Monday, May 25, 2009

Track record

I've always loved trains, above all other forms of transportation. One of my earliest memories is of being taken on a steam train journey in Devon and I still remember the excitement and mystery of it. Once I attempted to create some new memories for my little sisters, then aged 6 and 8, by taking them to Glasgow with me on the train; although it's a much more prosaic journey, something about racing along the tracks, looking out of the windows as the landscape flies past, even buying a coffee from the trolley, serves in some small way to deliver a fraction of the experience of Robert Powell in The 39 Steps, all the Agatha Christie novels I tore through, Adlestrop by Edward Thomas, and the beginning of Stardust Memories.

Sydney's trains are double-deckers, with excellent, practical green leather seats kitted out with a middle section that converts from one side to another so you can change the direction you're facing in (an important consideration for me because my travel-sickness is exacerbated by facing backwards) and shiny fittings glinting in the light. The windows are scratched to hell and the interiors are dim; it's not the Trans-Siberian Express, but I'm completely satisfied.


Claire said...

Are you sure it was Devon? I never went there as a child. I do remember going on a steam train near Wivenhoe, Colchester, in Essex, though. Was there a pianola, too?

LottieP said...

There was a pianola. I think you might be right, but I was convinced it was Devon.

LottieP said...

I'm told that only the trains for the Blue Mountains have this excellent green leather livery.