Trains, and the One We Missed — Jan. 2012

Not the world's biggest train

If you do not like trains, bypass this posting, and may all your body searches at the airports be happy ones. 

Guelph was the start, and a two-car VIA Rail train that trundled down to Kitchener, Stratford, St Mary’s and London. 

London, Ontario - Big sign, few trains

London has TWO platforms, and occasionally two trains.  Quite the metropolis, and an impressive sign.  In London I escaped for a few minutes to take a picture, and off we were again to that centre of oil and chemicals … Sarnia. 

They built an expensive tunnel under the river, but alas, this is only for freight trains.  We had to pay a ransom for a taxi to Port Huron, for our overnight stay at Best Western.  (Until you have seen us both cavorting in the hotel pool, you have really missed a treat … sorry no photos! 

Amtrak - Port Huron to Chicago

A 6.a.m. start was the downer of the whole journey, and this was on a “regular Amtrak train”, though we did spring for the big seats and a free coffee in “Business Class”.  About 7 hours later we were in the “Executive Lounge” in Chicago, and headed for the “Texas Eagle” at the appointed hour.  This departure was, however, delayed, an, it left an hour or so late, with various obfuscations about “mechanical problems”. 

No fatalities, but some were hurt a bit

Then the attendant came round with the newspaper, and we viewed the devastation of the train crash in Michigan.  Whatda know? It was the “other” train … from Detroit.  I guess their tale was true … yup … you get serious mechanical problems when a train hits a tractor-trailer.  We took comfort in statistics: the train really is the safest way to travel!  (Note that the crash picture was from The Denver Post)

The Texas Eagle at Fort Worth Station

Steadily larger, the overnight train to Texas is longer, faster, two levels, and has a dining car.  Slow, but very comfortable.   We caught up the time, and emerged in to 70+F temperatures in Taylor, Texas, and were reunited with our truck and trailer.   Would we do this again?  Not decided.  Someone asked me: “Do you like the train?”  Well … look at the alternatives … a four day winter drive with hotels and ho-hum food, or an expensive flight that will only be on time if it does not snow.

 Now we wrestle with leaky trailer valves and a wheel bearing on the truck.  There are definite downsides to the RV life-style, but we have yet to be on a ship that sank!  Next door is a musician, migrating from Nashville to Austin.  He had a real fist fight with Johnny Cash … something about a missing guitar.  Lotsa colourful characters in Texas.

 More news only if things happen.  This one was motivated by the train crash, although we missed this by a whisker.


 John (with editing by Elaine)

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One Response to Trains, and the One We Missed — Jan. 2012

  1. Goran o Judy Bengtsson says:

    that was a near one,friends.Glad you arrived safely.
    Take care you 2.
    Judy o Goran

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