Railroad Stories: Couple Realized Dream of Passenger Train Travel

Passenger train travel finally happened for couple.

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For many years, my husband dreamed of him and I taking a train trip together. Our passenger train travel finally happened when we were both past the age of 60. The trip was supposed to take two days and nights. We decided to go the most economical way, and take our own food. Our daughter prepared sandwiches for us and put them in the freezer so they would keep until we left. Of course, when we left, we forgot them. Luckily, we had remembered apples and crackers.

Riding through the countryside, we witnessed delightful views of Midwest farms and pretty back yards in small towns. The tracks ran through the busy part of Old Chicago, and we were glad for scheduled stops, allowing passengers to depart the train and take invigorating walks up and down depot areas.

In the early morning sunshine, we rode in the observation car, which had a glass ceiling and walls. While crossing through Wyoming, the conductor pointed out buffalo and antelope.

The dining car was as beautiful as the pictures we'd seen in our schoolbooks years ago. The tables were covered with fresh, white tablecloths, napkins, polished flatware and flowers. A handsomely uniformed gentleman, with a white towel draped over his arm, took our order. The food was as tasty as what we would have prepared at home.

Eventually we reached the station and were thankful to our friend, who had left his bed to meet us at 5 o'clock in the morning.

When asked if we would take another train trip, our answer is "Yes, I think we would. Only the next time, we'll be sure and remember the sandwiches."

Elaine Carr
Nyssa, Ore.

Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.