Suddenly, rail travel is all the rage, and travelers young and old alike are choosing to stay grounded rather than take flight. Read on to learn why taking the train is the new travel trend.
As global environmental concerns increase, more and more travelers are making transportation choices that lower their carbon footprint. The travel-planning question is no longer just where to go, but how to “go green”! This question has led many travelers to increasingly choose trains over planes. According to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Data on Fuel Efficiency, transport by train uses 20% less energy per passenger mile than airplanes, and 30% less than cars. Combine this with the fact that most train stations are centrally located in cities – which minimizes the need for a second form of transportation to get to your final destination (unlike airports) – and the greener choice becomes clear.
The trend towards “experiential travel” also lends itself well to rail travel. For years now there has been a move from fast-paced travel tendencies (in which people squeeze as much into a trip as possible) to slower, more leisure, travel which values the journey as much as the destination. In fact, 25% of travelers plan on taking an “epic road or rail journey” within the year. In a world that is steadily growing faster and faster, more travelers are choosing to slow down, and enjoy the ride. Rail travel offers many benefits over other forms of travel, including spacious seating, freedom to move about, better food options, Wifi, air-conditioning, safety, and a constant view. Train rides can be amazingly scenic and fun for the entire family, e.g., playing cards or board games around a table while watching the beautiful countryside pass by is not something you can do on a plane!
Advanced Rail Systems
Across the globe, huge investments are being made by rail operators on upgrades. New forms of green technology and energy-conserving practices are being installed and instilled by companies like Amtrak, making trains more efficient and sustainable. This includes high-speed rail systems, such as Japan’s Shinkansen, which recently increased its speed and lowered its energy by 40%. In Europe, travel by train throughout the continent is very sustainable, and new rail passes have made train travel simpler and more affordable. Global Eurail Passes now include 31 countries, with Great Britain, Macedonia, and Lithuania recently being added to their list of destinations. Eurail-brand passes also offer first- and second-class rates for all, senior discounts, and free rides for up to two kids with each adult-rate pass.
The option to ride by rail in luxury is also changing some traveler’s mindset from “I think I can” to “I think I will!” Whether you’re going on a point-to-point destination ride, or a round-trip scenic journey for pleasure, there are luxury rail options to choose from. Eurostar offers a luxury high-speed train that goes through London, Paris, and Brussels (so you can add a long weekend of leisure to your next business trip). The historic 1890 Presidential Train in Portugal offers tourists a luxury, historical and cultural experience, with wine tours and fine dining. Others, such as The Venice Simplon-Orient Express, offer champagne bars, large suites with living rooms, private bathrooms with bath amenities, and priority seating. With these amenities and comforts, it’s no wonder why travelers are choosing to skip TSA screenings, lines, and cramped spaces in airports and planes! Comparatively, scenic views, slower pace, and more space make trains a delightful way to travel.
The trend to travel by train will continue to grow in popularity as travelers’ priorities shift to align with their desire to increase their comfort and safety, decrease their carbon footprint, and share unique experiences with friends and family.