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Old 08-03-2010, 08:30 PM
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,899,839 times
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Originally Posted by delany View Post
I wonder what kind of people take the train in the US
Probably the kind of people who don't want to be treated like this.

YouTube - Delta Flight from HELL pt4
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:35 PM
Location: The Chatterdome in La La Land, CaliFUNia
38,897 posts, read 20,196,252 times
Reputation: 35922
Originally Posted by missionhome View Post
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!
I use the Surfliner relatively frequently for work due to Metrolink's limited hours of operation between Fullerton and San Juan. Too bad it does not service Mission Viejo as that is where I work but at least there is bus service from SJC that gets me into MV. I doubt that I'd use Amtrak to travel up north to San Francisco or out of state as I value the efficiency of airplane travel and the cost is not significantly cheaper.
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Old 08-04-2010, 04:26 AM
Location: Trivandrum, India
18 posts, read 24,692 times
Reputation: 10
Default For the sheer joy of Travelling

I think most of the people in US have never rode a train. I am from a country where train is still the most effective form of travel (although sometimes it can be horrible). The best way to see a new place in my opinion is, in order of merit, Walking> Motorbiking> Driving a car> Train >>> Flying. If you can't drive or don't want to drive, take the train. US has some of the best train rides in the world and I am waiting for my opportunity to get on them.

Finding the Charm of Cross-Country Rail Travel - NYTimes.com
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Old 02-04-2011, 01:04 PM
185 posts, read 298,031 times
Reputation: 121
You can't really compare Amtrak to flying... it's really like Apples to Oranges.
People who like to ride Amtrak for long distances share a lot of the same views as people who prefer taking cross country car rides.
Some of Amtrak's ridership also is composed of people who don't want to fly or can't afford to, yet don't want to/can't drive, but at the same time don't want to take the bus.
Although AA says the flight is 2.5 hrs, that time doesn't include driving to the airport, parking, baggage check, security, baggage claim, car rental/taxi/transit tickets, and riding to your final destination. Most of these cost extra too and (except security) are likely to be found riding Amtrak as well (but not as costly or time consuming).
Amtrak may seem slower than a car ride, but beyond the "lodging limit", it actually becomes faster and sometimes cheaper. Keep in mind that some of Amtrak's routes aren't always the most direct route between point A and point D.
Comparing Amtrak's shorter routes like the NEC, Pacific Surfliner, Cascades or the Lincoln Service to flying is just stupid, as the distances are too short for flying to be a practical option (especially after 9/11). These distances (around 200-500 miles) usually are in competition with driving or buses, but are usually too long for a practical car ride.
Overseas, the usual solution to this is High Speed Rail. But we haven't really built that yet...
Lastly, although not always practiced, riding on an overnight train can combine lodging with travel, if the train arrives at your destination in the morning.
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