People are Starting to Plan for Travel.

And it’s about damn time! Tourism is on its way back here in Hawaii. Certainly not at the pre-pandemic level, but any bump in the number of tourists is welcome news here.

It’s hardly a representative sample, I know, but the the increase in letters I get asking questions about train travel is certainly an indication that there is a pent up desire to get back on the rails. Most of the questions I’m getting are about Amtrak travel and I can pretty much tell that many are coming from people who have never been on a long-distance train before. That’s really heartening.

The Rail Passengers Association has announced that our next gathering will be in September in Alexandria, Virginia. And, for several reasons, I am delighted.

First, because I really enjoy our meetings. I have made some very good friends and not just because we share a common interest in passenger trains. 

Second, because I travel to the meetings on tax deductible dollars and, when the meetings are over, I head off to other destinations using taxable dollars. Being able to deduct the cost of round-trip travel to the east coast is a huge help.

The Route of The Cardinal

And third, I can take The Cardinal from Chicago. It all starts with dinner on the train, and how could there be a better beginning to a train ride? The next day the Cardinal passes through the New River Gorge, crossing the river a half dozen times. After a stop at the famous Greenbrier resort, the train passes through the Shenandoah Valley, and climbs over the Blue Ridge Mountains before it reaches Charlottesville, Virginia. Two-plus hours later we’ll get off the train in Alexandria and, while we’re attending the Rail Passengers Association board meting, the Cardinal will  continue on up to New York City.

Is that a great ride . . . or what!