Friday, October 10, 2008

An Old-Fashioned Method of Travel

I have decided that I am a big fan of riding trains. Normally when I travel distances of over 300 miles I tend to fly, but I decided to take the Amtrak train down to DC yesterday for a weekend-long science teaching conference and I loved it!

I went to a train station that is just a ten-minute drive from my house, I got my tickets from a tiny little machine at the train station and then I walked down to the Hudson River to eat my lunch. I waited with about twenty people for the Amtrak to pull into the station; the folks were all pleasant, congenial and local.

When the train arrived, the conductors descended through all the doors, they moved the little foot stools that had been on the landing platform so we could ascend onto the train. The conductors helped us carry our bags onto the train. There was no security. I never needed my ID card. Everyone trusted that I wasn't a terrorist and that I was who my ticket said that I was. How refreshing and innocent.

The train ride itself followed the Hudson River until it reached New York City. There was an outlet so that I could work on my computer and there was cellular reception so that I could catch up with some friends. (Okay, I concede that wasn't too old-fashioned.)

The ride was smooth, comfortable and ever so much more enjoyable than a plane ride. It almost made up for the fact that I had to leave the beautiful countryside for the city on the nicest weekend of the autumn season!