I’ve always been mad for trains. I was born in the wrong century, long past the age of long-distance train travel. I know, unless you were as wealthy as a god, it was uncomfortable, crowded, slow, dirty, hot in the summer and cold in the winter. But still, it was a way to travel West, to see the world, to leave behind an old life and start a new one.
You can see, I’ve built up a lot of romance about train travel. My heart always leaps when I hear our local train blow its whistle.
Unfortunately, commuter train has been all I’ve been able to do (and I still love it!), except for joy rides on the Niles Canyon Railway.
Niles Canyon steam train, my favorite of their collection.
Then there is the California State Railroad Museum, one of my favorite museums in all the United States. Below are interior shots of train on display.
And who doesn’t love dials and faucet handles and thing-a-ma-bobs? At the museum, one of the docents told me that there’s practically no man left alive who knows the purposes of all the dials in the old locomotives.
Someday I’ll do a trip on Amtrak , in a private berth please, on the Empire Builder. I sometimes fantasize about hopping a box car—when I was a little kid, I remember a period when I planned on growing up to be a railroad bum—but I know it must remain a fantasy.
So it’s no surprise that I collect train songs. Yesterday Fiona Ritchie played the Poozies singing a song (in exquisite harmony) about trains, and starting over. So many of us, older and wiser yet still young in our hearts and minds, have been deemed by corporatocracy and the world to be redundantly over-the-hill (never mind that there are currently 4 U.S. senators in their 80s that refuse to retire). We are re-starting lives, or even just trying to continue living. This song is for us, I think, and I’m sending this out to my friends and readers who are feeling a little left behind.