30 June 2006


James Howard Kunstler sings the praises of rail travel.
After sitting on airplanes for two days, like a mummy in a casket, I took the Amtrak train from Bellingham, Washington, down to Seattle. It was an extravagant relief from harsh inanities of aviation. The train cars were new, clean and luxurious, very unlike the beat-up rolling stock on my usual Hudson River line (Albany to New York City). The seats were better than first-class airplane seats. There was a cafe car serving up hot beverages. The conductors were cheerful, as if they actually liked what they were doing.
Mmm. I am fond of quoting Ursula LeGuin, who said somewhere that trains are one of the few technologies that are at once perfectly romantic and perfectly efficient.

I myself will be getting on a plane tonight. At least it's headed home.

1 comment:

TheWayOfTheGun said...

Sadly, subsidies of road and air infrastructures hide the true costs of car and plane trips.

Way back when, Jen and I went to LA by rail. The trip was most enjoyable. Unfortunately we spent nine hours in transit (from a scheduled eight) and the cost was considerably more than flying Southwest. Still, I have been hankering for another rail trip ever since.