If you’ve been reading my posts for a while, you’ll know I’m a big fan of scenic railway journeys (The Jacobite, Ferrocarril Chihuahua al Pacifico, etc), but I actually really enjoy travelling anywhere by train! But what are the advantages of taking the train over going by car?
- The train is much more relaxing – no stressful traffic jams to deal with and no searching for somewhere to park when you arrive at your destination.
- Going by train is often faster than going by car. I can travel from Market Harborough to London in 57 minutes by train, whereas it takes me around 2 hours by car (due to the volume of traffic).
- It is more environmentally friendly than taking you car.
- You see more of the countryside than you do when you’re driving along the motorway. And you have time to enjoy it as you’re not having to concentrate on driving.
- There is no need to make regular stops for food/drink and to visit the toilet – they’re on the train!
- You can get up and walk around if you want to stretch your legs, without having to stop and break your journey.
- I don’t really enjoy driving – I find going by train much easier.
So those are the advantages – well, for me at least – but what are the potential downsides to train travel?
- It is expensive (certainly in the UK) – unless you can get a cheap, advance ticket. If you are travelling as a family, it is pretty much always cheaper to drive, even if you have a Railcard.
- At busy times you won’t necessarily manage to find a seat, which means standing in hot, crowded conditions – not ideal!
- It can be quite noisy if the train is busy (like it was on the way home from London last night!).
- There is always the risk of delays/cancellations on any public transport.
- Train times are not always convenient if you have to be somewhere for a certain time… trains don’t run all night, so if you need to get to the airport really early in the morning, for example, there probably won’t be a service you an use.
- You have to get to the train station from your house before you can get on the train, which is not always easy with bags, cases and kids…
But, despite the disadvantages, for me, the pros far outweigh the cons of travelling by train. What do you think? Do you like to take public transport if you can or would you rather always take your car?