The Little Joys of a Long-Distance Train Trip

When it comes to traversing great expanses of land, it doesn't get much better than doing it by train. 

 

Imagine the gentle whirring of the train in motion, the light rocking as you drink your coffee or your tea, or perhaps the new friends you meet while in the dining car.

 

Train travel was the ultimate adventure some 50 years ago, but today it appears to be more of a novelty since high speed budget airlines have made cheap flights so appealing and affordable.

 

But, to those that are tempted by the idea of getting somewhere fast, I urge you to take a different route; go by train.

 

 

You see more than clouds. Hopping from one place to another by plane will only result in you seeing clouds from above.  What about the rolling hillside?  How about the scenic mountain passes?  Taking the train puts you at ground level so you can actually take in a location instead of bypassing it.  In Australia, for example, I just don't feel like people can get a true feeling for the country until they have seen the vast expanse of nothingness that makes up a majority of the area.  Australia's island getaways and pristine beaches possess a beauty that is starkly contrasting to what one will experience when taking the train from Sydney to Perth where you cross the Nullarbor Plain and occasionally happen upon abandoned outback stations.

 

You can stretch your legs out. Not only can you stretch your legs out, you can actually get up and walk around a train.  Technically, you can walk around a plane, too, but there is seriously minimal space, not to mention the occasions when the seatbelt sign is illuminated and you are told to remain seated.  Walking around a train often brings you to lounge areas and dining cars, or just provides a bit of needed exercise.  You may be stuck on a train for a few days, but you won't feel like it, especially when you're sleeping comfortably in your sleeper carriage bed, which also offers plenty of leg room.

 

You can socialize. Unlike planes, trains are a socialable form of transportation.  Sure, you might strike up a conversation with your neighbor on the flight, but it usually is a little uncomfortable with the side-by-side seating and the way that others nearby might be trying to snooze.  On a train, the dining and lounge areas, in addition to seating that faces each other in carriages, adds to the ability to socialize on an open scale. You just might end up sharing a bottle of vodka with locals in Ukraine or meeting some new friends  and travel partners while riding the rails.

 

You can relax. To me, the gentle sounds and motions of a working train are likened to the crashing waves at a beach.  I can easily relax with a book, clear my mind by watching the passing scenery, or let the atmosphere lull me to sleep.  It's this same feeling that is mentioned in Suzy's article on train travel in Europe and definitely a little joy of train travel I will never get tired of.

 

Read more about train travel:  A Return to the Romance of the Rails

 

Flickr: TC&PRC

 

--- 

Why do you enjoy long-distance train travel?

Post your Comments












Book with OneTravel

  • Flights
  • Hotels
  • Cars
From:
To:
Click here for calendar
Time:
Click here for calendar
Time:
Adults:
Seniors: (65+)
Children:(2-11)
Infants on lap:
Infants on seat:
Class:
Save on Bookings with 3+ pax
or hotel stays of 3+ nights
this month withSM25

RecentPosts

  • 5 Fascinating New Zealand MuseumsComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0


  • By:Jen Westmoreland Bouchard, last post 18 Nov 2014
  • There are plenty of reasons to visit New Zealand – the natural beauty, diverse cultures, and unique cuisine being a few of them. New Zealand is also home to world-class museums where visitors can learn more about art, history and even sheep farming! Here are five to check out....read more

  • A Dinner Table Mouthful! How to Say 'Bon Appétit' in 15 Languages Across EuropeComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0


  • By:Suzy Guese, last post 17 Nov 2014
  • The French phrase, “Bon appétit,” is often used as a substitute for the lack of an English phrase of the same meaning. While you might hear, “Enjoy your meal,” Bon appétit is one of the most common ways of greeting someone before they chow down. As most of the country gets ready to have a Thanksgiving feast, in case you have a few at your table who don’t speak English or French for that matter, it is useful to know how to wish someone a good meal in some of France’s neighbors. Here’s how to say essentially, “Good appetite,” in 15 European languages....read more

  • Switzerland Celebrates 150 Years of Winter TourismComments: 1Rating: 0 / 0

    1
  • By:Chris Osburn, last post 17 Nov 2014
  • Mention Switzerland and most people immediately dream of skiing in the snowed Alps. And that’s just as many folks from there would like you to think of their beautiful home. Indeed, there’s consensus among the Swiss that their country is the original destination for cold weather fun — and that this coming season marks the 150th anniversary of winter tourism....read more

  • The Next New York Obsession: MeowParlour Cat CaféComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0


  • By:Danielle Thillet, last post 15 Nov 2014
  • The Internet loves two things: coffee and cats. It just seems natural that these obsessions should combine. While cat cafés are not a new concept in many Asian countries, the phenomenon had not yet made permenant residence in the United States - until now. New York as always been a hub for ideas from different cultures to merge together, and next month, the Big Apple will have its very first cat café: MeowParlour....read more

  • Celebrate Claude Monet’s BirthdayComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0


  • By:Chris Osburn, last post 14 Nov 2014
  • Claude Monet was born November 14, 1840 in Paris and died December 5, 1926 about 75 kilometres from Paris in his home at Giverny, Normandy. During his prolific career as an artist, he painted hundreds of works of art with a passion to capture his impressions of the French countryside and beyond. With works by the beloved artist and founder of French Impressionism on view across the globe (literally there are numerous “Monets” in museums and galleries on every continent except Antarctica) what better way to celebrate the painters 174th birthday than enjoying the many gifts he left to art lovers?...read more