Sunday, October 18, 2009

Railroad Romantic Notions


This is a photo J took recently in the "Portneuf Gap" area just south of Pocatello. You can see the recent snow on the mountains above Pebble Creek Ski area near Inkom, ID. Pocatello still has a presence by the UPRR, but the rails around here are pretty inactive these days, just the occasional freight train.

There's an effort underway to get the passenger Pioneer train route returned to our area. Cost estimates are so high, it seems unlikely it will come to pass though. I'd love to be able to ride the train over to Boise when I have to go for meetings, especially in the winter when the freeway to the West can be interesting to say the least. Years ago when we did have passenger service, the schedule was so awful (departure around 2 am I believe) that I didn't utilize it.

I had romantic notions about train trips from my childhood when we frequently rode the Canadian Pacific but they were pretty much dispelled when I took my last long train ride (from Portland to the Bay Area in California in the late 70s or early 80's. I had wonderful experiences on trains in Europe and Japan in my college years, too, so when we had the opportunity to take a train for a Christmas visit to my family in California, we jumped at the chance. It was too expensive for our young family to get a sleeper car, so we sat in the uncomfortable seats with a toddler. We missed our connection in the Bay area and had go across town and catch a bus for the last few hours of our trip. By the time we arrived at our destination, we were exhausted and determined to avoid trains in the future.

Why is it that we can't get public trans portion right like they do in so many other parts of the world?

6 comments:

Linda Pruitt said...

I think proper train transportation has been basically off the radar. Maybe it will return as a viable mode since gas is so high and auto makers are going out of biz. I once rode from Glendale CA to Portland OR --also not able to afford a sleeper. Sat up with my granddaughter, but all in all, it was a good experience!

Splendid Little Stars said...

a lovely shot!
I have ridden the rails twice in my life--once as a young teen with my cousin from our homes in Maryland to visit another cousin in West Virgina; once as a young adult from Indianapolis(?)to Houston, Texas.
I have thought it would be fun to ride across Canada.

storybeader said...

I guess because people are in love with their cars! I, too, have fond memories of train travel from my youth, and still love travel my rail. I always get a sleeper car if I'm by myself. Love the sound and feel of moving, and seeing the US - good and bad - through the windows. {:-D

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Mary Kay is GenevaDesigns said...

This is a wonderful picture! It totally captures the side of Idaho most people don't think of, the desert. I love it :-)

Jo Ann from That's So Romantic said...

I have never traveled by rail but I have those romantic feelings about it. I am afraid (like you confirmed) that it all sounds much nicer in print than it actually is in reality. Nonetheless I will eventually take a little train trip. Thanks for some great insight. I knit as well, I will have to check out your etsy store!