“The train is a small world moving through a larger world.”

The dogs woke me up at seven so I let them out, and I waited until Henry wanted in so I could open the door for him. After I did, I went back to bed. Nala joined us and her fur was wet so I knew it was raining by then. I woke at 10, and it was windy and pouring. The rain stopped for a bit then came back with a vengeance. The wind is even stronger than earlier. The pine trees are swaying. The dogs went out but are now chasing each other up and down the hall. All I hear is panting and growling, nice growls, fun growls.

My plans for the day are to hunker down at home, clean the dining room and living room and try to ignore the dogs’ paw prints in the kitchen and down the hall. My cleaning music will be Joni. The Reprise album came yesterday. A sing-a-long is definitely in order.

When I was a kid, my whole world was my house and my small town. I was usually alone when I biked except for that trip to East Boston. When I walked, my brother was sometimes with me. We walked the tracks or to the pool or the zoo. One part of the tracks ended at the depot, a brick building which had a variety of lives once the trains stopped running. The other part kept going. We never walked to the end. I still wonder where the tracks led.

I love trains. My dream when I was young was to take the train across the country. I wanted to fall asleep to the chugging of the train on the tracks. I never made it, but I have taken some spectacular rides.

Ghana used to have passenger trains. I took them whenever they fitted into my itinerary. The one to Kumasi, the second largest city in Ghana, was the train I took the most. I always went first class which wasn’t expensive but was always comfortable. Each first class compartment had four leather seats. Most of the time I was by myself. Looking out the window was my favorite way to pass the time. I could see the backs of compounds and small houses. When the train stopped, women and small girls were at the window selling fruit, bread and bush meat on a stick. The only way to eat the heavily peppered bush meat was to wrap it in bread.

I once went down coast from Accra to Takoradi which is the oldest port in Ghana. From there I had to switch to tro-tros or lorries as the train went no further down the coast. That was the infamous train ride when the cars jumped the tracks. I almost fell out of bed, my comfortable first class bed. I remember walking from one side of a trestle bridge to the other. That was one crazy experience.

The last train I took was the Cape Cod Railway from Hyannis to Buzzards Bay. My mother and I took the train together a couple of times and once with my aunt the nun. We’d get off in Sandwich, shop and have lunch then re-board the train to go home. I love those memories.

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6 Comments on ““The train is a small world moving through a larger world.””

  1. Christer. Says:

    Warm, clody and sticky here today and both the big weather sites guess for both rain and thunder tomorrow, I won’t mind either of them if they come.

    We had a shaky styart here when Alma arrived, Albin would have killed her if he could but things changed and now they are inseparable 🙂 Good thing because I was planning on staying awake just in case Albin would do something stupid when I slept. Now I can sleep calm all night 🙂

    I’ve always loved to travel by train but the most exotic one I’ve done is train to Paris 🙂

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Christer,
      The rain has stopped but the wind hasn’t though it is blowing far less. I’m hoping the storm is now over. We did get a bit of rain, much needed rain.

      Henry loves Nala unless she makes for his dish. He laps her head all the time. The cats hate Nala. They stay behind their gate and hiss. If Nala would leave them alone, I think Jack would come out to wander.

      I don’t trust Nala. I put stuff up to keep it away from her, but she finds new stuff I never bought to move up high. Today she took napkins out of the basket which has been there since she came. She shredded a whole package of them.

      The train in South American was exciting as we went through so many different terrains. I think we hit a few animals and just missed some people.

      Have a great start to your vacation.

  2. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Today the weather is partly cloudy and warm. No rain is forecast with a high of only 87°.

    When I was a kid I loved trains but have only ridden on them twice. One trip was in 1954 from Dallas to El Paso Texas. My father would travel to St. Louis on a two week trip and my mother decided to take is to visit her brother in El Paso. We traveled on the Texas and Pacific Railroad. She didn’t really know how far it was but it took 14 hours. El Paso is 660 miles or halfway to Los Angeles. 🙂 The second trip was to New York city in 1957 and back.on the Katy line. Kansas and Texas Railroad Line. It took two nights and a day, but we had a Pullman bedroom.

    There’s a plan to build a high speed train from downtown Dallas to downtown Houston. The proposed trip will take 90 minutes including a stop in College Station. The distance is 239 miles and takes almost four hours to drive. There’s a group, mostly land owners, who opposes the plan and they are going to ask the state Supreame Court to review their case again which they lost last year.

    I think train travel would be fun if you have lots of time and don’t have to be anywhere fast.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      The sky is finally getting lighter so I figure the rain has moved elsewhere. The wind is finally dying down.

      I have taken trains in Europe, South American and Africa. I love riding in trains and and have taken them whenever I could. Our country made a mistake by not maintaining the trains and their routes. I would take a train over a plane any time. It takes longer but you can move around, eat in the dining car, if there is one, and sleep in the berth. I love falling asleep on a train.

      The Cape train rain from Boston to Hyannis a couple of years ago. It was subsidized by the state and was popular. It didn’t happen last year nor did they start it up again this year. The only drawback is not having a way to get around the cape. I’d take it to Boston if it still ran.

      Given the number of cars on the road now, I think train travel is a great solution to being caught in traffic. I’d just build the time into my schedule.

  3. Birgit Says:

    It’s summer and school holidays and like nearly every year I made some plans for train and bike day trips depending on weather and time. My public transport ticket is valid for the whole region and I can take my bike with me when the train isn’t too crowded. One of the planned destinations is an old suspension railway. I think every school kid here took this line at least once, it’s a popular day trip when it’s not closed due to construction works. Also everyone knows the story of Tuffi, the baby elephant that fell out of a rail car into the river some decades ago. Tuffi survived.
    If you want to take a virtual trip, here’s a part of the railway in 1902 and now:

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      I really enjoyed that virtual trip. I noticed how many buildings are still there, but all of the houses seemed to have been replaced. The green spots were turned into parking lots. I found several YouTube videos similar to this a while back, but they were still pictures. I was amazed by how little some places had changed.

      The cape does have some busses which travel from Hyannis down cape. They do allow bicycles, but there is an amazing bike trail which has wonderfully beautiful scenery. I used to ride the trail.

      I love that railway!! It is almost Harry Potterish.


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