I love taking the train. Today, I packed my lunch and left my humble abode to take the train to visit my sister Faye. I left a couple of my adult children to keep the ‘home fires burning’ and look after the animals.
I signed up for Viarail Canada email sale alerts and earlier last month, I received an offer too good to turn down: $25.00 fare each way from Ottawa to Toronto! I couldn’t even drive half that far for 25 bucks! So after making sure my son Darin could drive me to the train station in the city and confirming that my sister would be home (not that I expected her to be away during hockey season!), I booked my return ticket on the train. The usual fare would have been about $170 return so I knew I was getting a real bargain. So for an unbelievable total of $ 67.25, I’m travelling to Hamilton and back. Viarail in Canada always has a sale on: every Tuesday, the unsold seats for the upcoming week are discounted severely (‘Express Deals’). It’s a great deal if you can be flexible with your travel times.
This morning when the train arrived at the station, the conductor called everyone to the business class cars because “there’s lots of room here! Come on!”. So I gladly stepped aboard. The seats are larger in Business class than they are in Economy too and the windows even have curtains on them. New bright, clean seats. Overhead storage compartments. Plugs. Big, tinted windows. What’s not to like? Add free WiFi and I’m golden!
The train is the way to go. It’s ‘carbon friendly’ since it transports more people in a equitable fashion. And I can sit here writing this blog taking the time to look out the window as I type. On a train, you get to see all the out-of-the-way places that no roads lead to: back fields of farms, swamps with dead trees sticking out, parts of a city that you’d never venture to, Canadian Sheild rock cuts that barely fit the train…..
The gently rocking as the train speeds along the tracks almost lulls me to sleep. This particular train that I’m on today is an express train of sorts. It slows down in towns and cities but only makes stops at a few train stations along the way, shaving about 40 minutes off the trip. We passed the Brockville train station and it brought back some memories of the times when my niece Brodie and nephew Curtis used to take the train up to visit us. We’d pick them up in Brockville then take all 7 or 8 kids to Shepard’s Bait and Tackle, right beside the train station. It was a highlight for the kids to buy a few lures and watch the live bait in the large tubs. Mr. Shepard has retired and sadly the store is no longer there……
When I get to Toronto, I’ll purchase a ‘GoTrain’ ticket to complete my destination to Hamilton – I’ll even get the seniors rate this time too! lol. From the efficient and comfortable commuter train, I’ll pass right by some of Toronto’s famous landmarks: The CN Tower, The Air Canada Centre, and the Skydome! I love the train.