Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Train 692: dinner

I take a break from my book and my cheap dollar store su-doku puzzle book, and take a seat at the far end of the restaurant car to make myself a salami and cheese bagel for supper. At the other end of the car, the restaurant only serves three meals tonight. The economies of this train would give a private company a collective heart attack. But the joy of this journey is the reminder that passenger trains are not meant to turn an operating profit. Their benefit to communities and individuals cannot be measured, because they make otherwise impossible connections impossible, as well as providing employment to the people who operate the trains and the businesses that survive because of them.

As we get further south, the landscape gets greener once again. I kid myself that I can feel the warmth of the sun through the window. North of Cormorant, we pass close by a lake, and the bright sun reflects along a sparkling line from the horizon to the edge of the lake next to the train. The sky is blue, and the water is bluer. At perfect moments like this, it’s only the strangest of sights that interrupt the view. We pass alongside a gravel road between us and the lake, and we catch sight of a hearse parked beside the road. The driver has stopped, and is getting out as we pass to take a photograph of our train.

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