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All-Aboard For Tricky Tracks

All-Aboard For Tricky Tracks >>>

Oftentimes you can't. But if you are on a northbound Amtrak Regional (or sometimes Vermonter) train that originated in Virginia and boards from one of the low platforms, you may be in luck. Note the track number, but instead of proceeding to the assigned gate, go to Gate L. Once passing through the Gate L doors, you'll go upstairs to a small waiting area for Virginia Rail Express commuter trains. That waiting area should contain stairs that descend to the platforms that serve tracks that run through to Virginia. Pick the appropriate staircase, head to your platform, and wait for your train.

At South Station, it is common for Amtrak trains to dwell on tracks that are adjacent to platforms that also serve MBTA commuter rail trains (see above). In this circumstance, Amtrak will cordon off half the platform to facilitate pointless queueing while allowing free entry to the other half of the platform so the commuter trains can operate like normal trains. Simply stick to the left as if you plan to board the commuter train, and then dart quickly over to the intercity train.

Ultimately, it was Mawhinney and Stella Levista that electrified the Rolex Arena. The 14-year-old Hanoverian mare jumped the tricky track with ease, answering all of the questions in lightning speed. Returning for the 8-effort jump-off, the duo jumped without penalty, crossing the finish line in a blazing fast time of 43.896 seconds. The pair proved their power walking into the ring with confidence and topping their performance from the Kentucky Spring Horse Show in 2021, where they captured their very first U25 Grand Prix win together.

On 1999's Big Train, Marsalis tries on the mantle of Duke Ellington in the latter's centennial year and finds that it suits him. A 52-minute big band suite modeled after Ellington's long-form essays, it purports to evoke the moods, sounds and feelings of a cross-country train trip with selections named after a train's various cars. Like an Ellington suite, the sections run together; after the striking "All Aboard," you're in Ellington country, right down to the plunger mute wah-wah riffs. "Union Pacific" paraphrases "Rockin' in Rhythm"; the ballad "Sleeper Car" evokes Johnny Hodges and Tricky Sam Nanton quite explicitly. Inevitably, there's a track called "Night Train"; thankfully, its bossa nova flavor has nothing to do with Duke's piece. Marsalis has mastered the Ellington idiom, writing and organizing the piece skillfully and getting the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra to play with precision and emotion. Yet the one thing that Ellington (and Billy Strayhorn) could do and Marsalis has yet to demonstrate is the ability to come up with a big, memorable tune; there's craft, emotion, and swing, but little else to take home with you. If you didn't know that this work was about trains, you might not guess it; you can't really feel the rocking, chugging, streamlined motion of the rails in this work. There is fine soloing all around in the hard bop tradition from Wessell Anderson, Victor Goines, Wycliffe Gordon, Ted Nash and Walter Blanding, Jr., though the liner fails to note which of the multiple tenor, alto, trombone players are soloing on which tracks. But overall, this is one of Marsalis' better extended form essays.

"We looked at the Cotillion (G1 at Parx) and elected not to go, which was a good move because the race came up tough over a tricky track," Donk said. "I am not sure what her best distance is. She ran so well sprinting in her first two starts, and she has been training really well the past few weeks."

If I had a trip to Florida planned this summer, I'd be really excited, but the reality is that we probably won't be returning to BGT until 2021 or 2022. I've always thought the coaster collection at BGT was top notch, but it appeals far more to locals than it does to tourists, which is a shame. It also gets overshadowed by Sea World and it's trio of world class coasters that make the hour plus drive west to Tampa a tricky


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