“I like to see it lap the miles,/And lick the valleys up” — Emily Dickinson’s famed words, in her ode to “The Railway Train”, kept running through my mind during a recent trip (my first) on the Acela Express, Amtrak’s high-speed train along the Northeast Corridor.
It is one smooth ride — so smooth, in fact, I didn’t even realize when we were starting to roll out of Penn Station. There are overhead luggage bins and oversized leather seats, with legroom so ample that even a six-foot-two gentleman could stretch his limbs; electrical outlets by every set of seats. The cafe has food that, if not exotic, had choices beyond the usual (think: kosher hot dogs and Caesar salad); the bathrooms are large, clean and actually inviting.
As the trip unfurled, the train zipped along, past cities and woods and suburbs. What is that lake we’re passing? Why not connect to the complimentary Wi-Fi and find out (a map of Acela’s position comes up as you log on)?
Two hours and 45 civilized minutes later–it seemed much shorter–we arrived in Washington D.C.’s soaring white granite Union Station, modeled after the Arch of Rome and the Baths of Caracalla. The vacation was off to a grand start.
I could get hooked on train travel. Now, if they could only do something about Penn Station. . . .
» Acela Express, Amtrak, 800.872.7245, amtrak.com/acela-express-train