If Only the Millions of Thanksgiving Travelers Took the Train If Only the Millions of Thanksgiving Travelers Took the Train
Communities

If Only the Millions of Thanksgiving Travelers Took the Train

by Ben Jervey

November 26, 2010

Anyone who has ever driven anywhere close to a major city on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving knows how awful it can be. And cities are, after all, the end destination for 34 percent of travelers. Seems reasonable enough to assume that lots and lots of these motor vehicle trips could be replaced by rail.

Maybe it's a coincidence—I actually don't think so—that the region of the country that has the best rail connections (the Northeast) has the fewest amount of auto travelers:

The greatest number of Thanksgiving auto travelers will originate in the Southeast with 8.81 million; followed by the West, 7.05 million; Midwest, 6.58 million; Great Lakes, 6.06 million; and Northeast, 2.34 million.  

And that's certainly not because there are fewer caring family members in the Northeast.

(Anecdotal evidence to prove the point: I'll be traveling from Philadelphia to Boston, up to Newburyport, Massachusetts, to make my family's dinner, and though I booked tickets weeks ago, tickets were scarce on Amtrak, Greyhound, and BoltBus. I'll be riding the bus, but would much rather be taking a train if there had been availability.)

Finally, even though I promised not too: If you needed any more reason to feel guilty on this otherwise glorious day of gluttony, sloth, family and football, those cruel nannies at the Los Angeles Times have broken down the carbon footprint of your traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner. Pass the gravy!

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If Only the Millions of Thanksgiving Travelers Took the Train