It wasn't until the conductor shouted, "ALL ABOARD!" that I felt the sense of history, and then the song lyrics popped into my head:
Riding on the City of New Orleans
Illinois Central, Monday morning rail…
My 18-year-old son Brendan had just handed his ticket to the Amtrak conductor, and he stepped through the door of the passenger car, when the conductor did what they have done for well over one hundred years. It is a tribute to a time when train travel was the dominant and most modern means of mobility – the unique and time-honored custom of announcing the impending departure by shouting the announcement up and down the platform.