Saturday, June 11, 2011

Train or Car?

When I first thought about applying for the archive job I did a bit of homework and came to the conclusion it would work best to travel by train rather than car. Then I started second-guessing myself before coming full circle back to the train option.  I think. Here are the pros and cons of each option:

Train

For ...

  • I would be able to study for about 1.5 hours a day in total on the train, using my iPad.
  • More relaxing than driving - remember the old "let the train take the strain" advert?
  • Built in daily exercise walking to and from the station (about 30-40 minutes walking each day)
  • The timing of the trains would make it quite easy to build up extra time (and therefore extra days off!).
  • The train line I would use for most of the journey is a tiny, low traffic rural line, not a nasty, crowded commuter train. 
  • The cost of the train would be about the same as the cost of petrol at current prices. As petrol is likely to go up and the train cost would be fixed for a year that should make it cheaper in the long run, even without allowing for wear and tear on the car. 
  • I can get an interest free loan for an annual train ticket (cheaper than buying weekly or monthly) as one of the perks of the job.
  • I like trains!
Against ...
  • Walking back uphill on the way home everyday. (Yes, call me lazy...)
  • Walking in the rain / cold / dark in the winter.
  • It takes two trains each way, though I would only travel one stop on the first train. 
  • Takes longer than the car - probably just over an hour a day more, total. 
  • The rural train only runs once an hour. Miss it and I will have a long wait.
  • I have a long track record of cutting it too fine and missing trains.
  • I would have to get up half an hour earlier, or stay at work later if I didn't catch the early train.
Car

For ...
  • More flexible. A lot more flexible.
  • Quicker, especially coming home in the early afternoon.
  • I could leave a bit later in the morning, and would get home about half an hour earlier. 
  • There is a free office car park. 
Against ...
  • More expensive overall.
  • Even though the journey is shorter, I think I would find it more tiring.
  • Rush hour driving in the morning = stress.
  • Driving time would be dead time. 
  • I would have to try to cram in studying between getting home and collecting Cherub from school.
  • No incentive to get moving quickly in the morning.
So, pros and cons both ways. I think the train would work better, mainly because although the journey would be longer quite a chunk of it would be productive time.  Switching between train and car isn't really an option because if I use the train it would be more economical to buy an annual ticket.

What would you choose? Train? Or car?

5 comments:

Linds said...

I think your train option is better. That study time and time to unwind before getting home is crucial. And sitting in traffic is a nightmare!

Missus Wookie said...

I'd go for the train - but keep the car as an emergency option. DH now drives but misses the reading or listening to music unwinding time.

Can you try it by car for the first week and then buy the season ticket? or something similar?

Melanie B said...

I'd probably go with train. Both for the extra study time and the exercise, which I sorely need but have a hard time making myself do. I found that the era when I had to walk to and from the train station was the only period in my adult life when I've had regular exercise precisely because I had to do it rain or shine. Because it wasn't optional but the only way to get to where I needed to go, I just did it even though I complained about it quite a bit. Especially if the train isn't crowded, I think the idea of having that enforced time to read or think or even doze off is such a lovely respite in the day. Driving is never relaxing but the train really is. Except for the catching it part. I miss taking trains and perhaps I'm a bit overly-romantic about it but there you have it. I like the idea of trains and I like the fact of trains. There is just nothing beautiful to me about cars. Their only claim is efficiency.

Jennifer Gregory Miller said...

Train is my choice. That's what dh takes here, and the lack of stress is worth it's weight in gold.

Willa said...

I would go with the train... not very original! Though I could see where it might get difficult in the winter with the dark and rain. That would probably be my biggest concern because what I think I can do in June isn't always what I am able to manage in December and January. My other concern would be being available for the little one but it sounds like the train works out better for that part of it?

I like trains especially if the stations are not crowded and tense! Best wishes for your decision!