It seems to be something that gets into a person’s bloodstream at a young age. But once a diesel trains smoke gets into a person’s body, it’s basically impossible to shake it off.
I wonder how many rail buffs can pinpoint exactly when they became one. With me, it was seeing my first train at the Willingdon Junction in Burnaby B.C. Others may have had family working for a rail company, or were raised near an active rail line or train yard.
Watching trains go by from the comforts of home or a good viewing spot is next to high heaven for rail fans. Even watching trains being broken down then reassembled onto a different one is an interesting way of passing time. Operating a model train set is enough to stir up the urge along with being behind the controls of a train simulator.
Yet how many of us can explain what trains does to us. Some may not know right away when they’ve become a rail fan. The first memory I have is hearing a nearby passing train blowing its horn while heading eastwards at night. This was where my maternal grandmother lived in Burnaby.
Becoming a rail buff could very well be heredity, particularly from father to son. This was a factor in my life as my dad and uncle enjoyed watching trains. It may be a good way to get the males out of the house when the women want to clean the house, or get time to themselves. Tell the rail fan to “go watch some trains” and presto, they are gone.
There must be something about an approaching train that stirs things up for a rail buff. Train headlamps look like a very bright triangle from a distance. Behind the lead engines means that any kind of load is being hauled and every train is different on what is being transported.
Myself, I like the general or mixed freights due to the variety of rail cars involved. I saw a lot of these kinds of freights at my grandmother’s house as she lived a good stone’s throw from the Canadian National and at the time Great Northern line.
Waving at train crews has been part of the rail scene for years. Between Vernon and Kelowna there was an old timer that waved to trains crews from his kitchen table. Just north of Kelowna, two women waved from their office window. People in the Nelson area came out with signs at Christmas time wishing Canadian Pacific crews happy holidays.
Ron Murdock has lived and worked in Western Canada all his life, and will continue to do so until his last day on Planet Earth. He has a good number of interests and hobbies which include dogs, freight trains, baseball and astronomy. Ron wants to know what the truth is, and nothing but the truth, and will do what research it takes to find it. The best compliment he can get is when a person says his writing, or what he says, gets them seeking.
More About Attraction To Railway Trains
Railway trains have a captivating allure for various reasons, drawing people’s interest and fascination for generations:
Trains played a crucial role in history, revolutionizing transportation and connecting distant places. The development of railways influenced industrialization, trade and societal development, making them historically significant.
Sense of Adventure and Exploration:
Trains evoke a feeling of exploration and adventure. Train journeys often pass through diverse landscapes and terrains, offering unique and picturesque views that captivate passengers.
Romanticism and Nostalgia:
Trains are often associated with a bygone era, prompting a sense of nostalgia and romanticism. This nostalgia can be tied to the elegant luxury of old-fashioned train travel or memories of childhood experiences.
Efficiency and Connectivity:
Trains are efficient means of transportation, connecting cities, towns and regions, offering a convenient way to travel with reliability and relatively minimal environmental impact compared to other modes of transportation.
Architectural and Engineering Marvels:
The engineering marvel of train infrastructure, from bridges to tunnels and the design of trains themselves, can be visually stunning and impressive, garnering interest from architecture and engineering enthusiasts.
Cultural and Social Experiences:
Train travel often involves interactions with diverse people and cultures, making it a social experience. Train stations themselves can be cultural hubs, bustling with activity and a mix of people.
Relaxation and Comfort:
For many, the rhythmic movement of a train provides a soothing and relaxing experience, making it an appealing mode of travel for leisure.
Variety of Train Types:
From high-speed trains to scenic railways, there’s a wide variety of train types that cater to different preferences, whether for speed, luxury, or scenic views.
Overall, the lure of railway trains is a combination of historical, cultural and experiential factors, making train travel an appealing and romanticized mode of transportation for many people.