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Riding the Rails

I'm fast approaching the train part of things and I'm getting rather excited about riding two routes I have not done yet on Amtrak. I mentioned before I had bought the USA RailPass which does 10 segments in 30 days so I built the itinerary to maximize the month I have. I ended up though in Albuquerque with only 6 of the segments done and still about 1 week remaining. I spend a week in New Mexico and planned to visit Santa Fe on the local train that runs every hour or so. I felt like I could do more with the week so I started looking at a shorter trip I could take and decided to hop the Amtrak to Flagstaff and spend a few days there too and then ride back. That will put me at 8 segments and I think the closest I can get before flying to Austin Texas to see my buddy N.

There is still a route I would love to do across the US from New York to Los Angeles but I don't think it will be happening any time soon. I've done the cross country route from New York to Chicago and then to Seattle all in a sleeper. That's nice! Its like my own personal train system and the meals are included. I even got a few free Heineken beers as I went since I took them from the dining car.

If you have a chance to ride the rails I would highly recommend longer trips in the sleepers. Very nice way to go. It is not like riding the high speed rail in Taiwan where from Taipei south takes only a few hours at 185mph or the bullet train in Japan where it may do 200 or so. My best rides on that train system were from Tokyo to Hiroshima and Hiroshima to Osaka. I rode it some years ago too to Kyoto. Wonderful experience but if you want something local take the Tokyo Met subway. It goes in a big circle route and all signs in English. Fun times. I had the most fun riding the high speed rail in Taiwan but if I could do it again I would have ridden the local train system from Kaohsiung City to Taipei and taken my time.

So many rails to ride! The train is a glorious endeavor at ignoring time and destinations in favor of the movement.

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