Tag: Train TravelView All Tags
Train travel can bring a very different perspective compared to flying, and when it’s the high-speed variety in a country as intriguing as Japan, it’s definitely not just about getting from A to B. We recently took this gleaming white Shinkansen between the capital Tokyo and former imperial capital Kyoto, a two and a half hour journey that zipped by at 190 mph (300 km/h).
Seen here at Tokyo Station, the passengers queueing so neatly is no coincidence. The lanes you see on the platform indicate exactly where you are meant to stand for which door, but somehow we believe in unfailingly organized and polite Japan things wouldn't turn into a stampede even without them.
Travel Movie Tuesday / Movies / Travel Movies / The Darjeeling Limited / Movie Travel / India Travel / Train Travel / → All Tags
From Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck falling in love in Rome to Julia Roberts circling the globe to find herself, film has played an important role in shaping both the golden years and current day of travel. Thus, we present our newest series, Travel Movie Tuesday, where we detail the most inspiring travel films.
Few movies investigate family bonding, self-actualization, and travel like 'The Darjeeling Limited'. Wes Anderson's flick, about three brothers reunited for a spiritual journey through India while they re-establish their relationship one year after their father's death, had us giggling at some moments and blinking away tears at others, but longing for a long-haul train ride throughout.
Rail Passes / Train Travel / Switzerland Travel / Zurich Travel / Europe Travel / Budget Travel / → All Tags
One of the biggest decisions that U.S. travelers to Europe have to make is whether to purchase a pre-planned rail pass or to wait and buy single-journey tickets on the go. On our recent trip to Switzerland with a focus on the greater Zurich area, we used a Swiss Pass to travel between the small towns and villages.
Below, we break down the cost versus the benefits of the pass.
Just over a week ago, we gave you 11 benefits that train travel still has over the airline experience. Right on time, VIA Rail, Canada's national rail network, revealed the results of a $1 billion government investment in the form of a new "Prestige Class" on the Canadian, one of the network's flagship trains that runs between Toronto and Vancouver.
As the name would suggest, the highlights of the new Prestige Class provide passengers with a luxury experience, including personalized service, a cabin with 50% more space and bigger windows compared to the Sleeper Plus class, private bathroom with shower, flat-screen TV with on-demand, and a minibar. We're assuming that meals are also included in the rate (as they are for the Sleeper Plus Class), but those details have yet to come out. The first two photos in this post show the bedroom and sitting area of the new cabins, and you can take a virtual tour here.
Travel News / Security Checkpoints / Train Travel / Subway Travel / Beijing Travel / China Travel / → All Tags
Just as we were praising train travel for its ease of access and lack of frustrating security checkpoints, China has beefed up security to the point that it resembles a TSA checkpoint on its subway in Beijing.
Minor security measures date back to the 2008 Olympics, but things got serious at the beginning of 2014 when six checkpoints were opened across 200 stations that required passengers to show their personal belongings before entering the subway. Last weekend, three more were opened in response to the terror attacks in Xinjiang that killed 31 people. Now, instead of simply opening their bags, passengers must go through metal detectors and other heightened security measures, resulting in the massive queues you see in the photos of this post.
We love our air travel, for sure, but every time we go to Europe, we are pleasantly reminded of how enjoyable and relaxing it is to travel by train. The vast distances to be crossed and the cost/time restrictions may prevent us from doing it as often here in the States, but that shouldn’t keep us from overlooking what a great mode of transportation the train industry still provides.
Here's a rundown of what we love most about train travel:
Pet Travel / Amtrak / Train Travel / Travel News / Trains / Animals / → All Tags
Fido and Fluffy will no longer be sad back at home during your next trip, as Amtrak is now welcoming furry friends on certain trains and some routes. Just yesterday Amtrak started up this new program, so now you can plan your vacation itinerary with some tourist stops that your dog will enjoy as well—world’s largest fire hydrant?
The train transportation giant has a few special cars that will allow pets as part of a trial run that will do its thing for like six months or so. Amtrak's Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg trains that do their thing between spots in Illinois like Chicago and Quincy are part of the pilot, and if the animals behave things might just become available nationwide on more trains and more routes.
Zipping between countries over in Europe has never been easier, and thanks to planes, trains, and automobiles it’s also usually pretty darn affordable. Now the trip between France and the United Kingdom is getting even better, as those Eurostar trains that do their thing underneath the English Channel are getting a little bit of an upgrade and improvement.
It sounds like Eurostar is getting ready to throw down around $1.7 billion, as the train service begins to celebrate its second decade of doing its thing. New trains means more capacity for the first time in five years, and operators hope by that 2015 the whole fleet will have a new look and nice refresh.
Several spots in Central America have been on the "cool places to visit" list for a few years now, but Panama's popularity gains momentum with every headline event. Just this year, the country has had several new hotel openings (including an Ace!), it's the 100th Anniversary of the Panama Canal, and now Panama has debuted a brand new subway system.
It’s not every day you get to catch a ride aboard public transportation free from graffiti and litter, and of course on a train that still retains that new subway smell. Panama City debuted their new trains and tracks earlier this month, and they’re the first country in Central America to have such a system.
Travel Tips / Lists / Travel 101 / Train Travel / Amtrak / → All Tags
Whether you're a frequent flyer or an armchair traveler, there are certain details it's nice to review before making plans for that next big trip. Every week, we'll squeeze our mindgrapes and share tips to make sure you're the best informed flyer in seat 1A...or 38K.
This Week: The 5 Things Everyone Should Do Before Taking a Train Trip
News has surfaced in the past few days that London is trying to open its old underground Post Office Railway, or Mail Rail, to tourists. The city still needs to raise quite a bit of money and pass public approval, but it hopes to knock the dust off this once vital mail-carrying route. If everything goes according to plan, the Mail Rail will be ready to roll by 2020.
That's a far way off, so there's no reason to get ahead of ourselves. Yet regardless of the eventual outcome, this contributor has enjoyed the historic glimpse into a previously unknown world. It may not look like much beyond a dirty, dusty subway system, but the circumstances surrounding its use and construction bring about an appreciation that goes well beyond the novelty of 1920s mechanical equipment.
After taking a year hiatus from participating in the Eurail Select Pass - which allows customers to purchase three, four, or five country rail passes - France has announced it will rejoin the program starting in April.
Currently and until March 31st, you can buy three, four, or five country passes, choosing from a list of 25+ countries so long as they are connected to each other. For those looking at the map, you can see the effects of the decision go beyond visiting France. This past year, Select Pass holders were out of luck when they wanted to travel from Spain/Portugal to Italy/Germany/Switzerland/Belgium. They had to buy single tickets or splurge on the Global Pass, which is at least double the price depending on the specifics of your travel dates.