This summer, I was asked to make a presentation at an insurance fraud conference held by the Nebraska Department of Insurance at a state park on the Platte River. I arrived in Omaha by Amtrak, although I traveled back to Chicago by car before continuing home by train again. For those who have never experienced train travel, it is a delightful way to get around the country and to see what is actually out there. For those who have never been in the Midwest, well, you are missing a wonderful part of our great nation.

Trying to escape the $4.08 gallon of gas and lousy airline service, people packed into the trains — the Crescent, Cardinal, California Zephyr, Lake Shore, and a few locals. Coach class was sold out, but rooms were still available in the sleepers. While two of the trains were early, two were late because of the floods in Indiana and Iowa. The nice part about train travel is that it is relaxed. Passengers are seated with fellow travelers in the dining cars, and dinner becomes a family get-together, with foreigners visiting the U.S., students on their way to or from college, young families migrating from one state to another, and older folks who just like to see the country.

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