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  • The downside to trains is the cost. Trains are a far more expensive means of travel than planes. For my trip, I'm paying nearly five times the rate airlines charge for the same route.

    Wow. I take the train ABQ-L.A. because it's cheaper that flying. It takes a while, tho: leave about 6pm, get in the next day about noon.

    My complaints are that it's quite uncomfortable trying to sleep on the train -- I long for something as plush as a dentist's chair even. And there's basically nothing in the restaurant that I can eat; I don't eat dairy products or meat. So I make a point of bringing some Chinese food and some nibbly things. The train is very often quite late, because of engine trouble or whatever.

    So every time I fly, I swear that it's such a hassle (especially since flying into ABQ's local weather systems is like flying into a tornado) that I'll take the train from now on; and every time I take the train, I swear that it takes so long that I'll fly from now on.

    I'd be a lot happier with trains if they got up to decent speeds tho (even just 110mph) -- instead of chugging along like they do now, at basically highway speeds at best. But I've heard it said that the basic infrastructure (i.e., the tracks) just isn't up to higher speeds, since supposedly speed is important only to trains carrying passengers, and not to trains carrying cargo. I presume it's a matter of decisions made decades ago by corporate lobbies and whatnot.