Early day railroad travel for passengers was primitive at best. Before modern cars were invented, riders had to take their chances.
There was no room service because there weren't any rooms. People had to take what was available and there weren't many choices.
You traveled by cattle car, because that was the way railroads were. The bathroom was a urinal bottle. Fussy ladies had to wait until the train stopped at a place that was big enough to have a restroom.
People shipped bodies by rail then, and the grieving folks saw their loved ones mishandled by the railroad workers who were only used to unruly western steers.
Newspapers got better treatment. There were always people waiting for the train to toss off a bundle of the Daily Bugle so they could then pedal them at the local drinkin' house where the misplaced Easterners could read about what their stocks were doing.
Train schedules were either late or early so it was difficult to plan anything that depended on the train. Now if a train is moments late, Congress will hear about it.
They should have been around in the olden days! You ordered a piece of pie or a ham sandwich from a little kid who was given permission to board the train at a particular stop to feed the patrons and he would be gone when the train started to move again. They got what they wanted provided the boy didn't run out before he got to them.
I just got to thinking about how it was in yesteryear when in our town we had three trains running daily. Wouldn't it be nice if that were still happening and the locomotives chugged into the station through the snow belching out steam as they came to a full stop!
© 2010 Robert F. Karolevitz