It’s the holiday season! Even through the recovery of the horrible tragedy of Sierra Leone earlier this year, we all continue to keep holiday hours. It keeps spirits high and gives those in need a chance to acquire the goods they need for their families.
Ludwig is hard at work and tries his best to keep his royal nap time schedule. In an experiment I’m monitoring, Rawk is mirroring a circadian rhythm with the people of Japan. In doing so he plays the Japanese RPG Xenoblade Chronicles 2 to keep his mind off the horrible consequences of destroying his natural circadian rhythm, claiming that “I've got a good rhythm going!” Vortex, our international correspondent and musical talent, is probably the only one who has kept a natural sleep schedule. Wendy is on her PC and will glance at the Discord every now and then to make sure it isn’t on fire. I, Kamek, am taking care of HQ during the holiday season. This includes monitoring security, deploying our holly jolly defense unit on unsuspecting carolers, and playing Stardew Valley late into the night (effectively ruining my own sleep schedule).
In my coffee-fueled hyperactivity, stemming from my lack of sleep and disturbed sleep schedule, my associates have had to deal with my odd musings. This one being brought on by recent news:
Amtrak shouldn’t exist.
Amtrak is the better known national passenger railroad system for the United States of America, and has been in service since 1971 and has been causing issues since. There’s even a Wikipedia article devoted to accidents since their inception, in addition to there being numerous and even high-profile gross negligence cases resulting in huge amounts of damage and casualties. It’s not entirely Amtrak’s fault. There’s quite a bit that goes into railroading. Track maintenance, train engine maintenance, engineer maintenance, weaponized robot maintenance, and most importantly track switcher maintenance.
|Case and point.|
All of this could be excused if they provided you with enough monetary incentive right? Sure it could! Money makes the world go round!
|“You have money, right?”|
I must, otherwise I couldn't afford to be on this train!
Well after doing some hands on research through Amtrak’s website, I found most round-trip tickets to be in the hundreds of dollars range depending on the day and place. It all seemed rather familiar…
Yes, Amtrak is well within the price range of airline flights for the same areas I examined. The fact that this is even true should be enough to discourage people from taking a train no matter what mode of transportation they usually choose.
|Just spent all your money on the train ride? Here have a mortgage!|
Maybe it's accommodations then? Are trains nice enough for you to get on board the death machines?
|Pictured: Two evil death machines: one black, one red and blue.|
Much like their increasingly more attractive counterpart, airlines, Amtrak also has a tier-based class system. The top tier Amtrak railroading gives you an incredibly small room to sleep in and offers several nice extras like sinks and a toilet. Think of it as an airline bathroom with a window and a bed in it. Also, like an airline, it's incredibly expensive and can even occasionally hit $1,000+ if you're not careful. Mid-tier Amtraking, described as business class, gives you a large comfy seat in a passenger car that you share with others of your higher tier comrades, but you have a comfortable and respectable berth between you and them. Bottom tier, or coach, consists of average seats in close proximity to each other. Again, think airline seating but with the most minuscule more room.
All accommodations share the same free hackable WiFi, and, depending on the Amtrak car type, amenities such as a small snack/drink.
So? That doesn't seem so bad. On par or lower with an average flight, maybe even a ride in a personal vehicle! Well admittedly all of this is perfectly fine...would it not be for the most important factor to consider in a longer voyage: Time.
|At this rate, you might as well just go by horse.|
All of these factors could be excused, all of them, if time was on your side when you hopped on a train. Unfortunately, time exacerbates the entire experience. If you plan on traveling from state to state, not only is it going to take several hours more, but it’s going to take days depending on where you’re going. Stop and think about everything we just went over.
No one likes long term travel, car rides are terrible and airplane travel is already well known for being an unpleasant experience. Train rides can last multitudes of hours. Most trips I looked up would go on for six or nine hours, across the country it would take twelve hours plus. Compounded that with even the top tier rooms we mentioned earlier and that is still a terrible proposition. Bowser help anyone stuck in coach accommodations who has to deal with an insufferable neighbor next to them.
|The average commuter waiting on the next train.|
To review, the train system is not cost effective to voyagers, it’s not the safest option by any stretch, it’s definitely not comfortable, and all of these are again exacerbated by the fact that it takes so long to get to your voyaging destination. So who on Earth would even bother to ride the train?
|Please don’t sit next to me...|
...Please don’t sit next to me...
...Please don’t sit next to me…
I’ve concluded there’s only two kinds of people that would take the train, excluding video game protagonists and their partners.
|I think I'll take the blimp instead.|
- People who cannot fly
- People who don’t want to drive, but still want to experience the amber waves of grain.
Surely only these sorts of people would even consider taking the railways for their voyage. Somehow, these people have managed to leave Amtrak with enough money to continue their existence in the face of their own incredible disappointing offerings to transport.
In spite of everything written above, Kamek falls underneath the category of traveling across the country in a quiet railway car away from the responsibilities of Koopa Keep and the rest of the staff. He also asks you to share your preferred method of transport whether it be for business or pleasure. Disclaimer: Minimal research was done, and all information was haphazardly found and put together based on speculation and quick Googling.
The Koopa clan is fairly divided on whether or not it prefers flying or driving their own cars, but no one advocates the train.
Planes are safer than cars, and trains are just the worst.
Amtrak proves its worthlessness, as it is completely vulnerable to a Nintendo Labo strike.
Kamek has been destroying trains for the safety of others since the early days.