Eco-dude returned home last night on AMTRAK from a long weekend from Chicago and I have to say, the train is the only way to travel over land (especially when you do not have a cape). It was truly enjoyable, smooth, quick, safe, fun, and relaxing. Even Eco-dude with his super-powers was surprised by how full the train was for a Tuesday evening – more than 90 percent full.
Normally after hours of driving through congested traffic and construction zones, Eco-dude is pooped out and exhausted the next day at work as even superheroes have to earn a living. Instead, I left the driving to the engineer and relaxed my way home napping, reading, and gazing out the window. This morning I was bright-eyed and bush-tailed.
Even flying anymore tends to leave me exhausted due to the early arrival needed at the airport for security, gathering luggage, getting the car, and the drive home from the airport. Riding the bus could be a pleasant alternative if they would spruce up their stations and ticketing procedures.
Granted, train travel may not work for every nook and cranny in the United States – but it should – that’s the whole point. Instead of spending billions on highways, let’s channel at least 25 percent of those funds to enhance and expand passenger rail travel with interconnecting bus and shuttle services to those outlying communities not directly abutting the rail lines. It would work if Congress let it and the highway lobby was finally told to back off.
If you support rail travel in America, then be an Eco-dude or Eco-dudette and write, call, or email your local, state, and national representatives and tell them that you want more passenger rail. I know I do and I will.