Six Reasons Why Trains Are Better Than Planes.

Yes, I know that I’m preaching to the choir here, but I’ve discovered from the emails I keep getting that there are a lot of people reading this blog who have just started to consider train travel and are still unaware of why the rest of us choose to travel by train whenever possible. OK … here are six reasons why we do that.

1. No hassle. You pull up to the station, walk in, and when the train arrives, you get on. No lines, no security, no TSA. And, for all practical purposes, no limit on baggage.

2. More convenient.  Airports are always some distance from downtown, while railroad stations are almost always smack in the middle of downtown. So when you take the train, you leave from downtown and you arrive in downtown. And that leads nicely into reason number . . .
3. Less expensive. A cab ride from downtown Los Angeles out to LAX is $50-$60. It’s almost that much from JFK into Manhattan or from Chicago’s O’Hare into The Loop. And it’s the same for most airports. Add the cab fare to the cost of your plane ticket and suddenly the coach seat on Amtrak is probably going to be cheaper.
4. More comfortable. This is a no brainer. The cheapest coach seat on Amtrak is bigger and has more legroom than the typical first class seat on an airliner. And whenever the mood strikes, you can get up, walk around or go to the lounge car for some refreshment.
5. Something to see. I never get tired of watching the passing scenery, and it doesn’t matter of it’s in the industrial east or the great plains or the Rocky Mountains. It passes the time wonderfully.
6. Just as fast. OK, OK … not always. And I’m not suggesting you take Amtrak from your office in Boston to a business meeting in Denver. But between Boston and New York? Or Washington? Absolutely. And if you have to go from, say, New York to Chicago for a meeting, you can leave Manhattan in the afternoon and make a 10:00 meeting in Chicago the next morning. With your meals included and a bed provided as you go.

There are my six reasons … and I haven’t even brought up the fact that rail travel is better for the environment. Or the fact that you meet a lot of interesting people. But that’s for another time …