Riding the rails is my most favorite form of transportation. Hands down. There is nothing I like better. I’m speaking mostly of a longer distance rail ride like Amtrak, but I’ll take an NJTransit (if it’s on time), a SEPTA, and even a PATH train (again if it is ON TIME) over a car any day.
Cars make me nauseous and they are also terrifying death traps. Tons of people die in cars every year. I’ll look up the actual number at some point but it is EXCESSIVE DEATH. These are huge, dangerous machines left in the hands of barely trained human beings who are all inherently and statistically accident prone and things are going to go wrong at some point. Things are going to go very wrong.
I think the whole “we built trains to go across the country but we’re over trains and obsessed with cars now” had something to do with like, Eisenhower being super into building an interstate highway system and also capitalism. And cars made things rocking for Detroit for a while and I love some Detroit so I’ll give them that one thing but now cars left Detroit and totally screwed them over so I guess they won a battle but lost the war. The war our planet is also currently losing because cars cause so much pollution. I mean my opinion doesn’t count because I’m not the czar of US transportation bullshit but I’m just saying. Seriously though go visit Detroit you won’t be sorry.
The other problem with cars is their motion. As a passenger it makes me have to barf unless I have the window down and focus on the horizon the entire time. Cars do have some good qualities too. Not gonna talk about those now because I’m talking about riding the rails, gang.
As mentioned above I’m going to keep this riding the rails tribute Amtrak/long distance specific. They have the most perks and the best ride. Of the rails.
The seats are HUGE. You have so much room and they are soft and comfy and you can stretch your legs out and you still get a little tray table for drinks and snackies or to put your laptop or a magazine or book on and it’s delightful.
Speaking of laptops they have free WiFi. It’s not like the GREATEST WiFi or as fast as the custom fios pipeline you had installed in your office and the installer guys probably killed some roof dwelling birds in the installation process, but it’s good enough to get a little work done or a little surf on or to help you not completely use your whole data plan on your phone during one train ride. It works. And it’s fine.
When you’re not monopolizing the whole train’s bandwidth you can also go to the foods car to get foods and drinks AT ANY TIME. I mean sometimes they close it to clean it or if it’s 4am or something but that puppy is back within the hour. The snacks aren’t bad and they have those premade sandwiches that would be questionable at a gas station but they’re fine here. Trust me okay I’ve eaten them.
It’s also the best place to nap of all time ever. The gentle rocking of the train and the soft sounds of it moving along the track are the sweetest lullaby. I can’t even stay awake right now thinking about it. And then you awake and feel comfortable and refreshed and warm and your neck and actually ENTIRE BODY doesn’t hurt like when you sleep on a plane and also you didn’t wake up dead from a fiery automobile accident.
I began writing this a day before my last Amtrak trip and when I boarded the train at Newark Penn there were NO SEATS AVAILABLE. This has never happened! The tickets are so expensive and they clearly say “Reserved Coach Seat”! That means there is a seat that is reserved for you. Just felt I needed to explain that clearly to you since that isn’t what happened.
I expressed my outrage to Amtrak in an Instagram story and we all KNOW that is the most efficient way to receive customer service and in my case a phone call is completely out of the question. I told them I still love them but I was just “disappointed” and I hope they felt shamed like a little kid that got in trouble at school or a dog that ate your shoes but then they give you that dog face like they know they screwed up and they hate themselves for it. That’s how I want Amtrak to feel. They better feel it.
After I finally got a seat things improved. I got some “work” done for this blog and for some other shit and I have to say I didn’t realize writing a blog would be so much work but it now sucks up all of my free time. It’s fun and it gets me pumped up but it’s like whoa. I was so naive about this whole thing. As per usual.
Anyway enough about me. Do you like to ride the rails? Do you hate the rails? Do you have children and do they get excited to see people arriving via the rails like my niece and nephew do? Do you even care about the rails or are they not even on your radar because you were brainwashed by automobile-centric Eisenhower era propaganda?