Now that the searing heat has subsided, and travelers’ worries have been quelled, it’s time to get back on ‘track’ with summer. The heat couldn’t have put a bigger damper on the traveling public. Commuter trains and Amtrak trains all together experienced unprecedented delays. With the heat subsiding and recently experiencing some recent cool and pleasant days, there can’t be a better time to focus on the real pleasures of train travel. Specifically, there can’t be a better time to focus on the everlasting pleasures of traveling on Amtrak versus flying on the airlines. If anyone has ever considered the everlasting pleasures of traveling on Amtrak, now is the right time to ride the rails without ‘delay’.

5) No stress at the station: Every journey is deserving of a memorable start. When riding the rails, experiencing zero stress at the station is among the top everlasting pleasures. When it comes to flying, the stress level is inconceivable. Long check-cue lines and long TSA security lines are the top culprits. The stress of dealing with them both leads to the even bigger stress of whether or not passengers will make their flight. When arriving at any Amtrak station, it is paramount that all passengers arrive on time, all the time. How on time should passengers be? When flying on the airlines, passengers are recommended to be at the airport at least two hours prior to departure. When traveling on Amtrak, passengers should arrive at the station thirty minutes prior to departure (intercity routes) and one hour prior to departure for long-distance routes (Ex. Silver Star, Silver Meteor, and California Zephyr). Summertime shouldn’t never revolve around stress. Traveling by train was never meant to involve time-related stress. The lesser the lead time needed, the lesser the stress on the passenger.

4) No additional fees: Of all traveling pleasures, what could be better than than no additional fees? The airlines create enough stress over everything. The airlines stress passengers out over luggage check-in fees, fees on cancellations, fees on changing flights, and fees for changing seats. When riding on Amtrak, there are absolutely no additional fees. For instance, if a business traveler finished his/her visit to Washington, DC ahead of schedule, and has the opportunity to take an earlier train home, the only thing he/she has to do is pay the difference in fare. Acela Express costs more than a Northeast Regional train. Whatever the difference in fare may be is all that the passenger pays. On board Amtrak, no fees, no stress, no problem.

3) Cafe car menu choices: Among all the pleasures of traveling, the cafe car nears the very top. No journey onboard any Amtrak train is complete without visiting the cafe car. The cafe car features a wide assortment of hot and cold items, snacks, sweets, and beverages (hot and cold). From white cheddar mac ‘n’ cheese, to pizza, to soup cups, passengers have plenty to choose from. Who likes Gummy Bears? They’re available in the cafe car! Who like wines brands such as Kendall Jackson and Cavit? The cafe car has them, too. Further, passengers are welcome to bring aboard additional nourishment, especially for longer journeys. For all day long-distance journeys (i.e. Palmetto, Carolinian, and Pennsylvanian), additional nourishment is an invaluable option. Major stations including Chicago’s Union Station, NYC’s Penn Station-Moynihan Train Hall, and Newark Penn Station all have an array of eateries and counter service places for purchasing meals to-go. While onboard, the cafe car is every passenger’s go-to place.

2) Ample seating and leg room: When flying, passengers have to pay for various seating amenities. Should they need more leg room, they have to pay for that. Should passengers want to sit in business or first class, of course, they have to pay for it. On board Amtrak, passengers don’t pay for extra leg room, unless they’re traveling in Business Class on a Northeast Regional train or in First Class on Acela Express. Further, Amtrak offers open seating and no seating assignments. There’s no charge for use of the seats. If airlines allowed passengers extra leg room or open seating, they’d retrofit the seats with money slots. Amtrak is both considerate and transparent with its passengers. It’s the way traveling should be! Onboard any Amtrak train, ample seating and ample leg room without fees is traveling via first class for real.

1) No cabin pressure: All airline passengers share one thing in common. Airline passengers all together share the same dislike. Their dislike is the dreaded cabin pressure. Prior to landing, airline passengers begin to feel the pain in their ears. It only worsens on final approach. Upon touching down, the cabin pressure is at its highest level. After disembarking, passengers are hot on the trail trying to dig out a decongestant or blowing out their ears. For some travelers, blowing out their ears is of no help at all. Worst of all, passengers are encountering the dreaded wind tunnel sensation. When riding on Amtrak, there’s no cabin pressure whatsoever. When Amtrak passengers are approaching their destination, the conductor makes the announcement to check around the seats for carry-on baggage and personal belongings. Lastly, he/she says to exit the train at a door wherever they see a member of the crew. When stepping off the train, no passengers are complaining from the cabin pressure. Never are they seen fussing with their ears or wincing in discomfort. Undoubtedly, traveling on Amtrak is meant to be painless. Experiencing zero cabin pressure is above all the greatest of all traveling pleasures. Arriving at any final destination should never revolve around ‘pressure’. When riding the rails, the arrival always has been and always will be painless.

The wicked summer heat has finally died down. Travelers couldn’t catch a bigger break. With the dreadful heat out of the way, travelers can breathe normally. In various parts of the country, travelers can enjoy getting around without heat-related delays and heat related illness. With the worst of the weather in the rear view mirror, now’s the right time to keep in focus the great advantages of traveling via Amtrak versus traveling via the airlines. Traveling via Amtrak has a tremendous leg up on the airlines-a leg up which benefits its passengers in significant fashion. Every Amtrak journey deserves to start out with a zero stress. Passengers should arrive thirty minutes prior to departure for intercity routes and one hour for long-distance routes. Second, Amtrak passengers do not have to pay additional fees for changing trains. They only pay the difference in price. On all Amtrak trains, the cafe car has plenty of choices to enjoy from journey’s beginning to journey’s end. On all Amtrak trains, passengers can’t be happier having ample seating and leg room. All journeys are meant to be relaxing, not intolerably uncomfortable. Ultimately, there is no better way to complete a journey, long or short, without cabin pressure. Amtrak provides its passengers with everlasting pleasures which cannot be replicated onboard an airplane. Onboard any Amtrak train, passengers have the pleasure of traveling with wings of their own. Ultimately, Amtrak passengers are enabled to move about the country without unnecessary ‘pressure’.

About Author

David Kriso has been a travel writer since August 2011. He is a contributing writer for both of his hometown's newspapers, The Gazette, and The Observer. His articles focus on cruise and railroad travel. David is also published online at, a cruise magazine based in Vancouver, Canada and at Amtrak's story site, David also writes for the publication On, he writes about cruise and rail travel. David is a long-time train traveler, avid cruiser, and a Disney traveler since age 4.

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