train travel

"I'm going to be on this Amtrak train for 70 minutes so I brought 70 snacks."
My career as a wildlife and travel filmmaker and photographer has taken me to many extreme environments over the last twenty-five years, some inhospitable and potentially dangerous.
I keep seeing it. "Across the USA by Train for Just $213." Every so often, the picture and title will roll through my Facebook feed as a friend shares it. Every time I see it, I want to scream. Because here's the thing: This is an awful, awful idea. In fact, it downright sucks.
The train is not the most popular -- nor the most efficient -- way to travel in Africa, but its aura of faded bygone glamour makes it a must for those who are fans of slow travel.
Riding the rails -- it's a beloved experience that many prefer to plane or car travel. There are no security lines and no traffic, plus the benefit of wider seats and more legroom. But among those who don't travel Amtrak regularly, it's common to hear complaints.
Our travel days coincided with not one but two prospective industrial actions, and, as usual, it was difficult to get reliable and useful updates from news media -- or indeed from railroad employees, at least one of whom was a positive volcano of misinformation.