I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.”

Oscar Wilde, Dramatist

Pros and Cons of Train Travel

advantages and disadvantages of train travel

Traveling by train has become quite popular over the past decade in many countries all over the world.

Train travel can be a convenient way to get around.

While it has many additional advantages, traveling by train also implies some problems.

In this article, the pros and cons of train travel are examined in detail.

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Advantages of Going by Train

  1. Traveling by train can be convenient
  2. Good for shorter distances
  3. You can work while traveling
  4. You can answer phone calls
  5. Train travel is eco-friendlier than using your car
  6. You can socialize
  7. Good for people with fear of flying
  8. Can be cheaper compared to going by plane
  9. You can avoid traffic jams
  10. Good for commuting
  11. Reduction in stress levels
  12. May help improve our air quality
  13. Good for your health
  14. You don’t need to worry about maintenance
  15. Trains are relatively safe
  16. Some people enjoy traveling by train

Traveling by train can be convenient

One advantage of going by train is that it can be quite convenient. You just have to sit down and can enjoy the ride. You don’t have to focus on the traffic. Instead, you can just relax.

You may even take the opportunity to sleep for a while in order to recover and to recharge your batteries for stressful parts of your day.

Therefore, going by train can be considered to be more convenient compared to going by car since you do not have to focus on the traffic at all.

Good for shorter distances

Trains are especially good when it comes to shorter distances. Up to a few hundred miles, trains are often the best transportation methods since those distances are often too short to make flying a viable option and you can reach your destination within a few hours by train.

Hence, for those short distances, train travel may be one of the best methods to get to your destination.

You can work while traveling

Another upside of train travel is that you can work while you are going by train. For instance, if you are on a business trip and have to finish an important task in time, you may want to use your time on the train in an efficient manner in order to get as much work done as possible.

This will not be possible if you go by car or plane instead and therefore, going by train is great if you want to use your time on business trips in the most efficient manner.

You can answer phone calls

Through going by train, you can also answer important phone calls. While this might also be possible if you go by car, it might not be possible in a plane since you will not be allowed to make a phone call during your flight.

Thus, if you have important calls in which you have to take part in, make sure to use a train or a car instead of going by plane.

Train travel is eco-friendlier than using your car

Also for our environment, traveling by train can be considered to be eco-friendlier compared to going by car or by plane. Train travel implies far lower greenhouse gases and therefore, if you go by train, you can also slow down global warming to a certain extent.

You can socialize

If you go by train on a regular basis, you may also be able to meet many new people and socialize a lot. While many of those connections may only be quite shallow, you might be able to find some serious business partners over time, which may significantly help you to bring your business to the next level.

Good for people with fear of flying

Some people are also afraid to use an airplane. If you are one of those people, going by train might be a great alternative for you, especially for shorter distances where you would not save too much time by going by plane.

Can be cheaper compared to going by plane

Depending on your country and on the time you are traveling, going by train can also be much cheaper compared to going by plane. While some plane tickets can be incredibly cheap, most of them are rather expensive and train travel may provide you with cheaper opportunities to get around.

You can avoid traffic jams

Another benefit of going by train is that you can avoid traffic jams. If you go by car on a regular basis, chances are that you will get stuck in traffic quite often.

However, through going by train, you will not get stuck in traffic at all since train travel will be quite independent of car traffic. Therefore, if you hate wasting your time in traffic jams, going by train might be a good alternative for you.

Good for commuting

Especially in countries where public transport connections are quite good, trains may also be a serious alternative to using your car for commuting purposes. Especially for short distances, you might even be faster when going by train compared to using your car.

Reduction in stress levels

Since you do not have to worry about traffic jams and also do not have to focus on traffic, you may be able to significantly lower your overall stress level by going by train.

You may meditate or sleep a little bit and at the time you reach your destination, chances are that you will be quite relaxed and ready for the challenging tasks that may lie ahead of you.

May help improve our air quality

Since going by train implies less emissions from cars, also our overall air quality tends to improve. Thus, if you want to make a positive impact on our air quality, you should leave your car in your garage and go by train instead.

Good for your health

Due to the reduction in stress levels and the overall better air quality that is implied by train travel, you may also be able to improve your overall health levels since you may be less likely to suffer from mental as well as from serious physical health issues.

You don’t need to worry about maintenance

Another advantage of train travel is that you don’t have to worry about maintenance issues. For instance, if you go by car, you will need to attend a garage from time to time where mechanics can fix potential issues.

However, if you go by train instead, you don’t need to worry about any repairs or maintenance and you may have additional leisure time to spend on your hobbies instead.

Trains are relatively safe

Train travel is also considered to be relatively safe. There are more accidents with cars than with trains and therefore, also your overall life expectancy might increase by going by train instead of using your car.

Some people enjoy traveling by train

For some people, going by train is also a quite enjoyable way to get from A to B. Some people even make it their hobby to ride as many trains as possible.

Thus, if you are one of those people, you might definitely use trains instead of going by car or plane, at least for shorter distances.

Disadvantages of Train Travel

  1. Trains can be unreliable
  2. You may miss important appointments
  3. May take you significantly longer compared to using a plane
  4. Not suitable for long distances
  5. Connections may be quite bad in some areas
  6. Trains can be quite crowded
  7. You may have to stand
  8. May not be practical in rural areas
  9. Trains might be more expensive than using your car
  10. You will be quite inflexible
  11. Limited space for your luggage

Trains can be unreliable

Apart from the many advantages of going by train, there are also some issues related to train travel. One problem with going by train is that trains can be quite unreliable.

Depending on where you live, trains may be delayed or may even not show up at all. Hence, if you live in a region where trains are quite unreliable, you might want to choose other transportation methods instead.

You may miss important appointments

If your train is late, you may also miss important appointments. This can include important meetings at work or other important private appointments.

Therefore, when it comes to those important occasions, you may want to use your car instead if you think that this increases the chances to be on time.

May take you significantly longer compared to using a plane

Going by train may also be significantly slower compared to using a plane. This is especially true when it comes to longer distances. Therefore, in those cases, you may want to use a plane and not a train in order to save yourself plenty of precious time.

Not suitable for long distances

Especially if you want to travel long distances, trains may not be the right way to go since apart from the time you might be wasting, it can also be quite exhausting to stay on a train for many hours or even days. Hence, if you plan to travel long distances, do yourself a favor and use a plane instead of a train.

Connections may be quite bad in some areas

Depending on where you live, the overall public transportation infrastructure may also be quite bad. In such a case, you might have to wait quite a long time until the next train arrives or you may not even be able to get from A to B in a reasonable manner.

Trains can be quite crowded

Especially in the early morning, trains can also be quite crowded and you will not have too much room for yourself. Therefore, if you suffer from claustrophobia, going by train during those times of the day might not be a good idea at all and you may want to use your car instead.

You may have to stand

During rush hour, trains may even be so crowded that you will not find a seat anymore. In many cases, you might have to stand during the whole travel period and if you travel for a few hours, this might be quite exhausting and annoying.

May not be practical in rural areas

The connections in rural areas are often quite bad and therefore, relying on trains in those areas might not be a good idea at all. If you live in one of those remote areas, you may want to use your car instead in order to save yourself plenty of time and nerves.

Trains might be more expensive than using your car

In many cases, going by train might actually be much more expensive than going by car. This is especially true when you travel with your family since the costs for going by car don’t change if you have additional passengers, but the costs of going by train often multiply.

Thus, especially if you travel with your family, going by car might be a much cheaper alternative.

You will be quite inflexible

If you go by train, you will also be quite inflexible regarding potential detours. For instance, if you want to make a detour and get some food from the grocery store on your way back from work, you can easily do so with your car.

However, if you go by train, it will be quite complicated to make detours since you might have to change trains and you may have to wait quite long for suitable connections.

Thus, if you are a spontaneous person who likes to change your mind quite often, going by car may give you more flexibility in this regard compared to going by train.

Limited space for your luggage

Depending on the train, you may also experience serious problems when it comes to storing your luggage. Quite often, luggage storage spaces in trains are quite limited and you may have a rather hard time storing your luggage somewhere near to you.

Top 10 Train Travel Pros & Cons – Summary List

Train Travel ProsTrain Travel Cons
Going by train can be comfortableTrains might be unreliable
May be cheaper than going by planeNot suitable for long distances
You can work while commutingCan be crowded
Socializing opportunitiesYou may have to stand for a long time
Good for short distancesYou might miss important appointments
You can avoid traffic jamsTrains are often late
Trains are quite safeNot practical in remote rural areas
Can lower stress levelsBad connections
You can answer phone callsInsufficient internet connection
Good for our environmentQuite inflexible

Should You Go By Train?

From the previous discussion, it becomes clear that there are many advantages and disadvantages of going by train.

Depending on your individual preferences, you have to decide by yourself if the pros of going by car outweigh the cons for you or not.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_transport

https://www.britannica.com/technology/train

https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Railway_passenger_transport_statistics_-_quarterly_and_annual_data

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.

As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.

After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.

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