I enjoyed every word of Patt Morrison’s “A Wide-Angle Zoom” [Aug. 18]. I’ve always loved trains and sometimes annoy others by recommending they take the train as an alternative, given the time. I’m so glad she heeded my advice unbidden.
One of my earliest memories is of being on board the Super Chief en route to Chicago with my mother and older sister when I was 2½. I have a brief but clear memory of walking unsteadily toward my mother, not liking the motions of the train, she by the window, my sister on the sofa and a porter in starched white standing in the doorway. He seemed 12 feet tall to me as he smiled graciously at my mother, sympathetic to her challenge of caring for two little ones.
Seeing the Arizona sandstone colored so beautifully at dawn the first morning of the trip was another magical Super Chief moment, this one at age 14. Trains were wonderful for children old enough to wander safely; a dollar in your pocket made you feel rich. The 20th Century Limited we took later that same year even had a barbershop.
One day I’d love to take the train Morrison did, but often being asked to pay double as a single traveler curbs my enthusiasm. American trains were once that wonderful, but they have been degraded by those in Congress who demand Amtrak be more self-supporting than air and highway systems.
I had to tell you how much Morrison’s story meant to me. I have wanted to ride that Canadian train for years. But with the ups and downs of the economy, I‘ve never quite found the nerve to spend the money.
At 74, I have my bucket list handy with that ride near the top. Many thanks for another dose of inspiration.
I just read Morrison’s article. I had just returned from a Canadian train ride April 19-23. I had a blast and mostly stayed in the dome. I truly enjoyed it and the people in my cabin.
I made friends with the crew and was able to walk to first class and sit in the dome of first class, even though they were similar.