....and all other modes of transportation. I'd like to talk about moving things, their impact on society and what you all think about them. I was on a sleeper train for the first time so I'll start - In the US, passenger rail is less convenient and more expensive than most other modes of transportation. Part of the problem is that our passenger rail service (Amtrack) only owns a tiny portion of the tracks they use which means that freight traffic has priority. This leads to delays though it's no longer as bad as it got in the 90's when freight train companies took brazenly illegal actions to hold up Amtrack trains for their own benefit. Another problem with Amtrack is that it can only get capital funding from Congress which regularly declines to give them more than is absolutely necessary to apply band-aids to their aging fleet. This means Amtrack trains typically date from the 90's or earlier and lack any sort of entertainment systems or even basic wifi. Also, since Amtrack trains all run on deisel and tend to have low ridership, they are not as energy efficient as rail systems in Europe and can even be more polluting than an airplane for some rugged routes. Almost none of the trains can be considered high speed either and they tend to run around 35 mph on average. All that said, trains are fantastically more comfortable than airplanes and if you have the time to burn, it's a great way to get around the country and to see a lot of it. The US West coast has some extremely scenic routes and I've heard many of the Eastern-bound routes are similarly pretty. There are other positive aspects to train travel here. There is no security lines to deal with and the trains are flexible. I managed to catch an earlier train on my route that saved me 2 hours of sitting in the terminal and there was no issue with it at all. Can you imagine hopping in line at an airport to take another flight because it'll get you there faster without having to check in with ticketing or pay to switch planes?