by Jeff Jotz
Rahway, New Jersey
I ride the Amtrak Pennsylvanian between my home in New Jersey and Pittsburgh a few times a year to visit in-laws. Airfares for this trip often run in excess of $400, and the six-hour drive on the congested Pennsylvania Turnpike can be made worse by lousy weather, especially in the winter.
A recent trip on a frigid February day had me depart Newark in Business Class. The delicious (and complimentary) coffee in the Café Car really hit the spot. Snow was swirling all around us, but our train made it through to Pittsburgh on time. Crossing the icy Susquehanna River on the historic Rockville bridge was especially memorable.
Since I was traveling alone, I make sure to pack my laptop and a collection of DVDs that I've been saving to watch on my train trip. The train gives me time to stretch out, relax and catch up on movies that I never have the time for back home.