I hear that train a-comin’.

June 26, 2008


Bon voyage to Mr. Living Small, who departs for Los Angeles via Amtrak this morning. It’s a 36-hour train trip, folks — that’s a lot of sustained silent reading — but he chose rails over airways for their lower environmental impact. Want some figures? Flit on over to this chart devised by the Sightline Institute (go, Seattle treehuggers!) on the subject of CO2 emissions according to transit type.

Have you ever long-hauled it on the railroad? How far did you go?

(And how late did you arrive?)


6 Responses to “I hear that train a-comin’.”

  1. Justin The (Conductor) Man said

    Interesting that a solo driver in a Prius is basically equivalent to Amtrak. As far as environmental impact, Mr. LS’s emissions would be the same if he drove a Prius to L.A. And he’d probably be there on time.

    Imagine what we could be doing if we hadn’t killed the electric car!

  2. It’s true. But the Seattle Public Library won’t pay for him to buy a Prius. They will pay for him to ride the Amtrakkie, however.

    Dang those e-car killahs.

  3. Charlotte K said

    I have taken Amtrak from New Orleans to Boston straight through in coach (well, you have to change trains in NY).

    We were early. Amtrak got us all on earlier trains to Boston too.

    The seats on a long distance coach are SO comfortable compared to either a car or (ha!) a plane.

    I have ridden them for years, but this was the only long haul. The food in the dining car isn’t what it was, but it is still hugely fun to eat in a train dining car.

    Too bad it costs so much for a sleeper, those are really fun.

    Right now I wish I was your husband taking the train to LA!!!

  4. He’ll be glad to read that, Charlotte. He was initially a bit overwrought about the long trip, but he got excited as the prospect of movies on his iPod and tons of reading time (he took four books, two magazines, and the paper) became clear.

    NO to Boston is a long haul, for sure. A nice ride, too. Glad to hear you were early. Score one for Amtrak!

    Mr. Man and I rode the rails around the country in our college days as part of a five-week travel writing, kick-out-the-jams project. Good times, though we were late. Glad to hear things might be getting better.

  5. […] August 4, 2008 No, I don’t work for Amtrak. But, verily, I love el train for its (relative) energy efficiency. […]

  6. […] 30, 2009 Last weekend, Mr. LS and I hopped the Amtrak to California, where we spent a few dulcet days with this wild and crazy guy. The day we arrived, […]

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