5 Reasons to Travel by Train in the U.S.

In many regions of this world, train travel is the norm for getting around. From Europe to Asia, locals regularly commute to work, explore their countries, and take in the scenery from the seat of a train. The Unites States has never been considered a popular place for train travel, but here’s five reasons why it should.

See the Country

When you look out the window of an airplane you have a view of clouds and endless sky. It doesn’t matter if you’re flying over Mongolia or Nebraska, at the cruising altitude of a 747 everything looks the same. For this reason, to actually see the geography of a country, traveling by train is the best method out there. Because of the massive size of the US and wide range of natural features taking a train can be an amazing way to see parts of the country missed by most travelers. One train in particular called the ‘California Zephyr’ travels from California all the way to Chicago through the gorgeous Rocky Mountains.

Quality of Trains
Amtrak runs the majority of trains in the USA and although the tracks are fairly outdated the trains are more than up to par. Spacious, comfortable and well equipped with dining and lounge cars the Amtrak trains have great service and entertainment to keep you happy during long rides.  Unlike an airplane trains have tons of extra space so you can wander about, stretch your legs and actually get some sleep!

Plethora of Routes
From small towns in the Midwest to all the major cities on the east and west coast, Amtrak trains make stops all over the United States. Train routes run parallel to the Canadian and Mexican border in addition to running down the length of the East and West coast. There are a total of 33 different routes to choose from and you will literally see parts of the country that are only possibly by train.

Price
Budget airlines like Southwest and Frontier have become more popular in the US with routes to virtually anywhere you want to go. This is one of the biggest reasons that train travel is not a popular option for exploring this great country. Depending on where you are going and the level of comfort you need to endure a long journey, trains are comparable and often cheaper than flying across the US. A train from Chicago to New York in a regular seat will only run you $97 so it’s really an economical method of US travel!

Speed
This is another huge deterrent for people choosing flights over trains in the U.S. The vast area of land that makes up this country makes for very long distances between cities so flying makes traveling much easier and quicker. However, wise travelers know that traveling is often more about the journey than the destination and choosing to see the country rather than the clouds is an exciting alternative.

By Alex Vere Nicoll

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