But I was equally thrilled each mealtime, when a knock came at my cabin door, alerting me that it was time to emerge and weave my way to the dining car. While I have almost completely forgotten the meals I ate there (I believe that at least one was filet mignon, that classic signifier of luxury), I remember each of the dining companions with whom, as a solo traveler, I was randomly joined. One was a young woman heading home from North Carolina. She told me about the hot sausage po’boy at Two Sisters Restaurant in the Treme, a sandwich I made it my business to try during my first week in town, and still seek out at the restaurant’s new location in New Orleans East. Another companion, a man in his 50s, sold parts for air conditioning and refrigeration systems, a subject he did not tire of discussing. I can’t say I came away sharing his enthusiasm, or that I retained much of what we discussed, but I recall the pleasure of listening to him—the jargon, the anecdotes, the opinions about arcane matters of the refrigeration arts, all rolling hypnotically along as we ate, like a soothing echo of the wheels beneath.