Rail travel is one of the best (and most eco-friendly) ways to get around the world. Almost every large city in the world is serviced by at least one railway line, along with countless local and commuter services. Most of today’s trains still have historic names such as the Trans-Siberian Express or Sunset Limited, Blue Train or Orient Express and follow the same routes as their original namesakes. Here some advantages of traveling by train
Safety and flexibility
Trains allow you to travel in safety and comfort, and their old-worldly charm sets them apart from more mundane means of transport. They pollute less, rarely suffer from weather delays and won’t give you jet lag. You can talk to your companions, read a book, or have a snooze. If the scenery palls you might go for a stroll, have a meal in the dining car, make friends in the bar or watch a movie. (image by Alan)
Even better from the backpackers’ point of view, trains are very cost-effective compared to other modes of transport, especially if you use an unlimited ticket, such as Interail (Europe) or North America rail passes.
It may also be a novelty, especially for families with children, who are usually fascinated by trains. It’s often easier to care for small children on a train than on a plane or car trip.
Some people go by train solely for the amazing views en route or relish the extra time it takes, giving them an interval alone on either side of a holiday or business trip.
Travel at Night
Traveling overnight is also a good way to save money on hostel or hotel accommodations. The reclining seats found in most modern standard carriages make it easy to sleep in comfort – something that is almost impossible on a crowded airplane or bus.It’s a good idea to take a blanket or light sleeping bag, though, in case the air-conditioning becomes too much, and try to choose a seat away from the doors for more comfort.
Alternatively, there are sleeping compartments, ranging from singles up to family size. These aren’t cheap, and usually need to be booked in advance, but you do get extra privacy and facilities (sometimes including a free meal) for around the same price as a bed in a hostel, depending on the line. Bed linen and blankets are provided here and usually a complimentary tea or coffee in the morning.
Disadvantages of going by Train
Trains aren’t the fastest way to travel (except on the 150 mph Eurostar or Shinkansen Bullet Trains) and timekeeping can’t always be relied on, since many long distance and tourist trains operate on lines also used by other services and don’t always have first priority. (image by B4bees)
You also usually need to buy your tickets in advance to get a good deal, especially in expensive areas like Western Europe. Conversely, in smaller countries, trains might only run once every few days and may not stop directly where you want to go.
The demerits certainly are outweighed by the merits, if you are traveling to countries that offer rail transport services, don’t hesitate, go for them you will reap this and other benefits as get to your desired destinations timely.
Feature image xrispixels