One of these days, I’ve got to live-blog a trip on Amtrak.
Yesterday, MPR’s Dan Olson told the story of the difficulty of getting tickets on Amtrak’s Empire Builder, the only Amtrak train that runs through these parts.
“The Empire Builder is our single most popular overnight train. Of all our trains in the system that operate over significant distances the Empire Builder is number one with upwards of 500,000 passengers on it,” Amtrak’s Marc Magliari says.
I get it. The whole “Woody Guthrie” thing. Oh, and flying is no fun anymore. But is train travel anything but “tiring” (a word The Current’s Mary Lucia used yesterday when I talked to her about this)?
Let’s swing down to Chicago to see how things are going. Says the Chicago Sun-Times:
Dozens of Amtrak passengers said they’ve been stranded at Chicago’s Union Station for more than 12 hours while their New York-bound train is repeatedly delayed. And another train scheduled for the snow-bound Pacific Northwest waited at Union Station for nearly 24 hours before departing for the west about 1:15 p.m. today, according to passengers. Passengers try to stay warm as they wait for their trains Tuesday at Union Station in Chicago. Many passengers said they spent the night in the station’s cold waiting room with little information from Amtrak officials.
The alternative to airplane travel sounds suspiciously like airplane travel.