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View Diary: Sunday Train: Putting Steel into the Amtrak Long Distance Backbone (87 comments)

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  •  The California Zephyr (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling, Larsstephens, roadbear

    I have made a number of trips from Iowa to the SF Bay area by car, and one delightful trip by the Zephyr.

    I read a comment on another forum stating "AMTRAK is inconvenient, slow, and expensive.  Much better to drive."

    My response:

    Inconvenient? It depends on where you live relative to the stations. Where I live in western Iowa, the distance to the nearest Amtrak station is the same as the distance to the nearest airport.

    Slow? Yes, compared with air travel. Compared with driving, it depends. Traveling from Iowa to the S.F. Bay area there's not a big difference for me. When we drive, we stay overnight twice (at least) so while the actual time on the road is less, the overall time is slightly more driving.

    Expensive? For one person in a car, Amtrak is cheaper. For three or more people in a vehicle, driving is cheaper. That's because you provide the labor. With Amtrak, you're paying someone else to drive so you can sit back and relax.

    Safe? Oops, you didn't mention that. Amtrak (or air travel) is much safer than driving.

    •  Plus, when traveling with a young child (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BruceMcF, Larsstephens, cocinero

      no anxious searching for potty-break exits!

      And instead of it being adversarial and painful ('are we there yet?'), you can play games and have a fun day with the kid... ('are we there already?')

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 01:41:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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