Sunday, August 7, 2011

Something On A Sunday

There used to be passenger train service in Nashville.
The Timetable
Union Station 02.20.11

Yes, there used to be passenger train service in Nashville. The photograph above is a timetable during the golden age of rail travel. As the years progressed and cars became the standard method of moving from one place to another, the services declined and some markets phased out entirely. Nashville was one of those markets.

But before the end my dad and I took a trip aboard The Floridian from Nashville to Palm Beach. What a great trip and a what great memories. At the time (the early 70's) Union Station was a home for pigeons. Thousands of pigeons. Amtrak had a small office and passenger waiting room in a corner of the lobby and to get from the front door to the waiting room you'd have to, in some places, walk on planks; the only walkway across gaping holes in the lobby floor. Flash forward - you'd never know that was the state of the building. Now it is a magnificent lobby for the Union Station Hotel.

Of the trip, I remember spending hours in the domed club car, one time staying up late playing nickel ante poker with some college students. My dad asked "How much did you lose?" "Well dad, I don't know how much I lost, but I won a little over $5.00." He was impressed. We visited the house we lived in when I was in the 3rd grade, spent a little time window shopping on Worth Avenue. Went to a greyhound track and saw my first game of Jai Alai. We drove along South Ocean Blvd. and I was amazed at the size of the houses some people lived in. Still am for that matter.

I could go on.

I wish passenger trains would return to Nashville. I would take as many train trips as time allowed. We have a few train trips noted in The Dream Book. Perhaps someday. On a train, the journey really is the point.

1 comment:

Gerrie said...

Ah...train travel! Great post and memories of your dad you've shared here. A love for trains was one of the first things we realized we had in common before we even had our first date! Though we still have not taken that major train trip in the states, our days of quick european train travel were wonderful.