Thursday, April 21, 2011

Two trains to Georgia

Travelling by train has always been one of my favourite things to do so when I needed to go to Georgia and buy my sister's car, I decided to go by train rather than yet another plane flight.

The first train  was a MARC commuter train that runs a few times each day on weekdays. It is a convenient and inexpensive way to go to Baltimore, BWI or Washington and avoid all the traffic and parking problems. It cost $11 to go to Washington one way.

The rain had just moved in and only a few people got on.

The stairway to the trip. America never believed in high platforms and it seems you always have to climb up onto a train. It must be hard on old people.

Rogers Tavern at the northern side of the Susquehanna River. Everybody in colonial times used to stop there for food, drink and lodging.

Housing developments at the mouth of the Susquehanna. Just up stream, the housing developments have to built on stilts to allow for the occasional flood when too much water comes down stream and they have to open the gates on the Conowingo Dam

Part of the Hatem Bridge which carries Route 40 traffic.

North East Baltimore. The facades look ok here but the following photos shows the shocking state of the housing in the area. Click on the photos to get a closer look.

It amazes me that the whole lot hasn't been bulldozed and redeveloped.

There were a couple of hours to fill in at Union Station in Washington, so I wandered around taking photos.

It was almost a shock to go outside and realize that was the Capitol Building. 

So if you go to Union Station, take the time to walk around.

The Amtrak Crescent which took me to Georgia.

Its very dark, but a photo inside the carriage. The train was packed when it left Washington, but there were only a few passengers left by the time I got to Gainesville. The staff were very friendly and helpful and I had a good meal in the dining car. I had the Oven Baked Southern Style Chicken . . . . . . . . $14.75 as recommended by Seat61, the bible of train travel, and it was good.

Fortunately, the woman next to me got out at Danville at 11:15 pm so I had both seats to myself and managed to get some sleep. Some women were complaining about the cold and I was glad of my lightweight blanket that I bought in Europe back in 1974. It still worked.

Finally at Gainesville, GA. It's a bit like going on an overseas plane flight but with more leg room.

The end of the train manages to block the road crossing for quite some time. You would think they could move forward by ten yards and let the traffic across.

I was pleased to see they still have cars that can ride on the rails.

And the train headed off to Atlanta and New Orleans. I basically enjoyed the trip, but I wouldn't want to do it too often. It was a pity that so much of the journey was at night.

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