Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Just Chugging Along

In today’s “What kind of crack are these people on?” moment – buried in today’s Business section of the Post, in a little paragraph on page 2, was this little bombshell:

Amtrak should eliminate first-class and dining services on its long-distance trains, a new Department of Transportation Inspector General report said.
( )

. . . You know, because, people riding a train for three days really don’t need to eat or have a place to sleep comfortably . . . I mean, really! Those are the main reasons that people go across the country on the train . . . in fact, if they took those things away, less people would ride the trains and bingo! Now they can finally accomplish their goal and get rid of the long distance service altogether.

Most of the folks that we met who ride the trains do so because they can’t fly, whether because of medical reasons, plain old fright, or because there isn’t an airport anywhere remotely near where they live. It is a lifeline to many little communities around this country, and on 9-11 everyone should have learned the value of having a redundant transportation system. People are such short-sighted fools, I swear.

It really burns my buttons when they discuss the expense and losses that the trains have, when we subsidize air and road transportation about 20 times as much. Grrrr . . .

Observed during our train trip two years ago: Did you know that lots of people have trampolines sitting in their backyards? And lots of kids are using them? Who knew? One of the coolest sights was going by on the train and looking out of the windows seeing groups of kids waving at us, some still jumping on the trampolines. We also notice lots over rusty appliances in yards too, or sitting in clumps in the middle of open fields near the train tracks. There’s a lot of just random junk strewn about the countryside that you see from the train – I guess people think of the land near train tracks as free landfill or something.

Oh! Other events from this weekend . . . within a 24 hour period, my husband’s mom went to the emergency room for dehydration, my friend, J, had to go to the hospital because his left knee collapsed, and my friend, L, who was having the law school loan problems is still in limbo – her new co-signer was denied. Lots of phone calls and worrying and emotions going on here to deal with . . .

Vacation time cannot come fast enough for me!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gosh - hope everything works out for the friend in law school, also hope your mum-in-law is ok.
Stay cool (I am loving this heat wave in Northern VA, but I'm probably one of three who can say that).
- Virginia Gal