Trains Can Be Dangerous & Romantic—Must be Respected

December 2nd, 2013

Yesterday, a terrible accident occurred on one of the Metro North lines in the New York City area.  Four people tragically lost their lives and at least sixty people were injured.

The Metro North line comes out of the beautiful Grand Central Station.  The trains are clean and offer frequent schedules.  Train travel is a staple of life for people living in the Northeast.

I love travelling by train.  You can relax, read, sleep, eat, and chat with a friend.  Obviously, you can’t do all that while driving a car.  Instead, you must remain focused, get gas, and deal with all the elements . . . rain, snow, sleet, and hail.  Given the choice, train travel is absolutely my favorite way to go.

Still, yesterday’s accident gives even an avid train traveler like me some pause.  I’m heartened by the fact that new technology is being considered to prevent future accidents.  That’s in the future, though, and today is a bit tough for some New Yorkers who have to get creative in planning on carrying out their daily routines today.  Fortunately, they’re a tough group and they’ll find a way to manage.

As an Indiana girl, I’ve had limited exposure to trains.  In the time I’ve spent in NYC, I’m learning to appreciate public transit.  In a place like NYC, it truly makes a world of difference.  In most places in this country, we just drive all the time from garage to garage and door to door.  In a city like New York, public transportation is truly the way to go.

In NYC, there are a variety of train options.  There is Amtrak which I take to Washington, D.C., and there is a slow train alternative.  What I love about the Amtrak train is the café car and the electrical outlets at every seat which makes working (and blog writing) so much easier.  There is also the fancier Acela train.  The only negative in the NYC area is the New Jersey transit line which is based out of Penn Station, truly a dump.  Unfortunately, I have to go there every Saturday to do the television show I’m doing.  The subway is another option and is really the only way to navigate in and out of Manhattan.  Going underground is never a desirable choice in my opinion but sadly there aren’t other options.  I’m also a big walker and NYC is perfect for that.

If there is a silver lining to the accident yesterday, it’s that it happened on Sunday.  Hopefully, it will provide a wake-up call for the city and state to take actions to correct whatever problem caused the accident in the first place. I hope other updates occur as well.  For example, I’ve always wondered why there are no seat belts on trains.  They’re mandatory on planes and in cars (even buses in the future) so why not trains?  That seems like a good future option to make train travel safer.

I think it’s good to give officials a chance to fix the problems and not be timid or hesitant in traveling by train.  It’s still my favorite mode of travel.  Let’s think about all those who unfortunately died or were injured yesterday and hope for safe travels during this holiday season.

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