It seems travelling by rail is back in fashion and it is also the most fuel efficient and least carbon intensive way you can travel. For example a diesel locomotive at its most efficient can move a tonne of weight 700 kms on 4 litres of fuel. Making a full train 10 times more thriftier than a hybrid car, let alone an 18 wheel truck.
When I decided to travel this year, carbon emissions were certainly a consideration, and so wherever I can, I am going by train. This has proved more expensive than flying, and much harder to organise but I will see more of the country along the way.
In the USA, my first stop, I will travel on Amtrak from San Francisco to Seattle, then to Chicago, then Buffalo (to see Niagara Falls) and New York. On the way home in December, I will travel from Washington to Tampa, Florida. The longest trip is 2 days, and I am mostly in a sleeper car for overnight trips. I have learnt such things as – shuttles only run from airports, not train stations (even though they are close together), and Amtrak can be hours and even days late at times – all very frustrating, but some of the things I hope will change as more of us travel by train. (Amtrak passengers are up 17% on 2 years ago)
Hopefully the residual feeling of romance associated with train travel will be encouraged, and more of us travelling will lead to more investment and better timetables and connections for us all. Bring it on, I say!