About a year and a half ago, I re-discovered Amtrak. Friends had told me the train “takes too long,” “is dirty” and “is full of weird people.”

As a traveler on a limited budget I decided to take a chance and discovered that, yes, it takes longer than flying, but with the security lines and other delays in airports there really wasn’t that great a time difference.

My train traveling companions have run the gamut from families to older folks to a group of kids traveling to a school competition — really no different from an airplane. Even better, I was able to pack a small cooler with my meals and a couple of drinks.

With the seat-side plug for my cell phone or tablet, the leg rests and reclining seat and expanded leg room, it was great. And I could get up and walk around any time — a real bonus when traveling with children.

I’ve also learned that quite a few of the business people I work with travel to Washington by train, taking advantage of the working car to get work done in a quiet space.

Yes, the recent derailment concerns me, but given the dangers of car travel, I’ll take my chances.

Before we decide that Amtrak is a waste of taxpayer dollars and effort, I challenge you to give it a try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Frances Glanville

Savannah Highway

Adams Run