I have had the privilege to travel to quite a few places – both within the U.S. and outside of the country. Honestly, I love flying. And road trips have recently become something I really enjoy. However, I have only been on a few trains in my life. There is one line from Detroit to Chicago. But it is quite inefficient (takes longer than if you were to drive) and not that beautiful landscape wise.
I wish train travel was a bigger phenomena in the States. Especially around Michigan, with Detroit being the Motor City, cars are the most prominent way of travel. And even our public transport system is lack luster (if not inexistent). So, whenever I travel to other cities – NYC, Chicago, Portland, San Fransisco, Washington D.C. – I’m always overwhelmed by their metros and subways.
I find it fascinating, seeing everyone jumping through doors, weaving along the crowds. Rush hour is always stressful when you need to be somewhere, but observationally, it’s really out of this world. You feel as if you’re moving in slow motion, as the world – and everyone else around you – is eager to get moving, breezing along, almost completely unaware of the surroundings.
Train travel seems to be getting more and more watchful anticipation from the world. Few countries have started luxury lines, but the iconically unkempt New York subways cars are in dire need of an upgrade. Japan always seems to do it faster and better than the rest of the globe, and their Shinkansen (bullet train) is revolutionary.
As the strive for mobility takes over the U.S., I sense trains will become a key component for long distance travel in the coming years. I’m really curious how it’ll happen, what places it’ll connect, and who will be affected by these newly connected dots.