By Kevin Williams
There is something soul-stirring about a train ride. You get to see people and places from angles unseen from the clinical confines of a car. The railroad is the road less traveled, a journey into inner-America where the hearts of small towns and villages beat robustly. Trains pass through town squares, through lush farmland, and past all-night diners. Cars give you a view, but trains give you an experience.
My journey from Philadelphia to Lancaster on the Keystone line lasted scarcely an hour and left me wanting a lot more, but at least I got to experience some of the rails.
What was especially wonderful is the train being equipped with wifi so I could write as the scenery passed by. As a writer, there is something extraordinarily powerful about being able to create as countryside pinwheels by in a beautiful blur. The rhythm of the wheels on the track bring out the best and it's just incredible.
On a more practical level, the Amtrak is a great way to enter Amish country. You are treated to beautiful vistas of Amish farms, buggies on their way around town, and well-tended farmland. Here are some scenes from my journey: