Traveling by train shouldn’t suck.
In fact, if you’ve taken passenger trains in Europe, you know it can be fast and efficient and even fun.
All too often, riding the Amtrak Cascades line — between Vancouver BC and Eugene, Oregon — is none of those things.
Over the next few years, an awful lot of money (more than $590 million, to be exact) is going to be spent to make passenger rail along the Cascade Corridor a real transportation alternative. Pretty much all of that cash is being focused on heavy infrastructure: more trains, better track, fewer bottlenecks.
That’s great, and very much needed. But if passenger trains are ever going to become an everyday part of Northwesterners’ suite of travel options, the folks who design the systems for ticketing, check-in and seat assignment are going to have to take a cue from Europe …