Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Waiting for the Train

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to sit for over two hours in a train station waiting for Amtrak to come. Amtrak has a lousy track record (HA!), and I have waited up to three hours for a scheduled train. I've waited longer for the train than the whole trip should have taken.

The plus side of this weekend's wait was that it was in a train station with a lobby, complete with air conditioning, comfy chairs, TV, vending machines, a play area for kids, an actual human being who can tell you in person how screwed the train's schedule is, and most importantly for me, bathrooms. The same wait at Fredericksburg's station (well, just a platform, really) means sitting on a hard bench (or a concrete ledge if it's crowded) in the heat (or cold, but it's 105 today in the burg, so it's hard to remember what it was like to wait in the cold), and not a creature comfort in sight, even after an extensive renovation. The city's original train station was built in 1910 by the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad, but at renovation time, the original brick structure was sold and turned into an upscale restaurant, Claiborne's. Now Claiborne's is a very nice restaurant, but after a couple of hours on a concrete perch, I kinda wish at least part of the building had been left for the train passengers.

And now for your viewing pleasure, here are a few photos from a recent walk around the train station.

This is a railroad bridge over Princess Anne St. (colorized...yes, I do love my Photoshop).

Here is an old warehouse next to the station (a bit of Photoshopping here, too)

Here is an abandoned car in a yard near the station.

This is a closeup of a retaining wall next to the tracks. Too artsy for you?

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