So I happened to speak with someone I haven’t seen, these many years and the conversation came round to a trip we made across the US in the 1970s. I confess her memory of this trip is more detailed than mine.
We flew LGW to New York on Laker Skytrain, the first of the budget airlines, so that places the year as 1977 or maybe, 1978. We travelled onwards to San Francisco by train. She appears to believe that we were on the train for four days, and slept in either a couchette type bunk or a Pullman style “section” car. That’s not my recollection, I recall the trip as taking best part of a week, not travelling every day, involving more than one change of train. We certainly changed in Chicago (the only time I’ve ever been there) and in Denver, where I visited family.
I have recollections of sleeping at least one night in “coach” in a reclining chair, and having a room for at least one night. I don’t recall an observation car or dome car.
I’d be interested in anyone with a more detailed knowledge of long distance rail in the US around that time, who might shed some light in this?