Wheels on the tracks. The rhythmic sound and vibrating motion combined are comforting to me. The train is familiar from my earliest childhood, riding on a railway is second nature. It is incredulous to realize so many people have never ridden on a real train. (The Disney one doesn’t really count ya know?)
Until I was five we traveled by train all the time….from upstate New York to New Jersey to visit my grandparents…or to New York City for all kinds of reasons. My first pet was a cat named Chessie after the railway cat of the Chesapeake Railroad logo.
My Grampa Clair (for whom I am named) was a railroad man. As a fairly young boy, instead of going to school, he worked as a Mud-Hop or Mud-Boy, counting the freight cars in the station yards. A railroad makes its revenue by hauling freight. Back in the day the Mud-Boy would walk the length of each train up and down every track (in the mud) recording each car’s identifying numbers. This listing was a permanent record of all arriving and departing trains, used as the billing records.
I always thought it would be great fun to take the train on a three or four day excursion…to Seattle or Denver…someplace like that. The newer sleeper cars are quite something.
I’m not thinking of the old fashion “Some Like it Hot” sleeper cars:
More like the American Orient Express…for a day or two…