Westernsreboot.com has explored – and will continue to – the history, current place and various media portrayals of railroads in the (North) American West. The continued popularity of AMC’s Hell on Wheels – now renewed for an expanded fourth season in 2014 – has allowed viewers to explore the history and issues associated with the westward construction of the Union Pacific transcontinental railroad in the post-Civil War period. The completion of that continent-spanning railway – with its meeting of the Central Pacific in Utah in May of 1869 – changed travel and settlement patterns across the United States in the 19th century.

There is an emerging argument for the resurgence of passenger rail trail in 21st century North America. Passenger rail – be it Amtrak in the United States or VIA Rail in Canada – provides travellers with greater comfort and personal space than that offered by a bus or plane, creates opportunities for social interaction with designated dining and observation cars, and stands as a more environmentally-friendly approach in comparison to single individuals travelling by car. In 2012, Amtrak, in its 40th year, recorded its highest ridership numbers.

Westernsreboot.com would like to know your thoughts on the future of passenger rail travel! Please feel free to participate in this “Take the Train” poll and leave any comments below! Thanks.

(Copyright – Chad Beharriell)

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