All too often, many forget about the possibility of traveling by rail. They think in terms of driving or going by plane. But this old-fashioned mode of travel is still around, and there are a lot of great reasons choose the train next time you take a trip.
One reason many love to travel by train is that it offers an opportunity to plan a stress-free vacation, to slow down and enjoy the scenery. In fact, no other mode of transportation can beat the railway for this. In cars, often all you see is highway systems that all look the same. When you are on a train, you go through some of the most scenic parts of the country, and there may be special raised cars with floor-to-ceiling windows on some routes to allow you to better enjoy the view.
Passes or Compartments
You can just purchase a regular ticket, but there are a couple of options for some journeys that can make your trip really special. Sometimes, there are special passes for sale that allow you multiple stopovers in cities along the way. The other option you may want to look into if your travel is overnight is a sleeping compartment. You’ll go to sleep with the soothing sound of the wheels on the track, and you’ll get complimentary meals in the dining car. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Even if you aren’t traveling overnight, some routes may offer the option of a private room. While prices for passes are usually fixed, for most other types of tickets, you can get a better price by booking early.
The cities of the northeast have a few things in common. They are close together, they aren’t much fun to drive in and they are easy to get around on foot, by public transportation or via taxi or rideshare. This means that if you are traveling around this region, trains are a great choice. It takes three and a half to five hours to travel by train from Boston to New York, a drive that takes roughly between four and five hours by car depending on traffic. If you’re making the trip for work, you can actually get work done en route. If you’re on vacation, it makes it easy to visit Boston, New York, and potentially one or two other historic cities in the region, and you can talk, read, play games, have a drink in the lounge car and talk to fellow passengers while you’re en route.
Other Great Routes
There are a number of other great routes you can take. The Chicago Zephyr goes from San Francisco to Chicago, through the Rocky Mountains, and it is often said to be the most beautiful train journey in the country. Another terrific choice is the Southwest Chief, which takes you across desert country, including New Mexico and Arizona. You could also combine an American train journey with a Canadian destination, traveling up to British Columbia or across that country one way and across the U.S. the other.