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Thread: The Man in Seat Sixty-One: Train travel information UK, Europe, Worldwide

  1. #1
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    Default The Man in Seat Sixty-One: Train travel information UK, Europe, Worldwide

    Train travel is a more rewarding, low-stress alternative to flying, which brings us closer to the countries we visit and reduces our contribution to climate change. It's time to rediscover the pleasure, romance & adventure of travel by train or ship. This site explains how to travel comfortably & affordably by train or ferry where you might think air was now the only option. For help with train travel, ask the Man in Seat 61!

    Seat61.com is not a company or a travel agency, but a personal site originally started as a hobby. Ads & affiliate commission support the site and my travel habit (er... I mean research), and buy me a beer or two.
    READ MORE AT.....
    The Man in Seat Sixty-One: Train travel information UK, Europe, Worldwide...
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    #include [ std-disclaimer ]

    Hope the voyage is a long one.
    May there be many a summer morning when,
    with what pleasure, what joy,
    you come into harbors seen for the first time...

    Ithaka, by Cavafy
    (Keeley - Sherrard translation)

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The Man in Seat Sixty-One: Train travel information UK, Europe, Worldwide

    If only we had real trains in the US. I tried to go from VT to Columbus OH & it meant over 40 hours with a 15 hour layover. The problem wasn't in the rural area, but getting from Chicago to Columbus. In the past I checked VT to Moline, IL & it was about the same. Both were about the same prices as airfare...

    Having grown up on the east coast, I used trains a lot as a teenager & into my 20's. I miss them - as it is indeed a great way to travel when one can.

    I liked the last bit you didn't copy above: " Please donate! If this site helps you, please consider donating to UNICEF's Syria appeal."


    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The Man in Seat Sixty-One: Train travel information UK, Europe, Worldwide

    40 years ago I looked into taking train from Massachusetts to Florida, Houston, Denver and Portland, OR. They said I could go direct to Florida, Florida to Houston would be through Chicago or with a night in Birmingham, Houston to Denver would be through Chicago, Denver to Portland would be through San Francisco. I took buses mostly.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: The Man in Seat Sixty-One: Train travel information UK, Europe, Worldwide

    I also like trains as opposed to the frustration of airlines. Decently comfortable seats and beds sometimes plus food available. I tried to find a schedule from NC to Portland, ME and back. I could get to Portland easily enough although the switch between South and North terminals in Boston is a real nuisance. The return is not even possible. Schedule calls for a one day stopover in DC where you have to find a hotel at odd hours, handle baggage plus transportation, etc. How odd is that? Its a train killer for old folks like us. Even the problems of flight are easier although hurricane Michael cost us an extra day in flying as well.. Trains in the UK are not fancy but very available for most of the country. AMTRAK could and should be available and reliable but it never seems to get out of the rut.
    Tom L

  5. #5
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    Default Re: The Man in Seat Sixty-One: Train travel information UK, Europe, Worldwide

    Very nice site.
    In the 70ties I have taken a train with a Klepper Aerius, a 2 person canoe that you take apart, to Passau, descended the Danube, took another train to Llubliana to descend the Sava, back to Austria to the Inn and ended in Passau. A year later to France to the Ardeche with the canoe towards Avignon. Last year we were in India and took a nighttrain from Bangalore to Kochi to see the biennale. This winter to Paris with te TGV, (train grande vitesse), comfortable and fast.
    We must stop using planes in continental travelling and in Europe the train is often a good alternative for flying.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The Man in Seat Sixty-One: Train travel information UK, Europe, Worldwide

    Quote Originally Posted by FF View Post
    Very nice site.
    In the 70ties I have taken a train with a Klepper Aerius, a 2 person canoe that you take apart, to Passau, descended the Danube, took another train to Llubliana to descend the Sava, back to Austria to the Inn and ended in Passau. A year later to France to the Ardeche with the canoe towards Avignon. Last year we were in India and took a nighttrain from Bangalore to Kochi to see the biennale. This winter to Paris with te TGV, (train grande vitesse), comfortable and fast.
    We must stop using planes in continental traveling and in Europe the train is often a good alternative for flying.
    Same here. Sure, planes make sense for cross country for us - but airplanes are used for too many short hops. I have a flight I do for work that has an actual flight time of 25 minutes. A train would be 3 hours - but using a tiny fraction of the fuel.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The Man in Seat Sixty-One: Train travel information UK, Europe, Worldwide

    I haven't used trains much, but a trip from Portland, Oregon to Oakland California on the train was great! People seem more willing to converse and I had several pleasant meetings with folks finding out about where they were going and sharing adventures. The perspective of the Cascades from the train was wonderful and watching the ecosystems change as we ran down (and eventually through​) the mountains was very enjoyable.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: The Man in Seat Sixty-One: Train travel information UK, Europe, Worldwide

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Lathrop View Post
    I also like trains as opposed to the frustration of airlines.
    While I would like to agree, and indeed wish it were so, the UK has been an absolute shambles since the network and operators were privatised. Those who are forced to use the train for commuting to work are trapped in an endless cycle of despair, along with being ripped off with astronomical yearly price hikes. It really is misery here.

    We are still having a bun fight over our first high speed rail link. The French have been operating a first class national high speed system for over 30 years.

    I have done some extended epic train rides all over Europe, often for weeks. If you have the time to do so I'd recommend it.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: The Man in Seat Sixty-One: Train travel information UK, Europe, Worldwide

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    ... A train would be 3 hours - but using a tiny fraction of the fuel.
    That is actually a conclusion based on a single parameter, fuel/passenger/mile. It does not represent the actual operating costs, not even under environmental perspective. Maintaining and operating the needed infrastructure for trains ads a lot to the calculations economicly and in environment impact. Trains are only competitive when moving massive amounts of cargo/people very often. Today that's only the case in densly populated areas on short routes and for bulk cargo. Everything else is cheaper over the road or by plane.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: The Man in Seat Sixty-One: Train travel information UK, Europe, Worldwide

    Quote Originally Posted by Rumars View Post
    That is actually a conclusion based on a single parameter, fuel/passenger/mile. It does not represent the actual operating costs, not even under environmental perspective. Maintaining and operating the needed infrastructure for trains ads a lot to the calculations economicly and in environment impact. Trains are only competitive when moving massive amounts of cargo/people very often. Today that's only the case in densly populated areas on short routes and for bulk cargo. Everything else is cheaper over the road or by plane.
    I should've said cheaper by passenger or ton/mile when fully loaded. No doubt that train infrastructure is expensive to build - exacerbated by all the rail that's been taken away for bike trails. I have no objection to bike trails - just to ones that don't allow ROWs to be returned to rail.

    However, that's not what this thread is about & my apologies for drifting it! Maybe we should have another US rail thread.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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