Why some travelers prefer to ride trains, even if it takes longer

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 4:49 PM EDT
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WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt. (WCAX) - Tuesday was day two of Amtrak’s return to service in Vermont, so I headed back to the tracks to talk to ordinary travelers who ride the rails on any given day.

“I was hiking the Appalachian Trail. I’m going back home to Long Island,” Rebecca Lockel said.

Lockel was one of 14 passengers getting on the southbound train at the White River Junction station Tuesday. White River is one of nine stops across Vermont. Three people got off there.

“I just find it easier. It goes right to New York City then I can take the LIRR to home,” Lockel said.

A one-way ticket midweek to Penn Station from White River Junction costs $71. The trip takes about 6 hours and 45 minutes.

Joe Jacobs of New Haven, Connecticut, was in the Green Mountains for almost a week.

“I took the bus and I look forward to taking the train back,” Jacobs said.

He says he prefers the train rather than taking a car, even though a car would likely make his trip home to Connecticut significantly shorter.

“I really would prefer taking the train because I’m tired of driving and the bus feels like I am driving, so I would rather take the train,” Jacobs said.

“I came up to visit my children who live in Lake Sunapee,” said Mary Lou Worral, who was headed home to Ridgefield, Connecticut.

On her way north, Worral took the train to Boston and then got picked up there.

“I like the train and plane in April when it’s cheap,” she said.

The train is typically cheaper than flying but what you save in money, you lose in travel time. The riders we spoke with didn’t seem to mind.

“Yes, I don’t mind,” Worral said.

“No, not at all. I don’t mind,” Lockel said.

“This new schedule I think is a little bit quicker,” Jacob said.

The train makes its second daily stop in White River Junction, headed north, a little after 6 p.m.

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