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Reply to "Amtrak's Plans to Extend Rail Service Across the Country"

That is a good point. I think creature comforts have been an expected item in (our first world) culture. But not for all, and not all the time. An ex from many years past did the youth hostel + backpack tour of parts of Europe, and separately hit Iceland with the same backpack. I think the view she got of both worlds was far different from someone staying in a "proper" hotel, carrying luggage. My family has strived to travel minimally, since it makes things difficult to go, you know, be part of things. But as years wore on, and we ended up with our awesome daughter, that just isn't as feasible, and to be honest an easy way to get luggage into and out of a train car would be nice.

And before someone goes on about "here we go about other country's rail systems", the following is something that SHOULD be standard in American passenger trains... Any non-local train in Japan (specifically the N'ex airport commuter line) has a separate part of the car at the end (right where the door is) where all baggage is expected to go at boarding time (unless its full, in which case only the smallest bags can be taken into the car proper). This leaves the hallway clear, easy access to the bathroom, easy exit (people aren't backing into you or your seat as they try to unload baggage from overhead), and general comfy-ness. Moreover, this management of baggage enables this!!!:

Shinkansen refreshment trolley (image taken from (ps I LOVE the food carts. Yum.)

Reservations for Seats with an Oversized Baggage Area | Central Japan Railway Company

(image taken from

Narita Express luggage space

( image taken from: (those phone-handset-cord looking are customer set codes that lock with an alarm your baggage to deter theft.))

Do you know how much nicer Amtrak rides would be without the super narrow corridors and the bumping into people all the time as you try to drag your luggage down from the overhead? A good examination of the above pictures shows that it doesn't take much space, just _better use of the space_, to really make a QoL improve in a train ride.

A trainride in India would be a Robert Frost "Experience (tm, @)". Once or twice in my life, hanging off a train moving at speed with hundreds of others would be fun to try. But I am past that age, and like sardine issues, I understand (but do not necessarily agree with) the journalist's observations. Things could be done better and differently, just takes some willingness on Amtrak's part to learn from others! I would sure as rain would take the Marc + Metro into and out of DC and Baltimore, and the occasional trip to see grandkids in PA via Amtrak and Septa, if the trains themselves were just laid out more... comfy? convenient?

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