The National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK) may be a more preferable method of business travel. Rising fuel costs and air fares are pinching the budgets of business travel with each passing day. And the hassles brought on by heightened security measures add to the frustration. Because of this, some businesses may feel they have no choice but to seek alternate forms of travel.
Amtrak has been the United States' exclusive provider of passenger rail travel since 1979. While Amtrak passengers have their own problems to deal with (slow service at the top of the list), the lower costs may offset these complications. However, those traveling on Amtrak must prepare or their trip in numerous areas:
1. Locate the Amtrak stations for both departure and arrival.
2. Figure out both the fares and departure times.
3. Determine the travel to and from Amtrak stations.
Discover the location of Amtrak stationsSince Amtrak uses rails built before their existence, the stations had to be built for the route and not the other way around. And the locations aren't always easy to find, as the cities rarely promote them.
Get the train's departure time and purchase Amtrak ticketsOften, an Amtrak train has only one departure in a city per day. And the on-time arrival is far from perfect. The good news is that Amtrak fares are not only low by comparison to air travel, but stable, not fluctuating depending on time of purchase.
Figure out transportation to and from your Amtrak stationTransporting Amtrak passengers to and from their locations may not be as different as transporting to and from the airports. The biggest difference may be the lack of taxi services immediately available from the Amtrak station.
- Remember that you will have to be very flexible in your schedule, as Amtrak train departure and arrival times may not occur as originally scheduled.