8.08.2007

Thoughts from the train

Just a quickie here before I take the animals to the vet.

I rode home from Richmond on the Amtrak on Monday, and here's something I jotted down while riding (but couldn't post because the Amtrak, for all its wonderfulness, doesn't have wifi on board):

Here’s the thing about trains: businesses have not cropped up all around them to capitalize on the passengers’ hunger or need to refuel, like has happened on every interstate in the country. Obviously, since we can’t stop the train and hop out to have a bite, there’s no incentive for McDonald’s to put up a restaurant alongside the tracks, so I realize that this isn’t some magical phenomenon—-but I’m enjoying it. There aren’t billboards, gas stations, hotels, quick stops, and fast food restaurants all around the train tracks like there are on interstates. In fact, riding along through cotton fields, on tall bridges over rivers, through swampy bottom lands, I’m struck by the fact that this is probably just what this area looked like 100 years ago. This isn’t an experience I’ve had on interstate trips.

6 comments:

claire said...

I had the following sacrilegous thought while driving from new england thru nyc into new jersey yesterdaY; I missed billboards. There are no billboards to speak of in new england and when you are on a long drive you never know what is coming up -- when is the next dunkin donuts? (well that is easy -- there is one at every exit.) Are there any motels with large pools advertised? Any "gentleman's clubs" to scoff at? Nothing -- just trees and hills and signs for moose (and yet no mosse to be seen).

Alexandrialeigh said...

I took a train from Greenville, SC to NYC about ten years ago and had the same experience. It was wonderful. I saw tons of deer and wildlife, and no advertising. Trains are great for journal-writing.

chucker said...

Taking the train from Charleston to Miami, we had just crossed into Georgia when my buddy and I noticed three young men standing in a field several hundred yards from the track.

On cue, they all turned, dropped trou and mooned the train.

Wonder if they do that twice a day as AMTRAK passes?

Saphyre Rose said...

We went last Yule by Amtrak from Charleston to DC for a few days then back onto the train to go to Pittsburgh.
It was a great trip.
No driving, no exhaustion from being cooped in a bucket seat for hours.
Amtrak did make one mistake and that was they took off a first calss car...it was the car we had reservations for!
But we tried to take it in stride.
Amtrak is great, really.
You can walk around the train, sit in the observation deck to see all those great areas you miss barreling down an interstate. AND there was unlimited refills on coffee and hot chocolate!
We are going again this Yule. BUT we are staying the full week in DC.
I cannot wait!
One other thing is the fact that the dining car had great hot food!

The Mom said...

I'm so sad we don't have easy access to Amtrak between here and Charleston and here and Richmond! I'm glad some of this generation is experiencing the fun of train travel, though.

Gene said...

I love the train as well. My cousin and I take it from Richmond to New York and have a great time. It's very inexpensive as well.