In the U.S. intercity travel is made possible through Amtrak, which is a national train company. Though they own all of their own equipment, Amtrak does not own many miles of track. As a result, the company must run its trains on tracks owned by freight companies. This, in turn, limits the national average speed of passenger trains.
Comparative Train Speeds
The average speed of a passenger train can vary widely both within a country and according to the particular route. For example, a train route that connects New Orleans and Chicago only averages 48 mph, while Japan's high-speed link between Osaka and Hakata tops the bill at an average of 152 mph for the entire trip.
British Train Facts
In general, train travel does not release as much carbon gas as an automobile. According to Co-op Travel, trains in Britain emit half the carbon gases that an automobile does on a passenger per kilometer basis; plus, they have reduced their average passenger/kilometer emission by 22 percent over the last 10 years.
Traveling by train is an enjoyable way to move across the country. Trains provide extra space, where the passenger can get up, walk around and perhaps visit the dining car or ride in a domed cruiser car. For long-distance voyages, private sleeping quarters are available to those who reserve in advance.