I started out from Windsor, CT, to get the 9:10 CTrail commuter train to Springfield, MA. The day did not start too well--I waited in the rain for the train, which was delayed half an hour because the gates at Windsor had gotten stuck in the down position, with the lights flashing, and the CTrail train had to wait for the southbound Amtrak shuttle to get to Hartford before it could start out. There were two nice gentlemen railfanning at Windsor, and talking with them kept me from being bored. Finally, the train came, and things got a lot better! It had three passenger cars (red-striped I think?) plus that handsome red and black engine, whose number was 6695. But the best part was the crew--nice young guys--they pulled in, and the conductor said "Here we are, finally!" in a nice cheerful voice, and then he helped me up the steps. For mobility information, Windsor is nowhere near ready. That first step is very high from the platform, and there are only a few parking spaces right now. I liked the car, too--seats in a pretty blue, and a lot were facing each other, which I like, so I sat in one of those. Then the conductor came along with another young man (he might have been training), and I told him I was a senior, and he told me the fare was $2.25, and the other young man said "I have a quarter I can put in for her," so I got a discount on the discount! We talked a bit about the trains, and I told them I was going to a rail group meeting, which they thought was interesting. Then I told them I was going down to New Haven tomorrow, and the conductor said he would be on the train that gets to Windsor around 10:30, and I said I would try to get that one unless I was up too late watching the Red Sox and had to get a later one. Beautiful trip along the Connecticut River almost the whole way. The engine was on the rear, but the car I was in (the first one) seemed to have a setup like SEPTA--an engineer in a little cubicle in the front. Then we got to Springfield, and things went downhill again. The last step down was so far up from the platform that it was scary, and the conductor had gone off to help a man in a wheelchair. A nice (and strong!) woman helped me down that last step. I am sorry to say this for any of you who live there, but I found Springfield an extremely sad city--at least where I was. I got my Amtrak shuttle ticket for the return trip, then went downstairs to look at the new station. From the outside, the building is beautiful, but downstairs seems to be a bus station, with a Dunkin Donuts, Subway, and convenience store, and that's it. I did look at a CTrail ticket machine, and they do take cash, so that is good to know for the future. Is that the final version of the station? Or are they building more elsewhere? Between the rain and the depressing city and lots of buses all over the place, I felt that perhaps a vanilla creme donut from Dunkin Donuts was in order, so I had that and a small cup of coffee. I sat on an old wooden bench, and those were nice, plus there are nice arches, so they have tried to make the architecture nice. Then I went over to the RUN meeting (I will post all about that on the advocacy thread after I look over my notes). Amtrak shuttle back to Windsor--train 467, and we had engine 63. (They are still P-42s up here, right?) I sat next to a very nice gentleman who was at the RUN meeting, and we had a nice conversation. Very nice Amtrak conductor on the way back--honestly, I love the New England conductors! At Windsor, he helped me down the last step, but it was okay anyway--lower than the commuter rail. While waiting for the hotel shuttle to pick me up, I had another treat--an Amtrak shuttle (engine number 106) went by northbound.