Found a few minutes this morning before everyone is up, for a quick post. Hope everyone has finished their holiday shopping...
Ferroequinology time: The first picture is of an excursion train behind two restored E-unit diesel locomotives, on a former PRR line, parked in the town of Renovo, PA in October of 2006. We were passengers on this train, which was a fall foliage special. It brought us to the town's Flaming Foliage festival and parade. Notice all the locals with their chairs, mingling with passengers who came in on the train. Everyone had a great time, and yours truly enjoyed the train ride!
Below are a couple of pictures from September of 2002, on the Stewartstown Railroad. In the first picture, the train was heading west toward New Freedom, PA (the current location of "Steam into History" and their replica of an antique steam train). You can see my prior post on "Steam into History" including pictures, in "Girl time again..." which was posted last October 10. The second picture is upon arrival at the interchange with PRR's Northern Central in New Freedom. The PRR depot is in the background.
Unfortunately the owner of the SRR passed away, and the railroad ceased operating in 2004. Then the property became embroiled in an estate issue over a gift, or loan (depending on who you talked with) of a substantial amount of money, and that battle dragged on into the present. With the railroad currently dormant, the little center-cab diesel is being used as a spare locomotive by "Steam into History."
Per the Stewartstown website, it is said that the estate issues has been settled, paving the way for renewed rail operations in 2014. No wonder they call it "The railroad that refuses to die." But there remains a lot of work to be done first...
Once they begin operating again, the SRR will be high on my short list of "must see properties."
Our son is home for Christmas - we picked him up at the airport yesterday. It's wonderful to see him again, and he started to bring us up to date on his girlfriend. That pretty much occupied most of the talk on Monday.
But one thing I noticed as we were walking out of the restaurant where the three of us grabbed a quick lunch - a woman alone, wearing the same Clarks "Recent Duchess" flats as I was, in the exact same color. She glanced down at my feet, and up at my face, where our eyes met and we both smiled at each other, just like two women. My family was ahead of me, so they didn't notice. For some odd reason, I thought this would only happen if I was wearing true ballet flats - you know, the ones with cute little bows on the vamps. (That's a style which has so far eluded me, because they generally don't fit me well.) I obviously was wrong!
My exact shoes have been sold on the shopping channel, and now, so soon after buying them, I've met a woman wearing them. It's inevitable - one of these days a woman and I are going to end up reviewing the merits and comfort of our identical shoes. I can only hope that it happens when I'm alone...for obvious wifely reasons.
Every year for the past several years my wife and I have done a warming trip down to Florida on the auto train...the longest passenger train in the world...and we hope to head down in late January for another warming week or so.ReplyDelete
Every year I wish that I could do the train ride while dressed. I have had dreams of myself wearing a conservative skirt suit and traveling down on the train. This overnight ride is very nice but we tend to have dinner and then breakfast with other couples in the dining car and I think that if I presented as a woman that it would make my wife uncomfortable.
My wife and I both wonder if in a former life I had been a woman. I have very real images of myself dressed in the attire of the 1930s and 1940s riding the trains of that era.
I, too, often wonder whether I was a woman in a former life...you aren't alone! I sometimes picture myself wearing the dresses and heels that my mother wore back in the 1950's and 1960's.
Until this past summer I hadn't done anything like ride a train "officially en femme." Then the opportunity appeared to take the plunge alone, and I had a great time, whether my presentation was perfect or not, since nobody knew me. However, your Auto-Train trip is very much different, since you need to be concerned about your wife's feelings.
My wife hasn't resumed the dressing-friendly stance she had just before her major medical issues last Valentines Day. Until she does, the only times I can be so bold as to ride the train en femme are when I'm alone. I'm just not willing to handle the consequences of forcing the issue. So I fully understand your situation...
I'm just thankful that over the years, she's become comfortable with my androgynous presentation and the fact that women's clothes are all I own and wear...from the panties and pantyhose, to my pants, tops, shoes and sweaters. I even have a couple of women's coats, though if the winter weather gets really bitter, my heaviest coat is from my days of wearing men's clothes. Haven't needed it in years, though,
Enjoy that trip on the Auto Train, however you dress!!!!
Happy New Year!
I do find it interesting and somewhat unique that your wife tolerates your day to day presentation with pantyhose seen under your stirrup pant, your obvious wearing of women's shoes, your hair and nails. I also understand that you have been pushing the envelope very slowly and that a jump to a skirt, or heels or obvious makeup could be the straw that breaks the camel's back.ReplyDelete
I like the fact that as you go about your life on a day in and day out basis that newly encountered people may wonder if you are a woman or a man.
I think that my best option for getting to ride a train while dressed may be the old train out in New Hope. The autotrain is a nice dream but I need to be realistic and understand that at my height and size I just do not fit. Secondly you really do not see women wearing skirts on the autotrain since most are dressed for comfort. Third, we typically take a 'roomette' which starts as two seats facing each other and then the seats convert to a lower berth while an upper berth drops from the ceiling. I always have to take the upper berth and it is difficult enough for me to climb up and down.
In your post you mentioned that you saw a woman wearing the same shoes that you were wearing. This is a nice way to have a momentary bond with a woman. I remember years ago I had just purchased a pair of woman's sandals with a 2-3" heel and the next week I saw a young lady in Grand Central Terminal wearing these exact shoes. Of course, I was dressed as a guy but seeing my shoes on a young lady did give me a nce feeling.
I've been dressing this way for long enough that any other way would feel strange...unless it was a skirt outfit! And yes, it is a bonding moment to see a woman wearing an item of clothing just like you have on, and she notices! Unfortunately, it's too rare an occurrence...ReplyDelete
As for the Amtrak sleeping car bunk situation, when we travel on Superliners, we either take the family room, where by judicious sharing, we can both sleep on the lower bunks, or we take 2 economy bedrooms, where we sleep in the lowers and put our bags in the lowered uppers, since both of us get claustrophobia in the uppers. However, on Viewliner sleepers (Lake Shore and most of the Southern trains) I have no problems in the upper berth since it has a big window, so one of the smaller bedrooms is fine for us. And since I always sleep in a housedress, I had to learn to climb up and down wearing it...it's do-able!
Last summer, I didn't feel at all out-of-place on Amtrak's Lake Shore in my skirt and top, though only a few other women were wearing them. Auto Train may well be much different, though, due to the clientele and the destination. You have to do what feels right for you and your family situation.
NH&I is a good choice, from what I have read about it. But this coming year, it's more likely that I will ride the Stewartstown RR or visit Muddy Creek Forks, PA - the preserved town which includes a museum and the remaining trackage of the old Maryland and Pennsylvania RR, which ran from Baltimore to York. Here's the URL for the former: http://stewartstownrailroadcompany.com/ and also the latter: http://www.maandparailroad.com/mapabriefhistory.php The Stewartstown will run small trains with the equipment shown above, while the MCF musuem will run motorcar trips on the abandoned Ma & PA right of way. Unless, of course, Lady Luck smiles on me and I can find a way to do the Wilmington and Western! That would be steam powered, wonderful, and probably closer to you...???
Not sure where you're located in regard to any of the above. But if you might be interested in trying any of them, perhaps a meet-up can be arranged. If you don't have my YAHOO.COM email, I'll figure out a way to get it to you... And I suspect a denim skirt with a blouse would be appropriate at either the Stewartstown or the W&W since they have closed cars. Not sure I'd want to be riding in a track car and wearing a skirt, for modesty reasons!
I hope something will work for you!
I mentioned to my wife that I had a repeat dream of being dressed on the auto train but I think she knows that on the overnight ride that we do have to eat our dinner and breakfast in the dining car with other people and that she knows that I would not be likely to push dressing that far...although if we do get a deluxe room or even better the family room (my favorite) that I may have the ability to dress and stay in the room. I will see what she does since she is very cost conscious and she is the one making the travel plans.ReplyDelete
There is also a chance that we may have to cancel the vacation based on how she proceeds over the next few weeks with her recover from retina surgery.
We generally eat in the dining car, and I chose to do so en femme on my trip last July. But it's my understanding that you "could" arrange for your car attendant to bring one, or both, dinners to your room... Pursuing that approach would be my suggestion. As for breakfast the next morning, it might just be easier (and less time consuming) to dress in street clothes and go to the dining car.Delete
Your car attendant would "know" about the change in presentation. And probably will remember if you see them again. Certain car attendants on certain trains remember us. That's why I will only go completely femme when I'm alone on a few Eastern long distance trains...that we don't ride together often. I wouldn't want a car attendant we know from prior travel (and who saw me en femme) to spill the beans on either the return trip or a future trip.
I certainly pray that your wife does well and that you do not need to cancel your trip. Bon voyage!
That is very true. We have seen many of the same car attendants on our auto train trips. The auto train only runs one train in each direction each day. I like the idea of ordering in our dinner but I do not think my wife would go for that. We both enjoy having dinner and breakfast in the dining car where we are always fascinated by meeting a few of the other travelers. Before we quit smoking we really enjoyed hanging out in the smoking car with the rest of the addicted nicotine fiends. We met some really nice and enjoyable people down there. It has been 3-4 years since we quit and I hear that AMTRAK is getting rid of the smokers. That will be tough on those still addicted...including several of the train attendants.ReplyDelete
We, too, enjoy meeting people in the diner, thus femme probably won't "fly" (no pun intended) with my wife, either. But from my blog "Another Excursion," posted 7/23;Delete
Once on the (Lake Shore), I initially heard “Ma’am” from the staff. But as the afternoon became evening, and I gave up on trying to use my femme voice, some folks undoubtedly figured out what I (was.) Including the 20-something young lady they seated me with at the dinner table in the dining car. Nothing was said, but I'm sure she knew...in any event, she was very accepting, and we had a lovely meal together!"
Most people in a traditional social setting (non-bar-related, as alcohol messes up the theory) seem to be quite tolerant of us. And since I was alone, on a different train from the normal, I really pushed the envelope on this one... But it was well worth it!
Last time we rode trains (on the way home from the trip in July,) they announced which stops were smoking stops and advised what cars would be opened so smokers could step off. So, I believe most (if not all) trains are now completely non-smoking.
For us non-smokers, that's fine. No stinky rooms or restrooms...no cigarette burns on the seats, walls or carpets, and no ashtray fires, either! Nice...
For smokers, it must be tough to have to get up at 2AM and get dressed, then go to whatever car and wait for the train to pull in to step off and be rewarded with their nicotine "fix"...
Enjoy your trip, whether en-femme or en-homme...