Going to Anthrocon? All aboard for a party on rails with Anthrotracks.
by Patch O'Furr
From New York City, get transport and lodging together – not just a ride, but a furmeet with sleeper cars staying blocks from Anthrocon.
I have a delightful memory of talking with a retired driver for the San Francisco Bay area’s BART system. He would watch videos of trains in Poland for fun, and talk about the wobbly tracks and the persistence of maintaining a rural system with little money and lots of engineuity. I told him about visiting Prague and taking a train to Munich, and how the shaky Iron Curtain system got smooth and fast at the border. He was so into trains, that he made a forge in his backyard and built his own engine. That’s rail fandom.
Railfans (AKA rail buffs, or train buffs) have loveable personalities. Compared to those who chase cars (woof), they have a different love than the freedom of racing or being a lone wolf on an open road. I think it has more of the beauty of coordinating a system to reliably serve many people and places. Can you imagine “train rage” instead of road rage? Instead, you get people into solving problems like this: Japan Built These Adorable Tunnels to Help Turtles Cross Train Tracks. Some notable railfans included Walt Disney, and it’s part of how he made a magic kingdom with talking animals.
Of course furry fandom crosses with EVERY fandom, so there are furry railfans. One was mascot for a train museum, and there’s this super-photogenic fursuiter in the Czech Republic. (They even do a furry train ride there.)
— Bolt Railway Dog 🚂 (@B_railway_dog) December 16, 2018
Trains hold a lot of cargo, but how many interests can you smush together? Here’s furry/railfan/aeromorph/inflation art. That’s innocent fun, but mainstream media has wierd anthropomorphic trains you can read about in The Repressive Authoritarian Soul of “Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends”. But no need to overanalyze. This isn’t about the political economy of transportation, or sentient vehicles (sadly.) It’s just about a cool trip.
Feel safe with Anthrotracks’ organizers, they’re accredited travel agents. (Furry travel plans aren’t always a smooth ride, so it’s good that they said so!) Here’s what they sent about Anthrotracks:
First-ever chartered train trip for furries to coincide with Anthrocon 2019.
South Carolina-based boutique tour company Atlantic Rail Tours LLC is proud to announce today’s opening of booking availability for the first-ever chartered private railcar journey catered to members of the furry fandom. Dubbed ‘Anthrotracks,’ our chartered train trip is timed to coincide with Anthrocon, one of the world’s largest annual furry conventions, held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. from July 4 through 7, 2019.
Anthrotracks will take place aboard beautifully restored and maintained mid-20th-century railcars that will be carried on a round-trip from New York City to Pittsburgh — departing New York westbound on July 4 and returning east on July 8 — coupled to Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian train, which plies the route daily in both directions and is financially supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The chartered railcars are owned or managed by the Morristown and Erie Railway, a short line railroad in northern New Jersey. In addition to New York, passengers will also be able to board westbound and alight eastbound at Newark and Trenton, N.J. and Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pa.
Those wishing to travel with Anthrotracks can choose between private sleeping car accommodations — a roomette for a solo traveler or a double bedroom shared by two passengers — and comfortable day seating in a lounge or parlor car. Those reserving sleeping accommodations will be able to use the railcars as their lodging for four nights while they are stationary at Pittsburgh’s Amtrak station, which is conveniently located three blocks from the Lawrence Convention Center. Both sleeping car and day passengers will have unlimited access to the activity cars and food and beverages are included in the ticket price for both classes of service.
The highlight of Anthrotracks for passengers will be on-board activities and socializing that are intended to be extensions of the Anthrocon experience. Passengers who own fursuits will be able to wear them on board the train. Board, card and video games will be available, and passengers are invited to suggest, or provide, additional forms of on-board entertainment. Meals and snacks with animal and classic cartoon themes will be served. Passengers will also be able to enjoy the scenic midsummer landscapes of Pennsylvania, including such highlights as the famous Horseshoe Curve at Altoona and the historic Rockville Bridge over the Susquehanna River.
Furry fans and railfans together – sounds like a good reason to join up just to be along for the ride, like they’re doing around the world.