I try to take the train whenever possible. Living in France, it is painful as an American to see the delapidated state of Amtrak rolling stock. Passenger cars with plugs and wires outside the wall, and household wiring to boot! The Acela tilt trains that can't reach their top speed because the angle of tilt required means they don't fit in the tunnels. Locomotives that break down far too often. (Once my train had to change out the locomotive twice. Hours and hours delay...)

Of course, one should blame Republicans who hate Amtrak for throttling its equipment purchase budget. But there is no passenger transportation system that does not require subsidies — including highways and their automobiles.

I want to finish with a shout-out to Amtrak crews, whom I have find to be unfailingly courteous, with a sense of humor, and devoted to train travel.