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Train vs. car? I’ll take the train

3 mins read

By Lee Scott

If you have driven anywhere along the I-95 corridor, you have no doubt seen the increase in traffic. 

In addition, you may have noticed there are more accidents and construction projects than ever before. 

Having endured so many trips up and down I-95 myself, I decided to do something completely different. I bought an Amtrak train ticket. Instead of driving 650 miles to Towson, Md. (approximately 10 hours), I decided someone else should do the driving. 

The Palmetto is the Amtrak train that passes through Yemassee. It travels from Miami to New York City, making numerous stops, including the Yemassee Depot. 

I really did not know the Yemassee Station was operational until I started to ask people. Turns out I’m not the only one tired of the car drive.  

When my spouse dropped me off at the train station, I entered the building and realized some of my neighbors were on the same train heading up to Annapolis for the Navy Homecoming. 

They travel by train a lot and enjoy it. They pointed out the black and white photographs of soldiers going off to war hanging on the walls. According to the Yemassee website, from 1915 to 1965, the station was the first place where potential Marine recruits stopped before reaching Parris Island. 

In 2011, a British reality show filmed in Yemassee, and they did a full cosmetic renovation of the depot’s exterior including a new gabled roof, siding and a wrap-around porch.  

In 2016 the town received funds that allowed the interior to be redone. The building has a new restroom, classic wooden benches and a new electrical system.

The ride from Yemassee to Baltimore is estimated to take around 12 hours (give or take). Not knowing what to expect, I brought a book to read, but I never picked up the novel. I chatted with people, had lunch and dinner in the café and took naps. The stops didn’t bother me because they reminded me to get up and stretch my legs.

Looking at the people on the train, I was reminded of a quote from “Murder on the Orient Express” made by M. Bouc: “All around us are people, of all classes, of all nationalities, of all ages.” This was true of the Palmetto Train also.  Yet, unlike the Orient Express, there was no murder mystery to solve except the one in my unread novel. 

I would personally recommend the train for anyone tired of driving. The staff was helpful and friendly and they added to the overall enjoyment of the trip. On top of everything, I arrived at my destination well rested and of good humor.

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