Friday, September 07, 2007

"Good mornin' America, how are you?"

Illinois Central's City of New OrleansSometime during the fall we want to take a trip on a train. It's something we love but rarely get a chance to do. It's not easy to find a train nearby and there is none out of Pensacola at all.

After the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes down here, AMTRAK, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, cut off most of the passenger service along the entire Gulf Coast and has no plans to restore service. "For safety reasons." Although freight trains safely pass through town on the same tracks several times a day.

If we drive to New Orleans we can take a train from there north to Memphis and even Chicago. So I checked out schedules online. I found we could leave from New Orleans at 1:45 P.M. and get to Memphis at 10:00 P.M. The trip is roughly 400 miles (640 km).

Train Route: City of New Orleans
Best of all, the train is Illinois Central's "City of New Orleans." Yes, the one in the song written by Steve Goodman -- made popular in the early 1970s by Arlo Guthrie and later by many others including Willie Nelson and John Denver.

The Peabody DucksMaybe we will stay a couple nights at The Peabody Memphis. It the famous restored Memphis hotel with the fountain and the ducks. We can visit Beale Street and Elvis Presley's Graceland. And we can eat Memphis BBQ.

The trip back leaves Memphis Central Station at 6:50 in the morning and arrives in New Orleans Union Terminal at 3:32 P.M.

We don't know when we will take this trip but it's never to early to start planning.


HawaiiVacationGifts said...

Is this the kind of train with your own compartment? My friend said he was on a ride next to all kinds of people and by the end of the trip he couldn't stand smelling everyone else's body order!

Kenyo said...

Maybe we will simply hand the smelly people some of your Plumeria scented solid perfume to sample!