Thursday, September 25, 2008

r is for railroad

ched picked today's theme as TRAIN - I discovered that if I tweak just a little bit I can maintain the flow of the blogabet and still keep with the theme thursday game!

I LOVE TRAINS. I come by my love of trains quite naturally. during the early years of my family's history in the u.s. of a. there has been a connection to trains. in an earlier post I mentioned that my grandfather worked for the railroad as a brakeman and telegrapher and of grandpap and grandmam's kids, two went on to be train engineers. in my generation no one is directly involved with the railroad industry anymore, but like myself, there are quite a few 'supporters' and I have one cousin who is an avid collector of model trains (to some he may seem like a model train nut - but, personally, I think it's cool and I think he's cool too!)

one of my biggest disappointments about living in america is the fact that as a country we have pretty much abandoned the health and well-being of our nation's trains and rail system for the transport of people. however, eternal optimist that I am, believe that in light of today's fuel and energy crises (or should I say catastrophes) maybe, just maybe, america will realize there is sense, value, and ecological worth in revitalizing and resurrecting the infrastructure of the country's railroad system.

trains are part of my everyday life - maybe not my daily life - but definitely my everyday life. two and a half years ago when my much loved automobile died (just shy of 200,ooo miles), I thought I'd see if I could exist without having a car - could I think of a better way to reduce my ecological footprint? it wasn't like I was living in some place without public transportation options.
I am fortunate, I live in a community which has decent public transportation - buses and light rail trains. cleveland doesn't have an extensive train system but we do have three primary rail lines - the green, the blue, and the red. I live relatively close to two stations for the red line. for work and pleasure I use the red line to get around.

coincidentally, I am currently (current as to when this post is 'scheduled' to 'go live') on a train. I'm off on another wander. I'm taking amtrak's lake shore limited east - first stop is to nyack (well the stop near nyack - off amtrack and transferring to metronorth). I'll be connecting with ched and meeting the rest of the cool cats of nyack (dennis and eddy). then on saturday ched and I are heading into 'the city' and will be meeting some blogging buds.

surprisingly, I discovered I don't have very many photos of trains in my personal archives - lots of photos of stations and rails but not actual trains. and because of such I had to borrow an image of today's main photo from my extremely talented daughter e - thanks e!!
happy rails to you.....

the mouse will resume it's regular schedule on monday september 29th. until then - the first reader to correctly identify the mystery station in the photo below is the winner of a surprise from the magical mouse studio:


R.L. Bourges said...

no idea which station it is but the photo is gorgeous, so's the batdog and I wish you a great time.

Barbara said...

Great picture of Union Station. Please give hugs to the NYC Bloggers I know (and those I don't know).

I too have loved trains ever since first reading The Little Engine That Could with my parents. My guy friend (who helped me build a huge doll-house at age 10) and I used to stretch expanded brown paper bags down our entire hall and draw very elaborate trains. They have a certain mystique that is lost in highway driving!

d. chedwick said...

Railroad did work out nicely. My grandfather worked for the railroad when he was a young man in Pittsburgh.

I've been in the "Mystery Station" pictured quite a few times. Hopefully we'll be able to check out the Newark, NJ Station sometime. I have a memory of it being beautiful, the doors leading out to Market Street, sunlight streaming through big old fashioned windows... Seems we are often hurrying through these places, but even then it's impossible not to notice how grand they are. Los Angeles has a great train station too.

Julien said...

I think I recognize where the first photo was taken too ;)

Steve said...

My great-grandfather was a railroad station master. I guess many of us who've had family here for a while probably have railroad connections. It is sad the way we've moved away from rail -- I was always told that the Teamsters and the trucking industry helped kill the railroads, but now long-haul trucking just seems SO stupid.

Bob Dylan said...

Nice, Post Kimy! I was a little shocked you had to borrow a train shot fro e, but hey, it's a great shot.

and I will guess you're taking plenty of pics on the train today.

Megan said...

I saw your arrival on another blog. Fun!

My great-great-uncles were railroad men. There have been some crazy stories handed down about those crazy Irishmen...

Coffee Messiah said...

Trains, their sight and smell are among the lost modes of transportation.

Although while in germany, it was another great way to get from one part of the country to the other.

Have fun, we wish were were there with ya'll! ; )

lettuce said...

i love train journeys - loved US trains and hope to travel on Cleveland trains with you one day

and you're all meeting up today!
thinking of you!
have a fabfab time


Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

No idea which station that is but it's lovely.
My father always said traveling by rail was something that should be an adventure - and so always did it when he went to Europe on business - refused to fly from one country to the next so he could, instead, sit back and enjoy the passing countryside.
Wouldn't do it here though - to much chance of getting your throat cut!

jenclair said...

I admire your willingness to try life without a car, and I wish we had a more widespread rail system for passengers. It has been years and years since I've ridden a train in this country. I miss the train stations, too. You still see them in some towns, put to other use. Even without the elegance of the more famous stations, the little ones have their own charm.

Have a great trip!

jude said...

well i have to love trains too because i am a commuter quilter!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

my train home to cleveland got in at 4am this morning. I had a WONDERFUL time in nyack and nyc and wish all the buds from the cyberhood could have joined the 9 bloggers from near and far that gathered saturday night at the soho grand!

barbara - you are the winner of the challenge! of course since you live in metro dc you did have an advantage! it is a beautiful station.

ched - I've only passed through the newark station and never got out of the train - I look forward to checking it out someday

julien - yes you were there with em!

steve - you raise an excellent point regarding family connections to the rr industry!

megan - maybe you can share some of those wild and crazy stories!

coffee - the train to and from nyc was packed so I think the demand is there...and of course along the ne corridor trains have always been a viable option. hopefully we will see a resurgence.

lettuce - WE MISSED you! ched and I think a train trip with you on a photo safari would be the greatest time!

av - sorry that train travel in s.a is so risky.... so sad

jen - it was fun to meet and chat with all the different folks who were on the train - some veteran train travelers and some riding the rails for the first time!

jude - I like that 'commuter quilter'....

bitchlet said...

I use trains everyday. Life would be so inconvenient without them. The best part is that they are on time (unlike the (in)famous assumption that Indian trains are always late.)

Glad to have you back!!

ps- The picture almost looks all black and white except that line of orange/red running across the train.

WAT said...


Kermit looks so damn healthy!