Tuesday, September 24, 2019

A Grand--but Empty--Train Station

The magnificent train station in Seattle, Washington:

It's beyond beautiful.  But take a look at that departures board.

Here's a close-up:

This seems to be departures AND arrivals.  The evening's train schedule includes 6 entries.  And three of them aren't even trains.  I can't help comparing this to Prague's train station, where there would be four much-larger displays full of dozens of departing trains...just for the next couple of hours.  Or even the train station in Vsetin (population around 27,000), on a somewhat out-of-the-way rail line, where there are often 2-3 departures within any given hour.

I miss Europe.

I found the lone employee at the empty ticket desk at the Seattle train station.  He was, in fact, the only person in the whole building besides me and my travel companion.  I asked him how many train departures there are per day.  "Seven," he said, after a bit of thought.

That's far better than Arizona's options.  If you live in Phoenix, for example (capital city, biggest city in the state), your train options are these:

-Find a sketchy bus connection or a friend to take you to Maricopa, the train station out in the middle of nowhere, late at night, so you can catch one of the trains that leave at the impressive frequency of 3 times per week each direction (east and west).  Want to go north or south?  Sorry.  Want to go on a certain day?  Sorry.

-Take a bus for over 3 hours to Flagstaff, walk a fair distance to the train station, and if you've timed it right, take the one daily train eastward or the one daily train westward. 

Sigh.  At least our bus options are a little better.   And boy have we got freeways.      

No comments:

Post a Comment