Friday, September 26, 2014
Silver Meteor Train Experience
If you have been debating if you should take the train, the answer is yes! Resounding! In fact, I am a senior silver haired person. For that you get a substantial discount and it is worth it, but it is also perfect for families with children. I saw a whole family with two small children and grandparents traveling together. They had plenty of room and the kids had room to walk about and it was as if they were in a family room. Of course everyone had their gadgets and so many saw movies. By the way, they did have electric plugs on the window side of your seat where you could recharge all your electronics. Neat feature if you ask me. On the other hand, I could have read a book (in fact I did finish one from Orlando to Patlatka) or watched a movie but I was enjoying the movie quickly flowing by on my side screen, i.e. the window. When traveling try to secure an even numbered window because you will have a better view.
Other reasons to use the train include: you don't have to deal with traffic, buy gas in strange places, car trouble, and confined quarters. It is a great place to make friends and I did. We chatted all the way from Patlatka to Charleston and walked up and down the corridors several times. These corridors are long and you do have to step from one car to another to get to the dinner/snack car. This little connection between cars was where you had a reality check that reminded you that you were actually on a train after all. It was that space between cars where you could feel the clacking of the rails and feel the breeze rushing the sides of the train that let you know the train was moving fast. Just to be on the safe side, I always grabbed the handles as I stepped over the next car as I walked the train to the dining car. It just gave me more assurance. It was an innocuous but I wanted to be extra safe.
As I walked the train, I noticed that at the end of each car there were rest rooms. Sometimes the occupants were not neat, especially the men. Nevertheless, I always tried to leave the restroom neater than how I found it. Frankly, I think there should be someone monitoring the restrooms for cleanliness. Traveling the whole east coast without someone cleaning the bathrooms is a bit too much. They should have a team come on the train lets say in Savannah to go into do the bathrooms. Other than that, I have no complaints.
As for food, there was a snack car which offered cookies, chips and even sandwiches that could be warmed up. Hot drinks with cream were offered as well. In fact, I bought a cheese and cracker snack box which was perfect for the trip. The snack car also doubled up as a lounge where commuters could go to hang out as well. Some were reading a book or newspaper while having coffee. Later we had the opportunity to have dinner in the dinner car with white table napkins, hot fresh cooked food, and a waiter. Oooo la la! Yes, it was extra but it was worth it.
When traveling by train, consider splitting your trip into portions. That way you do not have to stay on the train at night since roomettes are a bit pricey. I did observe though a lot of people actually sleeping on the train since they had no one next to them. So that is doable as well. Just bring a nice jacket or light blanket or pillow so you can be comfortable. I had planned to read most of the way but the Lord had other plans and I chatted with a new friend. Such is life.
Did I say, I loved it? I sure did, didn't I? If I had a chance to travel again, I would do it in a heartbeat.
So if you have an upcoming trip, consider Amtrak. It is environment friendly, efficient, timely, and clean.