Monday, 24 May 2010


Dan has kindly sent me one of his photos of a foggy morning in (or near?) Chicago, taken at his local train station.
It's moody and atmospheric, don't you think?

He says that everyone thinks he's strange because he likes to take the train and thinks there are far too many cars on the road.

Dan, guess what? SO DO I!

It drives me (sic) bananas that people get behind the wheel at the drop of a hat. I love the train - watching the world go by. Watching people. Reading a book. Eating a sandwich. Very simple pleasures.

One of the best-ever train journeys I've ever done was travelling as a teenager from Milano (where a porter refused a tip, but gave me his address and implored me to let him know I'd arrived safely! And a young soldier shared his lunch with me. Oh, the hospitality of the Italian people....). The train snaked all the way down to the Cote d'Azur - past the glitter of a blindingly-blue sea. It stopped in Nice and I thought I'd arrived in paradise.

Recently, my daughter and I took the train to Avignon, where my son is working and where I shall be this time tomorrow.

What's your most memorable train journey?


  1. When I was at university in Wales, the best way to get to Aberystwyth from Yorkshire was to get the mail train from Leeds that went direct. It left at midnight and and travelled through the night, arriving at 7am. I used to travel with my then boyfriend, now husband and we would always have coffee when the train stopped at Crewe (to load mailbags) then watch the dawn come up over the sea as we reached the Welsh coast. I'm not sure if it still runs (this was eons ago!) but I'd love to do the trip again. You can get an amazing amount of reading done in 7 hours. I think that was actually when I read War and Peace!

    Like you, I love train journeys

  2. Highland laddie24 May 2010 at 18:30

    Dear Sharon. I am afraid I am even more old fashioned than you! I like to travel by goat. I find mine to be an admirable companion and reliable - at least he is up here on the Scottish moors! Do any of your other readers travel by unusual animals? Art

  3. The train station pictured is located in my hometown of Tinley Park, Illinois - about 25 miles southwest of Chicago. I take the train as often as I can. It's true, Americans rely too heavily on automobiles... But fuel prices and "greener" thoughts are causing change. The use of ublic transportation has been climbing steadily in recent years.

    To answer Sharon's question, my favorite train ride was in the mountains of Colorado. The Royal Gorge railroad makes its way slowly through scenic mountain passes up to 10,000 feet in elevation. The beautiful vistas are absolutely inspiring. But I also agree with Sharon... memories of the time shared with fellow travellers last longer than the memories of the passing matter how breathtaking the view.

  4. Kate - what a lovely story - sounds like the perfect anniversary trip.
    ( I wonder if the is Magnet reading this...?!)

  5. Dan, so pleased that the "green" message is getting through. I notice how popular trains are now - and the recent episodes of volcanic ash showed how dependable they can be when compared to air travel.
    Less time hanging around taking off your shoes and throwing away perfectly good bottles of perfume, too.

    Oh, and Colorado sounds amazing. Yet another place on my wish list.

  6. Sharon: Larimer County, Colorado (and Rocky Mountain National Park) is probably my favorite place in the United States. Upon my first visit, I was shaken by its beauty. The serenity of the mountains have an almost narcotic allure.

    I absolutely recommend that you see it with your own eyes. Place this trip high on your wish list.

  7. When my son was small, he was DEEPLY into steam trains (so we've probably visited more than half the steam railways in England). I think one of our favourites was Ravenglass (very, very pretty); but locally we also have the 'Poppy Line' at Sheringham (which is a fantastic trip in summer when all the poppies are out).

    My most memorable recent journey was from Venice to Milan (unscheduled, but that's another story) and we were highly impressed by the trains: comfortable, aircon that worked, and a beautiful sunset just outside Padua.

    Have a lovely time in Avignon!

  8. Don't know about poncey trains Sharon love - I'm with me mate Art on this one.

    If I needs to get into town for provisions an' all, I just strap me feet to a pair of crocs' backs and walk 'em up the creak.