Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,

Train Tales

I'm on board the Capitol to Sacramento this morning, where I will rent a car for a brief dash to Yuba City to deal with banks and pay a short visit to my sister and nephew (and deliver presents purchased on my trip). I ended up doing a lot of explaining to a large group of people (most of them older than me) who have never ridden a train in their lives and who couldn't figure our where the train for Sacramento was going to board. In their defense, the newly-rebuilt Santa Clara Caltrain (Amtrak station code SCC) station has no signs that I saw directing people wanting to board Amtrak to take the passenger subway to tracks 1/2, which are on an island platform. Track 3, the one closest to the station, is primarily for southbound (toward San Jose) Caltrain traffic, and has no physical connection to the line that runs to Sacramento anyway, but how could anyone but a train buff like me know that?

While on board the train, I heard the conductor spout several bits of train inaccuracies. He told one passenger that BART runs all the way to San Jose now. (There's a BART extension under construction, but it will be many, many years before BART reaches downtown San Jose.) He also said that the "Bullet Trains" in Japan go 300 miles per hour. (They travel at a top speed of 300 kilometers per hour, which is 186 MPH in old money.) I like trains more than most people, but I would prefer giving people accurate information.
Tags: amtrak, trains, travel
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