Monday 25 August 2014

Railway through time

I wanted to do it for a long while, I had the chance to do it during my recent holidays in Devon: I traveled in an old steam train. it was like traveling through time. Twice, actually, or even three times if you count the return. This post and the pictures accompanying it are from the second trip, from Totnes to Buckfastleigh and back.

Well, what I can say first? I love train travels, I love, no I adore everything train related. It is for me the mean of transport that kick-started modernity and it is simply the greatest mean of transport. At its best, the train is comfortable, practical, fast enough to go from point A to B in a decent amount of time, slow enough to enjoy the journey. Even the most banal, plain train has character, even the most banal train station as well. I love the atmosphere of train stations, the oldest the better. I was served with this journey: the train stations were built and furbished as old ones, with old advertisement, red bricks and wood and so on. Except it does not look old, it looks very contemporary, just like the staff wearing clothes from the time period. And of course the locomotive was a steam engine. It was like stepping into another time in history, the moment we set foot on the station.

The illusion is only ever broken when you leave it, and even then, you are still haunted by the journey. I spent the trip looking half the time at the window when we were passing train stations or a signal box (more about it in a future post), half the time looking at the inside of the compartment. I imagined myself being the character of a crime story (no, not that one) or a ghost story set in that time period. Or just a traveler from yesterday. I wish train stations and trains had still the same cachet and elegance of these ones.


jaz@octoberfarm said...

i love trains. i grew up in a train family. everyone worked for the local railroad. i road trains weekly. i miss those days!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

You should come out to Western Canada some time, Guillaume -- we've got some great steam engine trains out here!

Nellie said...

There are no longer any passenger trains that serve the area where I live. I remember relying on the train for my transportation to and from college. Also, my grandfather was a railroad employee.

Guillaume said...

So glad to see so much love for trains.