26 Hours Riding the Rails

I returned earlier this week from a two-week visit to Hutchinson, Kansas, helping my son and son-in-law with a move to their new home. I’d flown out to Wichita, and returned the ~1350 miles via train. Taking the Amtrak train was on my want-to-do list for quite some time, and it didn’t disappoint. I was booked into the Coach seats, with a train that was 45% full. Therefore, I had two seats to myself, with so much space that I used my suitcase as a footrest because I couldn’t reach the one provided. Ok, so I’m only 5″1″, but regardless, my area was roomy. The seats recline and also have a leg rest that can be adjusted. My ticket cost $130 for coach, compared to over $700 for a roomette. I couldn’t justify spending that much money for one night’s sleep. I suppose the only “downside” to riding coach these days has to do with the Federal face mask requirement due to Covid…. the mask only to be removed while actively eating and drinking. I took a cloth mask and managed to wear it the entire trip just fine. Being fully vaccinated has brought freedom to travel, and wearing a mask is a minor inconvenience that I’m happy to put up with. The only other downside, I suppose, was boarding the train in Kansas at 3:00 in the morning. The Southwest Chief route goes from Chicago to Los Angeles, and Kansas being smack dab in the middle leaves middle of the night as the only option.

The scenery on the Southwest Chief line was breathtaking. I’d brought a really good book along, but didn’t crack it open until after dark. We had several “fresh air” breaks for smokers and others to get off and stretch their legs. I walked up and down the train itself several times and never felt cramped up. I also made good use of the observation car, and purchased coffee and snacks from the tiny cafe downstairs. The restrooms were small, but clean, much like on airplanes. I look forward to my next train ride, and am already looking at the various routes. All aboard!! ~SueBee

note: photos taken with my new iPhone 12, gifted by my son and son-in-law.

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Categories: Photography

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2 Comments on “26 Hours Riding the Rails”

  1. Apr 29, 2021 at 3:17 pm #

    What a treat. There is nothing like a train for long journeys.

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