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train vs car travel


Going home to Bakersfield in 16-17 days and I need to decide, train or car.

Both take about the same amount of time and cost about the same. My dad has graciously offered to help me pay for it.

Cons to train:

Train leaves Chico at 3am.

I have no transportation in Bakersfield for the couple of days I’m there, meaning I either have to rely on other people to drive me around or borrow a car.

I have no way to lug any gifts back or down. Back is no problem, I don’t want anything this year but down would bum me out.

Also it’s cheaper to leave at 3am Christmas Eve and arrive Christmas Eve day at 130pm than the Thursday previous.

Train is slightly more than car in gas (although gas prices could go up before X-Mas eve) but…

I have to get someone to pick me up and drop me off at both ends of the trip.

I have to be more selective in what I pack and when I go and come back.

Definitely no chance to me zipping over to SLO for a day, but then again who is going to be home anyway?

Pros to train:

Train arrives in Bakersfield at 1:15pm

I only have to ride the bus for one hour if I get a certain route. Everything else is glorious train with snack cars and bathrooms and electrical outlets.

I can sleep on the train (no I know I won’t, but the idea is there)

I have anxiety when I drive alone on long country roads. I only developed it living in SLO and taking the two shitty roads out of SLO to Bakersfield. I will be going alone this trip I’m pretty sure and the drive back always takes 12 hours. ALWAYS.

Ben can watch the cat, my house, and my car while I’m gone. Other than the 3am drop off/pick up times, I’m sure he’d have no problem with it.

So internet, what do you think I should do?


3 thoughts on “train vs car travel

  1. It seems like the biggest problems you're facing with the train are:1.) You're worried about getting rides to/from the train stations. Well, it seems like Ben's willing to take you to the station in Chico. I'm sure someone in your family in Bakersfield would be willing to pick you up, so maybe this isn't such a big deal after all?2.) Having to carry extra stuff (gifts) with you on the train. Yeah, that's a hassle. But, if you can secure your bag(s) properly (in terms of locking them up) I'm pretty sure that Amtrak has space where you can store an extra bag (or maybe two?). In this case, you could store the extras until you make it to Bakersfield and at least you wouldn't have to just leave them laying around your seat or whatever.So, I guess what I'm saying is, if you really don't want to make the drive by yourself (I don't blame you there), then just take the train. Yeah, it's not perfect but it might be best overall. Plus snack car and bathrooms and outlets. Come on!

  2. Plus, the train goes RIGHT BY where I live. So if you tell me when you'll be coming through SLO, I can totally go down to the level crossing and wave as you go by.

  3. I'm never comfortably not having a car available. "You never know when you might have to jam." I took the train to LA once and was bored out of my mind. Plus I got stuck talking to the lady that decided to sit by me. Just sayin.

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