Driving can well drive you crazy, and trains can take you round the bend with all the waiting for things and ending up far from where you actually want to be. There is an advantage in my book: reading.
San Diego’s light rail/tram red things moving around down town have book boxes or things that suggest that there could be books near them for exchange, and I think this is about the coolest thing that I’ve ever encountered. I want this where I live, a book exchange combined with transport.
This highlights one of the greatest aspects of train travel: Reading! You can’t read while driving or riding a horse (safely), and reading while walking isn’t too bad but you don’t get any where too fast so it really isn’t an option for long distance travel.
Now, I know audio books exist, but I have never really liked listening to them. The voices either challenge some imaginary quality of the book and take away from the general immersion in the story. It doesn’t happen with all readers, some storytellers get ahold of you and plunge you into the work. But if they manage that, you have to pay too much attention to listening to be truly paying attention to where you are at and what you are doing.
But in a train (or plane for that matter) you can just sit back and read and maybe set your phone to go off in a set period of time so you don’t miss your station.
You don’t have to read, sometimes silence can be a benefit to our hearts and souls. The train gives us a good spot to mindfully and presently approach silence in a non-distracted way that we cannot always have while driving.
Trains aren’t suited to all places and all times, but I do really love the idea of going to and from work on a train just reading or writing or thinking.