Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Amtrak Crescent Train Journey
My wife and I traveled to New Hampshire last week. We decided to go by train, partly because of cost and partly because we thought it would be a change, an adventure, a journey. We found that travel by train isn't so bad. It's slower than flying but surely less hassle, takes about the same time as driving without the stress of actually operating a car for hours and it gave us a glimpse at how people used to travel. You can get up out of your seat and walk around, and there is a cafe car that serves reasonably priced, fairly good food (The days of fine china and linen are gone, but hey, you can't have everything.). We went from Greensboro to Boston and back in four legs. All four legs were comfortable, but our first, from Greensboro to New York was our favorite. We road the Amtrak Crescent which runs daily between New Orleans and New York, and is the modern version of the old Southern Crescent, a classic train from the 60's. For some reason, the cars on the Crescent are more comfortable, even in coach. The seats have foot rests and leg supports unlike the more airplane-like seats in the other trains, and it's easier to rest or sleep (sleep is important when your train leaves at 4AM). The Crescent also has a crew from New Orleans, and they are so, so nice. While we found all the Amtrak personnel to be amiable, the Crescent crew had a certain hospitality that you would expect from New Orleans. We'll probably travel by rail again and next time may try a sleeper. And yes, conductors still say "ALL ABOARD".
A great lady, Patriciana Bowman from New Orleans, LA.
One thing that becomes apparent when you travel by train is that you will see some areas of the country and details, especially in the cities, that you don't see from other forms of travel.
(photographs copyright 2009 by Dan Routh)