TAKING THE TRAIN
Sometimes I take the Amtrak train to and from Dallas. The ride takes twice as much time as driving (a 6-8 hour train ride compared to a 4-hour drive.) The cost is comparable to gasoline, but it saves wear on my car.
It’s nice to sit back and relax in the comfortable seats. When I was young, I used to daydream about riding a train around the country — the rail cars rocking and the tracks going clickety-clack. Now I get to ride it for real. I see areas of the country hidden from roads. Views of farm and ranch land are beautiful. Some of what I see is a reminder of poverty. Time spent riding gives you a moment to reflect on what you see.
Amtrak is like a mini-vacation. The amenities include:
Comfortable recliner seats and electrical outlets.
Windows the length of the rail car.
Disabled seating level.
Some trains have a Quiet Car (no cell phones, games, etc.)
Roomy lounge car with comfortable tables and chairs for conversation or games.
Family sitting rooms.
Private rooms with bunk beds.
Private recliner rooms.
Family and individual restrooms.
Snack bar with terrible food, but it does have alcohol.
The dining car has booth seating with tablecloths, real silver and napkins, and excellent food (with high prices.) Special dietary requirements can be made 72-hours in advance.
Much like credit card companies, it even offers Guest Rewards. You earn ‘frequent rider’ points, and by using their partners for rental cars, hotels, cruises, air travel, dining, and shopping. Points can be redeemed at many retail stores or for additional train travel. There’s an Amtrak Mastercard too!
The Rails and Trails Program is a program where Amtrak has partnered with the National Parks Service. The program allows vacationers and long-distance travelers to take the train to many of our nation’s natural and cultural heritage sights. https://www.amtrak.com/planning-booking/trails-rails-heritage-appreciation.html