Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ok, the trip was fine, the beach was great but I'm glad to be home. The free (via Amtrak rewards) ride to Chicago was easy and a little boring, but we did go over the Mississippi River as it was cresting at historic levels. Looking down I could see the distance from the train wheels to the water was a little close for comfort. One benefit of traveling in a sleeper is the "1st Class" waiting area at the Chicago station. Wi-Fi, Snacks, Movies and (the best thing) Clean Bathrooms. The rest of the trip South was nighttime rain and wooded acreage.
I had a great conversation with the treasurer of the National Association of Railroad Passengers on the way up from Jackson. I told him I was a member but not that I had let the membership lapse. Then I pumped him all I could for news about the future of train travel. One good thing that came out of that conversation: when I got home, I read the latest newsletter and found that the bus service portion of the Amtrak trip to LA was restored to Raton. Hopefully, my letters of complaint encouraged the reversion. 4 hours on the bus to Raton, a ratty abandoned depot, is much more attractive than 8 hours on the bus to Albuquerque with their new Greyhound/Amtrak station.