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Seeing the World From a Train with Todd Powell

There’s no more stunning way to see America’s scenery than from a train.

Todd Powell of Vacations by Rail loves train travel so much that he built a company dedicated to sharing it with the world. He joins this episode of the Gather and Go podcast to help us understand the benefits of touring by train and determine if it’s a good fit for your group.

Todd shares insight on his favorite train trips, how to integrate train experiences into traditional tours and what makes trains especially ideal for groups. Plus, we have news on a major tour operator’s new flexibility offerings; a Road Tip on preparing for your first train trip; and a Hot Minute on how your tour itineraries may be frustrating your travelers.

Insights from Todd Powell

On the appeal of trains:

“Train travel is part of your vacation. It’s an experience you’re going to have, not just a mode of transportation… The scenery is like moving artwork.”

On combining trains with land trips:

“People want to take the train, but they also want to see other parts of the country… There are ways to incorporate fabulous and interesting rail experiences in motorcoach packages.”

On how trains impact the group travel experience:

“Groups can move around and talk to each other on a train much more than they could on a motorcoach. So it’s a great opportunity for the group to build a cohesiveness between the group members, have a shared experience and develop some relationships. The train provides an opportunity for that group to come together.”

Resources Mentioned in This Episode

Learn more about Vacations by rail at and follow the company on Instagram at @vacationsbyrail.

Contact Vacations By Rail at 877-929-7245.

Get your free copy of our Group Travel Toolbox at

Key Moments From This Episode

1:10 – Travel News: Globus expanding Choice Touring itineraries

2:24 – Road Tip: Preparing for your train trip

5:46 – Free Resource: Group Travel Toolbox

10:29 – How Todd Powell fell in love with train travel

14:11 – Why you should consider a rail vacation

18:14 – What is it like to sleep on a train?

22:24 – Mixing train travel with sightseeing

27:05 – Seeing America from a train

29:35 – Taking groups on train trips

32:54 – Are train trips more expensive than normal tours?

43:52 – Hot Minute: Are your itineraries frustrating your customers?

About the Podcast

Gather and Go with Brian Jewell is a travel podcast that helps group travel leaders and tourism professionals plan, promote and lead better trips. Each episode reaches thousands of professional tour operators, travel agents and the volunteer group leaders they serve. The audience also includes destination marketers, museum leaders, church travel leaders and other tourism enthusiasts around the world. Each show includes a featured conversation with a forward-thinking tourism or marketing expert. You’ll also hear travel news, road tips and more. New episodes are released about twice monthly.

You can find Gather and Go wherever your listen to podcasts or subscribe by email.

Have questions, comments or ideas for the show? Send them to us at

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