“Paradise, Pennsylvania!” The conductor’s voice came scratching through the coach’s PA system. “Paradise Pennsylvania is next! This is the connection to the Paradise, Lancaster, and Western Railroad. Passengers heading for Leaman Place, Strasburg, Pequea, Millersville, Lancaster, and points west must change trains here. Paradise, Pennsylvania is next. Paradise, Pennsylvania!”
The PA system had barely switched off when Callahan rose from his seat, and in one smooth motion pulled his oversized backpack from the overhead luggage rack, shouldered it, pulled his duffel bag down from the rack, and stepped into the aisle. The tall, lanky-looking man set the duffel down just long enough to pluck his much-loved tan boonie hat from the aisle seat and pace it atop his head, then maneuvered his way towards the doors at the end of the coach.
Save for the relative dearth of passengers, at first glance the Pennsylvanian looked as it might have before the war. The service was not, nor had it ever been the Pennsylvania Railroad’s flagship service – that honor went now, as before, to the legendary Broadway Limited – but that didn’t mean it wasn’t respectable. Streamlined First Class coach service running every weekday between Pittsburg, Harrisburg and, King of Prussia, a distance of about 300 miles, was no mean feat, especially in these times.