Trains get a bad rap in the United States. In many parts of the world, they’re the most effective means of inter-city transportation, and they’re well regarded by the population. In the US, by contrast, they’re an ugly step-child of transit. As a result, Amtrak, the quasi-national inter-city rail service operator, perennially struggles from a financial standpoint. Funding from Congress is a constant battle, partly because ridership is very uneven across the country.
For me, rail is important. It’s a comfortable way to travel and it’s better from an emissions standpoint than driving or air travel. Much better. Luckily, in Boston, the rail service to New York is great.
Today, I signed up for a membership with the National Association of Rail Professionals, which is an organization advocating for a world class train system in the US. H/t to Mike for letting me know about the Amtrak discount and bonus mileage deal, which expires August 31 for an added bonus.