1. You will meet some of America’s finest eccentrics.
Train tickets (especially long cross-country trips) are not necessarily cheaper than planes, nor are they always faster than cars (thanks to track delays). So who uses them? It often seems like a potpourri of oddballs unable to pass a driver’s license test, conspiracy theorists that don’t trust the TSA, ex-cons trying to avoid building a paper trail, small-time drug smugglers and the Kerouac types who want to be among the people when they are tripping on mushrooms. Fortunately, the Way of the Train ensures that everybody gets along (and that talking is mostly reserved for the lounge car after 10pm). Just be prepared to have a moderately uncomfortable conversation with a woman who will emphatically try to convince you that your inability to write in cursive is a sign that the government had successfully altered your brainwaves using fluoride.