If you’re taking Amtrak on its Montreal-to-New York run, via Albany, you’ll climb aboard the Adirondack. When you leave New York and are headed to Miami, you’ll be riding either the Silver Meteor or the Silver Star. And if you’re riding the rails from Chicago to San Francisco, it’ll be on the California Zephyr.
Such romantic passenger train names are worth considering here in Starville. Because in four short years, maybe fewer, Amtrak will make a triumphant return to Roanoke.
That train will connect Roanoke to Boston and will make stops in Washington, Philadelphia, New York, Providence and other places. Right now the southern terminus is Libertytown – er, Lynchburg – and we must suffer the indignity of a 5:45 a.m. shuttle bus ride to catch it.
Unfortunately, that train currently has a depressingly utilitarian name, the Northeast Regional. Informally, it’s known as the “Lynchburg Train.” Problem is, both monikers have as much creativity and romance as you’d find in Soviet-era bus to suburban Chernobyl.
We can do better. So today, I’m launching the great Name That Train Game. Email your suggestions to me, explaining your idea, and I’ll use the best ones in a future column.
This contest was sparked by “Train Man” Dan Peacock of Manassas, the Old Dominion’s unofficial No. 1 passenger railfan . Before we get to his ideas, here’s a bit of background.
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