Mind the gap

I am in love with a train. I know, is too, too Freudian.

I just took my first trip on the the Downeaster. The trip was so pleasant, so convenient, so civilized, that I can hardly wait to ride it again. Wanna go? Wanna go right now? I adore the Downeaster. It is clean and quiet, so inexpensive that paying tickles a bit, and, lookie, there’s a plug for my laptop. I want to live there.

On each of my recent visits to my friend K., she has urged me to take the train, since it is so convenient to her office. I didn’t know that by “convenient” she meant “a distance so short that you could readily walk it blindfolded, except for that tricky bit along the tracks.” There is another station one town over from from the home of friends who have been urging me to visit more often so they can ply me with margaritas and grilled comestibles. This train could prove dangerously convenient.

I am charmed by the little pleasantries on this train. An example: as subway commuters are aware, there is necessarily a small space between the train and the passenger platform; otherwise each arrival and departure would be heralded by an infernal screech and a shower of sparks as the body of the train dragged along the edge. In Chicago and Boston, I have never heard any transit employee warn passengers or even remark on this little space. On the Downeaster, however, this minor hazard was clearly and patiently explained, and we were gently urged to please mind the gap.

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