Monday, April 9, 2012

Dark car

When I travel to New York City I like to take the regional train whenever possible. It's more comfortable than sitting in a bus stuck on I-84. Also, my favorite part of the trip is the section between Providence and New Haven called the Shore Line Road. The tracks wind by scenic parts of Connecticut, through the old downtown of New London, right alongside the beach near the surf, and every so often the surrounding brush opens up and give you a stunning view of the Sound. It's a lot of curvy track that will never be able to support high-speed rail, of course, but it's still a nice ride.

Anyway, coming back home along the Shore Line, this evening, it started to get dark outside, and soon it became hard to see out the window due to the interior lighting. This has also frustrated me on commuter trains. But every so often, on the regional, the interior lights will flicker out and the cabin will be left in a quiet darkness, except for the scenery sliding past the windows at up to 110 mph. Those are times that I wish that they would feature a "dark car" much like they have a "quiet car." Not a transportation essential, or anything really important, just something that would be pretty cool. One of the attractions of the train compared to the plane is the ability to look out the window and see something more interesting than clouds. But with the lights on, in a metal and glass box rolling through the night, you really can't tell there's anything outside at all.

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