One Man’s Meat . . . One Wife’s Poison.
OK, here’s a weird one.
My wife and I are going to be taking a Mississippi River cruise in May and we’re in the process of clearing up a few of the details. She will fly home from New Orleans because our house sitters have to leave earlier than we would prefer. Meanwhile, I will be taking the City of New Orleans to Chicago and connecting there with the Southwest Chief for the ride back to L.A. (By the way, I’m going to stop off in Dodge City for a 24-hour visit and will report here about that experience.)
There should be plenty of time to make the connection to the Chief in Chicago—six hours if train 58 arrives on time at 9:00—but a couple of nights ago, as a matter of curiosity, I went onto the NARP website to see if 58 was running on time.
According to Amtrak’s official timetable, the northbound City of New Orleans is scheduled to arrive in Memphis at 10:00 p.m. and depart 40 minutes later. But Amtrak’s log for that train yesterday showed a “Schedule Arrival Time” of 2:00 a.m. and “Schedule Departure Time” of 2:40 a.m.
It also showed the actual arrival time of 3:14 AM and the actual departure time of 3:38 AM, and there was a note stating that the train “departed 58 minutes late” which certainly seem to indicate that 2:40 a.m. was, in fact, the correct departure time.
There could be any number of reasons for the discrepancy—perhaps the southbound train had been delayed getting to New Orleans and, for the return trip back to Chicago, train 58 had been given a 5:45 p.m. departure time for that day only.
This is the kind of stuff that fascinates train travel enthusiasts, so over breakfast the next morning, I was telling my wife about this whole complicated business in detail. Yes, I know she was trying to read the morning paper, but I hadn’t taken more than 10 minutes . . . well, OK, fifteen at the most . . . and she snapped at me! I can’t imagine why.