Western Massachusetts has just one passenger train that runs (once a day) up and down the north/south length of the Connecticut River Valley, connecting some of the bigger towns with Vermont and Connecticut. As if one train a day isn't bad enough, the new cover feature of the local weekly exposes just how inadequate it is: Assuming the train is on time, which it often isn't, it takes two hours and nine minutes to get from Brattleboro, Vt. to Springfield, Mass. That's an average speed of 27 miles per hour. Driving from Brattleboro to Springfield usually takes under an hour. …
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Erik Hoffner works for Orion magazine and is also a freelance photographer and writer.