Spring is in the air. The wildflowers are blooming. Wouldn’t it be nice to take a day trip and let someone else do the driving? Very ecologically friendly.
How about a train ride. Maybe go to San Antonio. Take the train in the morning, walk up and down the Riverwalk, eat lunch, walk down and up the Riverwalk, take the train back to Austin in the evening.
Doesn’t that sound nice?
I can’t have it.
The train does run from Austin to San Antonio — at night, leaving at 7:10 p.m., arriving at 10:15 p.m.
And from San Antonio to Austin? Departure is at 7:00 a.m., arrival at 9:31 a.m.
Hmmm, going down to San Antonio takes 3 hours, 5 minutes. Travelling from San Antonio to Austin takes 2 hours, 31 minutes. Why the difference in time? Tail winds? Gravity? Altitude? Attitude? Time warp?
So, no railroad day trips to San Antonio from Austin. I’m thinking they’re missing a great opportunity. Maybe they don’t need it year-round, but how about a special effort during Fiesta and other special occasions? No, never? Rats.
The Texas Eagle (the train’s name) travels from Chicago to St. Louis, Dallas, San Antonio, then juts over to Los Angeles. That’s the real route. The Austin/San Antonio portion is just a blip on the radar screen (not that trains use radar, but if they did . . . ).
But it’s cheap: $15 each way. Not too bad, if you don’t mind getting to San Antonio really, really late and not being able to do anything touristy.
The Amtrak virtual tours of the rooms show a lot of detail. Fold-away tables. Electrical outlets. Some have sinks, toilets, showers, closets. Some of the railway cars are double-deckers. They look interesting.
I guess I could take the train from Austin to Waco for a day trip. No, not to Waco. The train doesn’t stop there at all. Now you know there’s a story behind that, somewhere.