Saturday, November 15, 2008

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

It is a matter of constant frustration that it is almost never cheaper to take a train, compared to driving or flying between cities separated by a couple of hundred miles. It is lovely to sit on board rather than drive, and less hassle to negotiate even Penn Station in Manhattan than an airport security line. Yet when one is obliged (as I am) to take into consideration the cheapest option of travel, the train is left aside time and again. So the thrill of alighting the train (with such romantic names as the Empire Service, Maple Leaf, Vermonter or the Pennsylvanian) is harder to come by these days for a minister who would love to trade the road for the rails. Alas!

Reflecting on our years in England, it was probably a combination of private ownership of passenger railway lines, high fuel taxes and size of the country, but we found it was much better to travel from Yorkshire to London by train (see photo) than by car. This is about the same distance as Boston to New York, but for about 1/3 the price. See the title of the post for a wonderful snow plow mounted on a train, incidentally.

What about you, how much more would you pay for a train rather than driving, parking, etc.?

1 comment:

seapea said...

i love trains. it really sucks that amtrak is THE robber!!!!!!!

i go up to boston quite frequently due to my little nephews and yes, it's about $300 for a round-trip. ROBBING YOU BLIND!

now i just fly - i leave all my toiletries there, including extra clothes so i just fly with a handbag for $120. yes, security's all that, but since i don't carry much, it's okay. i couldn't say that for you and your brood!

i sometimes splurge on - i don't like buses but this one is far superior than anything i've ever taken. that'd be $180 round-trip for boston. or, if you wanna go REAL cheapie ($1 each way), that'd be (not only boston, but to philly, dc, etc.). i have yet to do that, as i really need more time for bus trips (yeah, so again comes back to plane travel, due to convenience of time) but friends have done it and highly recommend it (if you have the time, that is).

i want to go East-West in Canada on their glass ceilinged train, but that's also $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

i love trains in europe, they're da best.