Amtrak

Some Notes From A Siding

I’m on a rail siding just outside of Toledo, just kinda sitting here, watching an empty parking lot.

No, not just me.  There’s a whole train here, waiting for a heavy freight to get past.  But everyone else on board is asleep (not that there’s many of us) so it might as well just be me.  I just finished my book — rereading John Steakley’s “Armor”, one of the best (more…)

Fear and Loathing 2020: Escape From The Beltway

Sixty degrees and drizzly here in D.C.  The kind of weather I’m glad to escape; it’s a sad excuse for a February, far as I’m concerned. Plenty of snow where I’m going, though. Packed gloves, two scarves, and zipped the liner into my old field jacket.  Way too warm in the Uber, but I’ll need it.

The Beltway is deadly (more…)

Dateline: Harper’s Ferry

It’s a curious thing about this nation’s passenger rail network.

I mean to say, apart from that we have one in the first place.  This appears to surprise a lot of people.  “Chicago?  When do you fly out?” they ask, confident in the familiar ritualized response of airline and time and ticket class.  When I say I’m taking the Capitol Limited, they’re at a complete loss.  I must clarify:  Amtrak.  A passenger train.

Yes, Virginia, we still have passenger trains. (more…)

Dateline: Cumberland Gap

More updates from the road, as your Not Fake News action correspondent continues his travels.  For research purposes only, of course.

One of the things I love most about traveling by train is the completely different attitude by passengers.  I’ve seen fights break out over who gets which taxi, whether people have the right to lay their seats back on a plane, or who let out that legendarily nasty (more…)

Living Without Fear?

I don’t fly.

It’s not that I’m afraid of heights or superstitious about technology, and it’s certainly not a fear of terrorism.  Commercial aircraft are insanely safe, especially when compared to interstate highways.

No, I won’t fly because the security offends me.

Before we get too far into this:  I’m aware this isn’t an entirely rational (more…)