Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Train 510: Now there's a surprise

Being a niggling passenger, I manage to eventually find some fault with this train. The doors in our extra short carraiges are very annoying - they open and close noisily, and I begin to wonder whether being in a shorter carraige means that I am statistically more likely to be bothered by noisy doors. Once we have left Everett, the television screens in our car show a safety video. Then the conductor puts on today's feature film, Memoirs of a Geisha. This compares well to some of the awful crud that has been played for amusement on the long distance trains I've ridden so far (Yours Mine and Ours falls into the category) but I can't help being confused at seeing actors and actresses who I am sure are Chinese playing roles in a film about Japan... or is that just me?

After we pull away from Bellingham, the last stop before the border, it becomes apparent that this blissful Amtrak experience is also going to go the way of my others. We get held up by one freight train, and then by another. Our path along the single track is soon blocked, and we have to undergo a painful shunt forwards and backwards into a dead end siding to let a south bound train come past. By the time we have crossed the border, passing the pretty sea front town of White Rock, BC (where everyone seems to be waving at us as we pass) we are already at least one hour behind. That's not much compared to my other rides, but this one is only scheduled to take four hours. As a compensation of sorts, the conductor offers us a second film - Cheaper By The Dozen 2. He might have been refering to our timekeeping, but I certainly agreed with the conductor when he said 'I hope we don't get to see all of this...'

In the distance, the skyline of Vancouver comes into view, and I sink comfortably into my seat. Although my next connection is pretty important, I have plenty of time.

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