I took this photo on the way home from work almost 6 months ago to the day. I had just started interning in the NARP offices and I was still reeling at the fact that anyone was willing to give me any type of responsibility. On my way home I passed through Union Station, which is beautiful at any time of day, but with shadows growing between between the columns, I realized how perfect it was to work for an organization that advocates for train riders and walk home through the place that serves them everyday. However Union Station is much more than just heavy rail, it hosts the DC metro, the DC public bus system, any number of tour companies, a sea of cabs, and amazingly, an entire bike store. It is the definition of a transit hub. For me it also serves as a pretty good representation of the mission of this trip and was (arguably) a good source of inspiration for it. So here I am, 6 months later planning to spend the next 40 days exploring America's transit by train. I will visit countless major cities, log almost 10,000 miles of track and (fingers crossed) meet some amazing people, bringing my bike (Stevie) with me all the way. I couldn't be more excited or nervous, but I hope you'll stay with me through all of the amazing things to come!
Be back soon!
- Elena and Stevie