Trains are pretty cool.
OK, maybe not quite as cool as aeroplanes. After all, what could possibly be cooler than whooshing up into the sky and soaring high above the clouds? Not much really. But on the cosmic scale of transportation coolness, trains might be below planes but they’re way ahead of cars and buses. And don’t get me started on trams.
When I was a kid, I was really into trains. I loved going on them. Every train journey was a major adventure. Even just catching a local train into the city was big fun. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to go on major train journeys across a number of continents. It’s definitely the best way to travel. Maybe not quite as quick as a plane but way more comfortable. Plus you get to see the scenery fly by outside your window. Plus you don’t have that claustrophobic feeling of been stuck in an oversized cylinder. And don’t get me started on turbulence. OK, I think I’ve made my point.
The other thing I really loved when I was a kid was model trains. We had a great model train set. Over the years, we managed to accumulate a bunch of different models, until we had steam locomotives from the US wild west sharing the rails with diesels from our own local railroad. I used to love poring over the catalogues, to see all the different things you could get – all the forms of rolling stock, not to mention the switching options and the scenery. We actually had plans to build a really cool layout with mountains and tunnels and everything. We got as far as designing the track layout on a large wooden board and papier-mache-ing some mountains. Unfortunately, other things got in the way and that big wooden board ended up in the back of the garage. So ended many of my other childhood projects.
When I think of trains these days, something that usually comes to mind is the story of the little red engine. You know the one, forging up the hill chanting, “I think I can, I think I can,” till it gets all the way to the top. I like to think of myself as that little red engine, on a long drive up a hill that never seems to end. Even as the climb gets steeper and the top doesn’t seem to be in sight, I still force myself forward, telling myself, “I think I can, I think I can.”
I still can’t see the top. There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. But like that little red engine, I have no plans to give up.
Posted by Jonathan Gould and tagged as