Sunday, November 29, 2009

241/365 Home from Chicago

This is the extent of the ultra-luxurious train station in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

Twelve plastic red chairs in a cube-like glass shelter.

Mom and I did a test run the weekend before our trip to figure out where the station was, what the potential parking situation looked like, etc. Parking is free (yay!), and consists of about a dozen reserved spaces just 20 yards from the station (another yay), across from the police station (security). No traffic to deal with whatsoever.

When you get out of your car, directions painted on the neighboring brick building point you to the above Amtrak station. The walk takes a grand total of about 20 seconds.

When we arrived (30 minutes early) for our departure, we didn't even have time to go inside the station itself, because we heard the approaching whistle of our train. The train stops right at the station, a conductor hops off, asks for your name, checks if you have tickets or need to buy one (you can buy it on the train itself), and then helps you board.

We boarded, found seats in the middle (no seat assignments), and the train took off again. This all happened in under five minutes.

The whole process felt very foreign, as though we were traveling in a time not only prior to 9/11 (with no security), but a time decades ago. It was incredibly simple and easy.

Considering the fact that it takes about four hours to drive to Chicago from here, which was the length of the train ride, in this case it's a superior mode of travel. Our round-trip tickets for two people totaled $86, we didn't have to worry about driving through downtown Chicago, and we didn't have to search -- or pay -- for parking. I may not want to travel by train on a longer trip across the States, but for a quick jaunt like this, I'd definitely do it again. 

Camera: Canon 40D, 1/60s, f/4 at ISO 1600 at about 11:00 p.m.

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