Train Travel

The Benefits of Train Travel

In many countries around the world, train travel is very common. In Europe and Japan, the people there pride themselves on there so-called bullet trains, which travel at incredible speeds. But, in the United States, it was truly felt that train travel was on its way out. That is, until recent times, and the sharp spike in gas prices. Not only is travel by car no longer cheap, but airplane tickets have also spiraled out of sight. Add to that, there are the numerous security measures you have to go through when flying by air; the near endless delays, and suddenly a plane is not a convenient means of getting around. In addition, most airports are located outside of cities. So, when you arrive, you have to arrange for travel into the city. That means either taking a taxi or renting; and that's not cheap. With train travel, the stations are generally right in the downtown area of the city.

And thus train travel has seen a resurgence in use. Traveling by train has a lot of pluses, and not just when it comes to saving money by getting a cheap ticket. When you are in a car or plane, your movements are extremely limited. Even with a plane, while you can get up and walk a bit, it is still minimal. As anyone who's traveled great distances knows, having to sit for a long time is a real pain. In train travel you can get up and move around, go to the club car, the dining car, and other places that allow you to stretch.

Then there's the issue of passing the time while you travel. With train travel, your seat and the seats in the club car have electrical outlets. You can plug in a portable DVD player, a laptop computer, and other means of entertainment. Pop a movie into one of those, and you can easily while away a couple of hours. Heck, bring the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and you've got a whole day's worth of entertainment! In addition, some trains show movies in the club cars. While trains don't yet have internet connections, you can often pick up WiFi when they stop in a station.

If you travel by car, you generally have to stop at a hotel, and then there's food to buy. There you have two more bills to shell out money for. Doesn't sound like a very cheap way of traveling, does it? Going by plane, meals are pretty minimal. Depending on the train you are riding, a meal may be included in the price of your ticket, or you can go to the dining car for a full meal. Granted, the prices are not cheap, but they are also not very pricey. A modest meal can be quite affordable.

Of course, some people complain that they can't sleep on train travel; the seats just aren't very comfortable. Well, train travel does include the option of the sleeper car. While the tickets are more expensive, when you compare taking a car and renting a hotel room, it is quite economical.

Then there is also the issue of what to do once you arrive at your destination. Are you going to have to rent a car, take a taxi? Depending on the train travel you take, some trains are what are known as auto trains; they have special cars for automobiles. You turn your car over to the staff, they put it on board, and then you board the train. Here again, when you compare the price of driving your car, staying in hotels, and the time involved, train travel is quite affordable. As gas prices are projected to only increase over the long term, it's clear that train travel will continue to be the most economical means of getting around the country.