With planes, cars, buses, cruises, and all sorts of new technologies out there, you might wonder: Why do people still travel by train? Well, hop on board any of our train tours and find out! Whether you’re rolling through the lochs and hills of Scotland, zooming through Japan on a high-speed bullet train, or traveling domestically on our Canadian Rockies tour, the benefits will become clearer than the rivers and lakes you’ll pass by along the way.
These are the top 8 advantages of train travel, according to the experts.
1. It’s easy
The number one reason to why you should travel by train is because there’s a lot less hassle. No need to arrive hours in advance, no lengthy check-in process, and no need to worry about the amount of liquids in your bag. Simply walk on the train, and you’re set. You can even bring your own food and drinks on board in most countries—especially in Europe on trips like Dublin, Edinburgh & London.
2. It’s comfortable
If extra legroom makes you want to dance (or simply stretch), train travel will have you two-stepping. Nearly every train you’ll come aboard—whether in Switzerland, Spain, or the French Riviera—boasts spacious seats, temperature-controlled cabins, and sizable spots for luggage. Some trains even offer power outlets, snacks, toiletries, and complimentary WiFi.
3. You get to enjoy the scenery
One of the greatest advantages of traveling by train is sightseeing between destinations. Instead of long roads and semi-trucks, you’ll see lush forests, untouched lakes, mountains, and remote villages. Trains also explore parts of the country that don’t even have roads—giving you the most authentic views around.
And who knows: you may even be inspired. Our Week in France tour includes a high-speed train ride through landscapes that influenced the French art masters.
4. Or do whatever you want
If sitting back and sightseeing isn’t your thing, another advantage of traveling by train is the freedom to do, well, anything! You can get up and walk through the cars, read a book, nap, talk to fellow passengers, visit friends in other cabins, and even enjoy an authentic meal, depending on the train. Without worrying about watching the road, the possibilities are pretty much endless!
5. It’s better for the planet
There’s nothing like seeing the world while also helping to preserve it. One of the top advantages of train travel is that it’s the most eco-friendly way to travel, apart from walking or bicycling. Rail trips emit 75% less greenhouse gas than cars. In some countries, trains account for for less than 3% of all transport gas emissions.
Learn more about Go Ahead's path to carbon neutrality, as well as our responsible travel commitments.
6. Fewer chances of delays
Unlike planes, buses, cars, or boats, rail travel is the least likely to back up because of adverse weather conditions or other environmental factors. This is especially beneficial on shorter, more compact trips when every moment truly counts. Plus, have you ever traveled on a train through the Swiss Alps as the snow falls around you? It’s absolutely magical.
7. You end up right in the center of everything
Trains may not seem convenient at first sight, but they are. In fact, it’s one of the best benefits of train travel! Major stations are almost always right in the center of cities—which means you’re steps from shops, restaurants, and hotels. No long highway rides from airports or feeling like you spent half your trip trying to find key destinations. When you arrive, you arrive!
8. You’ll truly feel like a local
Did you know more than 240,000 kilometers (around 150,000 miles) of railroad connect Europe’s cities, villages, mountains, and countryside? It’s no wonder rail travel remains so popular over there—and around the world!
It’s also no surprise then that traveling by train is the way to see a country like a local. Grab a seat one a high-speed train to Córdoba on tour in Spain, and you’ll catch Spanish conversations all around you. Settle into the bar car on our Canadian Rockies tour, and you’ll indulge in an authentic Canadian lunch as crystal blue lakes and snow-topped mountains amble by. It doesn’t get more authentic than that!