I took Amtrak yesterday to a business meeting outside Philly.
Why do trains kick air travel’s butt so soundly?
Of course there are the simple logistics. No TSA security. No baggage check for most standard luggage. No plastic bag for toiletries, no removing coats and shoes, no arriving an hour before departure.
But I realized last night — as I sat in a comfortable semi-coma on a regional coach headed home — what makes trains more than merely the easier way to travel.
It’s the chugga chugga.
Trains literally rock you while you ride. That signature motion soothes the nervous traveler and helps the overtired find sleep.
I think it takes us all the way back to the cradle. Or, in my particular case, to the clothes dryer. My mother used to sit my bouncer chair on top of the dryer to help me fall asleep. The rocking motion and the warmth from the machine totally knocked me out. (Still does.)
Now, people may not ride the train because of it, and Amtrak certainly doesn’t advertise it, but I think this subliminal motion really rocks.
Well, the only motion they have to offer is turbulence.