Recently I was interviewing a student for a Student Spotlight in the next edition of the Academic Prospectus when he mentioned how valuable being so close to Washington DC has been for him. As someone interested in health systems and health policy, having access to all the national institutes of research as well as where the national policy decisions are made has enhanced his MPH experience. While it wasn’t something I had previously thought about, it made sense. But at the same time, the traffic between Baltimore and Washington, DC made me cringe. This brings me to the real topic of this blog: Trains.

I am writing this blog as I’m traveling for a recruitment event and riding my first train in the US. Sure, I’ve ridden the famously on-time Swiss trains and traveled a bit of Europe via trains, but the U.S. doesn’t have the extensive system found in many other parts of the world. As I have now calmed down from my adorable childlike glee of riding the train, I’m finding it incredibly convenient. Baltimore’s Penn Station is easily accessible and with trains leaving consistently to both the north and south, cities like Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York are in fact very accessible. Having spent a large part of my life in Wilmington, Delaware, I now know why former Vice President Joe Biden took Amtrak every day from Wilmington to Washington, DC as a senator. And when I attempt to see the cherry blossoms this year, I know I’ll be taking the train to Washington, DC.