Tom Zoellner is the author of five nonfiction books, the most recent of which is Train: Riding the Rails That Created the Modern World—from the Trans-Siberian to the Southwest Chief, and an associate professor of English at Chapman University. participating in a discussion of the future of trains in Southern California, he talked Stephen King, telepathy, coffee, and of course, trains, in the Zócalo green room.
What’s your favorite thing about train travel?
Oh my gosh—the people that you meet. The way strangers will completely spill their life stories.
What superpower would you most like to have?
What book have you re-read the most?
The Stand by Stephen King.
What was the first train ride you ever took?
The Durango in Silverton, Colorado, when I was 8 years old.
What word or phrase do you use most often?
Katie bar the door.
What’s your drink of choice?
Coffee, black, with a single ice cube.
What would your theme song be?
“Baker Street” by Gerry Rafferty.
Where would we find you at 9:00 on a typical Friday night?
Hopefully laughing somewhere.
What’s your worst habit?
Getting lost in thought and walking into things.
What do you do to decompress?
Take a long train ride.