Why America Should Get on Board with Trains

Caroline Norton
September 28, 2019
View looking out the window of a train in Ireland

Hello, all. I’m writing to you now from one of the greatest inventions of mankind, the train. This particular train is set for Tralee, wherever that is, where I will then get on a bus to Dingle (funny name, apparently great town - I’ll give an update later). Since I arrived in Ireland, I’ve had a few chances to try out different modes of public transportation, including buses, taxis, and the DART, and I have decided that traveling by train is by far the best way to get around. I just don’t understand why we never figured this out in the states. We have subways in some major cities and the occasional Amtrak, but that's not the same. I'm asking for a whole revamp of our infrastructure to include a large, convenient, interstate public rail system. I think this is imperative to our progress as a nation in the twenty-first century. Now, I don’t know how this could possibly be accomplished (I’m a theatre major, give me a break), but I think someone in charge of this sort of thing should figure it out for all of the reasons which I will now list.
Trains are ridiculously convenient.

I’m on a train right now that is taking me all the way across the country of Ireland in just a few hours for a fraction of the price and hassle that I would pay to travel the same distance in America. Getting on the train was a relatively painless process, especially compared to the preparation that goes into flying or driving anywhere in America. 

They’re fun to ride.

Okay, let’s be honest. Trains are the best. Every time I get on a train I think, “Oh YES, I’m on a train! There is something so neat about settling into your seat with the little table in front of you, hearing “mind the gap” and zipping to your destination. It breaks the usual trend of boring public transit. And the windows! The VIEWS! The big seats and tables! The TROLLEY! It’s all so exciting.

You can go backwards.

This point could probably fit into the previous category, but I feel that the thrill of going backwards on a train and watching the countryside slip away from you is worth its own bullet point. Something about it wakes the little kid in me.

America is big. Like, really big.

A little more than 8 Irelands could fit it into Texas alone, and yet Ireland is the place with convenient cross-country transportation? This is an outrage! America is so big, so why don't we make it easier to get around via a method as cool as a train system? Imagine how easy it would be to just hop on a train from Dallas to Houston, or Los Angeles to San Francisco (okay, I suppose maybe you could take the Amtrak but it's NOT. THE. SAME.). Our lives would be forever changed!

You can pretend you’re Harry Potter on your way to Hogwarts when they ask if you want anything from the trolley.

Even though we don't say "trolley" in the U.S. much, I think this is a key part of the train-travel experience and we should adopt it anyway. I’ll be honest, as a Harry Potter fanatic (ask me about my obscure Harry Potter-referencing tattoo someday), something in me lit right up on this train today when a man came down the aisle asking if we wanted anything from the trolley. Although I didn’t have the courage (or sufficient funds) to respond loudly in a British accent, “WE’LL TAKE THE LOT!”, I still made me giggle.

For all of the reasons specified above, America should get on it with implementing a nationwide public high-speed train system. I would greatly appreciate it if any readers know who I need to talk to in order to get this done. I’m sure we would all benefit from it.

#WhoeverWillPutTrainsInAmerica2020

Caroline Norton

<p>Hey there! My name is Caroline Norton, and I am a junior at Texas Christian University with a huge passion for theatre! My favorite sweet snack is frosted circus animal cookies, I have never been to Ireland before, and I kind of believe I am a 40-year-old woman trapped inside a 19-year-old's body. I love to bring stories to life whenever I can whether it be through acting, writing, singing, or any other form of artistic expression, and nothing gives me a greater sense of fulfillment than creating something artistic for others to enjoy.</p>

Home university:
Texas Christian University
Hometown:
Fort Worth, TX
Major:
Drama
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