Good morning. Penny and I are currently traveling south on the Amtrak Train #303, Lincoln Service. If you haven't traveled by train lately, it might be the time to consider it. There are good and bad points to train travel. It is limited to traveling by tracks, so there is a limitation on where it can go. But at the same time, it is much more comfortable. The seats are nice and big. We prefer to travel by train rather than by plane. It isn't that I am afraid to fly or don't like to fly but it just isn't what it used to be (what is?) The reality is that train travel isn't what it used to be. Perhaps you traveled by train back in the 50's or 60's. That was when train travel was in decline. In fact, the mess that became train travel in the 60's is what lead to the beginning of Amtrak in the early 70's. And yes, it was a mess for quite a while.
Why do we travel by train? It is comfortable. It is easy. It is relaxing. We see the country. We enjoy the sound and the feel of train travel. There is something about the whistle of a train that is comforting to me. Yes, it does shake, rattle and roll. Yes, when you are walking on a train, you have to make sure that you hang on to the seat backs and watch your step. Some people are surprised at the way it moves when it goes over switches and bridges. It surprises them. Have you ever tried to walk in a moving vehicle at 70 mph? Probably not. I know, an airplane travels much faster but have you ever been in a plane when it hits turbulence? Not fun. It is easier to stay seated in a plane than to walk about, and you aren't allowed to just walk about on a plane. You can on a train.
I am not trying to convince you to like train travel. You will either like it or you won't.. But watch the face of the little 2 year-old when he is on a train, and you will see something magical. Watch the face of a 50 year-old when he is on the train (when he really enjoys it) and you will see something magical.
Lincoln service travels from Chicago to St. Louis, basically running along Interstate 55. There is a stretch between Dwight and Pontiac that reaches 110 mph. That is awesome. Currently we are going 60 mph between Summit, IL and Joliet, IL. Moving pretty good while I sit and type on my computer.
This summer, we will travel the Southwest Chief, the Sunset Limited and the Texas Eagle. We have a room for that trip. Nice to have our own room. Here we are in Business class. Nice, comfortable and fast (unless something happens but isn't that the way of all travel - auto, bus or plane?). We will be home soon, rested, ready to face all that is coming down the road.
We had a great weekend in Chicago. But that is for another blog at another time, perhaps. We'll see. Until then, have a great President's Day.