Friday, October 19, 2007

A Love Affair with Trains

Do you like trains? Do you love trains? I do. In 1969 my family took a train trip from Perry, Oklahoma to Chicago, Illinois. We hung around Chicago for several days, visiting museums and taking a boat ride on Lake Michigan (which I also loved), and then came back home on the train. It was an overnight trip, so a good part of the time it was too dark to see much, but I loved the ride. It was a new experience for me.

There is something cozy about being on a train and looking out at the world. It's also great fun to pass through a town or city and see tiny slices of people's lives. In the evening, they'll be sitting in their living rooms or dining rooms near the tracks and you see them for a moment in time. Or perhaps they are walking along a nearby street or greeting someone at the train station or they are in a car on a street near the tracks. Just a tiny slice of their lives, but enough to wonder about them. Who are they? What are they like?

It's much the same with the various scenery you see from the train. Who farms that cornfield? Who hunts in those woods or fishes in that stream?

I love to read travel books about train trips through South America, Russia, China, or Europe. The writers describe the scenes, their fellow passengers, the train employees, and the train itself. A train is like its own little world passing among other worlds out on solid ground. Fascinating.

My friend, Pop, passed along to me a link to a wonderful website called RailPictures.Net where you can see more train pictures than you'll ever have time to look at.

Have you ever ridden a train? Where did you go and what did you like about it?

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2 Comments:

At 11:20 PM, Blogger Amira said...

I think the only time I've ridden a train is between Cairo and Luxor. I wanted to take the train in China, but we didn't have much time when we went there. I've told my husband we'll be going back someday and taking the train all over the country.

 
At 10:10 AM, Blogger Mary A said...

Amira, when I wrote this post, I thought of you and wondered if you had taken train trips on your travels. I imagine the Cairo-Luxor train was interesting. I hope you get to travel around China on a train--that would be a great way to see the country and the people.

 

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