I’ve always liked trains, and I’ve always liked train journeys. I like the journey as much as reaching the destination itself. I am actually writing this on the iphone WordPress app, (which I have now realised is a piece of shit for formatting) from seat 20C on the 18.27 to Leeds, which is probably why I had the idea for this blog post. It’s not that I seek out specific train journeys, spot trains, or have a particular favourite model. I just really enjoy travelling on trains. I don’t know why or where my passion started from, but more than likely it was down to Thomas The Tank Engine.
I’ve heard the inevitable childhood stories from my mother, in which she would sit me on her knee, read me the large picture books, and laugh as I would emulate the faces of each different train, page by page. Apparently I could pull a mean Gordon. I remember him being pretty awesome to be fair. Always grumpy and probably wondering why people paid so much attention to a jumped up little blue engine, rather than him. A huge, dark green, steam tooting machine. I also have fond memories of watching Ivor The Steam Engine in both english and welsh, and playing with ‘berol’ wooden train sets (I think they were called berol any way). I would spend hours creating elaborate play sets, and then travel the ever living heck out of them. I saw myself as some kind of train controller. Sometimes my brother would play too, and it would keep us quiet for hours. I can’t imagine what would have happened if I had an electric train set.
As a child, I genuinely wanted to be a train driver. Looking back, I could have wanted to be a race car driver, or a footballer, or a space cowboy, but no. I was dead set on being a train driver, so much so, that on a ‘what do you want to be’ fancy dress day in primary school, I forced my mother to make me a train drivers outfit. A part of me still wants to ride in the front cabin of a steam train, probably just to blow the whistle and shovel a bit of coal.
Now, whenever I get to go on a train, I see it as a point of relaxation. It’s a treat! Of course that can change on what state the train is in, but even so! I ride buses and walk in my everyday life, so the train still feels like a foreign concept to me. I mean these magical tin cans can get me to London in two hours! It takes me an hour to get to the trafford centre each working day. That alone is incredible. I think my favourite aspect of the journey is that I get to sit down for a couple of hours, and look at scenery I haven’t seen in a long time. Sure, sometimes I’ll bring out the iPhone, but you’ll most likely catch me staring out of the window.
I once travelled from Manchester to Leeds on a day there had been quite heavy snowfall in the hills, but none in the city centre. I went from looking at wet, gloomy buildings to looking at beautifully white painted trees, and fields. I hadnt seen snow at all that year, so it was a fantastic sight. No where else can I get that. I love looking out of the window and see streets I’ve never walked down, and people I’ll never see again. It’s silly to say, but it feels quite… magical is the wrong word, but I hope you know what I’m trying to get at.
This entry has nothing to do with advertising, or self promotion as intended, but I hope in reading it, you’ll know a little bit more about me as a person. I like riding trains, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
However, it’s funny that after writing this entry and publishing it no less that four hours ago, I made the return journey from Leeds to Manchester and was subsequently taken on the strangest route home. We travelled through Manchester Victoria, out to Salford, and then in the back way to Piccadilly after a nice twenty minute wait. This ended up adding a further thirty minutes to my journey, but if the doors had opened at Victoria, it would have saved me forty. Apparently, I’m allowed to like trains, but not too much.