Come along and ride this train

I have been hearing Johnny Cash sing this song for over 40 years, but just took my first real Amtrak train ride last week, when Katy and I made the round-trip on the City of New Orleans from Memphis to New Orleans.  We got a sleeping room, which entitles you to free meals in the diner and priority treatment.  The 6:45 departure from Memphis gives you full daylight views of route, from the vast intermodal facilities in South Memphis, through the Mississippi Delta, to the swamplands of Louisiana.

The food was great:  full breakfast menu with pancakes, French toast, omelettes.  Lunch featured sandwiches, the specialty was the burger which was one of the best I have ever had.  On the return trip, it was a 14 ounce strip steak, cooked to order, which rivaled my favorite Memphis steak house, Buckley’s.  Oh, and did I mention, if you book a sleeping cabin, it’s all free, except for alcohol and gratuities.

You get used to the narrow stairs, small restrooms, and movement of the train pretty quickly.  We had the smallest of the 3 sleeping room selections, but there was plenty of space for Katy and I and our stuff and electronics.  The 110V outlet was convenient, and I was able to tether my Cellular South phone, so I was able to be online almost anytime I wanted.

The best thing, though, is the easy going pace – the rhythm of the train’s sway; the views, not having to pass through security, and arriving refreshed and relaxed.  The trip is a little over 8 hour per the schedule, but I think we had Casey Jones‘ great grandson as engineer on the way back, and arrived in Memphis ahead of schedule.

I am studying the schedules and routes for another train adventure.  You need to check out Amtrak.com

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

About 

Joe Spake is a Memphis-based Real Estate Broker and Consultant. He blogs at Joe Spake's Weblog and Memphis Real Estate Buzz. Joe's Social Network.

  • Doiron_c

    Joe, I’ve taken the train home to Louisiana several times. I had no idea it was so much fun. The whole clacking on the tracks, people are so different on a train….it has it’s own sense of timing, it’s not as “reliable” or hurried as a plane……I remember bringing my daughter and her two children to catch the train home to Louisiana and little Ruby June, 3, very early in the morning was greeted by a wonderful attendant who said, “Well, good morning, little girl. Would you let me lift you up onto the train?” …..I nearly fell over. I also like to watch people who are taking the train, particularly up to Chicago, cuz they are dressed for a trip……suits and hats. The train is an event and uniquely part of Memphis lore.

  • That’s what I’m talking about, Doiron!