Don't forget your headphones - especially if you're riding in the quiet car, but really anywhere!
2) Likewise for more food and drink than you think you'll need.And it's overpriced. Did I mention it's overpriced? Honestly, McDonald's at the train station is a better bet. Amtrak charges $2 for a cup of water and forget about asking for hot water in your thermos - $2 again!
Amtrak's food is pretty awful and waaaaaay overpriced, with particularly limited options if you're vegetarian and a tendency to run out of everything fresh/everything that's not a candy bar or chips.
3) Bring a pillow.
This one doesn't need much explanation, just two words: nap time. If you need a third - delays. That should really suffice.
Regardless of the season and the outside temperature, I have been in both uncomfortably cold and uncomfortably hot trains. Sometimes I've had both in the same trip!
Layer so you can shed or pack it on to adjust to the fickle train temperatures. Don't expect them to have blankets or adjustable thermostats - HA.
5) Pack Dramamine, Ibuprofen, tums, and whatever else you may need.
Once you're on the train , assume that you can't get off before your destination. Most routes have no rest stops, just quick drop-offs. The cafe car stopped selling basic meds years ago because of something to do with difficulty to getting the appropriate licensing without having to be a pharmacy.
Bring your own stuff and again, bring the whole array. If you're feeling unwell, even a relatively short ride without hope of reprieve can feel like torture.
6) Hand sanitizer.
I'm not trying to gross you guys out or anything, but it's certainly not unheard off for the faucets in the lavatories not to work (or like 5 drips per minute) and/or for the soap dispenser to be empty.
7) Not much luggage.
This is more a what not to bring. Aka: your whole closet.
While it's true that trains are much more lax about luggage than planes (and even allow free carry-on or checked full size suitcases) traveling lighter is always easier and more fun.
If you do need to bring big suitcases, check them! There's nowhere secure on board to leave stuff if you're traveling solo, so it can be stressful - because even those with iron will and matching bladders will eventually have to use the lavatory.
What are your tips for train travel?
What's your favorite form of travel?
What's your favorite travel snack?