Thoughts on a Speeding Train

I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for a good train ride.

I’m on Amtrak”s Capitol Corridor, headed to Sacramento from the Bay Area. It’s a gorgeous morning, and the view served up from my window seat is impressive; I see San Francisco Bay, wildlife, rolling hills and farmscapes one doesn’t normally get to absorb through the glass of a speeding car on I-80, easily one of the worst highways in the developed world.

The train’s Golden Age  is long gone. I understand how it happened, and know that it’s never again going to be a big part of the American culture. The West and East coast trains are primarily commuter lines; there are a handful of routes across the fruited plain still operating, under a rather monstrous government subsidy (like almost all trains) but it hasn’t dampened my enthusiasm for this morning’s almost 2-hour ride to the Capitol.

There is something so comfortable about a train adventure; I love  the scenery and the gentle rock and roll of the cars on the rails. It would be very easy to sleep a bit if I wanted to. I wish I could duplicate this motion in my bed at home. I’d sleep 8 hours every night for sure!

I realized this morning there are two places I get the most words written- coffeehouses and trains.

If you are stalled on a project, or have been procrastinating on a writing adventure, may I suggest a train ride? The change of scenery would do you good. Treat yourself to a couple of hours and let your mind wander…

All aboard!


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