Baltimore to New Orleans the Crescent.

The Crescent, Amtrak’s train 19, was on time when I boarded in Baltimore and remained more or less on time all the way to New Orleans . . . running on time for a day and a half is not an everyday occurrence in the life of a Crescent crew member. My car attendant acknowledged the train’s reputation for running late and stated what all know to be true: “freight train interference” is by far the most common reason. So far, so good, although there’s plenty of time for something to go wrong.

One of the things that really bothers me is that the same menu choices are presented for both lunch and dinner. I have declined all the choices after sampling the first two. It’s impossible for me to believe that any off the higher-up Amtrak executives have tasted any of these dishes under the same conditions I have.

The fact is, they are pretty awful and passengers get the same five choices for both lunch and dinner.

Once the Crescent passes Atlanta, there’s the kudzu. It’s a vine that grows everywhere and, if not cut back, will cover everything—abandoned cars, sheds, entire trees . . . anything that doesn’t move.

Finally, one of the reasons I like this train because it angles down through the Deep South and in several of the towns we pass through, it roars right down the middle of the Main Street, literally just 40 or 50 feet from the frontages of these lovely, stately old homes with their circular driveways and manicured lawns. it’s just . . . well . . . so strange!

More in the continuing saga tomorrow