In the past, this blog has featured some discussion of trans- and inter-continental travel by means other than aircraft. This summer, I am thinking about actually giving it a try, going from Ottawa to Vancouver by train. If I could take two consecutive weeks off work, the three-day journey in each direction wouldn’t be excessively long in comparison with my time in Vancouver. It would also give me the chance to see quite a bit of Canada from ground level.
Given that wireless internet access is available on the trains, and I am actually quite good at working while on them, the time need not even be terribly unproductive. The biggest drawback of the train is the outrageous expense of the sleeper cars. Going in a two-berth room with a stranger would cost more than $3000, round-trip. By contrast, traveling in an ordinary seat would probably be under $700, with the Sierra Youth Coalition 40% discount. While I definitely cannot shell out three grand for the trip, I am also not sure whether I could tolerate three days of trying to sleep in a semi-reclining chair, eating whatever I brought along with me, and hunting for laptop-charging electrical outlets in cars designated for richer people.
While the train would be aesthetically appealing, I am not opposed to considering other lower-carbon options. Some kind of ride-share, for instance, could be interesting as well. It would also probably be a lot cheaper, though it would probably take significantly more than three days each way.