NORTHWEST INDIANA - If you've ever been curious about what's outside your window on a South Shore train ride between Millenium Station in Chicago and South Bend, there is an organization with members that volunteer on the weekends in the summer to help educate and inform. Robert Tabern, Executive Director of the American Passenger Rail Heritage Foundation says there are a lot of places and things of interest between Northwest Indiana and Chicago.
"We tell people what they are seeing outside their windows, so passing through the state park and the national lakeshore, we tell a lot of interesting stories about the people, places, history, everything you see outside the window," Tabern says. " You know we have a saying, no one would watch the Travel Channel or maybe the History Channel with the audio turned down. You wouldn't want to listen to it on mute. Imagine all the things that you would be missing."
Another goal of the APRHF is to entice people to appreciate what is in their view...out the window.
"We want to get people un-berried from their laptops or their tablets or their E reader or their movie player and kind of appreciate the landscape," Tabern says.
Tabern says the South Shore Line is very unique and it's likely that many people don't realize what it offers. In the 90-mile stretch between South Bend and Chicago, passengers pass near or through four units of the national park service, the I & M Canal in Illinois, the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, in Indiana, you pass near the Kankakee River Water Trail and Pullman National Monument on the South Side of Chicago. Tabern says when people see and understand things outside their window, they're more likely to understand each other.
LONG FORM INTERVIEW:
Here is the long-form interview with Robert Tabern, Executive Director of the American Passenger Rail Heritage Foundation. Tabern spoke with Lakeshore Public Radio's Sharon Jackson about what people can learn on a hosted train ride.