Here We Go Again!

It seems to me that’s the title of a melancholy ballad performed by, among others, the incomparable Ray Charles. Well, as to the next six months of my life, “Here we go again!

Chicago Review Press has decided the time has come for a fifth edition of All Aboard—The Complete North American Train Travel Guide. 

I’m not looking forward to this project, because it’s Big Work and these days I look for Quick-and-Easy. That said, I really do think they’re right: It’s time for a new edition. The 4th edition made its debut in 2015 and a lot has happened since then, starting with $66 billion in federal stimulus funds that were allocated to Amtrak. The railroad has so many pressing needs—repairs and improvements to the infrastructure and new equipment to name just two—who will make the decisions to spend that money and on what will make interesting reading.

There may also be one or two new routes to write about and some of the older routes, abandoned in there austere days, might be reinstated.    

And this time around, there are other railroads—other than Amtrak, I mean— to include in the book.

Brightline is now operating modern, comfortable trains between Miami and West Palm Beach, and they have plans to extend their operations to Orlando and Jacksonville farther up the Atlantic coast, as well as cutting across the middle of the state to Tampa.

We’ll also get to write about the first true high-speed train to operate in the United States. Texas Central Railway is being built as we speak and will turn the grueling 240-mile drive between Houston and Dallas into a smooth, relaxing 90-minute ride at close to 200 miles-per-hour.

Then there’s the California project—a high-speed train that will link Los Angeles and San Francisco. It’s under construction and starting to make real progress.

There will be up-dated chapters on passenger trains in Canada, with focus on their long-distance trains, and on the Mexican train that runs between Chihuahua in Central Mexico, and Los Mochis at the Pacific end of the route.

I have a deadline of May 1st, 2022, to deliver a new manuscript. Then it’s CRP’s responsibility to design the cover, generate an index, do the proof-reading and then the printing.  They say the new book will be for sale in bookstores and on line around the middle of February of 2023.

So . . . Here We Go Again!