Train travel – changing the world
The steam train is credited with changing our notion of time and space. I suggest that we let train travel change it again.
The first public steam train ran in 1825 in England on 25 miles of track, reaching 15mph. It was a startling event.Travel was no longer limited by access to waterways or the potential of two or four legs. As things sped up, less time between places made them closer. The notion that “time is money” took hold. Speed beget more speed. Faster trains. Automobiles. Airplanes.
I suggest that in 2009 we use trains to reverse this process. To slow down our experience of the world. Choosing to travel by train rather than plane we can see the landscape we traverse to get to our destination. We can see the topography, foliage, houses, farms, weather, colors… And we can speak to others who use the train for national or regional travel.
I think these are the reasons I love to train travel. I’ve covered most countries in Western Europe by train plus a few in Eastern Europe. I’ve traveled both east and west across Canada from Toronto. I am currently on my journey from Toronto to New Oreleans via Amtrak.
I wondered, do others love train travel as much as me. And , if so, why? So I asked my Twitter friends and those on the Solo Travel Society Facebook page. The response was incredible. Here’s what they said:
@TravelEditor Don’t do it often, but I enjoy train travel because it’s so relaxing (good book + scenic views + steady rhythm). Beats flying!
@ItsRomy I like train travel because I can relax and read. I also like looking at the scenery.
@chic_travel Also, svc on train=outstanding! Felt like royalty, and waited for a dashing Clark Gable to show up with my suitcase.
@Journeywoman A long European train ride, a picnic basket of favorite goodies, some vino, stunning scenery. Travel heaven.
@TheTravelExpert I especially like train travel in Alaska – it is a relaxing and wonderful way to take in the remarkable beauty of the land
@Journeywoman I love the rhythm of train travel. It lulls me into daydream mode.
@CailinONeilI plan to take the train across Spain & do some filming for my TVshow on
the train, right around Tomatina so it should be gr8!
@CompassPointsDP Soothing cadence of steel wheels on steel tracks. Electric plugins for laptops. Listening to conversations. Station nostalgia.
@ashleyindallas Love train travel in France! It is convenient and very efficient. Also, you never know who you will meet on a train
@chic_travel Flying is fast, but train travel is civilized. I recently did a train trip between three cities in Europe and it was divine!
@CailinONeil train trips R great 4 meeting people. on a Solo trip from London to Edinburgh I met a great guy from the US & became good pals
@passion_in_life In many countries train is cheaper, and culturally enriching. I took a memorable train ride from Colombo to Kandy last month
@sweisbrot trains are a great way to see the countryside.
@hotspringerRT @TravelAndrew: SATW Travel Writers select the world’s best 10 train rides: http://bit.ly/18yTMz
@MarksTravels Train travel is one of the most relaxing ways to get around. Somewhere scenic like Switzerland makes it beautiful too.
@LaConsuelo I love trains-views of countryside, of another age, no security frisk, safe, interesting folk, quiet time to read/reflect.
@passion_in_life Train travel is the best when you want to enjoy the journey. You can see a lot more than flight travel.
@brianepeters I like train travel because it just seems much more sane and calm then getting on a flight these days