Train Trip

I love trains. I love the sound of them and sight of them.

I loved looking across a broad valley in Eastern California and seeing a train engine in the distance pulling what must have been a mile of freight cars along a lonely desert track. I remember when I was young, being in love with a girl who lived in an apartment right next to a train track and hearing the sound of the train passing by as I lay next to her.

Amtrak Surfliner

Amtrak Surfliner

Even now I love being on a train. Last week I took the train to LA for work. The green line trolley in San Diego took me to the Old Town station, where I caught the Amtrak Surfliner to Union Station in Los Angeles, where I got the gold line trolley that took me to Pasadena. The Pasadena station was just two blocks from my hotel.

You get a big comfortable seat on the train. The ride is smooth and (on the Surfliner) you have a view of the Pacific Ocean and the setting sun. When happy hour rolls around you can walk down to the dining car and get a beer and a sandwich.

On the way back I had to wait for about 50 minutes at Union Station for my connection. The stone floors of the main terminal are a glossy mosaic. The wood ceiling looks like the inside of a church, and soft leather chairs connect in a row.

Hurtling across time zones in the cramped seats of a jet or battling freeway traffic masquerade as progress, but think about taking the train.

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