Saturday, September 4, 2010

Also this week we took the Via Rail train to visit my parents who live about 2 hours/200 km's away. It was lovely! I have a fear of dying on the highway, which I know is a fairly remote danger but still car accidents are the leading cause of death for children I believe. So not so remote compared to other risks in our lives. Add in that I drive an old car (1995 Chrysler Intrepid), that my mechanical skill is non-existent and therefore it is easy for me to miss problems with the car, and that when my insurance renewed this year it increased greatly, and when I called to ask why the response was that there had been a large number of claims in the death and injury area relating to my specific make and model of vehicle. Not exactly confidence inspiring.

Anyway it was absolutely delightful to not have the stress of knowing we were about to embark on the highway for the day before my trip, and also to not be thinking of the drive home while we were there. I wasn't aware of the degree to which the driving has previously stressed me out.

Unfortunately taking the train cost $130 for myself and the littles, and this included a 'Super Saver' $89 fare for me, and a summer companion discount that made their fare each only $10 each way. Gas to my parents' and back costs $30-40. However my father pointed out that mileage for driving a car, including capital costs, fuel, insurance, vehicle depreciation/repairs, is usually estimated in the neighbourhood of $0.50/km. So a 400km round trip would cost $200 by that mathematics, which makes the train look like a deal. Even to half the per km cost to $0.25/km still puts the train tickets in the cost ballpark of driving.

That was an interesting reframe of the cost issue. And taking the train worry-free about safety, hooking the kids up with snacks and a DVD, and being able to attend to them during the trip without stopping, was luxurious.

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