For a Change of Pace, How About Train Travel?

I fly nearly every week but I love the chance to get on a train when possible. My interest in trains always surges when I see articles like this one.

Of course it would be impossible not to enjoy the scenery from the rails but in fairness, there are some pretty impressive sights to see well above the ground, too. The sleeping car is something I could get into for long-haul travel. That sure beats snuggling up to a stranger in a cramped seat at 36,000 feet.Train travel

But trains offer more, things like larger seats, more opportunities to walk around, more relaxed passengers. How about a dining car? Good luck enjoying something similar on flights.

While the writer seems excited about turning off Wi-Fi for many hours, this does not turn me on at all. There are too many opportunities to get a lot of things done on a train if there is W-Fi. This must be an issue for long-haul train travel because Amtrak has been building out their Wi-Fi network over the past few years.

Apparently the lack of Wi-Fi isn’t a deal breaker for everyone because there are many dedicated rail enthusiasts. Okay, not as many as flying or even cruising but those that enjoy riding the trains are very loyal. Not surprising, it tends to attract an older clientele similar to the cruise industry.

According to Lynn Bobak, marketing manager for Vacations By Rail: “It’s for the seasoned traveler, the active boomer who has traveled around the world.”

Hey, she’s talking to me. I would consider myself a seasoned world traveler, though I need to activate my boomer to complete her expectation of model passenger.

On a related note, Amtrak reported some impressive quarterly results last week. Yes, they still lost money – they always do – but revenues were up again for the eighth time in the past nine years. Most impressive news, their operating loss this quarter was the lowest in the past 41 years. See, more people really are taking to the rails.

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