I am, at this writing (9 May), on a train leaving T-town for ATL. I am taking the train because the one-way price is $44. Airfare from BHM to ATL would be $360 or so. I am going a day early to make my connection, but will get to pass some time with one of my all-time great mentors.
My wife and I were talking. At least one of us has ridden trains in China, Japan, Switzerland, Italy, England, Sweden, Peru, Australia, and probably a couple more places, but not in the USA. Well, Brenda rode one almost 20 years ago from Highland Falls, NY to NYC.
There is a lot to be said for train travel. You can get to the station about 15 min before departure, and no one cares. You have a LOT more leg room than on a plane. I have my computer plugged in to a 120v outlet. It is smooth and quiet. I am seeing T-town from the tracks, and it is a neat viewpoint. At BHM we are invited to “de-train” for a smoke and a stretch. I get off and do 3 sets of push-ups and walk around a bit. The train stop in BHM is pretty bleak with abandoned buildings comprising the skyline.
Most of the trip between BHM and ATL is a “long green tunnel” as some have described the Appalachian Trail. It’s nice to see the green, wooded sections, interrupted by a small homestead here and there.
We just went through some small GA town just inside the state border. I only know this because the conductor told us to set our watches ahead to EDT. There is an antique car show in a parking lot just beside the train tracks. The people look up at us with a bit of curiosity.
“Who be that traveling through our town on Amtrak?” they must be asking themselves. Along the way several people and children wave at us.
No traffic lights, no weather delays, no complaints.
“We are but quiet travelers heading for ATL in the long green tunnel.