Plays in traffic
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Bikes: 1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax
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I too had always wanted to travel long distance by train. When I went to Denver this past summer, the train trip almost overshadowed the cycling. Almost.
I found it an incredibly civilized way to travel. The seats make airline first-class look like cattle class. I've never been able to sleep on a plane, but I slept well all four nights I was on the train.
Each car has tons of bathrooms, and even the small ones are large enough to wash up in. It was nice to be able to brush my teeth and wash up after meals and in the mornings. Speaking of meals, the food in the snack bar car is okay--mostly microwave stuff. But the sit-down meals in the dining car were excellent. I had the best steak dinner I've had in a decade, rolling through Iowa, seated with some folks from Wisconsin. Even the dinner rolls were fresh-baked right on the train. Nicely priced too.
I enjoyed my seatmates and everyone I met walking around the train. The conductors and attendants were all great. Oh, and it's quiet. No roar like jets, no thumping like cars. And of course, there's no strip-search by surly TSA agents when boarding.