Daily Prompt: I am going to catch the special

east coast trains from Kings Cross
I was walking out this morning
With rambling on my mind
I am going to catch the special
That train called Lonesome Pine
Carter Family

Rail travel is my favourite mode of transport though my love for it is heavily overladen with nostalgia for the big, huffing engines and their genteel carriages. These were the last days of steam when people holidayed at seaside destinations that were advertised in the carriages above the antimacassars, as well as postered around the neat and floral stations along the way. And when summer ended, as one of many uniformed returnees to boarding school, I would head out under the portals of King’s Cross to the reaches of Hertfordshire, with homesickness already setting in as vapour from the eager engine hissed impatiently about the giant wheels.

From coal to the power of diesel-electric, the tum-te-tum rhythm of the journey has been smoothed away by continuous track, the dining car is a cumbersome trolley or dull buffet and the coaches reduced to modern urbanity. But what does not change is the sense of sitting still whilst a scene changer with a short attention span oscillates between urban and rural, flatlands, woodland, arable, and the perfectly picturesque to the down at heel, industrial. As one view hurtles in there is barely time to register before it’s wiped with another, and all within the blink of an eye

Mostly I travel up and down the UK but one day I am going to catch the special steam tours that sight-see our lovely lands, on to Europe and maybe even to the ends of the Earth.

wriiten for the Daily Prompt: Can’t Drive 55: Take the third line of the last song you heard, make it your post title, and write for a maximum of 15 minutes. GO!


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