But seriously, it’s true. Pretty self-evident once you learn I spent almost a month and a half inter-railing around Europe with two friends a couple of summers ago. Do you not find though when you are on a train you instantly find yourself in that limbo stage where you cannot be held responsible for life during the journey?
Case A: Sorry I’m late my train wasn’t on time
Case B: Sorry I look like a total mess I had to run across the station to catch my train
Case C: Sorry I didn’t pick up your call my train went through a tunnel and I lost signal
Case D: Sorry I’m broke, I just really needed that last bacon roll before that bastard from coach B got it…
….ok so maybe only a few cases. But still, as soon as you get on a train it is one of the few places where, although you are still able to keep in contact with the outside world (unlike planes) you have the opportunity and excuse not to. Just sit, or as I prefer, to stand, plug in your headphones and watch as the world whizzes by – and hope you don’t have to change at Bristol Temple Meads because that is the coldest station ever to exist. Seriously, sitting here now and my fingers can hardly type; they built the damned station as a wind tunnel!
Train stations and trains seem to have the innate ability to warp time; as simaltaneously the experience of waiting for a train seems to be the longest you have ever waited yet the most simple because you can literally watch the seconds tick by. You get a real time sense of how long one second, two seconds, three seconds actually are.
It probably helps that my local trainline runs along the coast and up a river resulting in some mesmorising scenery, where the simple motion of the waves or the building of the clouds can be something to focus on. Saying that, watching the hustle and bustle of a city pass can be fascinating; maybe that woman pushing the pram has just had the last straw and is off to tell her partner enough is enough, maybe that child on their bike is rushing home to open a birthday present, maybe those police officers are off to save an elderly gentleman from the junkies crowding his door outside.
So simply put, I like trains.
(Ignoring the crippling anxiety of social interaction, the idea of being late, missing your train or being on the wrong platform of course.)
Here’s to you,