases.

I did a 4-hour journey from Iowa City>Chicago by Megabus (they don't run your route, but their buses are super-nice, imo). That was ok, but any longer would have been a real strain...the bus was packed, there was only one toilet (downstairs) etc etc.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Bury

Thank you all, you have convinced me that the Amtrak train is the way to go, even though it is an early morning arise from bed. The fares have started to rise - $4 in the last two weeks, better get it booked up. I did check the Megabus and your correct Leics, they don't run on this route. I'm using Megabus for the NY to Toronto journey, can't book this yet as the timetable and schedules only go up to April.




answered by
Mary Smith from Leicester

I was impressed by Megabus even though I had a grouchy driver (I complained when I got home, in my best formal-English writing, and was also very impressed by the response I got). I didn't use the wifi, but other people were....but I didn't use the loo either. :-)




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Lents

This depends quite a lot on the specific route. In the USA, the freight traffic tends to move east-west while the old IC route this train uses is North-South.

Today's train arrived 35 minutes early in New Orleans.

Tomorrow? Could be anyone's guess. But on time performance for the city of New Orleans last year and this year has been 85.5%.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Bury

Interesting statistics. Thank you.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Lents

For those that don't know how to do this, you go to the Amtrak web site, pull down the tab thing that says Routes, and towards the bottom of the list you will see "Historical On-Time Performance".

You can get on-time performance a few hours in the past by clicking the one in the upper left area that says "Status" (Next to Tickets). You then enter the date, and the origin and destination cities (or train number if you know that). It won't show today's City of New Orleans any more as of a few hours ago but you can get the estimated one for tomorrow. That one looks pretty good too.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Bury

You know your stuff. Thank you so much.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Lents

You may want to rummage around a bit on the Amtrak web site. You'll find that the City of New Orleans and the Texas Eagle have a unique style of dining car with regional cooking in it. While traveling food is always more expensive than taking your own food on the train with you, it might be worthwhile to take a look at what it offers. I don't live anywhere near there so I have never actually seen what they cook on that car.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Bury

Thank you for that information.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Beebe

Here is some information from our recent trip: forum.virtualtourist.com/Mem...

I highly recommend the train. It's quieter than I thought it would and the seats are very roomy and comfortable with lots of head, shoulder and leg room. The food on the train was also very good and the service was excellent. Plus although you have to steady yourself while the train is moving you can move around on the train freely. Bring a pillow and a small blanket and you can nap like your in your recliner at home without bothering the passengers around you. Your seat will also have an electrical outlet to keep your devices charges during your trip. I don't think a bus trip can compete with the comfort and convenience of Amtrak.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Bury

Sorry I'm late in replying, I've just 'picked-up' your info. I have booked the Amtrak train and paid $49.30, which seems to me to be a very good price. I don't think I will be napping, I like to see what's going on and taking in the scenery. Thank you very much for the info, much appreciated.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member

Travelled Memphis to New Orleans by Megabus a good week ago, it took us 8 hours to get there. Great service, the bus was half empty, so many seats for you to choose from. Paid about $34 dollars but just because of Easter I guess, usually it's cheaper. The price dropped to 17$ a couple of days before the ride. Wifi working well, had 1 half hour stop to relax and have some food, normal people on board, felt safe.





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