Tag Archives: Top 10

Top 10 Reasons: Rail Travel Rocks

26 Jan
Like the Acela, but cooler.

Like the Acela, but a wee bit slower, and with less leg room. Still better than flying.

Top 10: Reasons Trains Beat Planes in Rochambeau*

  1. Even when someone reclines their seat, I still have an extra foot of arm-room for my laptop.
  2. I don’t have to wait for a flight attendant when I’m thirsty. Two words: Cafe Car.
  3. No seatbelts. Or annoying announcements from the pilot telling you to put them on.
  4. The bathroom is large enough to install a phone and conduct business. Tip: If you board at the originating station, consider locking yourself in the commode and treating it as your private office for the duration of your trip. I think this is – literally – where the term “Squatter’s Rights” comes from.
  5. The Quiet Car: no one can talk, use a cell phone, play music without headphones, etc. While you might think this is awesome because you can work uninterrupted or take a nap, the real reason it rocks is witnessing the enforcement of the rule. If you’ve ever wanted to see an introvert on a power-trip unleash a can of whoop-ass, this is where to sit. For supporting evidence, read this
  6. If you’re not in the Quiet Car, the best thing is eavesdropping. Last night I overheard one woman describe the BRAT diet and a guy get quoted $900 for a one-day rental car. I also heard someone offer up their credit card digits (including the security code and expiration date) and wondered how many people actually wrote it down.
  7. No TSA workers to flag me for a random screening. Getting to board without taking my shoes off, pulling out my laptop and removing my coat? Amazing. Not having to limit my liquids to 3 oz in a plastic baggie? Priceless.
  8. No “unplanned landings” caused by obnoxious passengers midair. On Amtrak, if someone becomes unruly, they can just get tossed off the train at the next stop without delaying anyone.
  9. My seat cushion doesn’t double as a life preserver. (BTW: is that not like the most twisted version of “Would You Rather?” Your options: would you rather a) Drown after surviving a plane crash, or b) Float in icy, shark-infested water with a cushion that has absorbed countless farts pressed to your face?)
  10. When the train shakes, I don’t worry that we’re going to fall out of the sky.

*Using my best Cartman voice: If you don’t know what Rochambeau is, then dude, you totally need to watch this clip from SouthPark.