The Nevada desert from the eastbound Amtrak California Zephyr, June 2016.


I’m lucky in that Gretchen Schaefer, my partner in life and in the Americana duet Day for Night, loves to ride trains as much as I do. Even in coach, they are reasonably comfortable, the sightseeing is pleasant and a person has no responsibilities other than showing a ticket and not being a jerk. Non-train people complain about trains’ slowness and lateness, but for us time is not an issue because the train, unlike the car, plane or bus, is as much destination as it is transportation.

Taking a sleeping accommodation, as we often do, provides still another benefit that, similar to the way caffeine enhances the effects of aspirin, heightens all the pleasures of the train: privacy. Gretchen and I are a reclusive and introverted couple who, it seems, travel through the world at all times in a virtual train compartment of mutual interests and fascinations, not least with one another. The Amtrak roomette is not just our conveyance of choice, but a perfect metaphor for us. — Adapted from Notes From A Basement, “Love Of Train,” by Doug Hubley

Here, Day for Night performs “What the Train Can Do For You” in a September 2019 rehearsal. “What the Train Can Do For You” copyright © 2018 by Douglas L. Hubley. All rights reserved.  Hear it below, buy it on Bandcamp!


What the Train Can Do For You