Tuesday, 20 November 2012

travelled on Amtrak, the only way to fly

Amtrak trains are awesome – in both senses. These two-storey sleek silver monsters that ship the thrifty or plane-phobic across the vast distances of the States are rarely seen on the Hollywood screen, and yet to anyone who's spent time on the paltry, single-decker, narrow-seated, overcrowded excuses for trains we put up with in the UK, they are a complete revelation, and (IMO) much preferable as a mode of transport to small-plane domestic flights.
This is why they call it a Superliner.
Riding Amtrak has a lot in common with flying, except that there's plenty more to see and less security to get through. You're haunted throughout the journey by the mournful lowing of the train's horn, which sounds like it's warning ships off rocks in the fog, but is in fact making sure the locals clear the tracks – no level crossings here, just road, rail and where the two meet. Here's what it's like: