From the first one I'm flashing back to this Mary Tyler Moore episode where Lou Grant is trying to get a woman to marry him (yeah, it wasn't your typical episode) by promising her a honeymoon on a train with big windows that runs through Canada.

"And everywhere you look... Canada!"

I pine for the days when train travel was more popular. I love taking short trips on them and the idea of a longer trip with an old-fashioned dining car sounds fun. Then again maybe it's one of those "It's great if you don't actually have to do it" things.
I've done both dining and overnight. Dining was astonishing, mainly because (1) it was Europe and (2) I paid a lot for it. Full meal with the Alps going by outside at sunset = priceless. Overnight I've done in an old sleeper car, but I can't sleep well on trains - bunks are small and there's always some noise or light or bump or announcement. It's like sleeping on a plane, tbh. But still, v. cool and worth doing once, and worth paying for the best you can manage.
Oh, that sounds fantastic. That's been on my to-do list since I learned about the Orient Express when I was a kid.
It doesn't need to be the Orient Express, it just needs to be a country (or region) with lots of train experience, and a decent seat/compartment. I wouldn't go for more than a 24-hour experience or you'll discover where the limits of comfort are, and you'll miss a lot besides. :)
One of the greatest joys of travel to Eurpoe is the ability to move about by train. City-centre to city-centre, convenient, fast, comfortable. I love it! It's so sad the US "free market" system destroyed a great transportation mode.
That does sound great. I doubt I'll ever get to Europe let alone be able to pay for an expensive train trip there, but you never know...
Oh man. I just went to Seattle by train (after a detour through NOLA and Chicago), and while it wasn't the most comfortable ride I've had (since I slept in chairs for most of the nights), it was pretty darn awesome. And I adored my time when I had a sleeper car and a dining car to go to. Like write_light said, it's kind of difficult to get a really sound sleep unless you're one of those people who's out for the count at the drop of a hat, but it's a fantastic experience. These ads really make me want to go again.
i've done chicago to san francisco and chicago to seattle, both in sleeper cars with full dining, and, though expensive, i agree - it's a great way to travel. the rooms are not luxurious, but comfortable, and the dining is really pretty amazing for a mode of transportation. we spoke with one of the chefs, and he said they get off the train at several stops and pick up fresh, local food to serve.

i know it's popular to bash the u.s., but amtrak (with help from the government) has managed to keep train travel here pretty nice, as long as you live near a line and want to go where it goes.
To Seattle after a detour through New Orleans and Chicago? Where did you start?
I want to do the whole Agatha Christie murder travel tour thing! Solving mysteries on ships and trains, and perhaps enticing other gentlemen of negotiable affection!

I would dress up in white tie, suit, top hat and all, to attend a nice dining car on a train ride.
Even with train travel's drawbacks as listed by other posters, I'd still take it in a heartbeat over air travel. At least you're not treated like cattle trying to board, for one thing. And train travel just seems more civilized, especially the dining car! Beats tiny packets of overpriced junk food offered by the airlines as your 'meal' now.
My BEST TRIPS EVAR have always been on trains. I'm so looking forward to going cross-country again :)
Thanks for these great ads. My folks and I took the Empire Builder (Great Northern and then Amtrak) out to Seattle to visit relatives several times. Seeing that part of the country while being able to relax etc. was amazing.

I haven't used a sleeper berth as an adult; it's good to know they're still worth it!
I traveled cross country by Amtrak in September 1996 -- the Lake Shore Limited from New York to Chicago, then the now-defunct Desert Wind from Chicago to southern California. (Most of the route paralleled the current California Zephyr that goes to northern California, though the route shifted somewhere in Utah.) Loved it, though I slept in my coach seat, changing clothes daily in a large restroom. The scenery was magnificent, especially the Rockies, and so was the food. Every American should travel cross-country at ground level at least once during their lifetime; it will enable you to grasp the scale of this nation and give you a feel for how it developed.