I love trains. They are cheaper than air planes, sometimes faster, they are reliable and they are relaxing. Any way you look at it, participating in mass transit involves one being seated in a long tube-like object; be it train, bus, or plane.
In these tubes you inevitably have to put up with some minor discomforts; perpetual jostling, loud engines, noxious bathrooms, perhaps even a crying baby. Buses are the worst offenders. There is nothing like being in hour 6 of your bus trip to find out the toilet is overflowing, forcing you to spend the rest of the trip sucking air through your shirt.
Planes are the nicest- they are fast, and generally the most comfortable. However, the price tag of a ticket makes them a luxury for most college students. No, the way to go is by train.
As I sit and watch the scenery out my window I realize that this is a view rarely seen. The tracks run independent of the road system so the view is unique to the track. Granted, the view from an air plane is a fresh way to pass the time, but how long can you strain your eyes at the human ant farm before it all looks the same?
The empire express runs from New York Penn Station to Niagara Falls. The northern route out of the city follows the Hudson, the next two hours are a scenic ride on the Hudson with the Catskill mountains shading the background.
The going is smooth enough to avoid motion sickness, but just rough enough to rockabye baby. Trains, obviously, have their faults. Travel is limited to existing Amtrak lines, the prices could be better, and trips can seem to take forever. Actually, I don’t so much mind the last one, more time means more thinking, more thinking means good writing. Some of my best essays have come to me on the train.