Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Sunday Selections # 93

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock,  as an ongoing theme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files. 

The theme is now continued by  River at Drifting through life.

The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.

Like River I generally run with a theme.  Last Sunday the skinny portion and I were given a treat and went on a small adventure.

We travelled by a restored steam train (it is 108 years old) from Canberra to the nearby town of Bungendore.

It was a lovely day, and a lovely trip, but goodness they are filthy things.  Every so often we would be at the right angle to see the smoke - black and filthy.  It was also incredibly hungry, using close to 4 tons of coal for a round trip journey of around 40 miles.




It has been lovingly restored - largely by volunteers from the Australian Capital Territory Division of the Australian Railway Historical Society (goodness, what a mouthful that is).  As a special treat we were invited into the drivers compartment (sorry, I know this area has a particular name, but it has been escaping me for a week).  It was not easy getting up to this area, and it was not easy getting down, but I was glad I did.



All that coal had to be shovelled by hand.

video

Inside the cabins there were old railway posters.






We travelled through some quintessential Australian countryside complete with kangaroos (that I was too slow to photograph), sheep who ran away as fast as their fat woolly legs would take them, and the odd cow or two.







There is something truly magical about a train's whistle.  One of our homes had a railway running through the bottom paddock.  Until we took this little jaunt into the past I had forgotten both how much I love the sound of old trains and how remarkably soothing I find the noises they make.

103 comments:

  1. Oh! Lucky, lucky you!I love old trains (quite prepared to overlook their fuel-greed and dirt!)
    And the bit whose name escapes you? Some say "cab" but I grew up calling it the plate or platform.
    And such stunning views.
    (Last week my neighbour flew in a gyrocoptor-now this. I am double-sulking!) And happy!

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    1. dinahmow: It was a lovely excursion. We were really lucky to be given complimentary tickets because of my commitment to Lifeline.
      I would be a bit sulkpot ben Nag, Nag about your neighbours trip in a gyrocopter as well. And yes, happy for him too.

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  2. that IS magical!


    Weekend Aloha from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral

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    1. Cloudia: Even the weather helped. The forecast was for rain and cloud - and simply didn't happen. (We could do with the rain though.)

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  3. Wow..look at all that smoke. Still...what a lovely way to travel.

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    1. mybabyjohn/Delores: It was a really lovely trip.

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  4. Jealous!!!!!! I would LOVE to take a trip like that (imagine seeing kangaroos roaming around)! My dad worked on the railway and started his career as a fireman shovelling coal into those old steam engines. Like you, they hold a special place in my heart. Wonderful photos!!!!

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    1. Cathy Oliffe-Webster: I am always happy to see the kangaroos, even though we do see them quite often. They didn't seem at all phased by the train either, unlike the silly sheep. I hope that you are able to travel by steam train someday - it is a treat. Dirt and all. Mind you wearing white trousers was a mistake.

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  5. I rode one one once. The inside wasn't as fancy as your though. But it was interesting. Especially if you passed from one car to another while moving. The swaying was interesting. I was pen-pals with someonea long time ago who was a conductor on a train in Australia. He was interesting. Hmmm I have always wondered why he stopped writing. Any way I am glad that you enjoyed your journey.

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    1. Teresa: They do shake a little. Fun though. And we both had a lovely, lovely day.

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  6. Wow! What a treat to go on this train, even if it WAS awfully dirty from the coal. I think you call the front part the "engine" and the last part the "caboose." Thanks for taking the pictures and allowing me to go along with you on the adventure! :-)

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    1. DJan: The last part of the train became the first on the way home. The driver simply trotted down to the other end of the train and took off again. Which reminded me of Dr Dolittles Pushme Pullyou.

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  7. There really is something about a train that's not like anything else. You've captured it perfectly.

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    1. Austan: And something about old trains which is magic. A little like the really old cars.

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  8. That sounds like so much fun! I have never been on an old-fashioned train.

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    1. Riot Kitty: It was a heap of fun. If you get the chance to ride on a steam train, just go...

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  9. I have ALWAYS wanted to take a train trip. Maybe one of these days I'll get to actually do it :)

    I love your photos... that smoke has some serious hang time eh?

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    1. Sherri: I really like travelling by train. Much more restful than car trips. Interestingly on the way home in the afternoon more than half of the passengers nodded off. I was obviously not the only person to find it soothing.

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  10. A pretty spacious lounge in that 'Across Australia' poster!

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    1. J Cosmo Newbery: It was indeed. Either it was an early version of 'spin' or the lounge depicted was in a higher class than I have ever travelled.

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  11. This has brought back memories of my childhood. Almost every year after Christmas/New Year, by train we went up to Mackay to spend a couple of weeks with our cousins; arriving with soot in our eyes...they were not tears of holiday fun expectations that our cousins saw streaming down our cheeks upon our arrival...but those caused by soot!

    At night we'd hear the old steam trains struggle, huffing and puffing up a rise as they neared the Gympie railway station. I can still hear to this day if I close my eyes and take myself back to those days...so long ago now.

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    1. Lee: I was sure I had replied to you days ago, but blogger (who we all know never lies) tells me I am wrong.
      I apologise. And yes, the huff and puff of steam trains is something which stays in the memory of those who have heard it. Those smuts are something else though.

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    2. That's okay, EC... thank you for the memories. :) My late brother started off his working life in the railways...and used to ride out through to the Mary Valley...a rich, dairy and agricultural area outside of Gympie. The old "Gympie Rattler" was restored and did runs out through the Valley until only lately...it's been put on hold because of financial issues. I hope soon that those problems will be solved.

      Shortly before my brother's passing a good friend of his fulfilled one of his last wishes...and that was to ride on along the track with the steam engine pulling the old wooden carriages behind.

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    3. Lee: That sounds as if your brother's friend was a very good friend indeed. The sort that there probably aren't enough of in most of our lives.

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  12. Wonderful photos!! I love trains, they are the most splendid way to travel! Thank you for the superb post!

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  13. Oh, I bet you had fun! I love old trains. Beautiful scenery!

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    1. Karen: We had a heap of fun. We should do it again sometime.

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  14. Love your photos, especially the wood and leather seats.
    I remember hearing the whistle as a train came round the bend and began its trip across the Murray River Bridge into Murray Bridge Station. Not too many of them were steam trains though, most of the passenger trains had diesel engines by then. In much earlier times, my brother and me would watch steam engines pass us as we waited by the crossing to get to school in Port Pirie.
    I've promised myself a few train rides when I retire, across the Nullarbor, the Ghan up to Darwin and back...

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    1. River: Thank you. I should add that those seats were very, very uncomfortable - but it didn't matter (much) for such a short trip. I have heard wonderful things about the Ghan...

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  15. Oh these photos are great! I love trains, and have many train journeys on my travel wishlist. Many years ago I went by train across the Nullarbor from Sydney to Perth, and loved every minute.

    We have an historic steam train in our district, which, I am embarrassed to say, I have never been on. It just does a short return trip through the gorge, about half an hour each way.
    Thanks for posting these!

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    1. Alexia: Thank you very much. I would like to go on the Orient Express. It is probably just a dream now, but I have always been a dreamer so ...

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  16. That looks like a really nice outing. I do love trains, also. While I'm a reluctant traveller, I've been away a few times by train, and would go again in a heartbeat :)

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  17. Oh how I remember the sting of coal dust in the eyes! Lucky you to have such a nostalgia trip.

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    1. Arija: It was a lovely nostalgia trip - but I couldn't justify it on any other grounds. Hungry, dirty, picturesque.

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  18. Nowadays the steam engine is so romantic - but back in the day, they were kind of dirty and hungry. Lovely shots!

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    1. ladyfi: Thank you. Romantic, hungry and dirty sums it up well. A lovely day though.

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  19. There is something about those old engines... I could put up with any amount of filth and smuts in the eye. And I agree with you about the whistle. Magic, yes - and you caught the magic with your post.

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  20. What a lovely treat! I'm so glad you got to do that. I love trains, too.

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    1. Lynn: It was a treat out of the blue, and lifted both of our flagging spirits.

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  21. I simply adore this idea...I am very much of a romantic and I have a secret fantasy to virtually travel back in time when people were very polite, romantic and they'd travel by carriage or by trains with steam engines :).

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    1. unikorna: When a fifty mile journey took several days, and you could stop and enjoy what the universe had to offer. Makes sense from this romantic's corner too. And I was brought up on the phrase 'politeness costs nothing' - and it still seems an expensive and rare commodity today.

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  22. Hi River,

    What an amazing journey and adventure. I really appreciate the corresponding and most fascinating photos. It makes me yearn for those simpler days when the steam locomotive would chug away through the hills and dales,

    Thank you for this.

    Gary

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    1. Gary: It is EC here, not River, but thank you so much for your comment. Have a peaceful day.

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  23. A lovely set of images, and I especially like the one looking in at the magnificent glowing chemistry that powers a big old train.

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    1. Don QuiScottie: Did you notice the billy on top to keep the water hot for a cup of tea (then) and for either tea or coffee now? I loved that, and am ashamed to say that I hadn't noticed it until I put the photo up here.

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    2. Noticed the billy-can but was too engrossed by the flame to realise why it might be there. A cup of tea on the footplate of a steam engine as it chuffed through the countryside would be mighty fine.

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    3. Don QuiScottie: A cup of tea is almost always welcome, but yes, that one would be special.

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  24. What fun!!! I'd have loved that ride. I still remember running to the over-bridge to get there before the train, so that we could be bathed in smoke from the smoke. Great memories and these are great photos!

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    1. DeniseinVA: I think that everyone aboard did love the ride. We were all tired puppies coming home though which I found odd.

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  25. I just came back from my vacation and spend the last part of it on the train. I LOVED it. LOVED! We are already planning our next trip.

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    1. Birdie: And what a holiday you had. Trains are a wonderful stress free way of seeing places.

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  26. I was listening to a train whistle from my bed the other night, and I thought: hmm, that's a MODERN train, but they're still making an effort to make it sound like a steam whistle. How cool! Maybe all the new technology should sound old. Like when you click on computer porn, you get heavy breathing or something. Okay, bad example.

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    1. Murr Brewster: That sounds like a brilliant idea. The new sounding like the old I mean. What sound would you like your blog to have? Laughter, with a dose of healthy cynicism? Sometimes tears. A bit like life really.

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  27. We take train rides whenever we can, once we took one in the Santa Cruz mountains and the conductor let us take our dog along, another time my husband met a man who has his own train and he said he give him a ride if he ever gets up to Washington state, haven't made it up there again, some day. Trains are magical.

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    1. Linda Starr: 'met a man who has his own train'???? Oh wow. Take him up on that offer.

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  28. ....I'm embarrassed to say that I've never ridden in a real, live steam train!

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    1. Kath Lockett: If you get the chance while you are abroad and leading the good life, do it. And tell us about it in your inimitable style.

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  29. There is something about an old train that tugs at me. I hear the whistle and I am ready to go off into history. Thanks for the journey.

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    1. Susan Kane: Train whistle magic. I hadn't realised until Murr told me in her comment that the old whistle has been attached to newer trains. Cheating? Or reclaiming something we were in danger of losing. Still thinking about that one.

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  30. Hmm - could have sworn I commented yesterday, but must have been dreaming :) What a lovely trip you had! I love the train. I've done a few trips, and although I don't enjoy any other type of travelling I'd go on another train ride in a heartbeat. Thanks for reminding me of how enjoyable it is.

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    1. jenny_o: I think Blogger has been playing tricks on us. I am pretty certain that not only did you comment, but that I replied. Hmm? Trains are a nice way of travel. I think I might have liked ships - except I get appallingly seasick, and carsick, and planesick. And when we rode motorbikes it was always my very real fear that I would throw up in my helmut and drown. Not a good image.

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  31. What a wonderful adventure you had. I enjoy traveling by train, you can see so much of the countryside without having to drive the busy roads.

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    1. Pam:): Slower, and much more enjoyable travel. Time to enjoy the scenery. And to provide scenery. When we stopped cars at level crossings they often waved at us, instead of impatiently drumming their fingers on the steering wheel. A slower time - and probably a nicer one.

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  32. Dear EC, your posting made me a little annoyed with myself. Why? Because for 36 years I lived in Stillwater, Minnesota. Just across the St. Croix river and up a piece along the highway in Wisconsin was Osceola. It had a train that traveled for a few miles on the bluff above the river. A friend and I talked several times about taking the train on its excursion and never did. A lost opportunity. In some ways I am such a recluse that I miss out on adventure. I like to try new things, but I'm slow to plan them. Still, I'm so glad for you that you got to do this and to listen to the lonesome call of the whistle. Peace.

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    1. Dee: I hate to think that I made you annoyed - at yourself or anyone else. Never say never. Perhaps you willl get to go on that train yet.

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  33. Wonderful pictures....I felt like I was on the train and could hear the whistle!

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  34. I'll show these photos to my nephew because he is fascinated with trains! The scenery looks very peaceful too. I hope you enjoyed your ride :)

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    1. Farida: I love the sunflower on your avatar. I hope your nephew enjoys these photos. It was a lovely ride we had.

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  35. I just barely remember steam engines.

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    1. Snowbrush: I may be being unjust but the words that came to me as I read your comment were 'liar, liar pants on fire'...

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  36. A train ride is wonderful! When I still lived in Germany I used to travel a lot by train, it was so enjoyable. Of course those were on modern trains, but still very relaxing.

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    1. Carola Bartz: They are relaxing aren't they? Almost soporific.

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  37. ---My daddy worked for the railroad his entire life. when he hears the whistle of the train, he says it's like music to his ears. I shall always think of him when I hear the magical whistle. Always.
    great photos. Hoping you are well, S. Xxx Kisssssss

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    1. My Inner Chick: Your daddy is right. Train whistles are music.

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  38. How lovely to ride on such an antique train, Soosie. I have often taken the train in France but never got lucky enough to catch a ride on a steam engine like this one.
    Thank you for taking us along :-)

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    1. farawayinthesunshine: The group who did the restoration of the train did an amazing job and I feel so privileged to have ridden on her.

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  39. Excellent expedition, fantastic views. I am greeting

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    1. ZielonaMila: Thank you. Greetings to you as well. It was a lovely day.

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  40. There's a train crossing four miles from my home. I never hear it during the day, but early in the mornings, that train whistle travels across the quiet miles. I think of adventurers on a journey. Thanks for post pictures of Oz. I'm starting to fear, I'll never make it there, so I cherish the parts your share. And, of course, your narration can't be found anywhere else. Thanks, Sue.

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    1. barbfroman: Thank you. I am really glad that you enjoyed this trip. And of course my narration can be found here and on the squillion blogs I follow where I often leave long (too long?) comments.

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  41. Oh how I love trains! And the pictures of the Australian countryside were just fascinating!

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    1. Running from Hell with El: I am really pleased that you liked it.

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  42. I love the choo-choo sound those old trains made :)

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    1. Pam:): I agree, the sound of old trains is very special indeed.

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  43. Very nice photos of the old steam train and how I would love to take a ride on one of those again.

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    1. DeniseinVA: The train was superbly restored. I think it is run about once a month or so. We were lucky to be given the tickets.

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  44. Stunning machinery, man I love those train engines, and the countryside is just as impressive, thanks for these, they are beautiful. I wouldn't have realised until you said that it's quintissential Australian countryside, but of course it is, so different to ours. I'd love to see it in the flesh x

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    1. All Consuming: It was a bit greener than usual after some spring rain, but the bones are there. I would love you to see it in the flesh as well. So long as you came to see me too.

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  45. I certainly chose the right time to dip into your world. Great photos and nice to see a train, environmentally clean and green transport, running for quite a distance.

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  46. I agree with you that the sounds and motion of a train are incredibly soothing (and that the name of the organization that restored this vintage beauty is indeed a mouthful!!) When I was a kiddo, my mom and I would take the train from wherever we were living on the East Coast at the time to northern Montana to visit my grandparents (and where most of my relatives worked - and still work - on the railroad there). I LOVED traveling by train (it took three days), enjoying the passing scenery of all those states we passed through and being rocked to sleep at night by the motion, awakened now and then at RR crossings by the delightful Doppler effect of the crossing alarm. I miss passenger train travel. While we have a very busy railroad here in Sheridan, it's all freight trains (mostly carrying that nasty, dirty coal from the mines here to the east coast! Glad only the vintage trains till burn that awful stuff). Passenger train travel here has gotten rarer, much more expensive, and not nearly as nice as it was when I was a kid, so I'm glad to have those memories and wish it would make a comeback.

    The countryside you passed through is lovely, it was fun to see the variety of scenes that you saw on your train jaunt! So glad you were able to go enjoy this experience! Thank you for sharing it!

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    1. Laloofah: The skinny portion has travelled quite long distances by steam train while in India and Pakistan. This relatively short jaunt was my first steam train trip - and despite not inconsiderable discomfort (insufficient room for my long legs) I loved it.

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  47. I absolutely LOVE photos and stories about railways --- they are so vintage looking even if they still use them today. Gives is such an old time feel. AND, I've never been on one. Would love to travel that way.

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    1. Deb: It every you get the chance to take a trip on a steam train (a dying breed) jump at it. The noise and the motion are surprisingly soothing AND it gives you the chance to enjoy the scenery.

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  48. there's something about trains...i remember going up pike's peak with my two kids. fun times.

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  49. Don't know how I somehow didn't comment on this before, but I sure enjoyed the vicarious trip here. I love trains. This sounds like the sort of thing I've always fantasized doing. I hope it was indeed as fun as it looks.

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    1. Paper Chipmunk (aka Ellen): It was a lovely day. There was insufficient room for my legs which caused significant pain, and it was still a lovely day.

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  50. How wonderful, this one! It was never sustainable, using coal. Just as well we progressed.

    Loved that little video :) Sweet.

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    1. wordsfallfrommyeyes: Thank you. I really do appreciate the way you have been trawling through my old posts.

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