The right side of the tracks

Monday, and it seems that more people want to use the train today than my previous encounters with North America’s rail system.


Seattle’s King Street terminal is bustling this morning with two popular services. The first is heading all the way to Los Angeles. It’s one of those grandiose double decker units, complete with an Observation Car. I travelled on one of these between Memphis and New Orlando last year, so when the rather less grandiose Cascades service to Portland arrives, I’m not too disappointed. In fact, Business Class reminds me of British Rail circa 1983.



It’s spacious enough, but fifteen minutes into the four hour journey, disaster strikes. It seems I’ve mistakenly been issued with a  Business Class seat, but my actual reservation is in Coach. I know that the train guard is in the right and reluctantly move – but at least he lets me keep the $3 voucher to spend in the buffet. It buys me half a cheese plate.

Regular readers of the blog may know I travel with my trusty mascot, the dog known as News Mutt. He normally keeps himself to himself but at the Rose Hotel he’s greeted by some in room competition.


I have no idea what the second dog is called, and I’m not sure they should be left alone, but in the lobby I notice a couple of guests with real pets. It’s just one of a few nice quirks about this place, including high quality sound systems, nice coffee and free cupcakes.

I have a good feeling about this city, and I’ve not even stepped outside yet.

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