My Rail Experiences
By Uncle Joe
Virginia Beach, Virginia
February 22, 2016 10:37am CST
@JaboUK asked in a post if we had ridden a train. I responded that I had and the memories require a little more space so I would post my own recollections. The first time I rode a train back in 1962 I was only 17. It took me from Richmond, Virginia to Chicago, Illinois in two days. A few months later I rode the train back to Virginia. It took a while for my little “advantage” to sink in. I discovered something about people that I may never have known otherwise. Those memories of family trips by automobile opened new understanding. Driving through different towns and seeing all the elegant houses with beautifully manicured lawns. Well planned flower beds pleased the travelers eye. That first train ride opened my eyes to another aspect. Tracks normally run BEHIND people’s houses. That’s where you discover the most about the folks who live there. One might see a boat or RV hidden from the street but the most telling clues were hung on the clothes line. How big or small they might be and the styles they wore. Bicycles, tricycles, swings and slides often displayed kids who paused to wave as the train went by. In the late 80’s we rode AmTrak from Norfolk, Va. To Washington, DC with the kids. Unlike the slow moving coach I had ridden to Chicago, the AmTrak rocketed up the tracks too fast to see much of anything as we went by. The conductor told me that we were averaging 75 mph but tose running North of DC run over 100 mph. That is way to fast to be on the ground. Never again! Becky and I have planned for a long time to take a ride on one of the last slow trains available. It takes a scenic route through the Blue Ridge Mountains. That is more our speed.
11 people like this
• United Kingdom
22 Feb 16
You are so right about the trains often running behind people's houses so we could get more personal glimpses of their life styles. And I remember people stopping what they were doing to wave to us in the train. I hope you manage to take that trip through the Blue Ridge Mountains, it sounds wonderful.
• United States
22 Feb 16
if you go to Blue Ridge, GA you take a train from there to McCayesville - they let you out to go shop or whatever and the the ride back to BR. It runs along the river so it's a beautiful ride. We never took it but we watched it go by many times during our stays in Blue Ridge.
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
23 Feb 16
We looked at catching the train that runs under the New River Bridge in West Virginia for our anniversary trip this year but ended up deciding to go to the beach instead. However, my oldest daughter and I plan to catch the train from Greensboro to DC for a short visit to fulfill a promise that I made to take her to the National Gallery before she graduates.
• Calgary, Alberta
22 Feb 16
O, I wish I one day ride a real train not just our Calgary LRT! Riding the LRT is a wonderful experience though - - One can see the beauty of the City of Calgary (outside) . . and have fun staring at smooching couple (inside) ignoring envious eyes!