Riding the rails from Lawrence

When I was a wee boy, grow­ing up in Argenti­na, we used to take the train all the time.  We’d walk to the sta­tion, wait for the train, get on, and go places.  I don’t remem­ber where we’d go, and frankly, I don’t think that was too impor­tant at the time.  I was on a train.

Years lat­er, in Madrid and New York, I’d take the sub­way all sorts of places.  When I came out to the Mid­west, I met peo­ple who had nev­er been on a train, much less com­mut­ed on one.  It was for­eign to me.  And to them, I guess.

But now that I’ve lived here for more than a decade, I real­ize that I’ve been on trains… well, I can count the times on one hand.  More impor­tant­ly, my chil­dren have been on two trains in their lives, nei­ther of which real­ly count.  One was fake Thomas at Thomas the Tank Engine Days in Bald­win, KS.  The oth­er was the light rail in Den­ver, CO.

Last night I found out the Lawrence has a work­ing Amtrak Sta­tion.  It gets vis­it­ed by the South­west Chief (video) twice a day, once on its way to Los Ange­les, and once on its way back to Chica­go.  Even bet­ter, it stops in New­ton, KS, which is a half hour from Wichi­ta, where Grand­ma lives.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, a trip to New­ton would have to start at 12:32 am, arriv­ing at 3:25 am.  And the return trip picks up at 3:01 am, arriv­ing back home at 5:49 am.

Not exact­ly the trip to take a five-year-old on.

Oth­er stops on the way include Chica­go and KC in one direc­tion, and Las Vegas, Flagstaff, and Los Ange­les in the oth­er direc­tion.  It might be a fun trip to make when the boys are old­er, and we can bud­get for a vaca­tion (the trip to Grand­ma’s would cost $162!).

Or, I could wish real­ly hard for Amtrak to start anoth­er train on a 12 hour off­set from the first.  That’s right, Con­gress, dou­ble Amtrak’s bud­get!  Please?

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Danny

My name is Danny, and I grew up living overseas, but have settled in Kansas, where it turns out some of my family started, back when. I am helping to raise my own family, and hoping to be proud of what I've done when it's all over.