What's your favorite thing about train travel? Vote in our poll!
Above all, speed, compared to driving, and no hanging around in airports. Ample room on board, and you can get up and wander along the carriages- have a meal, a drink....there's plenty of loos, and a guard to keep his/her eye on things.
We have a senior railcard which reduces the price by 1/3rd, even for short journeys. The station is about 60 yards from my door, and whilst it's only the small commuter trains, they go to the big cities where you can catch the fast expresses, which go at well over 100mph. We live in an awkward spot, so however you travel, it's going to take around 2 hours to get to a large town, so it's sensible to use the train and miss many of the narrow, winding roads.
Now there's such an incredible link under the English Channel, most of the Continent is manageable by rail.
Two things come to mind...
1. Someone else does the driving, so I can read, listen to music, watch the scenery, eat, or have a drink. At home, I'm always doing the driving.
2. The motion and sounds almost always put me to sleep before I can do any of the above (except possibly the last).
We are headed to the UK in a few weeks, and I look forward to the "train" days as we move from city to city. It's especially nice now that we can afford 1st Class rail passes!
One of my favorite features of train travel is that not only do you skip airport security, but also you can stroll onto the platform 10 minutes before departure. In most cities the train station is right in the middle of the city so you can often walk to your hotel.
I enjoy travelling by train from the smallest Welsh tourist trains like the one in Bala to the fast train from Zurich to Paris to a Canadian VIA train from Burlington to visit grandchildren in Ottawa. Watching the scenery is great and having the ability to read, chat, work on my computer with much greater privacy than on an airplane suits me well. I also love people watching and I've seen some pretty amusing things at rail stations in my travels.
I find the train to be very relaxing -- you don't have to mess with security or arrive two hours early, you're not crammed into a teeny seat, and you can watch the scenery go by. And it's better than buses because the stations have signs helping you figure out where to get off.
On the train you have the freedom to move around, privacy when you want it (first class), people to talk to, great food and service, beautiful scenery, no-stress of highway driving...I could go on and on. Loved our trip on VIA across Canada for the scenery and the service, Amtrak for the variety of the USA and the convenience of in-city stations. Met wonderful people from all over the world. Definitely a relaxing way to travel.
Another advantage of rail travel is the city-centre locations of stations, avoiding the need for driving in heavy urban traffic. London is a great example of this. Note also that if you fly to London, there are fast and frequent trains from the airports right into the centre of town.
Last edited by rob2269; 07-19-2011 at 08:13 AM. Reason: minor correction
Where everyone gathers around the food cart and bar. It's fun and I've done a lot of long trips. Last week my brother had a J with a girl on the train at a standstill. Pless and she was really stoned, and children ran into the leg and broke his.