We're a little late running south through Saint Jean sur Richelieu. The train slows to a crawl once more because of track restrictions, but I have such a comfy connection at my first stop I'm not worried. French words on street and shop signs mark the last recognisable outposts of Quebec. The engine sounds its horn incessentantly as we crawl past backyards and small parks. This train hit a car in this town last year, and considering how close we pass to back gardens I can understand why we're moving slowly.
Behind me, two graduate students are talking about the languages of Japan and Korea and cultural differences. An elderly couple across the aisle from me are returning to Albany from a short break in Montreal. They've spread themselves across two rows of seats to try and rest. Maybe they went out on a bender on Sainte Catherine last night and need some kip... that's not unusual for Americans going home on this train, but these two are slightly older than the usual booze cruisers.
As the line straightens up past the military college in Saint Jean sur Richelieu, we pick up speed, and the sun falling onto my lap begins to warm me nicely. Beautiful blue skies are looking down on this Friday morning.