I Took The Train And I Loved It
This past Saturday was my birthday. My wife was already in Raleigh for the weekend with our daughter and grandsons and I was headed up to celebrate with them. We didn’t want to be stuck with two cars so I took the train and I loved it!
Amtrak has come a long way in recent years and train travel is very enjoyable. I rode the Carolinian, train number 80 from the Kannapolis station to Raleigh’s brand new and super cool, Union Station. Here’s a cool video about the train I was on. My story continues below it.
Now that you’ve watched the video about the exact train I was on…
My ticket said 7:10am departure and 10:05 arrival, about 20 minutes longer than the drive, but no driving needed. I bought my ticket on-line with the Amtrak app and decided to upgrade the $25 coach ticket to Business Class for $11 more as it was my birthday. Upon boarding at 7:05am the conductor announced Free Starbucks coffee and soft drinks in the adjacent Cafe’ care for business class passengers.
Nothing like sitting in your seat and watching the local scenery whiz by at speeds that range between 100- 125 mph. Business class has nice leather seats that are spacious and you’re not sitting on top of the person in front of you like you are when flying. The Cafe’ car experience was nice and although I just had coffee, you can get food, beer & wine, mixed drinks etc.
The stops to Raleigh are Salisbury, High Point, Greensboro, Burlington, Cary, and finally Raleigh and the stops are very brief 3-5 minutes tops. At the Cary stop we were actually running ahead of schedule by about 15 minutes. Right outside of Cary, the train slowed and the announcement came over the speaker that #92 out of Miami was 90 minutes behind schedule and was coming north on a parallel track to us. Soon the two tracks merge into one, prior to the Raleigh stop and we had to slow to allow #92 to get ahead of us as their northern trajectory required it. Eventually 92 moved past us and we continued on into Union Station. Even the short delay was pleasant as it gave me more time on the train.
If you haven’t considered train travel, I highly recommend it for the money, the relaxation and the view of rural Carolina that you miss on the interstate. Never ridden a train. The below guide can help you know what to expect.