Seven Reasons to Take the Train

Seven Reasons to Take the Train

Traveling by train is fun, economical, and convenient. Not many people do it, but many people should! This form of travel often falls by the wayside behind air and car travel, but it should be overlooked no longer! Here are some reasons why traveling by train is the best way to travel.

Cost

Trains are more energy-efficient per passenger mile than airplanes and cars. Because of trains’ energy efficiency, the rail travel industry is not as sensitive to price fluctuations in the oil market as airlines are. That means stability in ticket prices and an overall lower cost for tickets.

Plenty of luggage room

While airlines charge for checked bags – and some charge for carry-on items – Amtrak has a refreshingly flexible carry-on policy: two carry-on bags up to 50 pounds each are free, plus four checked bags up to 50 pounds each (the first two bags are free; third and fourth bags are $20 each), plus personal items like purses and strollers.

Eco-friendly

According to forbes.com, trains can go eight times farther with several more pounds of weight than cars. Trains are no longer the large, coal-burning machines they used to be and are even considered the most energy efficient mode of transportation.

Convenience

Many train stations are located in the downtown area of cities and towns, or as close to downtown as possible. Airports, on the other hand, are generally located miles outside of a city’s center, necessitating an expensive cab ride to your house or hotel. Additionally, trains offer many amenities not provided by airlines, including cell service and use of cellular phones, free WiFi, and electrical outlets near seats.

Wait times are shorter

You don’t have to show up at the station two hours before your train trip. In many cases, you can arrive as soon as 30 minutes before your train is scheduled to depart. If you are taking a frequently-traveled route, you can often purchase a ticket at the last minute and take the next train if you miss the first one.

Comfortable

We could talk for hours about the lack of leg room on airplanes, or about how it appears to be shrinking by the year. Trains don’t have that problem – there is plenty of leg room! Some trains also have sleeping cars, which are perfect for long-haul journeys. Trains also generally have a café or dining car, meaning that you can choose from a wide selection of food whenever you want to. Airplanes are notorious for their stingy snacks – if they provide them at all.

Train travel is more than means to an end

The large windows and interesting scenery are some of the best parts of taking a trip on the rails. Some routes are even taken specifically for the views – the American Northeast offers color tours in the fall, and many of the routes that pass through the Rockies are renowned for their scenery. The fun part of train travel is that it’s not just a way to get somewhere – the trip can be part of the fun, too.

This post was written by a guest contributor for America by Rail, featuring guided train tours and rail vacations.