Travel by numbers: On the rails across America

Today is National Train Day, celebrating the railroads that helped build the US.
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The Independent Travel


Years since the Amtrak Cascades train route was launched between Eugene, Oregon and Vancouver, British Columbia. The stretch north of Seattle is one of the most beautiful coastal journeys on earth.


Subsidy, in dollars, for every passenger travelling on the Heartland Flyer from Fort Worth in Texas to Oklahoma City. The destination is home to the National Cowboy Museum, which explores how the West was won, with some help from the railroad engineers.


Miles from Grand Central Terminal in New York City to Waterbury, Connecticut – the furthest direct destination from a station that was once a nation's gateway. Charles Reed's 1913 design at Park Ave and 42nd St remains a Beaux Arts temple to the train.


Price, in dollars, of a California rail pass – around £106, allowing you to travel by rail in the Golden State for any seven days in 21. This is remarkable value considering the state is nearly twice the size of Britain. Its southernmost station is San Diego, built in Mission style.


Height in inches required to ride on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Walt Disney World in Florida. This rollercoaster is in Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom outside Orlando.You can get to central Florida by train from Miami, Tampa, Washington DC and New York on Amtrak's "Silver Meteor" and "Silver Star", with connections from the west at Jacksonville.


Fare in dollars for a ride on the Grand Canyon Railway in coach (economy) class. The train leaves daily from Williams in Arizona, taking two hours and 15 minutes to arrive at the Grand Canyon National Park. If you'd like a greater view of the surroundings, tickets for the observation dome are $170.


Number of Top 40 hits by the US folk singer Arlo Guthrie. His sole chart success was "City of New Orleans", an anthem to the train that runs between Chicago and Louisiana's largest city, carrying "15 cars and 15 restless riders, three conductors, 25 sacks of mail".


The year that the "Golden Tie" was hammered into the ground on 10 May to join 1,776 miles of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads – the first trans-continental rail connection. Today you can travel from New York via Chicago to Los Angeles in under three days.