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Why do you travel by train?

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#1 LookingGlassTie


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Posted 15 March 2017 - 07:48 PM

How many of you travel by train for its own sake, and how many of you travel that way because it's the preferred way to get to your destination?


Personally, I'm of the latter group.   I've only ridden on the Northeast Regional so far, but any future Amtrak trips I might take would be to get to a specific place.  Of course, I do want to enjoy the train trip.     :)

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#2 KauaiJohn


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Posted 15 March 2017 - 07:59 PM

I Don't perceive a difference between the two

#3 blackpup


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Posted 15 March 2017 - 08:25 PM

I have only been on one train, and that was to get to Chicago without having to drive and to try something new. It was only a 4 hour trip, so we wanted to try something longer. In a few weeks we will and it is mostly for the experience of LD train travel.


Also to add, I don't mind being in an airplane, I just hate all the red tape you have to go through to get into that airplane. 

Edited by blackpup, 17 March 2017 - 07:01 AM.

#4 VAtrainfan


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Posted 15 March 2017 - 08:30 PM

I also have only traveled on the NER and Keystone, and given that the train ride takes 4 hours longer than the drive (even counting the I-95 traffic) I still take Amtrak whenever possible. So I guess that puts me in the first group?

#5 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 08:36 PM

I'm afraid of flying.

Trains Traveled: Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA), Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Lake Shore Limited (NYP-CHI), , Silver Meteor (PHL-ORL), Southwest Chief (CHI-LAX), California Zephyr (CHI-SLC, SLC-EMY), City of New Orleans and/or Illini (CHI-Champaign, IL), Texas Eagle (CHI-DAL)
Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!

#6 FrensicPic



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Posted 15 March 2017 - 08:43 PM

Because I like trains (riding or watching) and I choose not to fly anymore.


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#7 KauaiJohn


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Posted 15 March 2017 - 08:54 PM

I have to fly to get to North America so I really enjoy riding the train at least one way while there. Next trip will be Honolulu to Pheonix, a day in the car down to Tucsan, then back to Pheonis for a train to St. Louis, a car to eastern Illinois, then the train down to Dallas and Austin. Fly back to Pheonix and home to Kilauea.

#8 Acela150



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Posted 15 March 2017 - 09:07 PM

Plenty of reasons. :)


1. I'm a buff!

2. Most of the time I'm traveling from PHL to the Boston area. I live a short 15 minute bus ride from 30th Street. And I can choose between getting off at the Route or South Station and using commuter rail to get to my final destination. SOOOOOO Flexibility!! 

3. I've done the drive to my ex's house in the Boston area. It's a bit much for me. 

4. There isn't a good reason to fly that distance. 

5. When I ride LD trains, it's because I'm not in a hurry and I want to enjoy looking at the country we live in. 

6. There is always at least one good thing out of each trip.. Even if your hours late. Whether it's a crew member, seeing scenery in daylight that's normally a night run, or meeting and talking with a great person or persons in the diner. It's always there! You just have to find it! 

7. So much of Americas hidden scenery that must be seen can only be seen on the train. Marias Pass and Donner Pass come to mind. 

8. I can turn off my phone and disconnect from the world. In this day and age where everyone has to be on their cell phone or needs to have wifi, I choose to put those down and just disconnect from the world. Why? Think about how much stress can come in your life, and think about how much of it come from phone calls, text messages, Facebook messages, etc. Turn it off and enjoy the view and meet your fellow passengers and find out why they want to ride the train. 

9. Trains are the future of this nation! We are decades behind Japan, China, France, Germany, and many other countries in terms of High Speed Rail. I do my best to advocate for HSR and Amtrak. In these times the people that represent us have their heads so far up their rear ends with stuff that isn't a priority. So what Trump didn't release his tax returns.. Let's be real if your in the White House, Capitol Building, or Politics in general you're a liar. Case example right now is the B&P Tunnels and the Hudson River Tubes. And we're busy fighting over stupid non sense. Many people blame the guy in the White House.. That's NOT who to blame. It's the people we elect to Capitol Hill. They spend years there and don't get jack done for the country, instead make it complete hell. 


I can go on.. But that's enough for now. :)

These posts are my views and opinions.

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#9 Gemuser


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Posted 15 March 2017 - 09:11 PM

When I am in countries that drive on the wrong side of the road like most of Europe or North America I refuse to drive so I take the train where possible. In Europe that's just about everywhere, in North America its harder so I fly if necessary. Inter city busses are the last resort everywhere.



#10 BCL



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Posted 15 March 2017 - 09:37 PM

Commute. The train I take the most is Capitol Corridor, which serves both intercity and commute passengers. It's not as if I can't drive, but it's less stressful to take a train to work.

My interest in the occasional trip on an Amtrak LD train developed from the commuter use. I've taken the Coast Starlight occasionally, as well as the Keystone on a trip from NYC to Philly.

I got into getting AGR status, and made Select one year and Select Plus the next. Chasing points got a bit crazy after a while. I'm not terribly interested any more.

#11 Lonestar648



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Posted 15 March 2017 - 10:31 PM

I have always preferred traveling by Amtrak verses flying.  During my working years, I could be very efficient traveling by train and the cost evened out so my management didn't mind my using the Sleeper.  Unfortunately, scheduling necessitated flying more times than I wanted with some tickets flying having as many as 20 legs in a 7 day week (am a 2M miler on Delta, and 1M miler on United).  I love going by rail, reason I set up at least one major trip per year totally by Amtrak.  Last year was SL/CS/EB/TE.  This year will be TE/CZ/CS/SL/TE.  I have also traveled to see friends and family separately, all by rail.  I will say that moving to Chicago enabled me to take advantage of Amtrak's Hub significantly increasing my travels by rail.  There is so much of this wonderful country to see out the window that I find it hard to concentrate on anything else.  I have taken everyone of my grand children and earlier my children on train trips.  Unfortunately, my better half has major claustrophobia.  A super SCA suggested she sit with me in a bedroom and talk, my train was being delayed in departing.  She started fine, but by 30 minutes I could tell she was having problems even though she was trying to hide it.  She encourages me to make these trips, even though she can go.  I hope my health will allow me to makes these trips years to come.

#12 KmH



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Posted 15 March 2017 - 10:46 PM

Mostly I travel by train to be on the train, though I have also traveled by train to visit relatives.

I shoot stills and video of the scenery/sights.


I have a 2 hour drive just to get to the closest Amtrak station - Ottumwa.

So the CZ is my 'home' train.


In May I'm driving 3 hours to get to Galesburg so I can catch the Southwest Chief - on a Monday.


I get back to GBB on that Saturday.


5400 miles - including driving to/from Galesburg.


TSA and being stuffed into an airplane like a sardine keeps me from flying - unless I have to get somewhere ASAP.

I last flew on a commercial airliner 12 years ago.

Edited by KmH, 16 March 2017 - 09:33 AM.

1963 U. S. Congress - underground trolley system Disneyland train (1968/various other dates) Old Tucson steam train (1969)
Amtrak - California Zephyr Coast Starlight  Southwest Chief Sunset Limited Texas Eagle  Illinois Zephyr
. . . . Amtrak miles - 16,383, so far. 7,320 more miles booked OTM - OKJ - EMY - OTM March 2018.

#13 Skyline


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Posted 15 March 2017 - 10:54 PM

The people. The scenery. There is usually a destination, but regardless the journey is also a destination.

#14 amyontherails


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Posted 15 March 2017 - 11:58 PM

- I have always liked trains and have a feeling of nostalgia on them

- I enjoy engaging in conversation with others in the lounge car. It's a great chance to learn about different people, cultures and ways of life
- I am tired of queueing in airport security checks

- The unexpected events make for good travel

- Moments are appreciated more at a slow pace

- I enjoy being disconnected and having pockets without internet or phone reception

- I never have a lot of baggage, but like that I could




US: California Zephyr, Capital Limited, Southwest Chief, Coast Starlight, Texas Eagle*, Northeast Regional*

Australia: The Ghan, The Indian Pacific, CountryLink*, XPT*

New Zealand: Coastal Pacific




#15 Dan O

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 12:47 AM

I only do so if I am going to one city as a destination and the train trip is part of the adventure. So I have gone to Chicago twice, New Orleans once and Santa Barbara all from LA area. The SB trip was just to get some of the kids on an Amtrak train and to enjoy the scenery for a day. Train trips are nice for me in that there is much less planning. Other than the train tickets, I just have to figure out how I am going to spend a few days in CHI or NOLA. That's easy compared to a 4-5 week roadtrip all over the map.(We have done a few of those and may do one to FL this year.)

Many of the places I like to go don't have train service. I could train part way there and rent a car but why do that when I have a reliable one in my driveway? But to go to a city or maybe stop and make it two (all my trips were on AGR 1.0) is how I enjoy trains. Next trip will be to NYC with stops in either Chicago or Dallas, depending on where the relatives are and if the Cubs are in town. 

Amtrak miles 13487
Pre-Amtrak train miles 6678

#16 anumberone


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Posted 16 March 2017 - 01:55 AM

Always a vacation of some sort. I like to take the train to start a vacation to slow down and unwind. I like to meet folks while traveling on the train, but also like the solitude a roomette provides to just kick back and watch the country slide by. Usually fly home because of time restraints and flying East to West is not bad with the time zone difference.

#17 Don Newcomb

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 07:31 AM

I enjoy train travel but live where it's not really a viable alternative. We decided to take the Crescent to Washington at Christmas after my wife vetoed driving and I didn't want to get hung up in the mess that air travel has become, particularly at holidays. The train was, by far, the most expensive alternative of the three.  I'm not sure how often we will travel by train in the future. It is not particularly fast and limits your flexibility as much as flying.

#18 caravanman



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Posted 16 March 2017 - 08:02 AM

I like to travel, and a train feels a comfortable and economical way to do that, particularly for longer distances. So for me, the excitement of being on the move, seeing what is over the next hill, or around the next corner is the buzz. Although I do fly, it feels like suspended animation while aloft, and I prefer a more animated travel experience. I do enjoy coach, tram and bus rides too, as well as self drive.


Strangely, for one who enjoys "moving on" so much, walking has a lot less appeal.  :D



Edited by caravanman, 16 March 2017 - 08:08 AM.

#19 anuenue


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Posted 16 March 2017 - 08:24 AM

My upcoming trip is so I can see the country. I've flown completely over it probably 30 times (NJ-CA, NJ-HNL) but haven't actually seen most of it. In the spring, I'm flying to LA to visit a friend, then taking a very round-about train journey and winding up back in NJ. LA, Santa Fe, Chicago, West Glacier, Seattle, Emeryville, Chicago again, DC, NJ.

For me, it's all about the train experience itself, and the scenery out my window.

If you want to find your passion, look where your mind goes when it wanders.

#20 Chey


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Posted 16 March 2017 - 09:55 AM

I love trains. I've always loved trains. There was a time I didn't mind flying (that time has long since passed) but I always loved trains. Given the choice of any mode of transportation, my first choice is always the train.

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