Today’s Purgative Ash Wednesday Meditation

The mere thought of riding this train should be sufficient to knock off centuries in Purgatory:

Isn’t this what they build airplanes to avoid?

On the other, in the spirit of Chesterton’s remark that an adventure is only an inconvenience wrongly considered, I suppose that approached in the right spirit, and with the right comrades, this could be take as an Around the World in 80 Days yarn.  Resurrection is also very Lenten.

  • Jon W

    I would totally ride that train. I wouldn’t even have to be high on cocaine.

    • Beadgirl

      So would I. I bet the scenery would be *gorgeous.*

  • Rebecca Fuentes

    Looks like I could take the train to see family in Alaska. That would be pretty cool.

  • MitchellJ

    I would ride that train. Especially if I could get a writer residency.

  • MarylandBill

    Also I think we need to keep in mind that people are not the only thing transported by train. Freight trains would be faster than cargo ships and far cheaper than air transport.

    • Ken Crawford

      Not so sure about the faster thing, particularly if one is talking eastern US to Europe. Cargo ships move at about 25 mph and go across the Atlantic in less than 5 days. A cargo train across the US takes about 3 days, this around the arctic circle route will be closer to 7-10 days.

      But you’re right that overlooking the cargo value of such a route is a mistake.

      • MarylandBill

        Yes, that is true, but we do an awful lot of trade with Asia. Getting stuff from Asia to the east coast can take quite a while, especially as many ships are now being designed to sail more slowly to save costs. And this is especially true if the ships you ship on are post-panamax.

        • Ken Crawford

          Looks like you and I share a common interest in freight/shipping. :) (A fairly rare interest)

          Yeah, those post-panamax ships that go around the horn can take quite a while. Although the expanded Panama canal will speed some of that up. It also seems that when speed is an issue, a lot of them go to Long Beach and then go by rail to the east coast. But of course that costs more. That might be the best target market for using a rail-line like this.

    • B.E. Ward

      I’ll take it one step further.. this would very likely be a freight-only line.

      But there are some engineering dilemmas to slow things down.. like melting permafrost across the subarctic.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    Cut El Paso off the list, and I’m in. Only the worst sins warrant a Purgatory in El Paso.

    • D.T. McCameron

      I saw it as a beatific escape from the place, rather than a possible destination.

  • Deacon Nathan Allen

    “An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered: an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.” — G.K. Chesterton
    “Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!” — Bilbo Baggins

  • Dean

    When I travel, I prefer to travel by land. Getting to the destination and seeing the lands through which I pass is most of the fun. I’d be very tempted to take that train, provided I could afford it and had the time.

  • Dan Berger

    Remember the local-color segment on the trans-Siberian railway during the Olympics? My wife and I looked at each other and said, “That goes on our bucket list.” Extending it across North America just makes it better.

  • Bill Burns

    That would be an epic trip, but I’d definitely make it a summer adventure.

  • Jared Clark

    Gotta admit, the adventure of traveling by land from the US to France is appealing, even if it’d take over a week

    • Barbara

      A week? It takes a week to travel by train from Vancouver to Montreal, try several months.

  • Kelly

    Let’s party like it’s 1879!

  • singermomma

    In Soviet Russia, train rides YOU.

    Seriously, though, this looks kind of awesome.

  • Marthe Lépine

    I would like that train too. It would be interesting if there were excursion-type trips organized. Over 40 years ago, my parents were on such an excursion from Winnipeg to Fort Churchill, on a train that served as their hotel as well, something like a cruise on land, where school buses from several of the small communities visited would pick up the passengers for a tour and bring them back to the train. They said it had been a very enjoyable experience. Regrettably, however, my parents were the only Canadians on the entire train. I could not understand such a lack of interest in our own country, although I appreciate the attention given to that trip and that particular region by many of our neighbors to the south.