Tale Of Two Cities IV: Planes & Trains

Nov 18, 2022

Ever book a train trip in August and then realize the morning of your train trip that it's the Friday before Thanksgiving break and your train is going to be packed with students headed to Chicago? I did. And this train is PACKED packed.

While in my Uber on the way to the train station, the driver got an Uber request for a 135 mile trip. I asked her what that was all about and she said there had been several this morning - all requests from students trying to take an Uber home for break. This will allow me to "back in my day..." so hard:

Thanksgiving break in 1992: THERE WAS NO THANKSGIVING BREAK. We went to class on the Wednesday before and then we hoped to catch a bus that would get us into town before 8:00 pm because the bars at home the night before Thanksgiving were epic.

Thanksgiving break in 2022: These kids get a damn week off and they call daddy asking him to pay for a $150 Uber home. And those are the dudes.

{Kobe SOFT gif}

I need to be careful. There's a student seated right next to me. I just went to 15% brightness on the screen because I'm of the belief that you can't read 15% brightness from an angle. But at some point here he'll probably read my screen and see that I'm calling his entire generation soft. (Because they are.)

Anyway, I'm on the train on my way to Ann Arbor. This is the best of all the train trips to Big Ten locations. One, the layover in Chicago is about an hour (some train layovers in Chicago can be 3-4 hours). Two, the tracks and the trains have upgraded on the route from Chicago to Detroit so the trains operate at 110 mph for large portions of the trip (most Amtraks run at 80 mph).

So if we were to race - I get on the train at 2:15 pm at Union Station in downtown Chicago and you hop in your car at Union Station at the same time - I'm guessing I get to Ann Arbor before you. Yes, my train will make a fair number of stops, but you're going to get stuck in that traffic on the south shore of Lake Michigan in Indiana and your 3:30 drive probably pushes closer to 4:30. And my train will get there in 4 hours and 15 minutes. Also, I get to go 110 mph and that makes me feel cool.

(My three readers in Europe just laughed at the fact that I see a 110 mph train as a flex.)

Besides, where else can you capture a one second loop video of downtown Onarga, Illinois?

Trains 4ever.

Of course, if I was going to Las Vegas, I probably wouldn't share this opinion. Once the distances push out that far, the train is dumb. Actually, I don't even think there's a train that goes to Las Vegas? Let me look this up.

Yep. Closest you can get is Kingman, Arizona and then you have to take the bus to Vegas. And the Amtrak gets into Kingman at 11:21 pm. A midnight bus to Vegas from Kingman, Arizona? That would be a WHOLE SCENE.

Good call, Tyler, taking one of those newfangled airplanes to Vegas. Sounds like it was a good time, too.

It's weird - being on this train has me solely focused on football. But the basketball game is in eight hours. Against #8 UCLA. Maybe I need to get my brain pointed in that direction.

Such a strange weekend. Three opportunities for massive wins. But Vegas would probably set the over/under on Illini wins at .5. As I said last night, the most likely scenario is an 0-3 weekend. But I'm still so exited.

Time to switch trains in Chicago. And then travel at 110 mph towards Ann Arbor.

While thinking about a basketball game in Vegas.


IllinifaninGopherland on November 18, 2022 @ 01:27 PM

Wrestling takes on #12 NC State tonight as well. That one should be fun.

Joe Edge on November 18, 2022 @ 04:50 PM

I Love trains... I take the Coast Starlight from Seattle to LA, then a casino bus to Lost Wages to watch Illini BB on their last time out here... And from LA to Phoenix area to watch those games.... I've even taken the Seattle to (Milwaukee) Chicago train to watch the Marquette loss... Then take the Silver Streak from Chicago to back to Reno to stop off at my sisters house... I wish America would invest more in fast trains... But even these slow ones are a great way to travel. In Europe, trains go 250-300 mph, as they do in Japan and China....

on July 3, 2023 @ 03:59 PM


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