Another opinion piece? Yes. I'm a feature writer, not a journalist. If I was a journalist I'd be making even less money and getting yelled at even more than I already do.

Amtrak announced yesterday that they're adding a second train trip between St. Paul and Chicago; this one running daily. That's a big win for us jerkfaces who want to see jerkface bands that skip Minnesota in favor of Chicago...which is a lot of them *COUGH PEARL JAM COUGH*

Amtrak Borealis To Make Daily Runs Between St. Paul and Chicago

Photo by Jan Canty/FranCesco/Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash/Canva
Photo by Jan Canty/FranCesco/Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash/Canva

Overall, this is a big win for those who want to travel but hate to drive or fly. This particular service (Amtrak Borealis) will run daily and cost only $41 each way (my Crosby math puts that at $82 round-trip), with discounts available.

The Cons of Taking the Train

  1. It takes a lot longer to get to your destination compared to flying
  2. You're basically giving up a full day to get there and a full day to get back
  3. You don't control when you stop in case you see something an oddly-shaped Kwik Trip
  4. The weirdos are with you...of course, the weirdos are with you on a plane, too, just not for as long
  5. Since you're not 30,000 miles (or so) in the air, you can actually taste the food
  6. You're going through a lot of Wisconsin to get to Chicago

The Pros of Taking the Train

  1. It's about the same amount of time - if not quicker - than driving, minus the headache of driving
  2. No tolls
  3. No extra-longer routes to avoid tolls
  4. No wear-and-tear on your vehicle
  5. No dealing with traffic...have you ever driven in Chicago traffic?
  6. When you factor in gas, tolls, snacks, etc.; you're saving money by taking the train

The arguments against taking the train usually amount to "it's quicker to fly" and "you can pay a similar price for a plane ticket if you pay attention". Here's the thing: I can't pay attention. I'd rather just get a ticket when I'm ready to get a ticket.

The Amtrak Borealis Isn't Just For St. Paul to Chicago Trips

It isn't a non-stop trip. There are stops along the way; including the Wisconsin Dells and Milwaukee (one stop at the airport and one downtown). Trips to those destinations are cheaper than the full route to Chicago.

It'd sure be nice if high-speed rail was more prevalent in this country, but at least the existing system is getting expanded. That's a good thing.

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H/T: MPR News

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