A Texas upbringing - and living now in Brooklyn, too - have surely helped my appreciation for open spaces and skies, but beyond that, it's not easy to find words for what it feels like to be up in the Rockies or out on the Great Basin - such silences and spaces! - or to be heading up into the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
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I should say that I usually have a good experience on Amtrak. Still, if Amtrak could replace electric horns with steam whistles, they could make big strides. A horn is a horn is a horn, but a steam whistle is a voice and a song. People used to know which engineer was running which engine based on the call of the whistle.
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I think what initially attracts many kids to trains are the 'cool' things: strength, size, agency, speed. But trains also operate within a world of systems, schedules, codes, and fine distinctions. Enter the geeks. What I personally love most about trains is that they are transporting, that they take us places - literally and otherwise.
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