I travel a lot by train. Prior to moving to the East Coast I didn't, but part of my job involves quite a bit of travel to D.C. and I have found the train a much more pleasant experience than flying from NYC to D.C. In all liklihood the time it takes is probably the same or less when you figure in getting to the airport in the first place and having to pass through security.
I live about a 10 minute walk from the Penn Station so it's convenient, you don't have to pass through security (yet), and on the train is a pretty laid back environment. Most trains even have quiet cars so you can get away from annoying loud mobile phone talkers. What is it with these people? Don't they know that you could practically whisper into their phone and have the person on the other end of the line hear them? Quite the opposite it seems, they feel the need to talk twice as loud as they normally would with little regard for the sanity of those around them . . . but I digress.
Back when I wrote some posts about bike camping I squaked about the fact that public transit is not too bike friendly in the eastern corridor. I will be traveling to the west coast this fall and will need to travel from Portland to Seattle.
In the past I would not have blinked twice and booked an air ticket. My new affinity for train travel had me checking out train ticket prices. I was pleasantly surprised on many fronts.
First, the train drops you off a few blocks from downtown Seattle so I will not have to worry about transit from the airport up the dreadedly clogged I-5.
Second, take a look at the first ticket reservation for a train from NYC to D.C. . . .
"Add Bike to Trip" is an option on every freaking train I looked into! How dope is that? If you click further you get to this:
On the NYC to D.C. trip there are only about two trains per day that allow bikes and you have to box them up. Tyranny I tell you! Portlanders, count your blessings. And if you have not traveled by train recently and don't need to go too far, check it out. I'm a convert for sure.
Now if only we could get national high speed rail . . .