I went on a train ride recently. It was supposed to be a forty-three hour ride, but it turned into a fifty-three hour ride. And I was in coach, which was wild, but it was a hundred dollars to get from California to New Orleans, so I was like, well, why not?
And it turned out there might have been several reason as to why not, the state of the bathrooms being a top contender. But I learned several things on my trip. In no particular order, here are ten train tidbits:
1.) Freight trains are given priority on the American rails. This results in things like, well, ten hour delays.
2.) Bring your own water, or buy it, but no one could really answer my question as to if the faucet water was potable.
3.) The drunk, screaming guy is on the train because he's on the no fly list.
4.) The burrito lady on the El Paso platform sells burritos for $3. These are worth every penny.
5.) The actual public health crisis in America is people not using their phone audio with headphones.
6.) I'm not a doctor, but after a night in coach with you snoring behind me, I will prescribe you a CPAP machine.
7.) If you're ten hours late and Amtrak offers you free beef stew as a consolation prize, don't. Being ten hours late and hungry is better than being ten hours late and dying of a sodium overdose.
8.) The only reason for a spontaneous train wide announcement about smoking regulations is because people aren't following the rules.
9.) Best coach passenger piece of gear? An eye mask.
10.) Don't ask the guy selling you train snacks what the craziest thing he's dealt with on a train is. Hint, hint, it involves the bathroom and poop.