I love trains, and I've ridden some of slowest and fastest trains in the world. On the Hanoi-to-Hue it seemed dogs were loping past us, and on the lightning-fast Kyoto-to-Tokyo bullet train my brain couldn't reconcile the stillness of the car with the speed of the scenery whipping past the window.
The best train trip I ever took was a New York-to-Seattle. It's a nice way to see the country (from a remove) and meet some people on board, but it requires you have time to kill—it took three days.
I've accepted the fact that the U.S. will never get their high-speed rail act together, but it doesn't stop me from staring longingly at the map above. That's artist Alfred Twu's rendition of what this country ought to have. It's pure concept work and he's selling prints of it, as well as offering a downloadable PDF that you can modify. It's currently making the rounds on Facebook—amusingly, propagated by folks who can't read the fine print and think that it's real. If only.
Amtrak's real-life paltry offerings, below, can be seen larger here.