Sunday, October 23, 2011

Planes, TRAINS and Automobiles

Trains have always fascinated me, as have other mechanized vehicles like planes and cars. I've owned vintage automobiles, and I've flown in more planes than I care to recall (although I've never flown in a vintage aircraft). This weekend I had the signular experience of riding a vintage passenger train. Now, I have ridden a number of trains before - Amtrak, bullet trains in Japan, etc.. but this was a different sort of trip - a train "excursion".

  

The excursion train I was on is a vintage Streamliner model from the 1950's. Its really got a 50's vibe to it, complete with 50's-style dining tables in the dining car, stainless steel body, and "streamlined" passenger-car designs reminiscient of 50's era automobiles. The coolest thing was the "dome car", which we got to ride in. They've bumped the roof up and put in a dome of glass on it so you have a much better and wider view. It was worth the extra we had to pay to get this advantage.

Our excursion was a 160 mile round-trip from the city out through the countryside to a small town with lots of antique shops, boutiques, and restaurants. Along the way we got to soak in pastoral landscapes and the rich tapestry of fall colors beginning to blanket the hills and farms. Pleasant company of old friends and lots of stimulating conversation made this one of those perfect, relaxing days that seems to come but once in a blue moon. It was delightful! What was so nice was the slower pace you can only experience on a train - especially a vintage model. They just don't go that fast! That leaves a lot more time for important things, like taking in the view or talking to friends. For one day, at least, "my joy is full". It doesn't get much better than this folks...

4 comments:

Sulli said...

Love the dome car! What a cool photo.

Neal said...

The really cool thing about that car, other than the view of course, is that the seats "reverse". Trains are very seldom ever "turned around" on the tracks. They just switch the engines from the front to the back of the train when its time to go home. So normally you would be riding backwards for 1/2 of the trip. But these seats have a special hinged back that lets them slide forward and actually reverse the direction of the seats, so you get to face forward the whole time. It was way cool!

Sulli said...

That officially does make it even cooler.

I so want to go on a trip like that.

Neal said...

I would do a google search for excursion train rides in your area. Unfortunately, there are not that many left, but there are a few.