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Old 07-30-2010, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Louisiana and Pennsylvania
2,755 posts, read 5,321,126 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by South Range Family View Post
There are two answers to your question. The first would be goofballs that are afraid to fly. The second would be somebody with a lot of time on their hands that wants to try out the novelty of riding a train.
Not that I'm afaid of flying. I've been doing so for over 40 years and enjoyed it at one time. Now, I would rather eat sand than fly today with the hassles and virtually non-existent customer service.

Granted, the train is not for everyone, but at least you have room, can keep busy or not and walk around. I can't wait to take my next train ride.
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Old 07-30-2010, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
2,498 posts, read 10,287,210 times
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In addition to the Northeast corridor, Amtrak's service on the Pacific Surfliner route is pretty good. It has the highest ridership of a Amtrak line outside the Northeast and is on time over 90% of the time now (used to suffer chronic delays). It operates between San Luis Obispo and San Diego, CA. Most of the frequency is between Los Angeles and San Diego though as only some trains continue past L.A. to San Luis Obispo.

Trip time on Amtrak is 2 hours and 40 minutes between L.A. and San Diego's downtowns. Drive time is about 2 hours without traffic (which is rare) and 3 hours 30 minutes with traffic (much more common for L.A. and So Cal).

Its also popular because while Interstate 5 between L.A. and San Diego is inland most of the trip, the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner is right up against the ocean from the Dana Point to San Diego portions of the route. The views are beautiful!
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Old 07-30-2010, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Miami/ Washington DC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gil3 View Post
Not that I'm afaid of flying. I've been doing so for over 40 years and enjoyed it at one time. Now, I would rather eat sand than fly today with the hassles and virtually non-existent customer service.

Granted, the train is not for everyone, but at least you have room, can keep busy or not and walk around. I can't wait to take my next train ride.
So the hassle. I understand the hassle of flying if you going from DC to New York of Chicago to St. Louis. But would you take a train from Miami to Los Angeles over flying? Make a lets say 7-8 hour trip on a plane 5 hours of actual flying into 2-3 days?
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Old 07-30-2010, 08:48 PM
 
Location: On the Rails in Northern NJ
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Amtrak's Northeastern Routes are all less then 9hrs end to end. There less then 50$ on some routes. Service every 30-60 mins 24/7 with the except of a few lines in the NE. There fast , cheap , fun , comfortable. They make a profit.....a few Midwestern lines are the same way.
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Old 07-31-2010, 11:42 AM
 
Location: the dairyland
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I took the train once, from Chicago to Seattle, it was about 48 hours. A flight was a bit more expensive but the train ride was very relaxed, you could shut your brain down for a while and the scenerey was beautiful as well.
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Old 07-31-2010, 04:38 PM
 
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I will give you another reason...THE OPPORTUNITY TO ACTUALLY SEE THE COUNTRY! I have never been West of the Appalachians (though I have been to Africa and Latin America) so whenever I get the chance to visit my friend in Cali, I will take the train. I would love to see the Great Plains, the transition to the Rockies, the Rockies, Great Basin Desert and the Sierra Nevada Mountains all in one visit. Secondly, it will be more comfortable, though much more timely (but that's not an issue when you are on vacation) than the airplane. The airplane packs people in like sardines and is very uncomfortable for people of size. With the train, I can get up and walk around, sit in big comfortable chairs and even have a private room to myself. I can't do that on an airplane. Then when I arrive, I am actually quite rested and not so exhausted from the flight. The photographs from the train would also be much better than looking down at clouds on a plane. That's why people take the train...yes, some silly people are afria dot fly...but for the rest it is the comfort and the ability to see the country.
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Old 07-31-2010, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Miami/ Washington DC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lentzr View Post
I will give you another reason...THE OPPORTUNITY TO ACTUALLY SEE THE COUNTRY! I have never been West of the Appalachians (though I have been to Africa and Latin America) so whenever I get the chance to visit my friend in Cali, I will take the train. I would love to see the Great Plains, the transition to the Rockies, the Rockies, Great Basin Desert and the Sierra Nevada Mountains all in one visit. Secondly, it will be more comfortable, though much more timely (but that's not an issue when you are on vacation) than the airplane. The airplane packs people in like sardines and is very uncomfortable for people of size. With the train, I can get up and walk around, sit in big comfortable chairs and even have a private room to myself. I can't do that on an airplane. Then when I arrive, I am actually quite rested and not so exhausted from the flight. The photographs from the train would also be much better than looking down at clouds on a plane. That's why people take the train...yes, some silly people are afria dot fly...but for the rest it is the comfort and the ability to see the country.
Well I must say a veiw from 37,000ft is amazing as well! Flying over the country is a great sight to see. And airplanes are not uncomfortable for normal sized people. I can see that if you want to do the train ride once or twice Im all for that. I just dont see the point or logic of taking it all the time over air travel. Also nothing beats a sunrise or sunset at 37,000ft!!
The a plane would be so much cheaper then a sleeper across the country. But then again one day I want to take a cross country train ride but I will probably make it one way not round trip.
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Old 07-31-2010, 07:59 PM
 
1,446 posts, read 4,054,278 times
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FlyMIA - What is a "normal sized person"? Did you know that the average person in the country, more than 50% is overweight or obese. I am not saying that a slighty chubby person will not fit, but it still is a rough squeeze. Also, a coach seat simply does not have the room of a large seat in a train or a sleeper. Also, other than the bathroom, you cannot get up to walk around. Secondly, a view from 37,000ft is interesting, but all too often you see nothing put clouds. A clear view of mountains, great plains, etc. is far more impressive than seeing it down from so far away. Only the brief landings and take off give you a real good view, unless you are flying over the Grand Canyon or something like that.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Houston, Tx
3,644 posts, read 5,559,632 times
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I think comparing the train to airplanes is not so meaningful since people take them for different reasons. The reason people fly is for speed and cost. Trains will never beat airplanes for speed, except for very short distances like in Japan. Also, airplanes will never beat trains for space and comfort (at least not unless you pay $10,000 a ticket). Trains should be compared to cars for travel purposes. The speed is probably about the same, once you consider stops. The cost would be more but maybe less if the car ride would be so long as to require hotel stays.
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Old 08-02-2010, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Louisiana and Pennsylvania
2,755 posts, read 5,321,126 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyMIA View Post
So the hassle. I understand the hassle of flying if you going from DC to New York of Chicago to St. Louis. But would you take a train from Miami to Los Angeles over flying? Make a lets say 7-8 hour trip on a plane 5 hours of actual flying into 2-3 days?
If time were not an issue, you better believe I would over flying. I would have a cooler filled with beer, bread and lunchmeat. All aboard

I also remember meeting some interesting people on past train trips in the cafe car. We would sit around the table all night, drink, smoke and just shoot the bull.
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