Living in a fast-lane world, people gravitate toward anything that could cut the time short.
Some love fast cars and exchange them when a faster one comes along. Others love crisscrossing the skies with planes, hurrying to the next destination that they soon cannot wait to leave. The world operates via mobile now, swiping, flicking, and tapping out orders, contracts, pictures, and letters by the volume.
With everything and everyone moving in zipping motion, you might suddenly get a blank stare when you ask for a railroad map.
A railroad map means traveling by train. To some, anything that needs to run on a metal track is at the lowest rungs of modern transportation speeds. The bullet trains and Maglevs are dismissed as either expensive peculiarities or altogether different technology.
Everything is a blur outside.
With the need to get to their destination fast, people no longer seem to relish a clear view outside their cabin windows. They expect everything to pass by so quickly.
Perhaps that is why instead of using maps, people turn to their apps. Their mobile devices do all the reading and directing.
Thus, the predicament of printed railroad maps.
Nonetheless, they find their use still in the hands of merchants, couriers, and relevant rail professionals and workers. A handful of rail aficionados and dedicated fans get to enjoy the printed as much as the digital versions. Perhaps these people are among the few who still relish a clear view outside their cabin windows.
There is always more to see.
They say that it’s far safer to travel in an airplane than on anything else. That may be so, especially that the odds are one against seven million major commercial flights.
That is genuinely reassuring for a person who does not care much about what is going on outside the window. A commercial flight would be the best way to go around America and beyond.
But if you abide by Emerson’s alleged cliché, “it’s not the destination, it’s the journey,” then the train is your friend. In terms of overall travel safety, it’s a close second to commercial flights. In a way, travel by train is safer and more affordable if you account for a per-journey basis instead of per-billion miles.
More importantly, you gift yourself with the best of America’s beauty. If you desire a visual feast of the most beautiful rail scene in the United States, go by the California Zephyr route from Chicago to San Francisco. You can follow that up with the Lake Shore Limited route from New York to Chicago.
Do not forget to bring a railroad map.
Yes, it would indeed help you enjoy your rail journey in a more profound way to know where you’re at the exact moment. It’s those times that the experience leaves a mark, which often encourages you to return to the place.
You could even sort of bookmark specific points on your railroad map to remind you of the best spots or sights.
By involving enough knowledge and information about the tracks, you might get to discover more about America and its history. Know that much of the American territory got conquered with the help of the railroad system. It’s the same system that fueled the growth of the nation’s mega areas and industries that brought it to its present splendor.
Railroad maps—or any other map, for that matter—are certainly not only for the few fans scattered sparsely across the country. These are for travelers at heart who cherish the experience along the tracks, from one destination to the next.