My New York-DC train trip has become my most cherished time for thinking and writing. A lot of things come together just right to create the perfect thinking environment: the romanticism of trains; a smooth, rocking motion that calms; comfy recliner seats; pretty countryside; ambient noise from the wheels and wind; minimal talking and no phones (in the quiet car); and three uninterrupted hours of all this.
I wish Amtrak would offer trips to nowhere!
Well, it just did that, sort of, by answering the request from professional writers with a brilliant free writing residency program. Amtrak can benefit from good will and some occasional publicity from people who naturally spread the word.
Amtrak now needs to extend the program -- or something similar -- to business professionals. Perhaps Amtrak could sell unused inventory at an attractive price to people who don’t care where they travel to, as long as they can return within a specific time window. For example, Amtrak could sell four-, eight-, 12- and 24-hour trips to nowhere.
Not only would this be a great service for professionals, but it could lure new riders and grow affinity with existing ones.