train travel

December 31, 2007

I posted the following as a comment to this blog entry.

I had an opportunity to travel to nyc around solstice this year. I got on the train in richmond, va and took it to penn station in new york. The train ride was peaceful, spacious (even in coach where I was for the trip up) and comfortable. It took 5 hours to get from richmond to nyc, but I was neither searched, scanned nor molested. I was able to take my pocketknife (The pocketknife is a tiny little thing no more dangerous to anyone than a sharpened pencil.), a bottle of shampoo big enough for my actual stay and whatever food I wanted. In my case 2 oranges, a bag of peanuts and an apple. I had a power outlet at my seat and I got to use my computer, talk on the phone and read on this trip. When I was feeling a bit cramped I got up, walked to the cafe car, got a drink, and stretched my legs.

The train was 100% full, not an empty seat in any class. I know it’s not an option in every case but if it is an option, take the train. It was the same cost or cheaper than flying. It was much more comfortable and you don’t have to put up with the privacy violations. Not to mention it’s a better use of energy. It ended up taking about 2 hours more to go by train than it would have to fly, once I factor in getting to the airport an hour early, fiddling around with getting on the plane, waiting to get off the plane and traveling from the airport to my actual destination. And since I could be on the phone while on the train I wasn’t disconnected from the world at all.

Take the train, and write your congress person about why we should support and rebuild our train infrastructure.


6 Responses to “train travel”

  1. Jesse Keating Says:

    I’m a big fan of trains too. When I lived in WA I would regularly take the train from one side of the state to the other for visiting family and such. A much nicer experience than a car or plane.

  2. thruhike98 Says:

    Trains – the only way to fly.

  3. Peter Says:

    I completely agree with you. I live in Europe and i really hate flying. Besides on train i can take all I want (you also don’t have to pay over weight). I also have this disorder (I get sick on airplain) which is not an issue when traveling with train.

    The only thing is there are places where the train infrastructure is bad and the speed decrease significantly. But I believe the money should be invested in improving this instead of building new airports!

    Next time we should consider voting for the “greener”:)

  4. Mr. Icon Says:

    Oh, yeah. Though I’d normally pick business class. More seat room, free drinks, and a lot fewer small children. It’s worth it. 🙂

    Too bad cross-Canada train is bloody expensive. It’s more like a cruise. Ah well, at least I can travel around the North-East without any trouble.

  5. One of the things that is happening in New Mexico is that the governor has been trying to get trains rebuilt so that people can commute across the state without taking 20 cars to do so. The main issues that he (and other supporters) have run into has been:

    1) Monied interests.
    2) Ignorance (hey you are going to take away my car and make it so I can only take busses and cars.)
    3) Not in my back yard. A good many people who signed a petition wanting the trains were supposedly on the same list that said “please put the trains in someone elses neighborhood.. they will make it too noisy.”

    From what I can tell.. this is pretty much what will happen everywhere. So don’t just write your congressman. Write your papers, write most-read-blogs, and talk to your neighbors.

    I want to be able to take a train once again from NM to NC without having to swap 5 times at 2am at night.

  6. skvidal Says:

    Durham already has a train which goes through the middle of town. Right passed duke and near enough to my house to be heard in the evening run. In fact, since college, except for one year, I’ve always lived within earshot of a train. In college, I lived within spitting distance.

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