Tracks at Boston South Station

Outside on the platform. It being Saturday early afternoon, the tracks are unusually empty. This being an open-air ground-level train station, it's a fairly nice place from which to observe.

The Northeast still has a very much railroad-based transportation infrastructure. One neat statistic is that all but one of the Ivy League universities are accessible by rail. Dartmouth (across from White River Junction, Vermont) is along the route of the Vermonter, and the rest are along the Boston-to-Washington Northeast Corridor — Harvard (Boston), Brown (Providence), Yale (New Haven), Columbia (New York City), Princeton (rail connection from Princeton Junction), and UPenn (Philadelphia). Cornell is the exception in more ways than one: the youngest Ivy League, farthest from the Atlantic Ocean in upstate New York, the only one with publicly-funded colleges.

Of course there are lots of other colleges along the way, so trains always carry many students. The Chinatown bus has cut down on these numbers a bit, but the availability of AC power for laptops has retained many college travelers.