Train travel is gaining traction, there is no doubt about it. After the flygskam concept, the Swedish have coined a new term: tågskryt, train-bragging. But what are the factors that make trains so appealing?
The sustainability of the travel industry is at the forefront of companies’ minds. It’s driven by climate change but, more importantly, it’s supported by the next generation of travelers – millennials, who are poised to become the biggest group of business travelers globally from 2024 onwards, and the centennials who are right behind them.
Deloitte’s Global Millennial Survey 2019 found that climate change is the greatest concern for this generation. With that in mind, it will be a key priority for companies to factor sustainability in their travel policies if they want to attract and retain talent. Offering train travel as an alternative will be an excellent way of doing so.
Who doesn’t like to travel from one city center to the other? Aside from convenience, this can save a significant amount on taxi fares and airport fees.
There is also the convenience of arriving with very little time before departure because the security checks are less tedious. Plus, you can bring water, your big bottle of moisturizer, your tweezers… You name it. And you do not need to worry about the size or weight of your luggage.
Once onboard, even if you are in economy class, the seat pitch is far wider than on a plane, and you can always stand up to pop to the toilet or the onboard cafeteria. There’s no seatbelt sign to keep you imprisoned.
Another perk of train travel is that you can use your phone and your computer as much as you want. Sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming to hear people around you talking on the phone for two solid hours non-stop but you can always wear earplugs or ask for a seat in the quiet car.
It is undeniable that there is a halo of magic surrounding train travel. The Orient Express and the Trans-Siberian, along with the many musical, film and literature references have added to the mystique.
As Johnny Cash said in 1974 documentary Ridin’ the Rails, “You know, there’s nothing that stirs my imagination like the sound of a steam locomotive. That lonesome whistle cuttin’ through the night, and that column of black smoke and steam throwin’ shadows across the land.”