Traveling Through Pennsylvania by Train

I shot these on my trip from Cleveland to D.C. Tuesday, out the window of the cafe car on Amtrak’s Capitol Limited route.

Pennsylvania is such a beautiful state. It’s really fun and interesting to travel at ground level through tiny communities like you get a chance to on Amtrak.

My journey took me 10 hours and left at two in the morning. But it only cost me $130 round trip and I was able to sleep for more than half the journey anyway. When I do this I take the savings over flying (about $200 this time) and I spend it on my trip. So far I’ve saved $400 by taking two Amtrak trips this year, which either makes me what is sildenafil citrate smart, or too cheap for my own good. (I’m a bit of a foamer.)

One thing that’s cool about Amtrak, is that people talk to each other more so than on a plane. You get a different crowd. This particular train was full of Amish people. (I wish I knew why they were all traveling to DC!) But there were also some African (Caribbean?) immigrants, I think. There’s always a lot of retired people on Amtrak too, and some are even pretty wealthy. Amtrak provides a pretty healthy discount to seniors, that’s why.

Anyway, I am sort of anti-social, so I don’t usually make friends on my Amtrak trips, but I do eavesdrop on people. Usually I’m trying to get some work done anyway. It’s funny because when you overhear people’s conversations, a lot of them are talking about riding trains and how much they like trains. Train enthusiasts are another group exactus pharmacy you’re likely to run into on Amtrak. It’s surprising how many of them there are — not just nerdy men, like is the stereotype.

Yesterday I was eavesdropping on this older white woman talking to this younger black man. She was telling him she loved riding trains and that her kids had bought her and her husband a train trip for their 35th wedding anniversary. But now they’ve been married for 50 years and this time they wanted to ride coach to get the “coach experience.” Ha. That cracked me up. I think it’d be fun to take a sleeper car sometime. For this trip, it would have been as expensive as flying and I sleep ok in the seats anyway.

Anyway, I always ride coach and it’s pretty roomy. It makes it relatively easy to sleep and work, even though I usually don’t have wifi. Even though these trips take a lot longer than flying, they’re way less of a hassle. No transfers, no security, and they drop you off in the center of town, rather than the suburbs. So levitra no cabs, you can hop on public transit. In Cleveland, you can even leave your car at the Amtrak station for free the whole time you’re gone, which is crazy. (Cleveland has TERRIBLE land use policies.)

So even though the trip took 10 hours, I slept for six of them and I worked for about three and a half, so it’s not too bad.

The whole time we rode, we rode along this pretty stream, I think that’s because trains ride through the mountain valleys carved by the stream. There were a lot of really humble, isolated houses and trailers along the journey. I women s health meds don’t know who lives in them. Tourists? Coal workers? Just regular teachers/nurses/truckers etc.? Some of the small towns in Pennsylvania that used to be coal mining towns are pretty depressed. That’s the best insight I can offer. I guess people don’t need a reason to live there.

Anyway, Amtrak is my favorite service of the federal government, although perhaps more government services could win my favor by serving me coffee. Cue conservative wrath: enjoying a government service that you pay for?I know, it feels weird, and nice.

I say all this, even though Amtrak service sucks in Ohio because the state won’t support it. Amtrak wouldn’t even travel through Ohio if it could avoid it on the way from New York to Chicago, probably, thanks to our backwards state government.

Everyone who gets a chance though, I would recommend making at least one journey this way. It’s a more relaxing, dignified way to travel and you get to see how beautiful and diverse our country is. I love to travel, it can be really inspiring and lift your spirit, especially if you get a chance to sit back and enjoy the journey and just take everything in.

–Angie Schmitt



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