Why I Write on Trains

This spring, Amtrak will host writers as part of its first residency program, an idea Alexander Chee dreamed up.

I arrived at New York’s Penn Station one day and thought, What if I had some kind of pass to ride the train every day the way other people go to an office? Get on at 9 A.M., work for eight hours, get home at 6 P.M.?

I like to write on trains, I think, because I like 
to vanish when
 I write—being known feels 
like being interrupted. I serially abandon cafés, for example, once everyone there knows me. But a desk that travels among strangers is perfect. I sit down, and I’m already leaving.