ILLUMINATION
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ILLUMINATION

Trains All The Way

My first train trip as a 6-year-old.

Photo by George Cerny on Unsplash

After reading Barbara Dalton’s story about visiting her friend who lives on a rail line, I thought about trains and why I’ve always loved them.

Well, not so much about the why, but about all the unusual, wonderful and special train trips I’ve taken. Too many to write about all at once, so thought I’d make a series.

I’ll start at the beginning — my first train trip — more specifically, the first one I remember. Although I have no memory of the preceding argument where my father knocked my mother unconscious and left her lying on the floor in our hallway, obviously a very repressed memory, I vividly remember the subsequent overnight train trip.

It was Christmas Eve, 1956, and train travel was slow, but reliable. My father took my 3-year-old sister and myself on an overnight train trip to “visit” our grandparents — his mother and father — and left us there for 4 years. The best years of my life, but that’s another story.

We left from Roma Street Station. I don’t know what time it was, but it was still light. We climbed into one of the sitting cars and up onto the long leather bench seat. I remember being worried about how Santa Claus would find me on the train — life was all about me, even at this tender age.

After sticking my head out the window of the brown wooden carriage and getting what felt like a whole bucketful of soot in my eye — I remember that pain — I stretched out and fell asleep. When I woke, it was light — and Santa had found me — and left me a brush and comb set and a Little Golden Book, Sooty. I still have that much-loved book in my collection.

This convinced me of Santa’s magical powers and I refused to believe in his nonexistence right until my teenage years. Yeah, sad I know.

Did train travel traumatize me from my first experience? No, not at all. Quite the opposite. I didn’t go on a train for the next 4 years — my grandad owned a car — but I still felt that connection since he actually drove that engine that pulled the train. He died suddenly of a heart attack when I was 10; my father remarried; and that was the end of my childhood.

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Adrienne Beaumont

Adrienne Beaumont

I’m an Australian who loves to write about travel and my daily life as a mother and grandmother as well as my past experIences- all true. I publish almost daily

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