Thanks, Amtrak

You know something? I like the idea of trains. I think mass-transit in general is fantastic.

So when I decided that after the business portion of my trip this week is over I would head down to just outside of Jacksonville to visit my parents and grandfather, I figured I would just take the train there from Savannah. That way I didn’t have to rent a car and pay a ludicrous amount of money for the option of dropping the car off in a different city than I picked it up in. (It’s actually easier to fly in and out of Jacksonville than Savannah, so I’ll go home via Jacksonville.)

In my fevered imagination, I pictured getting a train sometime after breakfast, or even early afternoon. Simple, right? Well, actually there are only two trains that go from Savannah to Jacksonville, even though it’s a main line that connects the two. And the later of the two trains leaves Savannah at 6:50am.

In order to take the train to Jacksonville, this would mean taking the rental car back to the airport the night before, then taking a cab back to my hotel, then another one to the train station at the crack of dawn. And if I missed the train, I would be out of luck because the next train wouldn’t come through until the next day.

And Amtrak wonders why no one wants to use them. I guess I’m spoiled by there being regular trains up the northeast corridor from DC to NYC and beyond. But it seems like a nasty little Catch-22, where Amtrak says, “No one’s riding us! We better cut back!” when the solution seems to be to not cut back and bite the bullet for a while until people catch on that heyyyy, there are more trains running, we don’t have to set our alarms for 4:45am in order to take the train somewhere.

Oh well. Guess I better remember to bring some driving music with me.

(In a tangental annoyance, the charger for my Nintendo DS seems to have vanished, and I found some comments that seems to indicate that the DS Lite charger does not work with the original DS. So, it seems my plans to play some Phoenix Wright on this trip are all for naught since everywhere locally seems to just have extra chargers for the DS Lite in stock. I did order an original DS charger online, though, so hopefully it will arrive here by next Tuesday before I head back out of town again. Yay.)

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