Train travel is a great way to get where you’re going while also seeing areas you otherwise wouldn’t. In fact, most of the developed world heavily travels by train. However, the United States of America doesn’t have the same type of love affair with rail as we do with automobiles.
While Europe and most of Asia has adopted not only train travel but high speed rail, America is left with antiquated infrastructure that often causes traveling by train to be slower than traveling by car. With Amtrak being the only major commercial rail travel company available, one has to ask “Why is Amtrak so slow?”
There are two main reasons why Amtrak routes are so slow — freight trains and old infrastructure. Train dispatchers routinely prioritize freight loads over commercial passengers, which causes over 700,000 minutes of delay per year. Additionally, Amtrak trains move almost 2 times slower than trains in countries with modern infrastructure.
Let’s examine how fast Amtrak trains really are, then look into each contributing factor for the delays. Finally, we’ll tell you how you can help make them faster.