There can be romance in rail travel.
You can fall in love with the experience.
I took the train way more in Europe than in the US where it was mostly for a few trips to Virginia.
I do take the train to the city but it's commuter lines here, not the real thing.
In order to fall in love with the experience, your trip has to be a longer one.
From my New Jersey digs, it would have to be at least the Vermonter to Montpelier (8 Hours plus) or the Maple Leaf to Toronto (12 Hours and Change).
Being more adventurous with time on my hands, Chicago would be an option or rather two.
I could choose to go the long way with Cardinal / Hoosier State (New York - Washington, DC - Cincinnati - Indianapolis - Chicago), a little over 26 hours.
My other choice to Chicago would be the Lake Shore Limited up through the Finger Lakes region, along the Mohawk River and Erie Canal not to forget Lake Michigan, around 20 hours.
By the time I get to Chicago, I might be caught up enough in the rhythm of the rails to throw reason to the wind, board the Southwest Chief to Los Angeles by way of Kansas City and Albuquerque.
How best to have long chats with strangers, peek into people's backyards, go from industrial cities to suburbs, countryside to mountains and lakes than the train?
Treat yourself to life at a leisurely pace on National Train Day coming to a Station near you on May 8.
It's Earth Friendly too.
The 2010 event marks the third edition of National Train Day.