So one day in early June we were talking to a Seminole County business owner who remarked: “I don’t know about this SunRail thing. I don’t think it’s going to be successful.”
I wish that naysayer could have been with us on June 25, 2014 when we boarded the Party Train.
The Party Train is the second passenger coach of northbound SunRail train departing Sand Lake Road at 6:45 a.m.
While there’s no disco ball hanging from the ceiling, it’s definitely a party. The eclectic group of passengers who ride in that coach every work day are lots of fun and laughs.
In a little less than 2 months of riding together, the Party Train passengers, have formed their own community. There are about 20 of them. Most board at Sand Lake Road, but a few get on a little further up the line at Church Street and Lynx Central Station.
They know each other by name, and look out to see who’s missing and who is running to get aboard. But it’s much more than that.
They laugh and joke with each other and their favorite SunRail conductor. One recent morning the subject was the U.S. victory over Ghana in the World Cup. About half the riders explained the soccer rules and team standings to the other half who were still learning about the game.
On another morning they discussed ideas for one rider’s upcoming wedding – color of the dress, cake design and music. And they’re even planning an onboard baby shower for another rider.
Sometimes the discussions are just among seatmates. One rider confided that he is in recovery and sometimes discusses that issue with another rider who is facing similar challenges.
The folks on the party train are much more than a group of strangers. They’re close friends, almost family. What a way to start the work day!
It just goes to show you that SunRail is much more than a means of transportation. It’s become a way of life.
Formed any interesting groups during your SunRail ride? Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.