I received a number of emails asking about the team train, so here’s a quick overview.
It was a private chartered train, not a scheduled Amtrak route. This was the one I probably received the most. No, there is no chance you’re going to wind up on the team train by coincidence. No, the team does not just troop onto a crowded train and ask people to move over. It’s a small train, just large enough for the players and staff, and it makes a direct run.
The ride took somewhere around three hours. No, it wasn’t some sort of special insane maglev bullet train, or even a more conventional high-speed train.
Yes, the players had fun. At least, some of them did. The ones who were waking guys up with ammonia ampules and ice water were on the “having fun” side, as were the guys playing dominoes. The guys being woken up, on the other hand, probably were not so enthused. (The staff car was not nearly so lively, although some of the production guys managed to horribly depress themselves by watching Requiem for A Dream on a laptop during the ride.)
Next time we travel by train, I’ll get pictures and more details, but hopefully covered everyone’s basic questions.