I love train rides. Probably my favorite way to travel.
In the US I have been from North Carolina via a stop in DC to NYC. Met some amazing people making ends meet migrating from state to state to work.
In Europe one elbows business people traveling from London to Cannes Film Festival or long trips across Switzerland and Austria for ones ski fix. Watching out the window is simply uplifting. I spend a lot of time covering the UK by train especially cherished is the 6 hours to Scotland.
In Asia I have spent a lot of time in Indian trains. Down right crazy but fantastic food. Last year on an overnight train I got a eye infection that left me slightly blind for three days. But don’t let that put you off. In Japan I did an overnight train from Kyoto to Amori (a tiny place in the north on the main island famed for its cherry blossom). I am just back from staying with American Airforce friends in Korea where I spent the best part of the day on a train through rice padies on the way to the beach and a ferry ride with locals. However the oddest Asian train journey was 17th hours to the birth place of Kung Fu (China) and 15 hours away from it. Ridiculous. We couldn’t fly or buy a sleeper carriage fare, so were in chairs. Everyone smoked and ate smelly sticky chicken so toxic, they ate it with plastic bags. I was proposed to three times in the first hour. We tried to buy six seats to Xian so that we had room for bags and a bit of air but found the seats where across a gangway.
But seriously do not let me put you off. Get on a train and spread out in a way you can’t do on any plane. Watch out the window for the changing landscapes. Meet people on their short trips. Observe commuters in the morning and kids trek home from school in the afternoon. I have read some the most cherished books on a long train journey, laid my best plans and done my best work.