Friday, July 8, 2011

Standing on the Platform at the Auto Train

I'm a big fan of travel and public transportation.  I'm a green even if I do drive a Jeep that gets 18mpg city, and I justify it by riding a train when I am able.  I was able to only put 4000 miles a year on the thing when I lived in Philly because I rode the SEPTA Regional Rails everywhere. 

The R7 is where I met some wonderful people when I learned how to share the seat. 

In the case of this picture, it brought back that flood of memories, joining up with Velma and the morning crew and riding to work every day for 7 plus years.  The platforms are pretty standard, even though this one is for the Auto Train in Sanford Florida.

Kevin's taking a trip to visit Mom, and will be arriving in Lorton Virginia this morning.  Onward to Pennsylvania afterwords. 

I took the Auto Train way back in the 70s when it had first started up with my family.  We rode to Sanford and took a grand tour of Florida, first heading to Tampa area, then Fort Lauderdale, and back to Orlando to see the Rat.   After all we kids, Pat and I and Cousin Darlene, were not yet teens and it was a chance to see all the fun at Disney World while it was still exciting.

Back then, we rode coach.  It was uncomfortable then with seats that didn't recline and blankets that weren't quite warm enough in the Air Conditioned "comfort". 

Later, I tried it again in Coach and found that the seats were a little better but not suited to my 6'4" frame and thought only in an emergency. 

Kevin tried an "Individual RoomEtte" and liked it.  They're not quite four feet wide, have a teeny table and two chairs in them.  When you're ready, the porter pulls down a berth for you to sleep your way through some rather unexciting scenery in the deep south and you wake up in Virginia.  North Florida if you're coming down from Snowbird Land.

Much more comfortable than trying to pretend that sleeping in a stiff backed and semi padded chair that is semi reclining is a good way to spend a night.

Theoretically the costs work out fairly even, you can go the distance in about the same time and expense as it would be to drive.  Certainly safer since I know that in the middle of that first day drive, I'll start getting white line fever and need a good time out of the Jeep. 

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