Those of us involved in promoting and advocating passenger rail have one more argument in our favor every year at this time: It may take a little longer, but trains usually get through bad weather.
This is certainly the case at the moment. Amtrak is still operating around the country and up and down the Northeast Corridor. It’s a slightly reduced schedule and many of the long-distance trains are running late. But they’re running. Meanwhile, hundreds of flights have been cancelled, stranding many thousands of passengers. Or should I say “would-be passengers?” It’s hard not to gloat.
These are the times when we here in the Islands look at each other and say, “Lucky we live Hawaii.” It’s been more than 50 years since I last shoveled snow or scraped a windshield … and I fervently hope I never have to do that again.
I do find it an extra treat to be on a train enjoying a meal in the dining car or, better yet, from the warmth and comfort of my berth, with snow coming down outside.
Our daughter went to college in New Hampshire and my wife – born and raised here in Hawaii – was very concerned about how she would manage in those awful winters. Well, she managed just fine. In fact, on several occasions, she called us to report that she had just returned from a weekend with friends camping out in two feet of snow with just a sleeping bag. My wife was horrified.
On one occasion, however, my daughter remarked that, when it came to New England winters, she really didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. Very easy to say for someone whose entire morning commute was a 100-yard walk across campus!