There are many ways to get from Boston to New York City. Driving or taking a bus are viable options that offer advantages in flexibility and economy. Flying used to be the fastest way until security requirements stretched the time commitment to be roughly the same as driving. And then there’s the train, the oldest and still the best option when you’re going from downtown Boston to the heart of Manhattan. And that’s where I find myself this morning, rolling down the tracks looking at the changing landscape of Rhode Island and Connecticut, phone charging, wi-fi and Bluetooth on, coffee at the ready.
I’ve recently taken the train from London to Liverpool and back, and a sleeper train from London to Edinburgh and back, so the comparison is still fresh in my mind. Amtrak is more expensive and slower than that Virgin train to Liverpool. The infrastructure and number of stops simply don’t allow for long runs at high speed. The difference between the Acela and the regional train is only 30 minutes. If you can tolerate the multiple stops it makes a lot of sense to just take the regional. And really, who cares? I’m sipping coffee, writing and listening to music while someone else does the work. And I didn’t have to wait in a TSA line or take my shoes off for the honor of sitting in this seat. Dog sniffing my bags? Any time you want.
I’ve driven to New York countless times. It’s a miserable experience unless you manage to time the traffic. Humans aren’t at their best in stop and go traffic, and the 5 minute delay I hit at 5 AM this morning driving to the train station was a good reminder of the horror show that is I-95 through Connecticut. Why subject yourself to that when you don’t have to? And when you finally get to Manhattan mentally spent, you get to spend a fortune to park your car. Then do it all over again going back home. I’ll take the train, thank you.