Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I've been riding the train in to work as much as I can.  This is the local transit - it's the subway, not Amtrak.  I have to drive a good ways to get to it.  But it drops my drive down to 17 miles one way, as opposed to 30 when I drive the whole way.  It's not necessarily faster, but it does take a certain amount of hassle out of my commute.

I still drive into the sun both ways.  Here's the sun coming up over the local theme park. (True confessions time: Not only was I going down the interstate when I balanced the camera on my steering wheel, I was talking on my cell phone.  On my headset.)

I drive to the closest train station and park.  Parking is free - yea!  And my train pass is free, courtesy my employer - double yea!!  I wave my smart card on the gate and go up - way up the escalator - to the train platform. 

Usually the train is there, and I go take a seat.  This is one end of the train line, so it's easy to find a seat.

The trains in my metro area are clean and well kept.  They aren't stinky and graffiti covered like some other subway systems I've been on.  The trains don't go that many places, but they are efficient and interface with the system's bus system (as well as other surrounding bus transit systems). 

Once I get my seat, I settle in with my mp3 player and either a book or some tatting.  I have to change trains half way through.  I have to be careful and not get lost in what I'm doing, because I can pass my stop.  This week, I looked up from my book (I'm slogging through Guard of Honor for my book club) and realized that I didn't recognize the station.  I had gone too far, and had to get off and double back.  Oops!

After a few stops, I get to the center of the city.  I have to change trains and head north, so I go downstairs to change platforms.  Folks are waiting.  You see a lot of folks with suitcases, as this line intersects with the airport. 

You can take a bicycle on the train.

And some folks have their children with them.

I got to the train platform just after trains had left, that's why there aren't so many people on them.  It does fill up.  But people are respectful and don't push or jostle.  We're southern - we're polite.

I see all kinds of people on the train.  Most, like me, are commuters.  Some are students. Atlanta has a lot of colleges and universities.  Some are visitors - tourists or business people in town for a meeting.  You can tell the commuters and the students from the rest of the folks, as people used to riding the train find something to do to occupy their time.  A lot of folks listen to music or read a book.  Some of the students do homework. 

Once, I saw a woman knitting a beautiful hat while she was standing on the platform.  She continued this when she took a seat on the train.  She was knitting a lovely pattern in burgundy wool using circular needles.  I was fascinated.  But she got off before I could ask her about her knitting, and I haven't seen her since.

It doesn't take too long for the next rain to get there.  So I get onto the train and try and find a seat.  It's a little harder here - sometimes I just stand.

We stop at several stations.  A number of them are underground, like this one that's 120 feet below Peachtree Street (that's the main drag in Atlanta).  The escalators going up to the street here are the longest in the southeast US.

We ride along.  Sometime we go FAST, up to 70 mph.  We go through tunnels and over interstates.  Finally the train comes to my stop, and I get off in the crowd.

And I walk across the street and I'm at work.  The start of another day.

I've had much worse commutes.  I kind of like the train.

These maple trees are in front of my building - aren't they lovely now?


  1. I've ridden the train in Atlanta before when we've gone to Braves' games. It sure sounds like it would be a better way to travel in Atlanta! In my little town, trains whiz by, but they only stuff, not people. Well, except for the engineer and the conductor.

  2. I'll share about my train ride on Saturdays or Sundays, look for it on my blog.

  3. Thanks for the ride. One commuter system I haven't ridden. My son lives in Roswell & office is in Atlanta. Was there this weekend!! :)

  4. I loved riding the train to work when I commuted in Atlanta; so much nicer to put your nose in a book then get off at your stop!

    Now I "commute" down 11 stairs and am very happy to do so.

    Thanks for the photos, they were great!


  5. Great post I enjoyed the ride with you...and you do this EVERY weekday!!

  6. Your commute sounds very long! Have you seen the video of the Crazy Morphing Suitcase? If this is for real then you will definitely be guaranteed a seat on your trains http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFK58xVXego