I can't quite agree with your conclusion. Having ridden early Amtrak (including the Lake Shore), when schedules seemed closer to reality, and even a few pre-Amtrak passenger trains (the NYC a couple of times in college, once on the C&O in Virginia, the Southern Crescent as the last non-Amtrak holdout), I do have some standard of comparison. I take the train as an alternative to flying (rarely rather than driving, as driving offers the convenience of door-to-door, wheels at the away location, and unlimited baggage with as careful handling as one could wish); unless one is flying Southwest or something comparable, the train is usually still cheaper, and sometimes it is less of a problem to get TO the point of departure and FROM the point of arrival. If I want leisurely travel, there are excursion railroads.
While this can be true, it nonetheless is indicative of a "double_________________________________________________________________
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