Monday, October 4, 2010

Walk to the station, won't you follow me

Amtraked north for the first time this weekend and learned the path the train takes out of the city--neatly topping the elevated tracks at Ditmars, sailing past a battallion of NY Post trucks, coasting next to more Connecticut and more waterfront than I had ever imagined.

When I finally arrived at South Station, I found it more impressive than my own Penn (where I waited a grumpy hour for my late departure). Though (or probably because) it has fewer tracks, it's more spacious, more aboveground, and is equipped with more internet--MBTA commuter trains each get their own--than my home station.

Amtrak itself has no internet, other than in the station, and it costs more than a Bolt Bus. On the flip side, trains don't make me bus-sick and are somewhat less prone to delays. But wouldn't it be great if they took no time at all? When the conductor read out the list of stops in Connecticut, I laughed in despair. If only this plan seemed more realistic...


  1. I love that ride! The sea-coast stretches in Rhode Island and Connecticut always provided a reflective return as my train sped (slogged) south to Swarthmore.

    Sometimes I think the lack of internet on the amtrak is an advantage - a moment of relief from the constant connection.

  2. Now, that's what I call a long train commute! I agree with you about the internet in large part, though it made my copyediting a bit more difficult...

  3. Is there anything impressive about Penn Station? The bustle, I suppose.

    South Station is a serviceable above-ground terminal, but it ain't no 30th Street.

  4. Ah, 30th Street! Clearly the winner.

  5. Most European train stations are either beautiful, highly functional, or both. Unfortunately Vienna's were hideous and cramped, someone realized this, and they tore down all three at once. Now the three massive construction sites and minimal inside station space are causing everyone enormous difficulty.

  6. Too bad they didn't leave one for, like, trains...