The train is good, there should be more train. More Amtrak, more commuter, more train! I took the train from Baltimore, Maryland, to New York, New York, and back a couple of times in the past month and I occasionally take the train from Baltimore to Washington D.C., our nation’s capital. It’s a better experience compared to driving in a car, being a passenger in a car, or riding in a goddamn bus. I want more of this experience.
There’s a whole politics around supporting trains in principle, as public goods and as an alternative to sprawl, which means there’s a whole politics against that, too, for the sake individualism and uncontrolled petroleum-burning and mostly hurting the feelings of the people who support trains. But I’m recommending the personal, subjective train experience. You move faster but it seems slower-paced, more relaxed, pleasant, even.
Maybe you take a train every day and it’s a grind. If you are commuting, what isn’t a grind, if you’re going to work? Do you want to go to work? See? People complain about the bus being behind schedule, getting stranded at airports, etc., and sure, that happens with the train, but most of the time the train is on schedule, and when it’s on schedule it’s really on schedule, those things start rolling on schedule to the minute.
The train usually costs more than the bus, because it’s worth it. The seats are bigger and more comfortable, there’s more legroom, even the can is bigger.
The train is way faster than a car or bus. The last time I was on the train looking at Google Map on my phone on as we snaked out of Baltimore, I was imagining driving my car close to the route we were taking, which would be pretty much impossible because the train has its own route and tunnels that cut straight through the grid of streets. My blue map- dot was sailing through my Google Map so quickly it seemed like a special effect. Also, the train generally does not stop for traffic lights. If you drive, just think how fast you’d be moving in a car on your usual commuter route if you didn’t have to stop for lights, but that’s not about to happen.
A lot of times, you can get a beer on the train.
Somebody I met recently who is from Brazil said the trains in the United States are way better than in their country. Isn’t that odd? Usually people from other countries (Europeans) are telling us that our rail system is crappy compared to theirs. They’re right, of course, because the Europeans have More Trains, that’s our problem, and that’s why the United States trains are better than Brazil: more!
More trains are better trains. If there were more trains out of D.C., running later, I’d visit more. The commuter train costs about eight bucks one way, compare that to Uber or whatever, it’s actually cheap, and beats driving. But the last train out of D.C. is usually around 10:30 p.m., which is not early enough for me to go down to our nation’s capital for some civilized entertainment and culture and a nice meal and travel back to Baltimore without feeling rushed, which is unpleasant when you’re having a nice meal and a beverage. I can’t live in the Megalopolis for real until there are more trains connecting the nodes, you know?
Also, I don’t want to drive to D.C. for the above-mentioned meal and beverage and have to drive back, I’d rather relax. I am an experienced motorist who used to live a solid 45-minute superhighway car-commute from my day job, and there were times when I was fighting to keep my eyes open. If that happened on the train, I wouldn’t drive off the road and kill anybody, the worst that could happen was I’d miss my stop.