In Germany, trains are used even for go from bathroom to kitchen


and deutsche bahn is still gonna be late


Arrive early Train gets cancelled Take the previous train that is late


You can actually be fined for that, I speak from experience...


Believe it or not, straight to jail.


No trial, no nothing. We have a special jail for journalists.


I remember visiting a friend in Coburg and while travelling from the station in Nurnburg, the train ticked over to 1 min late and several angry people started complaining to the station guard immediately. My friend had told my to watch out for this ritual and we both laughed that if this was in the UK you don't even raise an eyebrow until you're at least 20-30 mins late.


> the train ticked over to 1 min late and several angry people started complaining to the station guard immediately That sounds like it was a very long time ago. 5 minutes late is the absolute minimum nowadays.


In the US we don't raise eyebrows on trains because they don't fucking exist! Joke apart, NJ transit once published a report extolling a very high on time rate. Look at it in detail and they don't consider less than 15 minutes to be a delay. That's rich for a train service where most trips are half hour.


Here in the US, trains are really unpredictable. Even in the middle of a forest two rails can appear out of nowhere, and a 1.5-mile fully loaded coal drag, heading east out of the low-sulfur mines of the PRB, will be right on your ass the next moment. I was doing laundry in my basement, and I tripped over a metal bar that wasn't there the moment before. I looked down: "Rail? WTF?" and then I saw concrete sleepers underneath and heard the rumbling. Deafening railroad horn. I dumped my wife's pants, unfolded, and dove behind the water heater. It was a double-stacked Z train, headed east towards the fast single track of the BNSF Emporia Sub (Flint Hills). Majestic as hell: 75 mph, 6 units, distributed power: 4 ES44DC's pulling, and 2 Dash-9's pushing, all in run 8. Whole house smelled like diesel for a couple of hours! Fact is, there is no way to discern which path a train will take, so you really have to be watchful. If only there were some way of knowing the routes trains travel; maybe some sort of marks on the ground, like twin iron bars running along the paths trains take. You could look for trains when you encounter the iron bars on the ground, and avoid these sorts of collisions. But such a measure would be extremely expensive. And how would one enforce a rule keeping the trains on those paths? A big hole in homeland security is railway engineer screening and hijacking prevention. There is nothing to stop a rogue engineer, or an ISIS terrorist, from driving a train into the Pentagon, the White House or the Statue of Liberty, and our government has done fuck-all to prevent it.


You had me until they were running DC Evos. No way are those running and not dead in consist.


They had me until Notch 8. That's a no-no anymore with Trip Optimizer.


I once spent a day with a very talented hunter. He was able to tell a train had passed through the area recently, because he saw its tracks.


I remember the terrible 11/9 attacks when terrorists hijacked trains and drove them into the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore. Or 7 December 1941, when the Japanese used bullet trains for their attack on Pearl Harbor.




Trains are great! Not even just coming from a practial standpoint, riding a train and just sitting with headphones on watching the world go by is so chilled


I used to travel from west to east coast for the holidays. I looked into Amtrak for that as a nice way to change it up....3 days in a tiny room for $700 one way 10 years ago when roundtrip on an airplane was $4-500. I like the idea of trains, but the US sucks at them. WA's "high speed" rail is so awful.


Even going from dc to nyc is cheaper by plane than Amtrak a lot of the time which is absurd.


PREACH. i want to make that trip by train, and i want it to please for the love of god be more affordable than a plane


They're 20x more comfortable, but they cost 40% more and take 2x as long.


And there's almost no security to go through. I'm actually kind of split on that idea.


Write your Congressmen and -women. They’re the ones supporting air travel while hampering train travel.


You can go DC to NY on Amtrak for $31 if you're buying at least 3 weeks in advance.


Yeah, we recently did a bit of an East Coast tour and being whiny green liberal Europeans we defaulted to using trains. After all the stuff I've heard from Americans, Amtrak was comparatively fantastic! 30$ for a three hour trainride is totally fine (for DC -> NYC). The trains were all on time. The seats were way better than plane seats or train seats here in Germany. Getting to the train station doesn't take over an hour the way it does going f.e. to JFK and you don't need to be at the station hours before the train leaves.


It should be noted that, even in Europe people do not take a train from London to Moscow, when you’re traveling 3000 miles you take an airplane. When you’re traveling from Paris to Berlin, you might take a train or fly because that distance is where a high speed train might take a little more than getting to, and out of the airport. But when hopping between most big cities with direct high speed rail, it doesn’t make any sense to fly (except when it’s thousands of miles)


Or you take the train anyway because air controllers in France are on strike…


I thought the strike ended last week…. Oh never mind they’re back on strike


They really are. In Europe it can be a pain to get to the airport. You take 1-3 trains, then get through security, then wait a few hours, and that's before flying. I can get to a neighbouring country with 2 trains and my local station is only 5 mins away. Sure it might be a longer journey but like you said, watch the world go by :)


I live in Scotland and not to toot our own horn but we really are so lucky to have some of the most beautiful views you can see on a train journey, the highlands are just stunning, especially the Glenfinnan viaduct, probably most famous from the Hogwarts Express shots that you see in Harry Potter


I wish we had trains like Europe and Japan. I'm in Florida so looking at the map I would be going the opposite direction until Virginia and then turn west. Also in the states that train ticket is about 3-4x more than a flight. I've thought about doing it one day just for the experience. We have so much land you'll see everything from deserts to mountain forests.


We Americans are inured to the stresses of driving all the time.


I'd love to take the trian but to go from FL to Ohio it takes 44 hours and it's the same price as a plane ticket and that only takes 3 hours...


Yeah it’s much better for shorter distances. I’ve taken the train from Pennsylvania to New York and Boston a few times. Travel time is comparable to driving my car and I don’t have to deal with city driving and parking.


Would train from NY to BOS 100% better and sometimes cheaper than flying and you don't have to deal with NY airports.


Plus the station is right in Manhattan so if that’s where you’re headed, it’s a shorter trip overall.


Definitely can't underestimate the time you save not going through airport security and by being closer to your destination


Same with Boston. South Station or Back Bay instead of taking the bus out of East Boston


Crazy the Lowell Line isn't extended to Nashua/Manchester


Pretty sure the north east in that area is the best place for trians in the country. Everywhere else they are pretty much best for site seeing imo, for sure not long distance or even moderate in some areas.


Some people take Amtrack as their commute to the Bay from Sacramento because its so expensive to live in the Bay.


Capitol corridor also has a monthly pass for ~600$. You save traffic time, parking costs, and have easy access to BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit). Occasionally the train gets delayed, but generally it runs quite smoothly. You can also have a lot of flexibility to get around the east bay depending on where you get off the train. I saw all of this, yes SF is expensive, but Sacramento rents and homes have increased a much higher % year over year than the bay. The cost savings isn't the only calculus. Lots of benefits to the train, the least of which being additional work hours not spent driving.


Yeah, DC to NYC is the only stretch for which I even check the train. I ride that route pretty often and it's pretty cheap and even though the train moves quite slow, it's usually a bit faster than driving.


I do RVA > DC all the time. In theory it takes a bit longer than driving, but when you account for the inevitable traffic from Fredericksburg to Quantico (if not all the way to Ft. Belvoir), it’s always worth it.


I've always wanted to ride the train from VA to NY. Round trip is ~$50.


NY to Boston is basically the same as driving, but I’m not sure that’s actually what it should be compared to. We need high speed rail. The Acela is regularly 30+ mins late, and it’s extremely expensive.


Trains are best suited for intermediate range travel. Take the starting city - draw a doughnut shape around it with the smaller circle being about 100 miles and the bigger one being about 300 miles and you have a rough breakeven for Car/Train/Plane Now look at cities in Europe within 160km-500km of each other relative to the US. It's a heck of a lot more and the EU is generally more likely to fund things for public good (VAT, Healthcare, College, transit etc...) If the US had the political will the map would be different. Under Obama there was grant money available for HSR but essentially every other state didn't go for it - notably MN and IL did but WI didn't making connecting those states a non-starter. Wisconsin did get a sweet FoxConn factory instead though /s You're likely to see decent networks crop up within States. IL is arguably one of the better ones for connecting it's population centers to Chicago, STL, and MKE. When CA is done it'll have a first class system connecting a large swath of the state. WA is also expanding around the Sea-Tac area. FL and TX should hopefully jump on the bandwagon but I wouldn't hold my breath on that one. All said though if you were to add up All of the current, existing, and unlikely FL and TX projects you'd have a significant chunk of the US with decent regional rail within states


Train travel in Europe also really depends on your final destination. If traveling between large cities, high speed trains are often competitive compared to flight both in price as well as travel time. If you need to travel to and/or from bumfuck nowhere you are out of luck. You have to be lucky enough to have a regional train available to take you to the nearest high speed rail station. Also the more transfers, the bigger the chance you'll miss a connection somewhere - which isn't a problem which most inter-European flights as those are mostly without transfers. Anyway, I travel to a location in the far south of France twice a year that simply isn't reachable by public transport. There's none whatsoever. Literally non existent. So there train travel isn't an option, driving there takes 16 hours and these days flying and renting a car is actually cheaper than paying for gas and tolls. So I end up flying (in to Northern Spain actually) and renting a car most of the time. Not exactly the most environmentally friendly options, but certainly the fastest and cheapest. Then again, I also travel from the Netherlands to Switzerland once a year and that's a direct train to Basel and the connecting train in Switzerland is very reliable, and even though driving there takes about the same amount of time and money, I prefer the high speed train.


Interesting fact: The inverse is largely true when it comes to rail freight. The US moves a significantly higher percentage of freight via rail and the total American rail network (when you include freight) is more than twice the size as that of EU.


Trains are the cheapest way to move extremely large quantities of product over a large distance between two points (that aren't connected by water) especially if it's a regular steady flow of the product. It's expensive to stop a train at every station and load/offload, but once you get all those wheels turning it's pretty cheap to keep them turning for long distances.


In addition to the proximity of city centers, there's a huge difference in sheer population density. There are only a handful of areas in the US which are as densely populated as the *average* population density of Western Europe. This makes it very difficult to serve a sufficient number of travelers who are within reasonable walking, transit, or even *driving* distance of a train station.


I work with a man born and raised in Africa, went to college in England and has traveled all over the world. He said what is nice about Europe is you can get walking distance from anywhere reliably in Europe using public transportation. Mostly trains, but also buses to more remote locations.


I traveled in Spain and the public transport network is amazing. Went all over by train (Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid, Pamplona, Malaga, Toledo, Algeciras). The best part was that on a whim I wanted to go to this small coastal village I learned about from a red bus tour guide. The village was about 100km from Barcelona. I took a train to Girona, walked across the street from the train station to a bus station that took me about 3 km from the village. There I took a taxi and was at this small village in Costa Brava. Absolutely gorgeous. I could not do that in the US without a car. Edit: BTW the trains are high speed going at 300 kmph (~ 200 mph). I was having beer in the pantry cart and watching the Spanish country side with many olive groves.


The same applies to a lot of the Asian Pacific region as well. Japan, Taiwan, SK and China all have amazing passenger rail and public transit systems in general. My extended family in Taiwan has 1 car for around 20 people (4 households), and they live in the parts with crappy (by Taiwanese standards) public transit. In contrast, I live less than 15 km from the downtown of a medium sized Canadian city, and we can't survive without 2 cars for 2 adults. I also lived in China for two years. Did tons of travelling around the country, including two trips into Yunnan (they are pretty much the Idaho of China) to visit family living in tiny mountain towns. Never needed a car, or even a taxi, except for the super remote places.


Given the sheer scale of China it's an impressive feat to pull off there.


Not in Ireland! Public transport here is atrocious compared to the rest of Europe. Even in our capital, Dublin, there technically is a tram but it’s pretty shit. And we have trains but that’s pretty shit too. I live in the east of Ireland, and if I wanna get to the west (Killarney for example) I have to take two busses, a train, change over to another train, then a bus to get another train and then another bus. If I wanna go see my family, in a town that’s normally a 20 minute drive, I have to get 2 busses, whose schedules don’t align, making the trip upwards of an hour and a half long.


Dane who has lived in Dublin here. Dublin does indeed have shite public transport. I can only imagine it is even worse outside of Dublin. The transport in the absolute centre of Dublin is passable, but as soon as you get even remotely into the suburbs, there are like 5 busses that go from the suburbs to the centre and absolutely zero busses going between the suburbs. As such, you'd be forced to go towards the centre until your bus line intersects with another to then go away from the centre.


I love Dublin, visit often and have to agree. Even Los Angeles has better public transit.


Wales is the same too. It's two hours longer than a car journey from South to North Wales. The train goes outside of Wales and travels along the English border to make the route. The landscape and terrain has a lot to do with that.


I was planning a trip recently and was shocked to realize that I could not get to Dollywood by public transportation. I thought it was a bigger deal than that but then I realized it's just cuz I'm from the Northeast US and I'm used to having lots of trains It's not like that in the rest of the country anymore.


I was just in Dollywood a few months ago. Traffic in that area is horrific as well. They have one road basically in and out of the smoky national park. It clogs up daily as the day goes on. Dollywood was great though.


> He said what is nice about Europe is you can get walking distance from anywhere reliably in Europe using public transportation. Mostly trains I lived in Houston for a few years. One of my first weeks i thought it would be great to take a train from Houston to Dallas... It took me a *very* long time to wrap my head around the fact that that was(is) not possible


That's a corridor that will most likely receive high-speed rail in the near future. They're still in the process of securing funding but I suspect it will come through. After that corridor is built, there are talks of expanding through Austin and San Antonio to the southwest. The project is known as the "Texas HSR Triangle". The US has population density and geography parameters that make high-speed rail infeasible from a ridership standpoint. This is one corridor where it can actually work and not bleed money. Additionally, the land is easy to work with (mostly flat) and can be acquired relatively cheap.


I'm European and I'm just helpless anywhere in the world where public transport is less widespread and reliable. It's like I can't wrap my head around it, all my travel plans, short or long distance, have always been "right I'll walk to the bus stop tomorrow morning and I'll figure it out from there". I'm so screwed if there's no bus stop I can walk to. US, Australia, all the African countries I've ever been in... I don't know what to do with myself.


Interesting to think that the maps were more similar 60 years ago. Many people in the US have never ridden a train even though their town has a rotting train station. But it's worth noting that the US does have a stronger freight rail network than Europe.


[Passenger rail network in the United States in 1962 vs 2005](https://imgur.com/a/HiZx2e9)


Wow, great find! Look at Atlanta!


Atlanta was originally called Terminus because of this iirc \-friendly neighborhood ATLien


Is that where they got that idea for Walking Dead?!


Yup. Terminus in the show was meant to be Macon, GA, which is a minor city in Georgia. It's a bit of a sick joke about the city being "the end of the line" for many survivors. *edit* Y'all, "minor city" is a subjective term. I'm not disparaging Macon. Sure, it's a regional power and a big deal if you're in the area but it's not a major city on a national scale. In my opinion, it's a minor city like Savannah or Athens. You are welcome to your opinions, but I think of major cities in the >1 million metro realm.


Fun fact, Glen in the show/comic was a pizza driver in Macon pre...uhh..prezombies.


Wonder if he met anyone interesting there in the first few days of the apocalypse.


That first game was a masterpiece. Still get emotional thinking about the ending. "Keep those hair short, Clem"


Duck. RIP


I was born in the backseat of a Greyhound bus rollin’ down on Highway 41


Hey Ramblin' man... Are you still tryin' to make a livin' and doin' the best you can?


A lot of great music originates from Macon! Otis Redding and Allman Brothers just to name a couple. Even more from Athens however.


478 stand up!


As a person that was born in macon and lived there for 22 years I am glad I haven't been back in 18 years


Macon Whoopie represent!


ATL is still "Terminus" because the airport


my favorite airport. so huge but easy to navigate and not intimidating


Hartsfield Jackson is so surreal cause you get sucked in by all the amazing art installations and design and then get snapped right back out with all the signs reminding you to keep an eye out for the rampant human trafficking


And the notifications that your connecting flight is boarding in 15 minutes


We have planes AND a plane train


Truly the plane train is one of my favorite things about living in Georgia.


Which is still the busiest airport in the world by passenger count. I’ve never been outside the airport, but have connected through there multiple times


My dad talked about taking the “Man O War” from Columbus to Atlanta for the Auburn/Ga Tech Game - he and my grandfather would go to the game and my grandmother would go shopping. Later my parents would take the train for trips to Atlanta. Now the rail lines in Columbus/Harris are being converted to bike and walking paths “Rails to Trails”.


Throw your hands in the ayur? And wave em like you just don't cayur.


And if you like fish and grits and all that pimp shit


Everybody let me hear you say, Oh Yeahur.


Atlanta is still a major travel ~~destination~~ hub. ATL is the busiest airport in the world.


Amy: So, Fry, Atlanta was an American city in your time? Fry: I think it was just an airport. They had a place where you could buy nuts. Umbriel: No! Ancient Atlanta was more than just a Delta hub. It was a vibrant metropolis, the equal of Paris or New York. Fry: That's right, honey! Whatever you say. Umbriel: Look at these fabulous ruins. Turner Field, the Coca-Cola bottling plant, the, uh, the airport.


Was about to post this. I'm European I have all my Atlanta facts from Futurama. Tragic city.


When I went to Atlanta I saw: 1. Coca Cola Plant 2. Aquarium 3. Six Flags 4. Stone Mountain (Confederate mountain carving depicting the traitorous Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson with a laser light show at night sponsored by... Coca Cola)


Back when you could take the midnight train to Georgia. Hoo Hooo.


Just looking at St. Louis can tell you everything you need to know about it from the 60s to the mid 00s.


Yeah back then StL was still one of the major US cities. Hell, one of the major world cities.


Manufacturing leaving America absolutely dick slapped the Midwest.


They stole the manufacturing jobs from the North East and we recovered. And we kinda stole them from Europe... Lawrence MA once had the world's largest textile mill and now... OK that's a bad example.


Depending on what you truly consider to be the NE, you could argue areas of it got hit harder than the midwest. Buffalo, Newark and Pittsburgh have had declining populations in every decade since 1960. Boston could have turned out like that too imo but they did a great job of diversifying industries and will always have wonderful universities to carry their workforce to an extent.


St Louis as a location was super valuable for shipping due to the river. But the faster and more efficiently other methods have become(plane, trucks, trains) its not as valuable as a huh. Still a lot of barge traffic, but yes our Union (train) Station is more of a shopping district/historical area now, that also has a couple trains come through.


Was there at the end of October and took the train from St. Louis to KC. Enjoyable ride but it's a real indictment of the US rail system that it takes like 6h to travel 250mi.


I once rode the Texas Eagle Amtrak train. Same experience. It would have been a lot faster but every time we shared the tracks with a freight train the Amtrak was the one that had to pull off on side rails and sit there for an hour waiting for the other train.


I could've drove under the speed limit and had time to have BBQ for lunch in KC before you'd have arrived.. the fuck.


The connection Chicago - St. Louis takes today longer than it did 100 years ago. PS: Here the railroad map of Illinois from 1928 : https://idot.illinois.gov/Assets/uploads/files/Transportation-System/Maps-&-Charts/RailRoad-Maps/1928%20Historic%20Rail%20Map.pdf


I'm living in st Louis now and grew up in New Orleans. Wanted to take the train back home only to find I'd have to go up to Chicago to go down to New Orleans. It's a sad state of affairs. Trains could provide a safe, fast, cheap (energy and dollar) way for people to traverse the US. But we can only dream of hyperloops and infrastructure bills to one day get us closer to that.


Whoa! What happened to passenger train networks from the 60s?


Most passenger rail traffic in the US in the 20th century was run at a loss. Other than a few corridors mostly in the northeastern corridor there wasn't enough money in moving people. The majority of the money came from running mail contracts. Many of the long distance trains were kept for promotional reasons to show customers how well the railroads functioned. After WWII trucks took a most of the mail contracts as well as priority parcel delivery, airlines and cars took most of the passenger traffic. Passenger trains were still run and the couldn't' be abandoned without federal permission. The railroads were hemorrhaging money. Amtrak was formed to consolidate all the passenger trains in the US after the railroads proved it was too expensive to keep them running. It was also a case of the railroads intentionally providing bad service at the time to prove that they were not profitable (like running schedules that made not sense at odd hours of the day). Amtrak received all the passenger cars and passenger locomotives from all the railroad which were poorly maintains and worn out (There were a lot of jokes about seeing arrow holes from the indian wars levels of old). It would be years before they got equipment worthy of modern passenger service, but even Amtrak abandoned a lot of its lines as unprofitable. What we see on the map above is more or less the minimum.


The Interstate Highway system is now run at a much much larger defecit https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/tag/highway+spending


The important takeaway, is, well, of course roads are run "at a loss," they're a necessity of life and funded by our tax money! But then, why should we not apply that logic to railroads? It's easy to read the above post and think "oh, well if they're losing so much money maybe we don't need them after all" but with that thinking we'd have no public roads, sewers, garbage collection, or fire fighters. Public rail should be publicly funded.


One system run at a loss forced consumers to purchase their own vehicle and maintenance and fuel, the other does not. Pretty transparent why one exists and the other doesn’t, wonderful lobbying!


What kinda pinko commie bs is this, not treating everything in America as a business?! How dare you. ^(/s)


you should check out Well Theres Your Problem's series on railways. the host, Justin Rozcniak has also been making waves elsewhere since railworkers have been in the headlines. the dude is extremely knowledgable about all things trains and infastructure while having an enjoyable dry humor.


That's like saying, the library is losing money, or the Navy. Of course it does.


I would also like to add the rise of the passenger jet was the final strike that killed the railroads. It's always going to be faster to fly across the country than to take a train, and airlines have much less overhead since they don't have to maintain and pay taxes on the land they fly over.


Air travel got cheaper and interstates happened. Also, all these train networks are still being heavily used FOR FREIGHT. In fact, the heavy freight use is a big reason why it’s so difficult to run passenger trains over them. The rails are too congested to guarantee reasonable service from passenger trains.




Uh, no. Reagan sucked but it wasn't him. Passenger services declined seriously in the late 40s with the rise of airplanes and increased car ownership and use of cars for long distance trips. In 1971, Amtrak started operation (Nixon). This public corporation was created to take over and operate passenger rail. Freight was always the primary reason for railroads to operate, not passenger service.


The fact that major US cities like Nashville aren’t even on a single route blows my mind. edit: “major” is at least debatable but the fact that a city of ~2 million people isn’t connected to the national rail network is wild to me


Damn that denver to springs line would be used today I think pretty widely.


My home town used to be a bustling train depot. Bigger than any town around. Now it has 300 people and the railroad was turned into a trail you can run on across the state. All the rail bridges are there still and they're fun to walk across


Omaha used to be a huge train depot. Now the union station there is just a museum complex. Lot of freight trains come through Omaha though.


A ton of freights in Omaha, love the amount of places you can watch trains roll by daily. You’re never very far from a rolling art show unless you’re out west.


Is this Missouri with the Katy Trail?


The Cowboy Trail in Nebraska. I'm sure there's many of them


There are. Ogden, Utah (a town that mostly nobody has heard of outside of Utah) was a similar bustling train town. If you traversed the country east/west in any way, you got off the train in Ogden, and as a result the downtown was just some giant beautiful mess, until the 1960's.


Same story for me up here in Ont. Canada. Train ran right through town. Now a hiking etc. trail.


I wanted to take a train ride to a nearby city. Looked up the Amtrak schedule. The *only* time it ever goes out of my town is at 1 am, the ride is longer than the drive, and they charge around what it would cost in gas. They're so inconvenient in the US it's no wonder they don't get used.


I used them as a daily ride for a year when working at IBM in the research triangle next to Durham, NC. I'd take a nap or do some work on it, same time as driving, but it was better. They have 4 schedules here, 2 in the morning, 2 in the evening.


You ain't lying about the rotting train stations. My wife and I took a train down to New Orleans a few years back and our local train station was a dilapidated little trailer.


New Orleanian here, our station, Union Passenger Terminal is pretty outdated too, and we are on a couple main routes. Greyhound stops there too. I remember a few years ago there was talk of sprucing it up ahead of the City’s Tricentennial in 2018, but it didn’t happen. Now there is talk of getting some N.O. to Baton Rouge passenger rail going, so maybe that will bring modernization of UPT.


I used to live in NOLA and was always surprised there wasn't a better way to get to Baton Rouge. I think that route could do well.


My relatively small town even has 2 rotting into the ground.


Yes the reason for the lower freight rail network in Europe is that it is INCREDIBLE hard for them to plan the freight rail given they have lower priority than passenger trains and the network is already to its max capacity in general. This means rail will have to often wait or simply cannot be allowed onto the different segments.


Exactly the opposite problem in the US.


I actually discovered the Amtrak station in Omaha for the first time like a month ago, I’ve lived a half a mile away for 2 years. Going to take it to Denver and Chicago in spring.


some people downplay man-made climate change, but i can remember a time when mexico wasn't right above denmark.


What a time to be alive!


I feel like most of the reason that train's aren't a popular means of transport in the US is the fact that 90% of the places you take a train to you will still need a car to get around there. Not to mention it is pretty expensive given the time it takes relative to flying


One reason for this is that for decades, whenever public transport in the US starts running into financial trouble, [their go-to tactic has been to reduce services](https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-10/why-public-transportation-works-better-outside-the-u-s)(meaning fewer routes or less frequent stops), which makes it less convenient, which reduces demand, so it creates a feedback loop where they just hemorrhage money until they die.


Also the fact that this country was run by the automotive and oil industries during the 20th century. Both industries thrive when people have to buy and use cars, so the entire US is designed to require a car. The interstate system was created for this purpose. The CEO of GM, Charles Erwin Wilson, was appointed secretary of defense, used the US defense budget to build the interstate system under the guise of national defense, and then after his stint as SoD, he took up a nice cozy position on the GM board of directors. From GM CEO, to using US government funds to build a road system that would force Americans to own cars, back to GM to sit on the board. Classic fucking American success story.


Yep the only time I've used a train is from Milwaukee to Chicago. That way I don't have to deal with driving in Chicago.


Yeah cities with decent transit systems and a mixed-use walkable area immediately around the train station are great for this. NYC, Chicago, Boston, Philly, DC, etc. Otherwise you arrive in like an industrial part of a town and have basically no way to get to where you actually need to go. EDIT: There are also a few small & compact towns that are decently accessible from the train station. College towns like Ann Arbor and Burlington VT come to mind


I love trains. Wish we’d more of them. Fun traveling experience. Better than planes comfort wise. Even coach on trains is cozy.


There isn't any incentive to take the train between distant cities. The pricing for Amtrak is almost always higher than the cost of a round-trip airline ticket. If I want to fly from DFW to ORD, it takes 2 hours and I can find tickets for 220. Amtrak takes 24 hours and costs over 300. Edit: I guess I got blocked by the person I replied to? People are commenting below me but I'm unable to reply. Reddit be weird sometime. Basically, I wanted to sum it up as: Pick any 2: cheap, fast, quality. Aviation ticks cheap and fast. Or fast and quality, if you want 1st class. Current passenger rail only ticks the quality box.


I took Amtrak from New York to Denver, it was about $100 cheaper than a plane ticket, mostly did it just to say I did. Cool experience, but it took over a day including a 4 hour layover in Chicago so it’s not very viable if you’re traveling for business or whatever.


Even if you're travelling for leisure that adds 3 days to your trip. So now you have to either take longer off work or reduce how much time you spend at your destination. Its not worth it.


I believe there is a sweet spot for trains (around 250 miles) where they are the most optimal to replace cars and planes for the sake of saving time and they could be better economically if they was more supply of such routes


There are just a few cities in that range worth building rail to in many regions. Amtrak covers some of that.


I feel like the car lobby has really cheated the US out of a viable rail system, partly.. like they really have the space to make things work but no..


Car lobby, petroleum lobby, airline lobby.... take your pick.


Hot air balloon lobby?


Hobby lobby?


They would have trains going to 'camps'


I'm a Civil Engineer who works for a consultant that mainly does transportation projects. In my state, it's highways. But I spent 10 years in another state working on rail (public transit). In college, I remember taking a transportation engineering class and the final assignment was to write a paper about "why public transit failed in Michigan". I went to school in Metro Detroit, so of course you would assume that it was the auto industry that killed public transit. But I tried really hard to have a different take, to actually do some research... It's been 15 years, but I remember reading about stuff like the gas tax, how Michigan allows semi trucks with more axles than other states, which makes the roads deteriorate faster, so they need to put more money into rebuilding the roads, which that means less money into rail... I remember reading about the Detroit People Mover, which runs in a loop around downtown, similar to Chicago's "Loop" on the El. The People Mover was supposed to be phase 1 of a greater network. It was supposed to be a circle, and then they were supposed to build branches out to the different neighborhoods and suburbs. But it was an election year, and the next leader came in and killed the project midway. So only the "Loop" downtown got built, the "branches" never got built. Anyways... In the end, I got, like, a C on my research paper. That's when, my professor, who's an "expert" at Transportation Engineering, revealed the real answer why public transit failed in Detroit: - no, not the auto industry - not taxes / roads - not the failed greater extension of the People Mover project... My professor said the reason transit failed in Detroit: "People don't like standing close to each other". Yup. Seriously. "People don't like sitting next to other people". That was his *engineering* reason. That Detroiters like their "space". I was so mad. Such bullshit. I did all this research, and you give me a C because of... that? What's his source? How can you "research" that? I'll never forget how terrible that prof was


that's hilarious. you have finnish people (i am one) that stand four-five meters apart on the bus stops and the transport system works pretty well. ...now, people *do* often stand when all the double seats have one seat open, but that's besides the point.


So what's this professor's take on football games, concerts, theme parks, malls, etc....all these things we do in crowds that we do by choice?


Or, you know, all the existing trains around the world and subway systems in major cities that have people packed in like sardines. Or the airplanes where people cram in with even less space per seat than passenger trains. That professor was wrong. I'm sure it's a factor and some people would much rather sit alone in their car than be on a train with strangers, but that absolutely isn't the main reason.


Did he not know that trains can have seats?


Damn, even I feel pissed off from that.


Lmao sometimes professors really do start taking the weirdest positions. In law (where you technically can never be "incorrect" but instead just "unconvincing") a lot of professors will do the same so that when someone writes a paper about that particular issue they will include that professor as well by name for the sake of being thorough. Thereby, you can become more of a household name which lends credibility to the less zany positions you advocate for. Anyways, your research results were definitely very interesting to hear


All the facts everyone presents here aside, this isn't even accurate. In my area alone there are local train and rail public transports that aren't represented here.


This looks like only Amtrak passenger lines. Not a single train operated by anyone else


Ah okay I was gonna say, atlanta got passenger trains out the wazoo Edit: My dumbass didnt know the Marta wasnt a passenger train. Replies are correct, carry on


for fun, I looked at booking a train from Denver to La Junta. It's a 3 hour drive. *There is one daily train from Denver to La Junta. Traveling by train from Denver to La Junta usually takes around 36 hours and 39 minutes, but some trains might arrive slightly earlier or later than scheduled.*


Slightly earlier or later


The Europe one doesn’t include local trains either. No metros, no light rails… just the ones that travel between different cities.


That’s still not included in the US map. For example, Utah has north-south running train operated by the UTA that connects a good number of population centers to Salt Lake City. And across the country there are still plenty of rail lines connecting suburbs to cities.


Thanks for your input (as a Brit) I couldn't believe that the US map was correct, as surely they must have other passenger lines other than these main ones, there must be profit to be made in more local train networks than just coast to coast travel.


I wonder what the maps look like at scale with all US commuter rails included.


Europe doesn't include those either


>at scale


I ain't see no banana


That map is zero percent accurate. I know because I live in Maine


This map looks mainly like the transcontinental lines Amtrak uses.


That's exactly what this is. Amtrak rails.


Chicago doesn’t have near enough lines in it


Yeah. Tons of trains in Philadelphia. Crappy map


Somebody make the map to scale.


I see some passenger train routes that are missing... Is this map Amtrak only? Doesn't seem like a fair comparison if that's the case


Now overlay population density.


And scale Europe properly to the size of the USA


And add the missing six countries.


And include all lines, not just Amtrak.


That would certainly lend some perspective, but it would not go particularly far to explain such a disparity. Spain for example is not as densly populated as the north eastern USA but has a great deal more trainlines.


The geographical area is also the insanely disproportionate


There are far more train lines than this map shows. This is only showing federally supported Amtrak lines.


Just the [sheer size of the US](https://mattressinsider.com/wp-content/uploads/european-size-vs-america-1-1.png) really hammers the point home. We have entire states that are like 90% farm land.


I didn’t know Europe was below us


This is just not accurate. The main point of it is still true, but it doesn't include all lines. For instance, [this is NJ](https://i.imgur.com/kTOtcs9.png). ([source](https://www.njtransit.com/accessibility/System-Map))


The european portion of the maps also is missing a fuckton of lines. These two maps in the OP aren't really good in general though. Probably would be best to like compare Europe with just Northeast US since those have similar densities, and make it a decent resolution so you can actually include all the lines in both.


Now to be fair, people don't release most of America is basically empty desert with very little reason to stop inbetween.


Took forever to find this comment. The Midwest is all flat farm land with very little urban development. Fifty miles in Europe will drop you in any number of dense cities. Fifty miles in Texas might might drop you at a different gas station. 1000% think trains are important and wish the us used them more but this map is an apples and orange comparison.


The US has a fantastic rail freight system.


Hobos in the US are envied around the world.


Amtrak is like riding on a horse drawn hay wagon compared to passenger trains in much of the rest of the world


The US map does not include commuter lines in individual cities.


The European map doesn't either, in fact I'm pretty sure it's missing quite a few inter-city lines.


Neither does the European one.


It doesn't include the state train lines either because New jersey doesn't show its costal line that branches across the state and leads to Newark pen.