I tend to hate planes. I absolutely love trains. Not everyone in my life understands why this is—trains are slower, they tend to be more expensive than planes whenever they’re going to the same place, and they’re so old fashioned compared to flying. But I say NAY. Here’s why trains rule:
10. Your Luggage Isn’t Checked As Much.
Don’t get me wrong, if you are stupid enough to try to sneak anything onto a train, you will be found and nailed. But I’ve noticed that train companies seem to trust their passengers much more. It’s a very adult form of travel. There’s a silent understanding that you will act like an adult when you’re on the train. If you get drunk, threaten someone, or act like an immature jerk, you’ll get thrown off the train at the next stop.
9. Train Stations Are Gorgeous.
Have you SEEN pictures of Grand Central Station? Or any train station in a larger city? They can be drop-dead beautiful, perhaps because they tend to have been built in earlier, more slow-moving times. If passengers aren’t rushing about so much, they’ll be better able to appreciate a beautiful space. Train stations also don’t have to store as much maintenance equipment as airports (train yards are usually separate places altogether). They can afford to be less utilitarian, with features like wood benches and granite floors.
8. You Can Actually Move Around.
That’s the thing about trains: They’re strings of cars. With corridors. That are long. Figure it out, ya lazy bums.
7. Non-Sucky Internet Connections.
Which you may not even have to pay for. Scooooooore.
6. It’s A Culture of Talking To People…
In an airplane, trying to make friendly conversation will get you a death stare or annoyed guffaw. On a train, you might end up meeting your new best friend. It’s a mystery as to why (Larger seats? More air circulation?), but people tend to open up more if they’re traveling by train.
5. … But If You Want To Be Alone, That’s Fine Too
There’s no pressure to talk to your neighbor if you don’t want to, though. If you want to pull a Don Draper and just plunk down and work, no one will bother you. It’s your ride, baby.
4. Large Bathrooms.
Being able to fix your makeup, pee without going into the fetal position, and do some jumping jacks during a long trip: Priceless.
3. The Food (Usually) Doesn’t Suck.
Travel tip: Order the low-sodium or vegetarian option whenever you’re flying if you want a decent meal. Otherwise, you can forget about eating something decent. On the other hand, if you’re on a train… pasta. Seafood. Freaking pizza. And you can even bring your own food without getting in trouble.
2. Conductors and Attendants Have Your Back.
I know this is a sweeping generalization, but I’ve never had a bad experience with a conductor or a train attendant. Station workers, yes. But in terms of people who actually work on trains, they’re some of the nicest transportation workers ever. Maybe it’s the slower pace of the trains itself, maybe it’s the fact that their uniforms are still pretty cute after all these years. But after years of flying, only one flight staff really stands out to me as being over-the-top nice (London to Newark, holla!). Otherwise, train folk take the cake.
1. Sleeper Cars.
I rest my case.
When’s the last time you rode on a train? Was it a good experience? Any train lovers out there?