Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Reverse the Jet Age: New York-Chicago by Train

Sunrise near Waterloo, IN - sunrise through a snowstorm

I'm a plane nerd. I can identify commercial aircraft in the air in a snatch; I've memorized the routes out of JFK, LaGuardia, Newark, and Midway. I love aircraft. And yet...flying is not the only way. Or even, necessarily, the best way.

I took the train from Croton-Harmon - near my family - back home to Chicago - a one-way whim thing that started off as "I might as well do this."

It turned out to be really awesome. The train is civilized, and comfortable - the seats are a bit bigger than airplane seats, and plushy. Even at night, you get to see the scenery. My friends were on the train, and it was great just to sit in the cafe car, with a coffee, watching this country in her majesty speed by...

I really intend to do it again at least a few more times. It was civilized, clean, and normal, and felt like travelling...a good experience. It's one thing to fly over a snowstorm and have a 20-minute approach. It's another to go through it on a speeding train, snow between the cars, and have a 2-hour approach to Chicago.

And now, a few photos!

Croton-Harmon Station

My train is arriving!

The train interior. Quite comfortable.

Parked at Toledo, OH

Stepping on Ohio soil during the rest stop at Toledo

Erie, PA, at 1:30am

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