Picture yourself darting through the Union Station foot traffic in Washington, DC. It’s five minutes until departure and the New Yorker in you is screaming inside that all of the gawking shoppers and fast food diners need to get out of the way, because there’s a corner booth in a dining car with your name on it and come what may you’re going to get it because you’ve got work to do.
And once you’re there, and settled in, and the sweat of the DC humidity has mostly evaporated (it’s almost as if they built the city on a swamp or something), and everything is going fine until about two and a half hours into the trip, when the light drizzle outside turns into a downpour and suddenly it’s not so much raining outside as raindrops are literally falling on your head.
While it would be nice if this were a mere hypothetical, such is unfortunately not the case. Rather, this is a firsthand report from our own Chase Collum on his latest trip to the US capitol via the Amtrak Northeast Corridor.
The good news is that, just moments before the deluge, Chase stowed his Macbook Pro and avoided a catastrophe and that awkward situation where he is invoicing Amtrak for $1,500.
But even still, despite the growing list of personal horror stories, he’ll keep riding that train. Partly because New York to DC is a miserable airport experience and partly because he hopes that every ride he takes on the Northeast Corridor brings us all at least $88 closer to high-speed rail, even if he knows it doesn’t quite work that way.