According to Nine Shift, one of the nine predictions for shifts that will occur during the first decades of this century involves our preferred mode of transportation.
Chapter 9. Trains Replace Cars: Shift Four
Time becomes more valuable. Since one cannot work and drive at the same time, knowledge workers migrate to trains where they can work and travel at the same time.
This past week I took VIA Rail’s The Ocean from practically my doorstep to within one block of my hotel in Montreal. There are not many options for train travel, but this time it worked well with my schedule. I left Sackville at 4:00 PM, reviewed my notes and presentation for the next day, had a relaxing dinner and had a good night’s sleep. In the morning I arrived outside of Montreal and was able to have a shower, eat breakfast and arrive downtown at 8:15 AM, ready for a day’s work. I left on Friday evening, again had a pleasant supper and a full night’s sleep. Saturday morning was a time to review some work, catch up on a couple of Google videos that I had downloaded, and arrive home just after noon.
My usual business trip to Montreal would have meant getting up at 4:00 AM, driving 50 KM to the airport, paying for parking, going through security, squeezing on board a small aircraft, and arriving on the west end of the island of Montreal to then take a taxi or airport shuttle downtown. The return trip would have been the reverse, with an arrival around midnight and then a drive home, perhaps in a snowstorm.
On the train you can get work done. Billable work in my case. The airfare was the same price as the train, and I had two night’s accommodations included with the train. I also had a heck of a lot more room. The only thing missing was Internet access, though wi-fi is available in the central corridor between Quebec, Windsor and Ottawa.
For trips between 100 and 1,200 KM, the train makes a lot of sense. Now we just need more trains on the schedule.