An Open Letter to Traveling by Train

Written by Karina

What happened to the train travel I saw in movies and ads?

Dear Traveling by Train,

Of all the ways a modern 21st Century gal can travel, there’s really no mode more seductive than you. I’ll chalk it up to all the black and white films I’ve watched in my lifetime, first with a cup of cocoa, later with a glass of wine. The films that had men and women in impeccable suits falling in love to a soundtrack of chugging engines. Back when a well-timed glance was all it took for individual engines to start a-thumping.

So listen. I know things have changed since then. You’ve lost some of your shine, and quite a bit of that golden-era charm. Times are tough and what not. And maybe you never even had it all to begin with. Maybe you were one of Hollywoods’s very first special effects. I can’t hold that against you.

But I can ask how you went from the dignified transporter of greyscale advertisements – and my fantasies – to the grey-stained carrier of bodily smells that you are today. What happened to the elegance, the dramatic “All aboard’s!”, the dinner carts with women in feather fastener’s and men in top hats? Instead, there’s the massive cattle call to board – even less civilized than at the airport – and the same sweat-suited crowd I find at Target on a Saturday morning. Instead of romance, adventure, Quad City DJ party jams – you’ve given us ordinariness. Should I have expected anything more?

You’re not so horrible, though, Traveling by Train. At least you still have rolling views for me to enjoy, extra space for stretching my legs even in coach, and power outlets so that I can type up and send you this letter. In that way, you’re still better than the utterly underwhelming air travel of today. As long as you hold onto some piece of your impossibly chic reputation, I’ll hold onto my impossible fantasies.



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About the author


a coastal-hopping country-come-cosmo girl who can be found getting her feet dirty all around Brooklyn and writing all over the Internet. She is the probably lovechild of Jay-Z and Dolly Parton. Follow her on Twitter @karinabthatsme

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