current events

Amtrak thoughts

Amtrak thoughts
Logo from site.

So, I’ve purposely not commented on the Amtrak tragedy. It really hit me in a soft spot. I’m familiar with the route that Train 188 took. I’ve ridden it several times. While I only rode 188, a few times and always for business, I was a familiar fixture on Trains 80 and 94. Train 94 was the first train ride for my then 3-year-old Superbug. We sat in the Quiet Car and amazed the conductor because he was so well behaved that no one knew he was on the train from the moment we boarded to the moment we left. I remember getting kudos for his behavior. I remember Superbug’s excitement. The quiet car. The same type that was so heavily damaged that they didn’t find the last body until yesterday. The same quiet car I would look forward to riding in when journeying from Fredericksburg to Newark Penn Station. The train would change out engines at DC’s Union Station and then there was the comfortable, quiet, and plush ride the rest of the way.

When I saw the news, I was moved. My mother was as well. Prior to marriage, I would often make my weekend and holiday visits my mother in New Jersey using Amtrak. I favored two trains in this endeavor. Train number 80 from Rocky Mount, NC (if I was leaving from my hometown) and Train number 94 if I was leaving from my home in Northern Virginia. I think everyone who has ever ridden an Amtrak train felt a connection with this story. Those who believe in God, I imagine, began to pray.

I can’t imagine the emotions those on the train experienced. One minute everything is fine, the next everything is chaos. People were missing shoes, were bloodied, and were delirious. I saw pictures of the Quiet Car on the news. It looked like someone had taken a can opener and ripped the side completely open. I felt the shudder. My favorite was the quiet car. As Superbug grew older, we would go to the “other” cars and enjoy the ride there talking and enjoying each other’s company. I would have a bag of entertainment and snacks that I’d deploy when things got boring. Those were good days and good memories. I look forward to sharing those with Honeybee one day.

I know the conductor is sick with grief and the family and friends of the departed, likewise. I hope everyone finds comfort and that this full cause of this tragic event is understood. In the meantime, I intend to keep them all in my prayers.


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