Editor’s Note: This article in normal times would be off-topic – at least – from passenger rail travel, but in these evolving times offers a vivid window into the state of air travel in the Spring of 2020. The article is both amusing and alarming as it chronicles today’s travel environment.
Back on topic, of interest is now the surprise to some spotlight on a concept of what’s old is new, and the comforts of passenger train travel in an ongoing age of the protection of personal space through the practice of social distancing. All intercity trains offer only two-by-two seating in coach and business class (with some one-by-two seating in some business class cars) and all with a generous seat pitch automatically providing much desired distancing. For inter-regional, long distance trains the ultimate social distancing is available through the complete privacy and isolation of roomettes, bedrooms, family bedrooms, and accessible bedroom accommodations.
The time of the uncomfortable reality of shoulder-to-shoulder, dense-pack air travel for many is no longer acceptable. Passenger train travel should no longer be America’s best kept secret. It’s the obvious and comfortable solution to modern, health-conscious travel. – Corridorrail.com Editor
By McKay Coppins, The Atlantic; May 8, 2020
The cabin was restless. It was a weekday afternoon in late April, and I was among dozens of people boarding an airplane that most of us had assumed would be empty. Flight attendants were scrambling to accommodate seat-change requests. Travelers—stuffed shoulder to shoulder into two-seat rows—grumbled at one another from behind masks. An ominous announcement came over the in-flight PA system: “We apologize for the alarming amount of passengers on this flight.” Each of us was a potential vector of deadly disease.
I arrived at my assigned row, and found a stocky, gray-haired man in the seat next to mine. When I moved to sit down, he stopped me. “Sit there,” he said gruffly, pointing to the aisle behind us. “Social distance.”