Traveling by train is an incredible method of transportation. Sure, it may be a bit slower, but what is wrong with slowing down in life once in a while? While not as dominant in the United States, this is a preferred method elsewhere. If you are not a fan of airports and airplanes or the thought of a lengthy road trip makes you cringe, this may be the best option for you!
My first train trip was to visit my grandparents in California. It took days to get there from the Union Station depot in Denver. I remember being so tired of our coach seats that I crawled into the overhead luggage rack and slept there. After that first experience, my time spent traveling by train has been limited to just a few short trips here and there.
Recently, we have started incorporating this method of transportation into our travels and, although it is not our primary way of travel, I feel it is my preferred method.
Train travel is a bit slower, so not always the best choice if you’re in a hurry. It is also important to note, again, that train travel isn’t as prevalent in the United States. Routes aren’t always available where you’re going. Now that you have worked these things out, it’s time to focus on what is so great about train travel.
Types of Train Travel
There are a few different types of train travel which you can easily incorporation into your transportation methods. When considering the possibilities, there are plenty of options to choose from. You might be using a standard passenger train to get from one spot to another. Or, if your destination is a bit longer, sleeper trains offer a unique experience. Sometimes though, all you really need is a fun, scenic train ride. These activities generally take visitors to certain spots before returning to the point of origin.
To represent the different types of travel mentioned above, here are a few varieties that we have experienced:
The White Pass and Yukon Route Train out of Skagway, Alaska.
The Caledonian Sleeper Train from London to Edinburg
Amtrak from Albany, New York to Niagara Falls, New York
Le Frecce high-speed train from Rome to Florence
The Death Railway in Kanchanaburi, Thailand
Each of these offers a different experience and serves a different purpose. But they have all been fun and resourceful ways to do a bit more branching out when traveling. With plenty of examples of possible train travel experiences to consider, what’s more to love about train travel? Trust us – there’s plenty!
10 Reasons Why I Prefer To Travel By Train!
1. Unlike airline travel, there is no need to arrive at the station 2-3 hours early. 30 minutes is really all you need.
2. There aren’t nearly as many pesky restrictions on luggage. You can actually pack what you need without having to pay a fortune to do so. And luggage is easily accessible during your journey.
3. Boarding is a breeze and so is getting settled in your seat.
4. Speaking of seats, trains have bigger, comfier seats with more leg room. And it’s easier to get in and out of them as needed.
5. As passengers are free to get up and move around as needed, and there’s more space for walking. Not only does it make this a better option to stretch your legs, but you don’t have to worry about bumping into people as you make your way down the aisle. Passengers are not packed into trains like a bunch of sardines. This, plus all the items mentioned above help reduce the risk of things like blood clots and DVT.
6. The price of tickets, especially in the coach class, is very affordable.
7. The dining car gives you more options at better prices, plus you can sit at a real table to eat your meal.
8. Traveling by train allows you to see the countryside while alleviating the stress caused by driving.
9. This method of travel has a lower carbon footprint than flying or driving.
10. There is just something romantic about traveling by train.
After numerous train trips, we can easily recommend this method of travel when it is available. Whether taking in the fall foliage throughout New England or adventuring through the heart of Europe, it is definitely the way to go.
Being able to sit back and relax while someone else does the navigating and driving is a great change of pace. Unlike flying, you have a close-up vantage point as you work your way through charming cities and expansive countryside.
Booking online also makes everything very easy and saves time at the station. Train stations can be a bit overwhelming, especially for first time passengers in foreign countries.
Even for those travelers who would rather enjoy scenic trips, trains are a very enjoyable method to do this. It is quite enjoyable to hop on board a train and relax. Whatever your reason, trains are a great way to travel. We prefer them and know you will to!
How apt that I’m reading this on a train. I really am! Wonderful post 🙂
What a small world!! Headed somewhere fun?!
Into the city (I’m in Melbourne) for a bank meeting. Hardly fun but never mind 😏
Love the ending – it made me chuckle!
Well… what can I say!?!
I’m a fan of train travel in Europe, too! I love seeing the country from a train window. The ride from Zurich to Innsbruck along the base of the Austrian Alps was especially breathtaking. Also, plane travel so often comes with delays. I agree with you — it’s much more likely a train will run on time. Great post! #FollowMeFriday
I do enjoy train travel for all of the same reasons, especially the fact that you can practically show up, hop on and go. However, since we bought our car two years ago, we never take the train anymore. I do miss it a bit, but after getting stranded coming home from Oktoberfest in the pouring rain, it’s left me hesitant to start again. #FeetDoTravel
I love travelling by train because I am still kinda uncomfortable about flying despite all my trips. Train travel would always be the default for me . Slow travel is also fun and you can see so much around you and I love stopping off and exploring new places on long distance journeys. Thanks for sharing
I’m with you Jenn, love me some train travel. It’s so much more relaxing than flying or going by bus. Surprised that there’s no passenger trains in your state though. Being from Melbourne and having spent so much time in Europe, I’m just used to train travel. Great post!
I love train travel if not pressed for time. I recently took a train from Norfolk to New York. It was fascinating and easy to do. What is really cool when one takes adventure trains through mountains and return. My preferred method from traveling to the different cities in Italy is definitely by train. Great article. #feetdotravel
I am definitely not adverse to a bit if train travel you know! We took the overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang and it would have been perfect if it wasn’t so cold (theyove to ramp up the Aircon in SE Asia!). But you are right, it’s a great way to see the countryside and there is more freedom to stetch your legs.ive jumped on board your Pin it train 😀 #feetdotravel
Travel by train is indeed great. I love to take scenic rides on trains.
It is such a relaxing way to take in the scenery!
Like you, we love traveling by train, and do it whenever we can! One thing we really enjoy on longer Amtrak trips is the dining car. Having a chance to actually sit and have a meal is nice, and it really is just like a little diner. But we enjoy the random pairings we get – since we travel as a couple, we’re usually sat with another couple, or sometimes a solo traveler. The conversation is always fantastic, as it’s always someone else who enjoys travel! Just wish we had more options in the US. 🙁
Oh interesting! We have never been paired up with other travelers in the dining cars! But, there is something magical about having dinner or drinks as you work your way down the tracks. I will never get having my first ever authentic schnitzel dinner as we worked our way between Berlin and Prague!
Totally agree with you! It’s a wonderful way to see the countryside around you and you don’t get stuck in traffic. I rarely take the car into Tel Aviv and much prefer to use the train. We took the train from Rome to Pisa a few year ago and it was a wonderful experience!
I’m glad you share the same affinity for train travel that we do! It’s a great way to go!!
I love traveling by train in Europe. It is much less stressful than renting a car, and comes without the hassle (and baggage constraints) of air travel. Plus you get the added bonus of the beautiful scenery!
I’m a big fan of slow travel and also prefer to travel by train. It’s so much more sustainable than air travel!
Traveling by train is definitely my preferred mode of transportation. I really wish there was more train travel here in the US. Living in Boston though, it’s so great to be able to travel thru the northeast via train.
I love train travel – wish we had more of it in the states! When in Europe, I tend to always prefer it versus driving. It is convenient and a great way to meet people.
Some of my favorite trips have been traveling by train through the countryside in Europe. Lovely views and a unique experience to enjoy.
It’s the best!
I love traveling by train — in Europe or the Northeast. I’d love to give it a go elsewhere in the US, but it can be so difficult with such limited options. One of these days, for the experience!
We feel the exact same way!