Awaiting the train at Montpelier Junction
A scene out the window
Coming into White River Junction
Writing Christmas cards aboard
Numerous times we have investigated the option of travelling by train, and most often the compromises involved have been too much to deal with, be it cost, time or logistics, so we end up choosing to go by car or plane. In this case the variables worked well enough and we went for it.
Southbound travellers embarking after we'd gotten off in Brattleboro
A happy reunion with Dan and Addie
There was something magic about the train arriving. From the "toot toot" as I heard the train approaching the station, my heart started to race. How fun to ride a train! It is a connection that reaches deep into our history and yet is a vital and promising answer to many of our present day ailments. As we rode, I imagined life when this was the predominate form of travel and how good that must have been. Like the bicycle, it accelerates your journey, but not so much that your natural human accommodation can't keep up. You experience the transformation of time and distance at a pace that feels intuitively right.
After a weekend spent with friends we were driven back to the station in Brattleboro and made our way home. It was a slushy, snowy evening and it would have been a slow and unpleasant drive home. I noted this as we sat comfortably and safely in the warm passenger car headed north. With wifi available and the freedom to move about I settled in for easy trip home.
The ride home Sunday night
The train continuing North from Montpelier in the snowy dark
Of course, riding in a train, a subway, an airplane or a bus is all similar in the sense that you are foremost moving from one place to another, and there is a similarity across these modes of transport on some level, but my overall sense of ease was notable aboard the train. Perhaps it just feels safe in comparison to the others, maybe its knowing it is a markedly more sustainable means of travel--I'm not sure. But I do know I'm going to be angling for more train trips in the future.
(My understanding is there will be a time in the not-distant future when bicycles will again be allowed aboard the trains. Amtrak is working on a national system of cars that can store the bikes and on updating their booking systems to include this option. I will celebrate that day when these two forms of travel are again linked.)