I used the term "land cruise" as analogous to what almost all passenger ship traffic is and has been for years, a voyage where the ship's myriad of activities is the primary draw, not just transport to the destination(s). There are few travel activities that do not rely in part on publicly funded facilities, even if some folks argue they are paid for by user fees. That said, it seems to me that LD trains are: 1. not primarily used as a means of transportation, and 2., are far more heavily subsidized by most metrics than corridor trains. Therefore I just don't see how their continuance, particularly the sleepers, can be justified.
I've ridden long distance trains enough in the past 5 years to get sufficient Amtrak Guest Rewards points for a free three-zone trip, but somehow I've missed out on the land cruise. Where on the Sunset Limited between Tucson and LA do I find the all-you-can-eat buffet with the ice sculptures? The nightclub? The plunge pool? The trivial pursuit contest operated by the cruise director's assistant? Dinner with the captain?
On my last westbound trip I clambered into my coach seat in Tucson at 7:30pm (gratefully--it used to be 10:30pm) and thanked my lucky stars that the adjacent seat was occupied by a quiet young woman wearing headphones, and not the woman across the aisle who was explaining in a loud voice how unreasonable it was that the court told her she couldn't leave the state, and how she was going to do so anyway because they couldn't expect her not to look after Freddie because after all he's family...and on and on. Or the man in the do-rag, wife-beater undershirt, and tattoos who kept complaining (to the coach attendant, the conductor, and everyone else within earshot) that the car smelled like "***" (a word he evidently enjoyed using, because he repeated it over and over), and that was totally unacceptable, etc, etc. (I didn't smell much of anything, but the coach attendant headed downstairs with a mop.) Or the woman with the two-year-old who, despite her best efforts to control him, would periodically launch himself down the aisle, headed for the door at the end of the car which, unfortunately, was open more often than not thanks to the incessant traffic of passengers headed back and forth to the lounge car for snacks. He only made it through the door and into the next car a couple of times, fortunately. The train was half an hour early for its 5:30am arrival in LA; normally I would have resented the loss of sleep, but I had been awakened some time before by a loud cellphone conversation on the part of a woman who was being picked up at the Ontario stop by an evidently randy significant other. At the end of the conversation, she snapped closed the phone and announced to us all, " He's asking me if there's a quiet place near the station where we can park and 'do it'! Who does he think we are, a couple of teenagers?"
Land cruise, eh. Do you have a clue what riding on an Amtrak long distance train is like?