I think I can, I think I can

TRAINAre you a train buff?  Does the clickety-clack of the train tracks put you into an instant coma?  There’s a reason why people love train travel – and even more so in these days of Nasty Rotten Cheepo Airlines.  Train travel is so civilised by comparison.  The seats are wide – lots of leg room and you get a view.  Train journeys for the most part seem to be far more “on time” than flights and there is something quite thrilling about stepping onto a train with your luggage without having to go through numerous security checks.

Some favourite train rides?  Definitely the one from Zurich into Ötztal in Austria comes to  mind.  Of course everything in Switzerland runs on time.  It’s almost where time was invented.  So when I asked the station master in Zurich what would happen if my train was late he was unable to understand me.  “Trains in Switzerland are never late” he said with a frown.  Oops!  Riding the rails through the spectacular Swiss countryside was a wonderful experience and yes – our connecting time between trains was 3 minutes and the trains were exactly on time.

Likewise our high-speed train from Lyon to Paris was another joy.  Spoil yourself if you do this trip and upgrade to the comfort seats.  The two-hour ride flew by as we munched on freshly made sandwiches accompanied by – what else? – French wine!

trainsleeperBut when I think of train travel I cannot shake off the memories of travelling around Britain on the train – sometimes on very long train rides from Scotland down to the South.  If we were lucky (like posh people) we would get a compartment.  The train steward would come around with blankets and pillows and we would make up the bunk beds and argue about who was going to get the top bunk.  There would be a neat little cupboard which would convert into a private wash hand basin between the bunks but you still had to head out to the end of the corridor for the public loo.  When you pushed down the pedal to flush the toilet you could see the sleepers below rushing past.  That was a source of great fascination.  “Mom, mom – are the train tracks full of people’s poo?”

train toiletAnd then that scary moment when you went into the dining car and to get there you had to cross over that jumping moving surging connector floor thingy that linked the two carriages together.  So much excitement – no wonder we never slept on those overnight train journeys.  Just the rocking of the train and the click clack of the wheels –

got to get there
got to get there
got to get there
got to get there

I think I can
I think I can
I think I can

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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