I am currently in the midst of experiencing that which most people are afraid to experience…a 34 hour train ride x2 (as opposed to a 5-8 hour plane ride). My verdict? I’m probably going to do it again. Not just because I’m a train fanatic; though this I am, but rather because my ride on this train trip has been by far more comfortable and hassle free than anything the airport or any plane for that matter could produce.
The seats are uncannily spacious. Ok, when a man like me can fully extend his legs and wiggle them yet still have room to spare? That’s what I call leg room. Moreover, there’s enough space laterally to where you don’t feel like you’re intruding into your neighbor space. Not to mention the fact that there is also electrical outlets which helps in the battery upkeep of my handy dandy IPod.
The windows are HUGE with ample viewing area. However, if you get an isle seat (like I have pretty much all throughout this trip) there is always the observation car whose windows are considerably larger (for obvious reasons). Moreover, unlike air travel which you are forced to look at the monotony of a clear/cloudy/stormy sky through a pee sized window; the train brings you face to face with mountains, rivers, fields, towns, industrial zones, oceans, farms, etc. There is always something new to see and enjoy!
What about restrooms? Well, as opposed to a plane where you are restricted to one (two on bigger planes) the train (Capitol limited) has about six, with one changing room.
Furthermore, you are more than welcome to stand up and use them whenever you want. In fact, you don’t even have to sit back down if you don’t want to, because on a train you can walk around. Forget those belt buckles that you have to wear due to possible turbulence; further restricting you to a suffocating, cramped seat.
Security? No frisking/x-raying here. You walk in, hand them your ticket and you board. That’s not to say that security is lax. Quite the opposite, the cops are out in force with their dogs sniffing every bag for possible threats. Truth be told I feel safer in a train station than an airport (and less stresses out too).
In reality, the only advantage the airplane has over train travel is speed. But when you see the things I have seen on this trip (pics coming soon), speed really is not that big of an issue.
Verdict? From now on, I will try my hardest to travel by train wherever I go. If time demands speed, then I will consider the airplane (but only after much deliberation). Needless to say, I have really enjoyed this trip and I recommend anyone and everyone to try an Amtrak ride.
PS. No I don’t get paid by Amtrak for this lol. (But I would not mind working for them :).