Wednesday, January 13, 2016


As I look to my next adventures, I think about doing a few day trips. I have a liberal definition of day trips. For me, a day trip is one that I spend the day touring or train watching. Where I may differ is getting there, so to speak. Extended day trips would have a full day travel to and a day from, and two nights. All touring is in one day.  My favorite day trip would be overnight on train, day watching, and overnight return. Although in this form, it might be a full day out before going overnight, and a full day after overnight back.

One of my first day trips, I did not think of as a day trip. I was living in Williamsburg, Va. I read in Trains Magazine that Amtrak was buying the SPV 2000, an updated rail car, in the same style as Amfleet. The first delivery would be April and to run the New Have to Springfield runs. I decided to go to Springfield to see this new equipment in its first days.

Living in Williamsburg, at the time, the Colonial ran from Newport News, Va to Boston MA. All I had to do was to transfer in New Haven for Springfield. I chose a chain hotel in Springfield and bought tickets. It was a day trip on train, to New Have and Springfield. I spent the night and railfaned the following day. The third day I took the local to New Haven and the Colonial home.

Let's consider another. Living near Hamlet, NC, I looked at the rail service to Boston, where I wanted to vacation. The only problem is that it required a transfer in Washington, DC and an overnight train from there to Boston. However, the overnight train originated in Newport News, Va and went through Richmond, VA onward to Boston. That left four reasonable points of transfer from the Silver Star and the Northeast Regional: Richmond, Alexandria, Washington, and Baltimore, MD. The route of the Star and Regional did overlap all the way to New York, that would make a very late transfer. For that vacation I chose to fly to Boston and use public transit, except for one day of car rental. I later planned a railfan trip that included Mattapan High Speed, Commuter Rail, and the Green Line (light rail).

A third trip would be when I move to Richmond, Va and take that trip to Boston without layover or transfer.

O course I would consider an out and back in the same day to be a day trip. I would expand it to a trip like to Boston, even with the overnight train, taking as must as 24 hours on train to get there. That would be expanded to one with transfer, even if that transfer was for hours. The first trip, I would be reluctant to call a day trip. in the second case, the trip would cover more than two days but most of the overnight time would be in travel and layovers would be what was necessary.

One more day trip that would take Richmond to Memphis TN, via would require 4 overnights, two going and two returning with one full day layover and transfer in Chicago each way. OK this is stretching the designation to far. I might refer to that as three day trips. I hope to take that one someday.

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