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What are the Benefits of Passenger Rail Travel?

Travelers between the Twin Cities and Chicago have several transportation options. Of the nearly 10 million annual trips taken between these two destinations, cars, planes, buses, and trains are most frequently used.

People choose passenger trains because they are convenient, safe, productive, and efficient. The passenger experience is simply better than driving or flying. There's more room, more storage, fewer (usually no) extra fees, and you can work, read, sleep, and visit with friends and family in comfort during your trip. Here's a list of additional reasons why you will love passenger rail travel.

Passenger rail stations are often in the heart of downtown, in the middle of a city's business district, and near entertainment venues, shops and restaurants.

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Passenger rail stations are often multimodal hubs, with access to intercity bus lines, local transit services, taxi and car rental facilities that can take you anywhere.

Passenger rail travel is affordable.  Passenger rail fares are often comparable to air travel, especially to smaller cities with limited passenger airline options.

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Passenger rail travel is convenient and easy.  You can walk up to the station and buy tickets or purchase them online through Amtrak's website, and there are no long lines at security checkpoints.  You can even bring items like a bicycle on a passenger train.

Passenger rail travel on routes like the Empire Builder is seamless.  Your ticket gets you to your destination without transferring.  You are never waiting on a runway.

Passenger rail travel is virtually weatherproof.  Storms that delay or cancel commercial airline flights or affect intercity bus lines will not slow down a passenger train.

Passenger rail travel is comfortable.  You do not have to stay in your seat, you can get up and walk around and even go into adjoining rail cars.  You can enjoy fine dining in the dining car, or a convenient snack in the café car, or even a cocktail in the lounge car.

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Passenger rail travel is enjoyable.  On the Empire Builder route to Chicago, you can enjoy scenic views of Lake Pepin, watch bald eagles fly over the Mississippi River near Red Wing, and travel through the red sandstone cliffs near the Wisconsin Dells. 

Passenger rail travel is family-friendly.  On long distance trips, families can dine together and stay together in super sleeper or other comfortable overnight accommodations.  You can watch the stars and fall asleep in your seat too.

Passenger rail is a great travel alternative for senior citizens. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that fatalities involving elderly drivers have increased by 36% between 2009 and 2018 for males, and 17% for female drivers, something the attribute to a larger elderly population and a lack of transportation options in areas that are dependent on automobile transport. Passenger rail travel gives seniors a great option that is significantly safer than driving. 

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