A few weeks ago I wrote about the miseries of air-travel, pledging to do all I could to avoid the “not-so friendly skies”. Well, being a man of my word, I’m writing this column en route to LA by Amtrak on “The Southwest Chief”.
Grand old railroad names like “The Empire Builder” (to
At the boarding call is made for our nine-car train: two sleepers, a diner, a glass-walled and ceiling observation car, three coaches, a crew dormitory and a baggage car. We board and settle-in. I’m in a deluxe bedroom with plenty of seating, a wash-basin and WC (which doubles as a shower). Located upstairs on this bi-level Superliner, I also have two windows.
Firing up my radio scanner I hear the conductor proudly announce an on-time departure at 3:15 as my sleeping car attendant offers me complimentary juice and coffee and the dining car chief, Moses, give me a 6:30 reservation for dinner.
Coach fare from
Thanks to their frequent rider program, Amtrak Guest Rewards, my many jaunts on Acela between
As we roll thru rural
As I have dinner on disposable plastic plates in the once-proud diner (hot food is only prepared on ”The Empire Builder”, the rest is nuked), the sleeping car attendant makes up my bed. A couple of Tylenol PM’s assure a good night’s sleep despite the rocky roadbed.
One of my favorite reasons to travel is meeting folks I’d never encounter otherwise. Like the lady from LA returning home from
If you really want to see our great country and meet some true Americans, get out of that middle seat in coach and try taking the train. Getting there is more than half the fun.