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The Orange County Register

Story appeared in Fullerton section
on page D
ID: 63995413
Edition: 1
Railway is the best way for traveling freedom // Placentian logs travels on the train web at Fullerton station

September 25, 2003

Carl Morrison used to run alongside the steam trains that rolled behind his family's Hayden, Ind., farm and wave to the conductor.

When he was 10, Morrison took his first train trip to see the Christmas lights in Indianapolis with his mother. That ride on the rails launched dozens more as Morrison fell in love with the freedom and comfort of train travel.

Morrison, 62, logs his travels for the Web site www. , based in upstairs offices at the Fullerton Train Station. He has journeyed 4,071 miles by train since April, including a cross-country voyage.

``Getting there is more than half the fun,'' the Placentia res ident said. ``There are no seatbelts. You can have dinner in a diner by a chef. There's no luggage check.''

Morrison teaches business at Cypress High School but moonlights as a writer on the tracks. He will roll through Mexico's remote Copper Canyon on a trainthis month.

Ray Burns, president of, said Morrison's articles help boost sales for the railroad by inspiring thousands of readers.

The Web site gets 2.5 million page views per month and includes information on rail travel, model railroading, railroad history and links to additional sites and chat rooms.

Train fans can also view live images of train stations and tracks across the country via a Web cam posted in Fullerton and at other depots.

Burns and partner Steve Grande launched the site in 1996 and moved into the Fullerton depot the next year.

Like Morrison, Burns believes the railway is the best way to travel.

``It forces you to relax. You have time to sit down and work things out,'' Burns said.

Morrison's articles on the site include a seven-part story on the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus train that stopped in Orange County last month. His most recent travelogue chronicles his trip from Los Angeles to Charlottesville, Va., in June.

Morrison passed his love of trains to his wife, Sue, and grown children, Matthew and Carla. The family spent four spring breaks in a row taking the train to Seattle when the kids were in school.

Now the family takes the train to their timeshare in Carlsbad for vacations.

For those who have never traveled by rail, Morrison promises a short jaunt will make a train fan out of anyone.

``Take a trip. Go to San Diego and back, go to San Luis Obispo,'' Morrison said.

``I guarantee you'll like the freedom and the scenery. It's an enjoyable way to go.''

Copyright 2001 The Orange County Register