The railroad system has been used for more than 200 years in the United States. While it is primarily used to transport large freight containers these days, the public can still use trains as a form of transportation. Trains are a popular long-distance travel option for those unable or afraid to drive or fly. These are the four most important things you need to know before your next train trip.

Pack Bags Accordingly

You will be allowed to bring two personal items and two bags with you on the train. You will be responsible for watching these items during the entire trip, so it is important only to bring necessary things for your trip. You don’t want to drag four different bags with you every time you need to go to the bathroom or decide to change cars. Using suitcases with wheels will also improve your overall experience.

Bring Snacks and Drinks

Unlike air travel, you can bring your own snacks and drinks onto a passenger train. This even includes alcoholic beverages. Food and beverages are served on the train, but going to the dining car multiple times can be somewhat of a hassle. Make it easier on yourself by just putting a few snacks and drinks in your bag. The convenience of reaching into your bag for a snack simply cannot be beaten.

Prepare for Delays

Passenger trains share the same tracks as freight trains transporting goods across the country. Since these freight trains are far more critical, they get top priority on the rails. This means that your train may have to stop for a short time to let a freight train pass, especially if you are traveling cross-country. These delays are unpredictable, so you should not create a tight schedule around your expected arrival times.

Sleeper Cars Available

Cross-country train trips can take several days. If you take one of the trips, you will want to book a sleeper car. This will give you access to your private room on the train. Sleeper cars come equipped with a bed, shower, and bathroom. You will also get three free meals per day and unlimited complimentary soft drinks during the trip.