In the few minutes before the dining car opens I’ll share a few thoughts about western Montana: Gentle mountains of granite covered in evergreens, spindly wildflowers, timid undergrowth, few pockets of people, ‘no trespassing’ signs.
It’s easy to understand how life in this vast wilderness is incompatible with the needs of a mostly urban America. This is a good place to be obstinant with few conflicts from faraway neighbors.
Late last night the train from Seattle coupled onto ours in Spokane and we tripled in length. This consist will continue to Chicago arriving tomorrow afternoon. As we put our train together the westbound train arrived in Spokane to split into Portland and Seattle consists.
There’s a coalition of Montana counties working together to start another Amtrak train that will transverse the southern route joining Minneapolis/StPaul with Spokane during daylight hours. With our current federal administration and the improved understanding of the ecological value of train travel (compared to cars and planes) they may finally succeed in getting new daily service.
As a lifetime railbuff this is the first time I’ve experienced national passenger travel improving and expanding.