European rail is pretty efficient, but on the pricey side. Unlike the North American version, they also have a more frequent volume of trains. I just wish Amtrak had the same type of frequency Stateside. A Coast Starlight from Los Angeles to Oakland, while longer, still goes through. While almost 20 percent longer than London-Edinburgh, the LAX-OAK via train is doable if it (a full-distance–LAX-SEA–Coast Starlight) was offered more than three times a week. A more local-esque ride (where there are no regional trains) could be had at a better budget.
Travel on a Budget