Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

It was tough getting flights back to JFK from São Paulo because of visibility related to the Canadian wildfires so some quick re-routing had us in Washington DC and then on an Amtrak to PA/NJ/NY/CT/MA. I’ve never been on the Acela, so this was a chance to compare it to train service in the UK. The train left on time from Union Station, and all stops in-between were on or close to schedule. The train wasn’t dirty, but the equipment is old. The Wi-Fi was great (never worked well in the UK on first-class services like GWR). The cafe car was clean, well-stocked, and the person behind the counter was friendly. The seats were comfortable too. My biggest criticism is with the age of the equipment. These cars must surely be nearing refurbishment. The Amtrak route(s) in the Northeast Corridor are profitable, but their financial house is in such shambles, that this equipment will probably remain in service well-beyond its recommended useful life. It’s probably still cheaper to fly but the advantage of trains remains station proximity to downtown metropolitan areas.

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